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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT Discussion Thread)

P. 358: Two new slides & more announced for Adventure Island!

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I have a few questions:

 

 

2) I see Play & Dine tickets for $85 online, is this a good deal? The cheapest one day ticket I saw on their website was $80, so of course I would take the $5 extra, but I wonder if I'm missing something...

 

 

Admission is $80 per person and the All Day Dining is $33 per person at the park gates.

 

Play & Dine is a great deal! I do it every year. It's the best value for a one day trip to BGT.

 

If you plan to go more than once, get the Fun Card. Pay for a day, come back all year (parking not included.)

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Is it being removed for the new rumored drop tower?

 

Would be very sad. Looks like I was lucky to ride it a few times about a month ago. I really love Inverter, Looping Starships, Ranger and Traumboote. But sadly these inverting thrill rides die out one by one. One should ride every one of it still operating while they last.

 

Next to that I'm not a frined of drop towers - with maybe the exception of Disney's HTHs. You wait nearly forever and get a ride that is not very thrilling and lasts only a few seconds...

 

Can hopefuly console myself riding the Flying Shark - a Huss Ranger - at Hansa-Park soon...

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^^ Agreed 100% the play and dine is a great deal just for the beverages alone. Last time I went it was a very hot day (not all that unusual in Florida) so I got many many beverages throughout the day. Only caveat bring you had to go into the restaurants to get the drinks.

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It is a bit odd that as well built and GP Friendly as GCI's are they now have what two sitting and rotting?

 

I don't feel that the new trains helped at all. Rocky Mountain it all the way!!!!

 

They helped for about three weeks, after that arrrrgh! Also, my guess is that Phoenix is down for it's annual referb. They usually do it around this time of year.

Edited by Erik Johnson
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Also, my guess is that Phoenix is down for it's annual referb. They usually do it around this time of year.

 

Glad to hear that. Olive that little ride and it seemed popular with families when I was there. Never a line but consistent full trains on a fairly slow day.

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I just went on it a couple weeks ago and It vibrated a bunch in like an exaggerated boulder dash kinda way but I wouldn't say that its "rough". It doesn't slam you around or jackhammer at all. Its also worth noting that I rode it in the very back which theoretically should be roughest. I do hope they decide to keep it because I thought it was a very fun ride with some very unique elements. I regret not it more than a couple times! (dammit montu why do you have to be so much better than everything else)

 

Actually, at least on the Millennium Fliers the "roughest" spot is in the middle of the train because that is where it "pushes" together in the valleys and "pulls" apart on the hills the most. But that is besides the point.

 

The trains made the ride a little more comfortable, but like Steve said earlier, the PTC damage was done already. Would love to see what RMC could do with a dueling coaster...

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Such a darned shame to see Gwazi in that state. I remember being hyped about Millennium Flyer trains finally being installed on it and when I finally rode it, it just reduced the ride to just vibrating a whole lot.

 

I smell RMC refurb in a few years, market it as a "new experience" much like Sheikra getting floorless trains, and possibly improving operations so that Gwazi could "duel" again for old times sake (despite that being problematic with wait times).

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^^ I don't know if BGT is willing to do that. I feel like they already tried to make the ride a better experience and it did not work out well so they might just scratch it off entirely. I hope they do not. But the way things are going at BGT now (Rhino Rally, Possible new tower ride, attendance not what they hope for) makes me feel like they may just give up on Gwazi.

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Does anybody know if this park has anymore vacant land for new projects? It looks like the waterpark has some. There is a sizable parcel to the north of Congo River Rapids with a pond on it. Does Busch own this and if so, are they allowed to develop it?

Are there any other areas for expansion of the dry park, but obviously not at the expense of the animals?

 

http://maps.google.com/?vm=r&s=1

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I don't think BGT is ready to give up on Gwazi just yet..Agreeing with the previous post about it, the park does have a lot on their plate right now as far as projects go. As far as the land goes I do think BG owns the land behind Kumba with the pond. And Cheetah Hunt only has a single rider line when it is extremely crowded and they have the staff to open one. Always ask at the heightstick because you might get lucky and come on a day when that happens.

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Something to ad to this is that that bridge has been for a long time, at least since my visit on December 18 of last year.

It wouldn't bother me though if they took it out, the MF trains newness effect has worn off and is back to being a downright painful woodie, the world could use some more RMC love.

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The bridge has been there a while. Although it didn't take but a day to install the thing. They could probably take it out just as easily. Gwazi is incredibly painful and I think it would be a great idea to get RMC to do something with it eventually. I would also hate to see Gwazi go but sometimes that's what happens when a park can't figure out anything to do with a ride. Although they probably won't do anything with it in the near future, I think they'll start planning something eventually. I still have hope for it

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The bridge has been there a while. Although it didn't take but a day to install the thing. They could probably take it out just as easily. Gwazi is incredibly painful and I think it would be a great idea to get RMC to do something with it eventually. I would also hate to see Gwazi go but sometimes that's what happens when a park can't figure out anything to do with a ride. Although they probably won't do anything with it in the near future, I think they'll start planning something eventually. I still have hope for it

 

So glad to hear not everybody dislikes Gwazi! I am a HUGE fan of this "moody" coaster... Loved it w/PTC trains... Still do w/the MF trains... We named our cat after the coaster (true story)! I had a SICK feeling 1st time I witnessed Tiger AND Lion trains on the Lion track... Then saw the bridge across the Tiger track, not to mention the nearly stripped Tiger load platform... I have all my limbs and apendages crossed that something good will come out of this...

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Great Coasters is still in business - I don't think that they would want Rocky Mountain to come in and build Gwazi better than they could.

 

Do parks have agreements with ride manufacturers? I know that the park is essentially "on their own" when they finish the ride and hand over the controls, but aren't there agreements for stuff like reconstruction and retracking?

 

I know that there are plenty of exceptions, like B&M doing the new Steel Dragon trains and KumbaK putting trains on Vekoma rides. But, we've only so far seen Topper track and I-Box conversions on coasters whose companies are out of business - the Riverside Cyclone made by Cobb, Tremors made by the [technically] defunct CCI and Texas Giant made by Dinn, for example.

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I'm going to Busch Gardens Tampa in just over two weeks and I am wondering what people think of the online ticket deal where you pay $85 and get admission + food all day. Does anyone know how this works? Are only some restaurants are available for the ticket or all restaurants? And is it unlimited food or limited to two meals a day or something?

 

Even if it's only two meals only, that's fine!

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I'm going to Busch Gardens Tampa in just over two weeks and I am wondering what people think of the online ticket deal where you pay $85 and get admission + food all day. Does anyone know how this works? Are only some restaurants are available for the ticket or all restaurants? And is it unlimited food or limited to two meals a day or something?

 

Even if it's only two meals only, that's fine!

 

Purchase the ticket online and print it out. You will have 2 vouchers. One for admission, and another for All Day Dining. Once you enter into the park, follow the walk around to the right, and Zegora Cafe will be on your left.

 

Exchange your All Day DIning voucher for a wrist band and you are good to go!

Get to the park early and get the wrist band first thing, then head over to Cheetah Hunt, then Montu. (After Montu, cut through Edge of Africa, and head toward the back of the park.)

 

Play N Dine Deal (My favorite and best food value at a theme park. This ticket is available online only. Basically you pay for admission and get All Day Dining for free. Bird Gardens Buffet "Garden Gate Cafe" is included. Upstairs sit down style dining at Crown Colony is not included. Down stairs restaurant at CC is included.)

 

Example:

Each time you go through the line you are welcome to an entree with a side, 20oz drink, and a second side OR dessert. In the photo below is what I got at Desert Grill in Timbuktu. I opted for watermelon as my second side, and sweat tea for the drink.

580821_3487613551212_1520633398_n.jpg

 

Most of the time I get Fruit Punch due to it being too hot for cola.

 

Can be used at Zagora Cafe, Crown Colony Cafe, Garden Gate Cafe, Bengal Bistro, Zambia Smokehouse (excludes baby back ribs), and Desert Grill (excludes baby back ribs).

 

You can go in any of these listed restaurants and get just a drink if you want! You do not HAVE to get the whole meal.

 

If you are going one day, then this is the ticket for you. If you plan to visit more than once, I suggest the Fun Card which is pay for a day, come back all year. THEN, purchase the All Day Dining separately. (which is what I normally do.)

 

Make time to see Iceploration, Critter Castaways, and the show in the Desert Grill.

 

When you ride Montu, ride it in the front in the morning after you ride Cheetah Hunt. Then, later in the day, ride Montu in the last row, left seat.

 

I basically spelled out the Play N Dine deal for you. If you have further questions about BGT, contact me. I know my BGT. Absolutely love that park.

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^ THANK YOU so much!

 

I will definitely be going with that ticket. What a deal! BGT is the last park of my trip and I fly home the next morning, so I will be sure to take advantage of this ticket so I don't have to get airport food!

 

And thank you for the tips of where to head ride-wise!

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Yea, if you plan on being there all day, definitely get the deal. My dad, sister, and I once purchased it, and it was nice to be able to go to any food store on the list and just grab a quick snack or drink. You don't need to get the entire meal every time. It'd worth the upfront cost! Enjoy your visit! And maybe I'll be working Montu the day you visit!

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Yea, if you plan on being there all day, definitely get the deal. My dad, sister, and I once purchased it, and it was nice to be able to go to any food store on the list and just grab a quick snack or drink. You don't need to get the entire meal every time. It'd worth the upfront cost! Enjoy your visit! And maybe I'll be working Montu the day you visit!

 

Yeah, that will be awesome. I'll be there April 12th, all day. My friend I'm going with is also a TPR reader, so I'd love to say hello if you're working. Just PM me when you know.

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Oh Gwazi . . . this was my first trip to Busch Gardens ever. I went about three weeks ago. It was the week before Tampa "spring break," so the park was completely dead. I did not wait in one line, except for a 15 minute line for Cheetah Hunt.

 

Now back on track, or off track. I had heard about Gwazi's state but I had no idea what to expect. I always hear mixed opinions here, and on other sites. I always give coasters the benefit of the doubt and try to ride with no pre-conceived notions,as far as the experience goes. I mean, before Voyage was re-tracked, everyone complained, but I thought it was awesome.

 

However, Gwazi was not such a great experience. Despite the lack of trims, the train shuffled and vibrated so much that it seemed to loose all momentum. The only airtime to be had was in the front. The back was so painful, and lacked airtime except for the first drop. I've never really wanted a ride to end, but my ride in the back of Gwazi was so terrible, I wanted off, & the restraint kept getting TIGHTER & TIGHTER!

 

Don't get me wrong I love GCI coasters, especially Thunderhead and Roar West. But, I definitely noticed the Tiger side in dis-repair. The track was rusting, the chain lift was rusted. And, they were using one Tiger, and one Lion train on the Lion side. How can this coaster be a part of such a great line-up? Maybe this is why Busch parks never went with Woodies? I hope something good is in store, and I wonder if this coaster will ever duel again, especially due to the accidents at IOA. Is the "non-dueling" a state-wide thing?

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It is sad to see the tiger side in disrepair and it would be great if RMC came in and put track topper on it and put the hifive element on the hill at the end. Also I think they can run both sides unlike dueling dragons because they have a mesh barrier on the air time hill. Plus does anyone know the progress on the new show at the stanleyville theater? Oh and I think they have done the bridge thing before so I'm not too worried about gwazi and did anyone try to look if they were doing work somewhere else on the tiger side.

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I think part of the disappointed with the MF trains is the fact the park did a great job of a complete retracking of the ride - only they did it a year before the MFs arrived so the PTCs had plenty of time to beat it the track up.

 

I'm no engineer so I could be completely off here but is there a bigger issue than just the track? Was the ride built different because it was one of GCI's first? Does the MFs trains require a different support structure to brace their weight (I assume they are heavier than PTCs)?

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I'm no engineer so I could be completely off here but is there a bigger issue than just the track? Was the ride built different because it was one of GCI's first? Does the MFs trains require a different support structure to brace their weight (I assume they are heavier than PTCs)?

 

Let's put it this way. Gwazi was GCI's 4th coaster. I have not ridden all four, but from what I've heard, Wildcat and Roar West are great, while Gwazi and Roar East are terrible. So I don't understand why they would be 50/50 between their early coasters.

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^I would hardly say that WildCat and Roar are "great". I think a more accurate description would be "they don't try to murder you as much as Gwazi and Roar East do".

 

 

Does the MFs trains require a different support structure to brace their weight (I assume they are heavier than PTCs)?

 

I'm pretty sure they are much lighter than the PTCs.

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