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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT Discussion Thread)

p. 348 - Iron Gwazi POV!

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As for Akbar's Adventure Tours, I never had the chance to give it a try sadly...

Akbar's was a pretty fun simulator ride, cheesy fun for sure and great for families. I do have a few pictures of the attraction shortly before it was closed for good from a visit back in 2004, but I gotta dig through my burnt CDs for it. Never did anticipate Webshots going down for good years ago...

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Holy crap you nerds are a tough crowd.  It looks like a coaster that will make me hoot and holler the entire time I'm on it while simultaneously trying to throw my fat ass as far from the train as pos

It means that you can look forward to a fun-filled day riding Kumba, Montu, Cheetah Hunt and Sheikra and while you're in line for one of those you might be able to watch an Iron Gwazi POV on your phon

I actually agree with many of you talking about how the RMC's are all very similar.  And that's fine. There's nothing wrong with building a ton of very similar kick ass rides when most people who ride

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^I remember those days well! I personally think the Dolphin Show was more entertaining than anything that has ever played in the 4d theater to be honest with you.

 

Finally found my Akbar's pictures. The ride opened in 1998 as a family attraction for the Egypt section replacing Questor. The ride operated regularly until around 2002-03ish when it went to a more seasonal operation, operating during peak days. Akbar's was also closed in October since the queue line and building were used for houses during Howl-O-Scream. By around 2005, Busch removed Akbar's for good and the building now houses the park history museum and a house during Howl-O-Scream.

 

The ride itself was cheesy fun, starring Martin Short as Akbar, who makes a living as a tour guide. I thought it was a great family attraction and I wish Busch would place more family oriented rides throughout the park, especially since there are not many "family friendly" rides in that corner of the park and again, lacking in flat rides.

 

The photos below were taken in the queue and exit areas of Akbar's.

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The bus in front of Akbar's entrance. It still stands today as the "Montu Express" and the only visible remnant of Akbar's.

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Some of the queue theming, full of Egyptian market knick-knacks and posters advertising Akbar's tours.

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How many simulator rides can say they were piloted by three baby brothers and padded with Persian rugs?

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The exit path, lined with more ads for Akbar's.

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"Gotta get away from heeeerreee...."

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You'll certainly never be the same again, I still have recurring nightmares caused by this ride

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On a serious note, did you know Mother's Day is in a few weeks?

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At the end of the exit path, there's a photo op with one of the gags from the film. Not sure if it's still around.

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I'll end this with another old photo I found of Sheikra's construction. This was from December 2004.

 

I hope you enjoyed this look at a past attraction.

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I remember Questor!

 

Not sure about now, but when I worked there in 2001-2002, the crystal was still in the old exit of Questor. The exit was converted to storage when they re routed it toward Egypt.

 

See the dolphin show many times! Always loved the mime before the show!

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I think it was the same year as when they had the panda bears on loan from China.

Snap. I don't ever remember this happening, but I'm glad to hear it did. That means BGT, if you're listening and it's not too late, this needs to happen....

 

Since they finally stepped out of Africa with the addition of Walkabout Way (aside from the Bengal tigers), I'd LOVE to see Gwazi replaced with a huge Asian themed area which incorporated pandas. There's not a single zoo in Florida where you can see pandas, so BGT would have a great marketing possibility there....and they just happen to be one of the few places that could deal with all the red tape involved in acquiring them from China. The facilities they could build would obviously be top notch, and a great benefit to panda research.

 

Just make the area BGT's answer to SWO's Antartica. Dark ride, immersive panda exhibit, bring over the Komodo dragons, throw in some King Cobra enclosures, maybe even a drop tower (finally?), add a great Asian-inspired restaurant, and then surround it with typical Asian architecture and Angkor Wat-type theming. Boom. Done.]

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^That sounds like a great idea to me, not sure what a Panda themed dark ride would be like but after Antartica opens we might hav ea better idea of the possibilities. I've got a feeling they won't completely remove Gwazi unless they have a huge expansion like this planned.

 

I'll throw another Asian themed ride idea into the mix, I've always thought that Disney should remove the Jungle Cruise from Magic Kingdom and open an all new totally awesome Jungle Cruise ride in Animal Kingdom with a mixture of animatronic scenes and real animals. Why not attempt a similar ride at Busch Gardens? A boat ride of some sorts through Asian animal enclosures could be really cool and probably more cost effective as an animal encounter ride than Rhino Rally was.

 

Was Akbar's the same technology as Wild Arctic at Seaworld? I never had a chance to ride it either.

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I went to BGT yesterday and it was probably the best day at a theme park I've ever had. Got on Kumba and Montu 5 times each as well as everything else at least twice.

I talked to the ride op at Sandstorm. I asked about the two different rumours about Sandstorm. He said that Sandstorm and the kiddie rides in Timbuktu are being moved to BGW.

Then I asked about Gwazi... He said (I still am a little sceptical) that Gwazi is being moved to Busch Gardens Williamsburg as well.

I know it's possible to move wooden coasters but has anyone ever heard of a wooden coaster as big as Gwazi being moved? I'm just wondering what you guys think.

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I talked to the ride op at Sandstorm. I asked about the two different rumours about Sandstorm. He said that Sandstorm and the kiddie rides in Timbuktu are being moved to BGW.

Then I asked about Gwazi... He said (I still am a little sceptical) that Gwazi is being moved to Busch Gardens Williamsburg as well.

I know it's possible to move wooden coasters but has anyone ever heard of a wooden coaster as big as Gwazi being moved?

 

I'm just wondering what you guys think.

BGT's employee drug screening needs to improve?

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Nevermind Akbar's, who remembers Questor? Or for that matter, when the 4D theater was a dolphin show.

 

I think I have photos of that dolphin show from when I was 9 tucked in a draw somewhere from when my father had a business trip in Florida and took me, that and a lot of peoples heads trying to take photos of a Disney parade.

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I'll throw another Asian themed ride idea into the mix, I've always thought that Disney should remove the Jungle Cruise from Magic Kingdom and open an all new totally awesome Jungle Cruise ride in Animal Kingdom with a mixture of animatronic scenes and real animals. Why not attempt a similar ride at Busch Gardens? A boat ride of some sorts through Asian animal enclosures could be really cool and probably more cost effective as an animal encounter ride than Rhino Rally was.

 

Was Akbar's the same technology as Wild Arctic at Seaworld? I never had a chance to ride it either.

Tidal Wave used to be a Jungle Cruise type ride a long time ago before Busch put in a drop.

 

While Akbar and Wild Arctic are both simulators (take this with a grain of salt), I have heard Akbar was built by a different manufacturer that went out of business and the ride became unreliable.

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I talked to the ride op at Sandstorm. I asked about the two different rumours about Sandstorm. He said that Sandstorm and the kiddie rides in Timbuktu are being moved to BGW.

 

BGW has a Sandstorm-style ride as well as a few of those kiddie rides already.

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Well...when I was there earlier this month I overheard a ride op on scorpion say the exact same thing about gwazi...

 

I find it hard to believe but apparently that is the rumor floating amongst ride ops at least...

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I talked to the ride op at Sandstorm. I asked about the two different rumours about Sandstorm. He said that Sandstorm and the kiddie rides in Timbuktu are being moved to BGW.

Then I asked about Gwazi... He said (I still am a little sceptical) that Gwazi is being moved to Busch Gardens Williamsburg as well.

I know it's possible to move wooden coasters but has anyone ever heard of a wooden coaster as big as Gwazi being moved? I'm just wondering what you guys think.

 

So what you're saying is that the Dippin' Dots guy is now the ride op at sandstorm?

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I mean if you think about it, in a way, this rumour kinda makes sense. If you forget about the crazy costs of moving a wooden coaster for the moment, it doesn't really makes sense to scrap a massive ride that really isn't that old. And you happen to have a huge plot of land where Drachen Fire (RIP) used to be... that would give Busch a chance to try to rebuild the ride and replace the battered pieces + the new MF trains might = an incredible ride. And this would give BGT some room to expand and get creative with the giant plot of land that Gwazi is on right now. Plus you finally fill the old Drachen Fire site.

By the way, the ride op also said 240 foot drop tower. <-- another ride op also mentioned 240 feet.

Just my thoughts.

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I mean if you think about it, in a way, this rumour kinda makes sense. If you forget about the crazy costs of moving a wooden coaster for the moment, it doesn't really makes sense to scrap a massive ride that really isn't that old.

Son of Beast.

 

 

Gwazi was a really good coaster in its first couple years. Now it's just time to move on. Building new > relocating old.

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To me it doesn't make sense to move a troubled ride from one park to another, especially if the problems will continue at the new location. Look at how much retracking this ride has undergone and results haven't improved even with new trains. I still say the Rocky Mountain treatment would be the only way to save this coaster.

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I find it hard to believe that Gwazi will be moved, although the Virginia climate may be more forgiving on the track than Florida's weather. Plus, they only would really have to move one side. Not saying I believe it, but it is possible.

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