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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT Discussion Thread)

p. 375: Phoenix Rising family inverted coaster announced for 2024!

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Maybe they should just have two with floors, and two without, that way the GP and YOU have a decision to make before you ride. Sheikra with a floor, or without.

As much as I think thats a cool idea, it wont happen. That would be an interesting idea though; being that theres two stations. Back for floorless, front for floor, or whatever... but anyways, the change doesn't really matter to me.


Either way I'll still enjoy SheiKra, I dont know if taking the floor away was necessarily a GREAT decision, but IMO... I like SheiKra no matter what.


I'll just miss putting my feet on the rail before falling! I dont know why that was FUN? haha Guess I'll have to go all the way to Europe now to do that!



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I can't believe this made it to 7 pages lol....ah well...whatever Busch Gardens intentions were by changing Sheikra's trains....it's done (or will be soon) at thats it.


I've rode Sheikra, and it was a cool ride...it can't hurt to change the trains anymore than it would if Busch Gardens decided to choose another set of colors for the ride.

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I can't think of a reason why anyone would be unhappy about the change, but I wonder whether there is something else going on with the current trains which gives Busch more incentive to change them. Maybe the floorless design will eliminate some high-maintenance components, or reduce weight which would put less stress on the trains and structure. Sheikra is sort of a prototype ride, and there could be some maintenance issues that we are unaware of, but BG is interested in improving. Otherwise, I can't justify why they would spend this much money (B&M trains aren't cheap) just to re-market a ride that's only a few years old opposed to investing in something brand new for the future.


I also don't see why anyone would really care whether Griffon and Sheikra have the same trains. They're already two different rides, and if the floorless trains are better, why not have them on both?


On a side note, what I'd really like to see is Big Bad Wolf get retro-fitted with some inverted trains I think Arrow was able to do that with another suspended coaster somewhere, I just can't remember which one

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On a side note, what I'd really like to see is Big Bad Wolf get retro-fitted with some inverted trains I think Arrow was able to do that with another suspended coaster somewhere, I just can't remember which one
That was a Vekoma retrofit to Chessington's Vampire. Actually I don't know how successful it was because I seem to remember hearing that the front row had to be closed at times. Of course I could be completely wrong and if anyone has info to the contrary I'm happy to admit I my mistake.



On the topic of Sheikra I don't see it as a bad move and the trains look like they could be retrofitted meaning they don't have to absorb the cost of completely new trains. Perhaps B&M just wasn't able to make a floorless removable floor system for such wide trains when it debuted? It could be all sorts of things but that is what makes the most sense to me personally.

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For me the floorless effect wasn't that much of a difference with regular trains, but I don't know how that is on Dive Machines.


I can howeverimagine how scary it must be if you sit in the outer seats and there's nothing under you, so the floorless effect will probably be alot better than with the regular B&M's

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  • 2 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

It is a good move for them, a business move. Take their best ride, change it, and get all kinds of national attention and public relations. A great business move, and will have me coming back to the park sooner.



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Sheikra is never an issue for lines, as I assume that many people are just too afraid of it. You can ride it again, and again, with no issues. Yeah Sheikra!


Witch Sheikra are you riding? I went there last saturday, the 12th. Right when the park opened, for about 1 hour it was a walk on after that it was one helluva line! Not that many people are scared of SheiKra.


Hell I got four rides in that day, boy was it exciting!

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^Obviously, it depends when you go and what time of the day. I rode SheiKra two weeks ago on a Tuesday, it had a two train wait till around 2 pm and a one train wait the rest of the day. ...oh and that was for the front, the back was a walk-on the whole day.

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  • 4 weeks later...

On June 16th 2007, Sheikra is reborn at Busch Gardens Africa located in Tampa, Florida as it reopens with a new twist. The coaster cars are now floorless. Busch Gardens Africa (BGA) held a media day on June 15th, to allow us to experience SheiKra "floorless" a day early, as well as an opportunity to interview BGA's General Manager and Executive Vice President Dan Brown and its Vice President of Design and Engineering, Mark Rose.


You can experience this event by checking out the photographs as well as watching the attached video. The video does feature offride as well as a complete onride video of myself riding SheiKra giving commentary as I experience the ride. So sit back and enjoy the new SheiKra experience.


Sheikra Floorless Media Event. (Zipped version for download at the bottom).


Looks like BGA is having ERT for Passholders (not including Fun Card holders) during the rest of June.


When I got home, I checked my mailbox to find this.


More birds of prey.


Close up of the back row of the train.


Smile for the camera!


Here is a shot the "media seat".


The front row really benefits by being floorless.


Another group of happy riders heading out of the station.


In a matter of a few seconds the gate and floor retract.


The loading station looks a bit different now.


Another group of people heading towards the water brake run.


Yes, its now floorless.


Looks like fun!


So is a shot of 30 people hanging off the edge of a 200 foot drop.


SheiKra through the trees is always nice.


I bet you are now ready for more coaster pictures.


I also had the opportunity to meet with Mark Rose, Vice President of Design and Engineering.


Executive Vice President & General Manager Dan Brown gave us an introduction.


More dancing.


It must be time for the event, since the dancers are now out.


There was a little bit of entertainment before the event started.


I totally lost this contest.


Several "birds of prey" were on display for the event.


There is an opening day countdown clock on top of SheiKra's entrance.


This is one of the new SheiKra floorless trains going up the lift hill.


Our press kit came inside this nice SheiKra bag.


Here is my press/media pass.


It was time for me to go check-in and receive my media packet.


I have never seen SheiKra from this angle before.


They were already cycling trains before the media event started.


Check in time at Busch Gardens Africa was 9:00 AM


Sheikra Floorless Video for Download.

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Great job on the video and commentary, Erik. Quick question, did they happen to mention or hint at any new attractions for 2008 or 2009? ...other than what's being worked on right now. I'm assuming they didn't or you would have mentioned it, but I thought I would ask anyway.


Again, thanks for covering the event.

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Nice upgrade on SheiKra, I must admit I was a bit sceptical when I first heard that they were going to make the switch. Media day was pretty cool I was there as part of the fill in riders with ACE and FLCC.


The front seat is great for visuals as riding on the huge sized track is awesome. Back seat is still my favorite seat but the front is well worth waiting for. Over all I would say it was an improvement to the ride.


Lots of photos here.



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I want to represent TPR.com at a press event and get special privelages, too!!! Looks like you had an awesome day, and Shakira looks fantastic.


Is it just me, or do those 2 guys you interviewed sound like they're not really TALKING to you and more like they're just quoting some pre-written script? You know what I mean?

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Thanks for the pics and video. I was at the park yesterday as well but working. Guess I will have to wait until Tuesday to ride it!


The one guy said they are always looking at ways to improve existing rides. NEW GCI TRAINS FOR GWAZI! Hint hint


The last time I rode it (about a week ago) it was pretty much the worst it has ever been, and until they get new trains, that WILL be the last time I ride it.


It's kind of sad since it is visually beautiful, it sits right at the front of the park, but once you ride it, you never wanna ride it again. And the SLOW loading and unloading has got to stop! The ride has been open since 1999, but they are still SO slow loading.


Just my two cents...

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