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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT Discussion Thread)

p. 348 - Iron Gwazi POV!

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Here's the long-awaited trip report from yours truly!

 

I flipped out the first time I saw the virtual POV for Cheetah Hunt. I HAD to get down to Florida to ride it. It shot to the top of my bucket list.

 

I tried a few tactics to get down there. First I decided that I should enter the Snyder's of Hanover Pretzel Coaster Build-Off despite the fact that I hate pretzels, and, well, this Eurofighter was the result:

 

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Unfortunately, as impressive as Gonga was, it didn't win. I tried talking my parents into vacationing in Siesta Key and spending a day driving to the park, but they weren't interested.

 

2.5 years and 5 pounds of pretzels later, my dad decided that I needed to learn to fly on my own. Being in engineering and possibly designing roller coasters for a living, I would have to do a lot of flying around to see stuff I've designed built, so he asked me if I wanted to fly anywhere close by. I told him I wanted to go to Tampa and ride Cheetah Hunt.

 

The trip was confirmed in February of 2013, and called off in July because we flew to Mexico for vacation and I discovered my phobia of flying. However, I decided in August that I needed to get over it, and called it back on because 1.) I HAD to get on Cheetah Hunt and 2.) I needed to learn to fly for professional reasons.

 

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They served these on the airplane? Really?

 

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One of the first things you see landing in the Tampa airport. Yup...we're in the right place!

 

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Traffic going to the hotel was bad, but we were near this car! The fact that we practically followed it to the hotel showed us just how close to the park we were.

 

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MY BABY!!!1!111!! Flew all the way from Ohio to get here and seeing it in person was amazing! Best of all? This was across the street from the hotel!

 

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Blurry zoomed shot!

 

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Montu! About to be Banshee's little brother!

 

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Walking in the area around the park, you can see that the city needs to redesign that specific part of town and maybe maintain it a bit better. Some brilliant engineer felt the need to put this right in the middle of the sidewalk, there was roadkill in the streets that spent all three days we were there in the street and never got cleaned up (here in Ohio you can drive past it one way and find it cleaned up on the way back from a quick errand), and one of the crosswalk buttons had fallen off so every time you had to cross that street you had to play "reset button" and find something small, usually a twig, to push the smaller internal button to cross. Not to mention the sidewalks slanted at a fifteen degree angle. However, you couldn't find a friendlier community. Everybody we spoke with in the area businesses was so nice to us, quite a nice change from the "Ohio rudeness" I hear people visiting Ohio talk about so much. The area seems to be growing too. There was a really nice Ihop, a Red Lobster, an Olive Garden, two new hotels, and there was construction going on around the block from us. Maybe now that it seems like the park's really starting to reel in new businesses to that block the city will renovate it. It happened to a stretch of rode in my hometown, I'd love to see a booming business area expand around such a nice park staffed by that already friendly community.

 

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Saw this in the hotel!

 

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Grabbed dinner at a place called Skipper's Smokehouse that night. I had crawfish and gator tail and it was to DIE for! The place was also built not in a building, but a strange "hive" of trailers laid end to end.

 

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The next day was the longest morning of my life. We intended to get up at 7:30, ended up getting up at 6:30 because neither of us could sleep and ended up going to Ihop for breakfast. After that, we waited around the hotel for a bit and walked to the tram! After getting our bag checked, we spent thirty minutes waiting outside the park for them to unchain the entrance. After a pretty awkward national anthem with no flag and everybody looking around for one, they let us in! I really like BGT's entrance, easily beats out Cedar Point's for my favorite park entrance. Now build a roller coaster over it!

 

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We BOOKED IT to Cheetah Hunt! We had a bit of a delay needing a locker for the bag (I heard they had cubbies like Cedar Fair does but they didn't) but were still on one of the first five trains of the day.

 

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Move over, Millennium Force, Cheetah Hunt is now my favorite coaster! I understand that a lot of enthusiasts don't like it, but I do. My favorite part would have to be a tie between the windcatcher (literally, airtime, terrifying time hanging on your side at a good angle 100 feet above the ground feeling like you're falling out if the restraint isn't there, airtime drop into a good trench) and the barrel roll (am I the only one that feels the strange force transfer/hangtime that feels like it'll smash you into the rapids below if your already loose restraint fails?). I would also like to mention that there is plenty of airtime on the hill after launch three and the canyon bit is sweet, and you can get wet if you sit in the front! Not to mention that the surroundings near the Nairobi walkway which parallels Cheetah Hunt feels exactly like Africa and it really felt like you were riding a NoLimits fantasy coaster.

 

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After two rides on Cheetah Hunt (one in the middle, one in the front) we went to ride Montu, which was also MY 75TH CREDIT!!!!! Easily my new favorite B&M invert! It's like my old favorite (Afterburn at Carowinds) but on a much larger scale and with better theming. The whole Egypt area is great but it feels tiny. I feel like a well-themed S&S Screamin' Swing would work well there or if they can fit it, a Polar X-Plorer styled Zierer with the VD element in a pyramid (I saw NO pyramids the whole time I was in the area, they should really add them!) but it's a great area of the park. And then we backtracked and rode Cheetah Hunt again, this time in the back. Because we could.

 

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We then went on to experience the roller coaster enthusiast coming-of-75th credit ritual known as Gwazi. OH, Gwazi. Gwazi, Gwazi, Gwazi. Gwazi. My favorite wooden coaster is Thunderhead, it's a GCI, I love GCI, but they REALLY had to get it together after this one it seems! I'm an Ohioan, I got more than my fair share of Son of Beast, but this was worse! And the thing I don't understand is WHY??? Son of Beast was a giant coaster that ran heavy trains, it's almost a given that it'll tear up the track. But Gwazi was so tiny! It might be from intense forces (I didn't notice the intensity, I couldn't even see straight) but it didn't come across as overly intense or do anything crazy I could see to chew up the track that much. And the trains were so comfy in the station! Anything that can make those nice, padded trains that painful should be torn down. Not to mention that the whole Gwazi area was like the current Gemini midway at Cedar Point in that there were a bunch of colorful smaller rides and games made to compliment a large, wooden-supported ride that nobody cared for as much as the larger coasters at the park. I saw ONE kid on Gwazi Gliders the entire day and everybody just walked past the game booths. I hope that when they winch down Gwazi that they bulldoze this area too and use it for whatever else they have in store.

 

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Next came SheiKra. My dad skipped out on it because he didn't like Griffon, its sister coaster, so I rode alone. While Griffon does have a better layout, I liked SheiKra better. SheiKra feels like a true Busch Gardens coaster with plenty of pretty theming and a strong feeling of the experience it was meant to convey. Griffon, on the other hand, feels like "Cedar Fair called, they want their B&M back." Both great coasters, like SheiKra better.

 

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Next came Kumba! My first B&M sitdown and while it was a great ride, it felt like one of those infamous "tropical B&Ms" that plauge the RCT3 forums. Layout was just okay, pretty much nothing overwhelmingly unique, minimal tropical theming, the like. Glad I rode it, though.

 

Sand Serpent was next. I liked Ricochet at Carowinds better but this one was fun too. The illusion on Sand Serpent I didn't feel was as strong and I want to say Ricochet had two dips in a spot where Sand Serpent has one. Great family coaster, though. Perfect for those who were like me that would ride anything as long as it didn't have an inversion up until I was eight that wouldn't ride Cheetah Hunt for that reason alone.

 

We WANTED to ride Scorpion, but it went down. We then ate at Zagora Cafe for lunch. The park food was just meh, but it's a nice pavilion.

 

And then we rode the train. Such a great train ride! I have a POV from it but I loved it! The Serengeti Plain feels remarkably like Africa and going around and seeing the coasters on the return trip was awesome.

 

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We then rode Scorpion. Such an awesome coaster for something that small and that old! Going through the loop with that insanely loose lap bar and the helix at the end is INTENSE!!! We also got to see an octagonal footer poured for Falcon's Fury! Cool to see the ride moving along even though it's something I'd never ride.

 

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My dad's last ride at the park with me was another ride on Cheetah Hunt. Yet again, it's my favorite coaster. Can't wait to hopefully get back on it already.

 

I had so much ERT for that day! I rerode Montu after my dad left and literally got on in the front, and ran back around the queue and got on in the back. It only makes me even more excited for Banshee!

 

I then rode Cheetah Hunt AGAIN!!! Love that coaster!

 

Then I rode SheiKra again and Kumba again. SheiKra's view at sunset is beautiful! I could see Tampa Bay, the skyline of downtown Tampa, and the entire park as the sun began to set. Kumba was just as good up front as it was when I rode it earlier. I feel like Kumba's your typical "vanilla" coaster. It's the absolute plain in terms of them.

 

Finally, I got in my last ride on Cheetah Hunt. Because the ride ops at BGT are pretty inefficient, I told one I was a single rider and BAM!!!! Empty seat up front! At sunset! I really loved this final ride, perfect way to close out the season! And the lady sitting next to me was terrified and it was hilarious!

 

That night we walked to a Red Lobster a few doors down from our hotel. Nowhere near as good as Skipper's but the staff was nice. However, that specific Red Lobster appears to have issues with funny business going on there, because behind the podium there's a sign that says that doing certain illegal things would get you kicked out, and there was a cop car in the parking lot from the time we got there to the time we left. Not sure what that's about but I'm glad they're taking care of it. It's standard Red Lobster food but that's not a bad thing! Great meal!

 

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Didn't like seeing this out the window the next day, but we didn't plan to go back anyway since we had a flight to catch.

 

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Goodbye, Busch Gardens! We decided to go to the International Mall that day and look around.

 

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Well, we didn't COMPLETELY ditch Busch Gardens. Those foam play areas at the mall for kids? They have one there!

 

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An awful picture of me standing next to the little Cheetah Hunt! I want this in my room!

 

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And a creepy topiary with little Cheetah Hunt!

 

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What a great season! 2013 was easily my best season, and it really went out with a bang! Four coasters added to my top 10 (GateKeeper, TTD, Cheetah Hunt, and Montu) and a whopping 19 new credits! My first times visiting parks with other enthusiasts, introducing one of my best friends to her first major roller coaster, skipping a 3-hour GateKeeper line from that Plinko pass, Millennium Force at night, Cheetah Hunt beating Millennium as my favorite coaster, and finally getting my driver's license! And to top it all off, it was announced that my home park is getting an epic new B&M for the 2014 season, AND I might be able to drive to Chicago to ride Goliath at SFGAm and the last of the US wing coasters I haven't ridden next season! 2014 can't come any sooner!

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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

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I think one of the most interesting things about this hobby is how everyone has a few coasters that they absolutely love that most other people completely overlook when ranking their favorite coasters. The thing that makes this story really interesting is that most people go into a ride with average expectations and are blown away by it which is how this ends up happening. In this case Cheetah Hunt (of all coasters) was #1 on your radar and managed to exceed your expectations. I think that's really cool since it's really not a typical "destination coaster", it seemed like you were setting yourself up for a letdown and I'm so glad that's not what happened.

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I think one of the most interesting things about this hobby is how everyone has a few coasters that they absolutely love that most other people completely overlook when ranking their favorite coasters. The thing that makes this story really interesting is that most people go into a ride with average expectations and are blown away by it which is how this ends up happening. In this case Cheetah Hunt (of all coasters) was #1 on your radar and managed to exceed your expectations. I think that's really cool since it's really not a typical "destination coaster", it seemed like you were setting yourself up for a letdown and I'm so glad that's not what happened.

I was actually a bit worried about being let down, but I didn't let it call the trip off. I know my taste in coasters is a bit different than that of most enthusiasts (certain rides like GateKeeper and Intimidator and now Cheetah Hunt being on my top 10 really illustrate this well) but I know what I like and don't like really well. It's also one of those coasters where the POV doesn't do it justice since the surroundings are all around you and a narrow YouTube screen doesn't convey how immersive it is, and the scenery looks better than it does in most 2011 POVs because that was while they were still growing foliage in. As my dad said, "Cheetah Hunt proves that a coaster doesn't need to be big or fast to be really fun," and I think that's what BGT and Intamin were going for. I wonder how many people would argue that it's better than Millennium like I think. It'd be interesting to rank coasters in numerous categories (speed, intensity, inversions, location, ect.) and try to gauge what an enthusiast likes/doesn't like based on the coasters in their top 10.

 

Cheetah Hunt is worthy of all praise it receives. It really is one of the best overall coasters in the world. Great length, unique forces, fantastic setting and three launches.

YES, someone who agrees! I definitely find it to be one of the world's most underrated coasters.

 

Great report! I'm hoping to visit BGA this December/January so I can experience Cheetah Hunt for myself. Last time I visited, it was about a month before Cheetah Hunt opened, but it looked great!

You definitely should! It's my new favorite park!

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Montu! About to be Banshee's little brother!

 

We BOOKED IT to Cheetah Hunt! We had a bit of a delay needing a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo for the bag (I heard they had cubbies like Cedar Fair does but they didn't) but were still on one of the first five trains of the day

 

After two rides on Cheetah Hunt (one in the middle, one in the front) we went to ride Montu, which was also MY 75TH CREDIT!!!!! Easily my new favorite B&M invert! It's like my old favorite (Afterburn at Carowinds) but on a much larger scale and with better theming. The whole Egypt area is great but it feels tiny. I feel like a well-themed S&S Screamin' Swing would work well there or if they can fit it, a Polar X-Plorer styled Zierer with the VD element in a pyramid (I saw NO pyramids the whole time I was in the area, they should really add them!) but it's a great area of the park. And then we backtracked and rode Cheetah Hunt again, this time in the back. Because we could.

 

Griffon, on the other hand, feels like "Cedar Fair called, they want their B&M back."

 

Next came Kumba! My first B&M sitdown and while it was a great ride, it felt like one of those infamous "tropical B&Ms" that plauge the RCT3 forums. Layout was just okay, pretty much nothing overwhelmingly unique, minimal tropical theming, the like. Glad I rode it, though.

 

We WANTED to ride Scorpion, but it went down. We then ate at Zagora Cafe for lunch. The park food was just meh, but it's a nice pavilion.

 

. Kumba was just as good up front as it was when I rode it earlier. I feel like Kumba's your typical "vanilla" coaster. It's the absolute plain in terms of them.

 

I understand everyone has their opinions, and expectations of parks, but I disagree with a few of your statements.

 

Banshee is Montu's little sister. (Not about size, but about age.)

 

While they do insist that you use a locker, they do have cubbie bins for hats and glasses.

 

Montu was originally planned to be an indoor coaster built inside a pyramid before B&M was contracted for the final design.

 

Actually, Busch Gardens called and want's their B&M back.

 

Please refrain from dissing Kumba, that is all I am going to say.

 

You should have got the All Day Dining Deal. NEVER EAT AT ZAGORA!! The food throughout the park is amazing! You should have tried this:

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Alfredo with meatballs, mac n cheese, and fruit punch! Had this twice in one day!

 

"He dissed Kumba again."

 

Kumba is far from vanilla! It is certainly lightyears away from, ugh, can't say it. "Plain". ** clutches chest **

 

Diving through the Congo jungle is not enough theme on Kumba?

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Kumba is a perfect example of what YOU ACTUALLY DO when you design, build, and maintain a roller coaster. Other parks need to take notes from Kumba. 20 years old, and still rides like it did in 1993. Like a dream!

 

Okay, I am done...

 

** Walks away mumbling to self **

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I know my taste in coasters is a bit different than that of most enthusiasts (certain rides like GateKeeper and Intimidator and now Cheetah Hunt being on my top 10 really illustrate this well

 

I know this is off topic but I'll come out of the Gatekeeper closet right now... I had low expectations for that ride and it's now in my top 10. I've been on over 200 coasters which isn't a lot compared to a lot of people, but it's enough where gatekeeper wouldn't normally be in your top 10. I thought it was really cool and have no idea why wingriders get such a bad reputation.

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^^Totally agree about Kumba. Still one of the best B&M coasters out there.

 

^^^^I also agree on Cheetah Hunt. I think its a fun ride and there is something about it. Really though all the coasters at BGT are fun. Can't wait to go back and ride Falcon's Fury.

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I thought it was a nice report. Also, I don't think Busch Gardens is what drives business to that part of the Tampa area. Don't forget it's a college town. I agree the area needs to be taken more care of, but that entire area of city is pretty ghetto. University Mall, that is all.

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Montu! About to be Banshee's little brother!

 

We BOOKED IT to Cheetah Hunt! We had a bit of a delay needing a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo for the bag (I heard they had cubbies like Cedar Fair does but they didn't) but were still on one of the first five trains of the day

 

After two rides on Cheetah Hunt (one in the middle, one in the front) we went to ride Montu, which was also MY 75TH CREDIT!!!!! Easily my new favorite B&M invert! It's like my old favorite (Afterburn at Carowinds) but on a much larger scale and with better theming. The whole Egypt area is great but it feels tiny. I feel like a well-themed S&S Screamin' Swing would work well there or if they can fit it, a Polar X-Plorer styled Zierer with the VD element in a pyramid (I saw NO pyramids the whole time I was in the area, they should really add them!) but it's a great area of the park. And then we backtracked and rode Cheetah Hunt again, this time in the back. Because we could.

 

Griffon, on the other hand, feels like "Cedar Fair called, they want their B&M back."

 

Next came Kumba! My first B&M sitdown and while it was a great ride, it felt like one of those infamous "tropical B&Ms" that plauge the RCT3 forums. Layout was just okay, pretty much nothing overwhelmingly unique, minimal tropical theming, the like. Glad I rode it, though.

 

We WANTED to ride Scorpion, but it went down. We then ate at Zagora Cafe for lunch. The park food was just meh, but it's a nice pavilion.

 

. Kumba was just as good up front as it was when I rode it earlier. I feel like Kumba's your typical "vanilla" coaster. It's the absolute plain in terms of them.

 

I understand everyone has their opinions, and expectations of parks, but I disagree with a few of your statements.

 

Banshee is Montu's little sister. (Not about size, but about age.)

 

While they do insist that you use a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo, they do have cubbie bins for hats and glasses.

 

Montu was originally planned to be an indoor coaster built inside a pyramid before B&M was contracted for the final design.

 

Actually, Busch Gardens called and want's their B&M back.

 

Please refrain from dissing Kumba, that is all I am going to say.

 

You should have got the All Day Dining Deal. NEVER EAT AT ZAGORA!! The food throughout the park is amazing! You should have tried this:

1185298_10200640208189785_1780669221_n.jpg

Alfredo with meatballs, mac n cheese, and fruit punch! Had this twice in one day!

 

"He dissed Kumba again."

 

Kumba is far from vanilla! It is certainly lightyears away from, ugh, can't say it. "Plain". ** clutches chest **

 

Diving through the Congo jungle is not enough theme on Kumba?

1000565_10200644600059579_964809572_n.jpg

 

Kumba is a perfect example of what YOU ACTUALLY DO when you design, build, and maintain a roller coaster. Other parks need to take notes from Kumba. 20 years old, and still rides like it did in 1993. Like a dream!

 

Okay, I am done...

 

** Walks away mumbling to self **

I'll address the Kumba thing here in a bit, but for all of your statements:

 

1. Agewise, definitely, I just feel like Montu felt like a smaller version of what Banshee will be.

2. I ended up figuring that out later in the day. Didn't get one for Scorpion or Sand Serpent. I just thought the Cheetah Hunt ones were for small objects like GateKeeper's.

3. Montu was going to go in a pyramid? That's cool! I'm glad they built what they built, but that would have been cool too!

4. I meant that Griffon seemed more Cedar Fair style and SheiKra seemed more Busch Gardens, and in the end, I like the Busch Gardens style more than the Cedar Fair style. Both are awesome, though.

5. That was probably a mistake eating at Zagora. We didn't get the deal since we were planning to eat just one meal at the park. The Italian sub I got at Zagora wasn't anything to write home about.

6. Addressing Kumba later!

 

I know my taste in coasters is a bit different than that of most enthusiasts (certain rides like GateKeeper and Intimidator and now Cheetah Hunt being on my top 10 really illustrate this well

 

I know this is off topic but I'll come out of the Gatekeeper closet right now... I had low expectations for that ride and it's now in my top 10. I've been on over 200 coasters which isn't a lot compared to a lot of people, but it's enough where gatekeeper wouldn't normally be in your top 10. I thought it was really cool and have no idea why wingriders get such a bad reputation.

I've ridden both GateKeeper and Wild Eagle and I loved both of them. I think people who prefer forces don't like them because they are relatively forceless (though I got the heck stapled out of me in the back left of Wild Eagle) and the stapling issue bothers some. It's worthy of a top 10 spot for me, at least, though. Beautiful ride to look at and to be on. And the lights on the trains are sweet.

 

^^Totally agree about Kumba. Still one of the best B&M coasters out there.

 

^^^^I also agree on Cheetah Hunt. I think its a fun ride and there is something about it. Really though all the coasters at BGT are fun. Can't wait to go back and ride Falcon's Fury.

Addressing Kumba in a bit. I'd never ride Falcon's Fury (I'm scared of heights) but Cheetah Hunt has to be one of the most unique coasters on earth.

 

I thought it was a nice report. Also, I don't think Busch Gardens is what drives business to that part of the Tampa area. Don't forget it's a college town. I agree the area needs to be taken more care of, but that entire area of city is pretty ghetto. University Mall, that is all.

Thanks! I think some of it is because of the park, some of it is because of the school. The town where my current college is has a good university and a mall and it's full of restaurants, both chain and local, and has a decent mall nearby. I don't know why that area of town is like it is, though. There was a big light-up sign outside a strip mall my dad and I visited that said "SHOPLIFTING EQUALS ARREST," somebody had tried to steal a neighborhood watch sign and failed leaving it dangling on the post by one nail, and there was the sign in Red Lobster I mentioned in the report, so there is obviously some crime there and people threw their litter out the window and there was a really dirty treelawn I saw near the KFC, but I'm not sure why it's not become a really hospitable tourist/business area. It's got a good college and a really nice destination theme park that probably sucks in a good portion of the Orlando crowds, it's a headscratcher why it's not the booming business district that, say Carowinds or Kings Island are located. I understand some areas can get like that if there was a lot of business that left, but there's currently booming business there, I'd like to learn more about it.

 

ABOUT KUMBA:

I was NOT saying Kumba was a bad coaster. It isn't by any means. I shouldn't have said "vanilla," I should have said "standard." It's a standard for most coasters, a good one to gauge others against. It has some minimal theming that's there, a pretty straightforward layout, some interaction with pathways and structures but not too much. It felt a bit more themed than Cedar Fair and a bit less themed than a Herschend ride. I don't think it's a bad ride at all. It's just how I think a roller coaster is without all the bells and whistles.

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Thanks! I think some of it is because of the park, some of it is because of the school. The town where my current college is has a good university and a mall and it's full of restaurants, both chain and local, and has a decent mall nearby. I don't know why that area of town is like it is, though. There was a big light-up sign outside a strip mall my dad and I visited that said "SHOPLIFTING EQUALS ARREST," somebody had tried to steal a neighborhood watch sign and failed leaving it dangling on the post by one nail, and there was the sign in Red Lobster I mentioned in the report, so there is obviously some crime there and people threw their litter out the window and there was a really dirty treelawn I saw near the KFC, but I'm not sure why it's not become a really hospitable tourist/business area. It's got a good college and a really nice destination theme park that probably sucks in a good portion of the Orlando crowds, it's a headscratcher why it's not the booming business district that, say Carowinds or Kings Island are located. I understand some areas can get like that if there was a lot of business that left, but there's currently booming business there, I'd like to learn more about it.

 

Well, I think the reason why the area isn't as booming and well-kept is because Busch Gardens/USF is only on the far end of a developed area. Behind University Mall/USF are more under-developed areas, I personally feel the entire area is just a facade to help tourist and families of college students feel more comfortable in the area. I figure the hospitality issue is because Busch Gardens isn't normally more than a "one-day" attraction. While there are a few other attractions in the area like MOSI, that area of Tampa isn't carrying a resort-like atmosphere. Like I was stating, the hotels around that areas normally cater to families of USF students. (You may have notices signs on hotels offering deals to those families). I see a lot more people visiting Busch Gardens as a side-trip from Orlando than visiting just for BG/AI. This is just my opinion after living in the area after five years before moving to Orlando, and working for the Company.

 

 

ABOUT KUMBA:

I was NOT saying Kumba was a bad coaster. It isn't by any means. I shouldn't have said "vanilla," I should have said "standard." It's a standard for most coasters, a good one to gauge others against. It has some minimal theming that's there, a pretty straightforward layout, some interaction with pathways and structures but not too much. It felt a bit more themed than Cedar Fair and a bit less themed than a Herschend ride. I don't think it's a bad ride at all. It's just how I think a roller coaster is without all the bells and whistles.

 

I think you should think about it in a different light. From reading your report, it seems your idea of themeing is "Go big, or it isn't there." The ride is stuck into the middle of the Congo, and there isn't much to theme too. If a parking lot coaster can have minimal themeing, this ride has more than enough.

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I was NOT saying Kumba was a bad coaster. It isn't by any means. I shouldn't have said "vanilla," I should have said "standard." It's a standard for most coasters, a good one to gauge others against. It has some minimal theming that's there, a pretty straightforward layout, some interaction with pathways and structures but not too much. It felt a bit more themed than Cedar Fair and a bit less themed than a Herschend ride. I don't think it's a bad ride at all. It's just how I think a roller coaster is without all the bells and whistles.

 

I'm not sure what you mean by straightforward layout. I haven't seen to many Kumba clones around.

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I was NOT saying Kumba was a bad coaster. It isn't by any means. I shouldn't have said "vanilla," I should have said "standard." It's a standard for most coasters, a good one to gauge others against. It has some minimal theming that's there, a pretty straightforward layout, some interaction with pathways and structures but not too much. It felt a bit more themed than Cedar Fair and a bit less themed than a Herschend ride. I don't think it's a bad ride at all. It's just how I think a roller coaster is without all the bells and whistles.

 

I'm not sure what you mean by straightforward layout. I haven't seen to many Kumba clones around.

 

Well, when you think about it, its not to much different from Kraken or the Medusa clones. Standard B&M swooping turn drop, loop, dive loop, 0 g roll into a cobra roll, exit cobra roll into break run. Drop off MCBR into interlocking corkscrews. Of course, if you continue to think about it, Kumba was the attraction that made that layout the standard B&M sit down layout. And, imo, it does it far better then the others. There's plenty of elements that make the ride stand out in my mind. The terrain/path interaction. The overall environment. Least we forget that tunneled helix for a closer.

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Kumba is a perfect example of what YOU ACTUALLY DO when you design, build, and maintain a roller coaster. Other parks need to take notes from Kumba. 20 years old, and still rides like it did in 1993. Like a dream!

 

Couldn't agree more, Kumba has to be one of the best roller coasters I've ever been on. During my two day visit at BGT earlier this year, I rode Kumba countless number of times. It didn't even strike me that it was 20 years old till my second day at the park just for how fast paced and smooth the ride was.

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In regards to the comments about the "boxes that feature a securing device" at BGT... it must be something new but want to give the park props for it. At Cheetah Hunt (only coaster I rode that day so it may be at others) they now have complimentary "boxes with a securing devices" at the station platform in addition to the usual cubby holes. They are really small - but perfect size for locking up a phone/wallet/something small. It is great since I hate putting my phone away before getting in a long line but don't like leaving it in the cubby hole. Small win by BGT!

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Nice trip report. It looks like you stayed at the Holiday Inn & Express Suites from you parking lot picture. We always stay there as we like the suites. Why did you eat at IHOP? They have a nice hot breakfast at the hotel for free.

 

We were just at Busch Gardens last month. My daughter and I rode Cheetah Hunt the first thing the 2 days we went. It was a walk-on half the time and we never waited more than a couple trains. Second day we rode it 6 times in 30 minutes. It is my favorite coaster at the park.

 

We haven't ridden Kumba in quite a few years. That ride just messes with my head and no one else ever wants to ride it.

 

Jim

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Two things I would like to point out that make Kumba that much more awesome.

 

1. the ground section between the zero g and cobra roll

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Kumba is one of the most photogenic coasters! As proven in this photo that I took in 2012. (This is the full size of my avatar.)

 

2. at the end of the video. NO LINE! Kumba is a capacity whore!

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Kumba is my favorite at BGT! I think the Zero-G Roll is one of its best parts, too. In reality though, I think the speed at which it goes through the ride is what makes it so great.

 

On the topic of best BGT coasters: I haven't ridden Cheetah Hunt, but I think I would take Sheikra over Montu. If Montu was running without trims/MCBR slowdown, it would definitely be close!

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^^Can I also add that it's one of the best sounding roller coasters too?

 

 

I took this back in March and yes it was shot with a crappy Android, but it still gives you an idea. The sound it makes when it goes though the Cobra Roll.....

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Kumba is my favorite at BGT! I think the Zero-G Roll is one of its best parts, too. In reality though, I think the speed at which it goes through the ride is what makes it so great.

 

On the topic of best BGT coasters: I haven't ridden Cheetah Hunt, but I think I would take Sheikra over Montu. If Montu was running without trims/MCBR slowdown, it would definitely be close!

 

Sometimes the trims don't grab. When they do, that just means you are going faster than you should be. That is how I look at it.

 

I kind of like the MCBR slowing the train down. The end of the ride is great as it lulls you in to a sense of "we're winding down, heading back to the station." Then BOOM! Corkscrew finale into the brake run!

 

Either way, whatever they do with those coasters is working. They are as smooth as the day they opened.

 

Montu especially. There is not a bump, shudder, or "oops" moment anywhere on that coaster.

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