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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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If there is lightning in the area, the rides shut down. As soon as a storm passes, everything reopens quickly. Luckily most storms pass by pretty quick. I use that down time for either catching a show or having a sit down meal. I have been there when its sprinkling and rides seem to stay running. Keep in mind that most storms around here come with lightning, hence the "arbitrary" term , Lightning Capitol of the US.

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I have had the bad luck of waiting in that very long line for Cheetah Hunt and only to have a thunderstorm shut it down just as I get close to the loading platform. Sad part is this has happened alot while waiting for the Hunt. But at the end of the day, better safe than sorry.

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1) Are there discounts on quick queue or animal encounters for annual passholders?

 

2) How long does the pass processing process take? Can it be done before the park opens? Do you still have to pay for parking on the day you're going to get your pass processed?

 

3) What sort of crowd should one expect next Saturday (3/22)?

 

4) Is Adventure Island a water park worth going to? Anything special about it?

 

 

Thanks!

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How strict is Busch Garden's rain policy? I'm planning on visiting next Thursday and the forecast is calling for scattered showers with a 60% chance of precipitation. I understand it's not as strict and uptight as Cedar Point's, but I was still curious.

 

They will continue to operate in light rain. Sand Serpent does not operate in rain from what I remember.

 

If lightening is within 10 miles of the park, they will shut down. The park can be completely sunny, not a drop of rain, but everything will be closed because of lightening within the 10 mile radius.

 

SkyRide usually closes first, since it takes a while to get everyone off. Then water rides and coasters, then flats, leaving the train as the last thing to close.

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1) Are there discounts on quick queue or animal encounters for annual passholders?

 

2) How long does the pass processing process take? Can it be done before the park opens? Do you still have to pay for parking on the day you're going to get your pass processed?

3) What sort of crowd should one expect next Saturday (3/22)?

 

4) Is Adventure Island a water park worth going to? Anything special about it?

 

 

Thanks!

 

1) For Quick Queue, I don't think there is any discounts unless you buy online. (Check online though) For animal encounters, I think there is a discount if you make a reservation online. (Watch out for the online service fee :/)

 

2) If you want to buy an annual pass the day of visiting, it's better to do it online. You avoid the normal ticket lines and go to the EZpay area to redeem your pass. If you don't show them proof of purchase (EZpay ticket) you will be asked to pay to park. If you want it in advance, buy it online and show them at the parking gate and you won't have to pay. If you want a normal ticket, my suggestion would be to but it online for a discount, but you would still have to pay to park if you buy a normal ticket. The lines for normal tickets and annual passes aren't too bad if you go in the morning.

 

3) It depends on weather, holidays, and temperature. If its a stormy or rainy day, nobody really shows up. It just all depends, you can't predict it, but you can take a guess. On Saturdays, the park is usually crowded, but not always.

 

4) Yes! Go to adventure Island, it's fun for kids and adults! The food there is delicious and the park there is just beautiful (in my opinion.)

 

I'm actually going to Busch Gardens today, so I'll give a report later on the park rumors.

Happy visiting!

-Jonathan15

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1. ^ That just looks insane.

 

2. I'm going to be at the park tomorrow. Any recommendations for what to hit when? I have no idea how the crowds are going to be, but I figure I need to get Cheetah Hunt and Sheikra in pretty early, no?

 

Get there early, ride cheetah hunt first. Cut through Timbuktu and ride sheikra, then run around and ride Gwazi with slow operations. Then hit Montu a few times! (My personal favorite of the bunch). Then back to Timbuktu to ride Scorpion and Phoenix. After that hit the Congo to ride Kumba. Last row on the right side of course. Then hit the water rides which usually can get very crowded. After that do repeats or have lunch. Just make sure you ride Cheetah hunt and Sheikra early. They always have the longest waits even though Montu and Kumba are better. My opinion. Hope to see a TR. Have fun!

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1. ^ That just looks insane.

 

2. I'm going to be at the park tomorrow. Any recommendations for what to hit when? I have no idea how the crowds are going to be, but I figure I need to get Cheetah Hunt and Sheikra in pretty early, no?

 

After that hit the Congo to ride Kumba. Last row on the right side of course.

 

I've seen this recommendation s number of times. The forces were good and all, but I can't deal with the headbanging. It's not like an Arrow or Vekoma where it's straight-up violent, but it was enough of a rattle where I didn't want to re-ride.

 

FWIW, I've been finding that I'm becoming more sensitive to coasters rattling my head around. Didn't have a problem with that on any of the other coasters in the park, save Gwazi, but that's a whole different kind of rattle altogether (seemed to be a violent up-down bouncing that felt like there was something wrong with every joint between pieces of running steel).

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Coming from someone who rode Kumba multiple times (including once in the "magic seat"), I honestly didn't find the ride any different from sitting in the middle. While there's a nice pop of air before the cobra roll, the ride wasn't as forceful as ... say... Montu or Cheetah Hunt.

 

I'd say sit wherever you want on the ride. It's still pretty good, just not as forceful as everyone says it is.

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Are you sure you rode Kumba? Cheetah Hunt is no way more forceful than Kumba. Just the part going into the cobra roll alone has more intensity than all of Cheetah Hunt. Now don't get me wrong, I love Cheetah Hunt, but it is nowhere as intense as Kumba much less more forceful.

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Coming from someone who rode Kumba multiple times (including once in the "magic seat"), I honestly didn't find the ride any different from sitting in the middle. While there's a nice pop of air before the cobra roll, the ride wasn't as forceful as ... say... Montu or Cheetah Hunt.

 

I'd say sit wherever you want on the ride. It's still pretty good, just not as forceful as everyone says it is.

You sir, do not deserve the intensity and power that is mighty king of the south. Anyways, opinions are like butts. Everyone has one, and yours stinks. (I'm kidding)

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As to the discussion above, while Cheetah Hunt doesnt have the same kind of positive G's as some of the other coasters in the park (Kumba included), it does have several pops of negative G's (particularly in the front) that exceed those provided on any of the other coasters in the park.

 

So depending on whether you're looking at positive or negative G's, both answers could be correct.

 

That being said, Kumba gets a lot of love on here, but I really didn't think it was all that special. It's not a ride that you get off and go, "man, that was great! let's ride that again!" I think Montu, SheiKra, and Cheetah Hunt are all more re-rideable, which to me is a really big component of how good/great a coaster is.

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You sir, do not deserve the intensity and power that is mighty king of the south. Anyways, opinions are like butts. Everyone has one, and yours stinks. (I'm kidding)

 

This. Kumba is one of the few coasters that I still get off trying to figure out what the hell just happened to me. It's incredibly smooth but at the same time it rips trough every single element like it's trying to kill everyone on the train. Oh... and that zero g roll puts every inversion on every other coaster to shame.

 

Edit:

 

I think Montu, SheiKra, and Cheetah Hunt are all more re-rideable, which to me is a really big component of how good/great a coaster is.

 

I think this right here explains why you don't like Kumba. Fun, re rideable coasters are great and I know they're ideal for a lot of people. Sheikra for example has an incredibly fun first drop and then glides along the course through drawn out turns and inversions which are a lot of fun but really not overly intense. To me... coasters like that are great, but I'd rather ride something intense that pulls a ton of G's, is relentless from start to finish and leaves you completely disoriented. If a coaster can do that while still being smooth then it usually becomes one of my favorite coasters (like on Kumba, I305 and Maverick). That's what Kumba is all about.

Edited by coasterbill
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On my four rides on Kumba I got one pop of airtime. No blackouts, no weird feeling in my arms/legs, not even a greyout. Unless I happened to ride on an off day (Scorpion gave me a bad ride too), I don't think it's as intense as everyone says it is. At least Cheetah has some solid airtime in the treehouse and on all those camelbacks.

 

- This is coming from someone who blacked out on Alpengeist, regarded as one of the least intense B&Ms out there. Not to mention I got some pretty solid forces on Great Bear, another "forceless" B&M.

 

Oh... and that zero g roll puts every inversion on every other coaster to shame.

 

I can name three inversions off the top of my head that are way better.

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To me... coasters like that are great, but I'd rather ride something intense that pulls a ton of G's, is relentless from start to finish and leaves you completely disoriented. If a coaster can do that while still being smooth then it usually becomes one of my favorite coasters (like on Kumba, I305 and Maverick). That's what Kumba is all about.

 

I consider I305 and Maverick to be top-5 coasters. They aren't infinitely re-rideable like the SheiKras and Expedition Everests of the world, but they are definitely re-rideable--you get off and you want to go back and try that again because it's crazy and intense and like nothing you've ever ridden before. (at least a time or two before your shoulders start hurting)

 

I wouldn't put Kumba anywhere near my top 20. It isn't a coaster I get off and want to try again, partly because I don't enjoy banging my head into the restraints, but also partly because I can experience (and have) each element of that ride on another B&M, whether in the sit-down, floorless, or even stand-up models. Heck, Bizarro @ SFGAdv (and thus Scream at SFMM) have the exact same structure of elements (and are nearly the same height/speed). Bizarro to me delivers a much better ride experience; I didn't care for Scream. (FWIW I don't consider the floorless element to be a significant differentiating factor like I would with inverts or dive machines or wing coasters or flying coasters.)

 

B&M's with interlocking corkscrews generally deliver the same experience across the board. B&M's with cobra rolls generally deliver the same experience across the board. There's nothing special about them that sets them apart from any other similar model.

 

At the end of the day, Kumba doesn't give me anything I can't get at most any other park I've been to in the US. Coasters like Maverick and I305 are unmatched. There's nothing else like them out there in the US today. But in 23 years when they're as old as Kumba (and have clones/successors as plentiful), we'll probably be talking about them the way I'm talking about Kumba now.

 

(I'm not the *hugest* fan of Hulk @ IOA, but it at least delivers a unique ride experience with the launch that you can't find on any other B&M...just sayin')

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That being said, Kumba gets a lot of love on here, but I really didn't think it was all that special. It's not a ride that you get off and go, "man, that was great! let's ride that again!" I think Montu, SheiKra, and Cheetah Hunt are all more re-rideable, which to me is a really big component of how good/great a coaster is.

Have to agree with this. I'm a major fan of Montu, SheiKra, and Cheetah Hunt, and think the latter in particular is underappreciated by enthusiasts, as there are definitely some fun forces to enjoy. To me, Kumba is the one that didn't stand out as much. But I can see why it's considered more forceful, especially that one unexpected yank of airtime.

 

Side note: I'm another one who thought Alpengeist was challengingly intense, though I prefer Montu.

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