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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT Discussion Thread)

P. 372: Serengeti Flyer swing ride announced!

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I went to BGT last week...

 

I don't understand the love for Kumba either... I hated that thing. Beat the hell out of me. I like forceful coasters, but Kumba was just painful.

 

Montu on the other hand was *awesome*. The airtime on Cheetah Hunt took me by surprise, what an enjoyable ride. Just goes to show you (ahem, B&M) that you CAN build an easy going, enjoyable coaster that still packs a punch. I could never be terrified by a rollercoaster, but creeping ever so slowly over the edge on SheiKra was the first time, since I was a child, a ride has ever made me feel uneasy. I now see why it's such a huge hit. Scorpion was great. The wild mouse was... a wild mouse. And Gwazi was closed! This made my decision on weather or not to bother riding it quite simple.

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Funny, it took me three years to finally ride Kumba (repaint one year and maintenance the next), and when I finally got to ride it was by far my favorite of the coasters in Tampa. I had been on the rest before - though Cheetah Hunt was new - and I thought it lived up to every bit of hype I had heard.

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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 have simply fallen and hit your head.

 

Kumba gives me tinglies where Cheetah Hunt doesn't.

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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.

 

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.

 

Have to disagree with this, elements might be the same but the speed it takes through the element can make it a lot different. Monster and Raptor are almost the same but Monster does not have trim on it's MCBR thus it gives an insane second half. Sleeping Bull and Nitro both has camel backs but Sleeping Bull is trimmed to death and Nitro has some speed through the camel backs thus Nitro has a lot better review than Sleeping Bull. Even barrel rolls, those slow ones on Colossus and the fast one on iSpeed would never be considered the same. Same thing goes to Anton's loop on Mindbender.

 

Speed decides the riding experience a lot more than the actual element.

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^Agree. Even rides that are supposed to be exact clones like the Batman ones sometimes have different intensities. I thought the one at SFGAdv was more intense than the one in Madrid, and they're the same (except for the number of cars). I also noticed that on Dragon Khan I went faster through the cobra roll than in any other B&M I've ridden.

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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.

 

Well obviously you're not going to get any airtime from a B&M looper. That's not what it was designed for. I don't think I greyed out on it either but that doesn't mean the coaster isn't intense.

 

Bizarro to me delivers a much better ride experience

 

I guess we just disagree on what makes a coaster good. Bizarro takes every element really slowly... I like Bizarro, but Kumba is like Bizarro on crack with better scenery and a tunneled helix. I'm also confused by the reports of Kumba being rough.

 

I rarely find a steel coaster rough, probably because of my height because I can ride coasters now that I hated when I was younger. Quite often I'll think a ride is pretty good and my girlfriend who's a lot shorter than me will hate it and say it's rough. This happened on Loch Ness Monster, Anaconda and Raptor at Cedar Point (until she started riding with her head forward).

 

On Kumba we were both amazed at how much smoother it was than Bizarro and Scream (neither of which I'd consider rough but they're definitely a little bumpy) even though it took every element at a much higher rate of speed.

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I'm also confused by the reports of Kumba being rough.

 

Me too. Besides the slight rattle in the turn between the interlocking corkscrews, I didn't find Kumba rough at all. The Hulk on the other hand, I'm sure that ride has had better days.

 

I can't compare Kumba and Bizarro since I've yet to go to SFGAv, but out of the other B&M's, Kumba is probably the most intense one I've been on along with Montu. Dominator and Kraken are awesome rides but it doesn't come anywhere close.

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^^Interesting. I found both Bizarro and Raptor very smooth. Ok raptor may have that slight snap in the cobra roll and on the turn into the brake run but I don't consider that roughness, just a minor design flaw as, apart from that, it was perfect (at least when I rode it). As to bizarro, when I rode it in 2011 the was some roughness to be found on the climb into the MCBR: However, last summer, it appeared to be gone.

 

About kumba, I haven't been on it but from what I've heard it has similar intensity to Dragon Khan which is my favourite ride and by far the most intense non inverted B&M I've been on. (also not rough)

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Well obviously you're not going to get any airtime from a B&M looper. That's not what it was designed for. I don't think I greyed out on it either but that doesn't mean the coaster isn't intense.

 

Even in terms of throwing me around, Cheetah Hunt's Rhino Rally turns and Verbolten's double helix still do a better job. Hell even Wild Maus threw me around a lot more.

 

In terms of "snappier" inversions, I prefer Storm Runner's snake dive over anything Kumba has. For good measure I'll also throw in Alpengeist's inversions too since those are pretty nutty too.

 

Tampa's only looping coaster that really impressed me was Montu (and Cheetah Hunt if you wanna count that too). Sheikra's just Griffon without the second inversion and with better theming. Scorpion had terrible ops and was really rough. Yeah Kumba's setting is great and the layout is fun, but it's nothing to write home about in terms of intensity, at least in my opinion.

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Scorpion had terrible ops and was really rough.

 

Maybe I'm the crazy one but the amount of smooth coasters being called rough in this thread is amazing. Honestly I think the only rough coaster at either Bush Gardens park is Gwazi. I found all of the other coasters to be incredibly smooth.

 

Maybe people complaining about rides like Kumba and Scorpion being rough are why B&M goes out of it's way to build completely forceless rides with no snappy transitions. I guess that's what people want. I've heard people complaining about roughness on Kumba, Alpengeist and now Scorpion just in the last few weeks and I'm in disbelief. Is it just me that's totally confused by all of this? I don't think it's possible for a coaster to be smoother than Scorpion, and I'm not exaggerating at all when I say that.

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Maybe people complaining about rides like Kumba and Scorpion being rough are why B&M goes out of it's way to build completely forceless rides with no snappy transitions. I guess that's what people want. I've heard people complaining about roughness on Kumba, Alpengeist and now Scorpion just in the last few weeks and I'm in disbelief. Is it just me that's totally confused by all of this? I don't think it's possible for a coaster to be smoother than Scorpion, and I'm not exaggerating at all when I say that.

 

I actually found Kumba to be pretty smooth, but if you really want my opinion on Scorpion...

 

I came on the ride with pretty high expectations. Everyone seems to praise Anton coasters to high heaven so I figured starting off with Scorpion would be a great idea. The line itself was surprisingly long and moved rather slowly for a park that was almost completely dead. Even Gwazi (known for terrible ops) had a nonexistent line. The only other coaster in the park with a line that day was Cheetah Hunt, but that was understandable since the ride was still the star at the time. The station layout was pretty interesting. I can only imagine how crazy that line would've been opening year with everyone begging for front row.

 

The trains seemed like they were in poor shape. Duct tape everywhere and the padding on the handlebars was falling off. Not a good sign IMO.

 

The layout is OK but not ideal for riding hands up without slamming into the fiberglass or the person next to you. I eventually gave up putting my hands up and just braced for the turns instead. It didn't really make the ride any smoother for that matter. Maybe I was too focused on keeping myself from hitting the person next to me to notice the smoothness of the ride or maybe I caught it on an off day.

 

All in all, I found Loch Ness to be smoother and the overall better ride of the two classic Busch loopers. I wanted to give the ride a second chance, but the line was too long to warrant that.

 

- Or maybe I just don't like it because I'm a roller coaster hipster

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Clearly everyone has their own opinions, but all this Kumba bashing is ridiculous. Go ride The Incredible Hulk if you swear Kumba is rough, then tell me what you think. Also, all of BGT's coasters are smooth with the exception of Gwazi.

Nobody in this thread has been "bashing" on Kumba.

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I actually found Kumba to be pretty smooth, but if you really want my opinion on Scorpion...

 

...I came on the ride with pretty high expectations. Everyone seems to praise Anton coasters to high heaven so I figured starting off with Scorpion would be a great idea...

 

I can't say that I know where you're coming from on Kumba, but I agree with your general opinion Scorpion. My issue isn't whether or not it's rough (I don't think it is), I just think that Scorpion is a ride that many people see through their Anton tinted glasses. If you took Schwarzkopf's name off and slapped a Vekoma or Arrow tag on it instead, more than just a handful of people would have a different opinion of it. Sometimes, I get the feeling that if you told a Schwarzkopf person that "hey, you see that drinking fountain we just walked by? It's a Schwarzkopf..." They would run to it, bathe in it, and say that it was the purest, most delicious water they've ever tasted. I'm all for great Schwarzkopf coasters, but you'll have to drive several hours north for one (but it's a very good one). Scorpion is a nice coaster if you have younger kids and happen to visit on a slow enough day that it's 1 train-op won't result in your longest wait of the day.

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I've gone on random trips to BG on the weekends and the wooden bridge leading to the station and the actual building you wait in before you get to the bridge is filled up completely. Yet they only run one train... Do they even have a second train? If not they should just get new trains like sooper dooper looper at Hershey park. The ride was ultra smooth the last time I rode it. I'm a regular to BGT and Scorpion is good but don't get to excited for it. I find it jerky and it does throw you around a little but it's still very smooth for a coaster. I like he front better then the back because going into the loop is more forceful.

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I liked Scorpion a lot but it doesn't pack the same intensity of a lot of other Schwarzkopf loopers. The loop itself is great, but it doesn't do much else. That being said, it's a great coaster because it appeals to a lot of people. I just wish it had a higher capacity.

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We were there last Wednesday and the park was quite crowded as it was a beautiful, sunny day with a high of around 80 degrees. What a great day to be at one of my all time favorite theme parks!

 

We splurged for the Quick Queue unlimited and managed to get two rides on Cheetah Hunt (once in front seat), two on Montu (once in front seat), three on Sheikra (once in front seat) and one on Kumba. We skipped Scorpion and the Wild Mouse this time because of time and the fact that I feel that neither is very good.

 

I did ride the far right seat in the back on Kumba and while it was fun, I (like some others) feel that the other three big coasters in the park are a bit better with Montu being my personal favorite (love the front seat!) coaster in the park and my overall favorite B&M invert. To each his own though...

 

We absolutely loved our first rides on Cheetah Hunt with the little pops of air, the launches and overall unique, lengthy layout...it was a very nice, smooth ride for us older folks!

 

One thing that I found interesting was that while they had Gwazi drawn on the map (and signs said it was closed for refurbishment), it does not actually list the coaster in the attraction section. Bird Gardens section has Gwazi Pavilion and Gwazi Park listed while Morocco has Gwazi Gliders, Gwazi Park and Gwazi Games.

 

Edit: The back of the park map lists Gwazi as one of it's attractions, but it is not listed anywhere on the front map - only the drawing of the coaster in it's location.

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^thats really disappointing to hear about Gwazi :/ I know Ill get a lot of flack for this, but it really is my favorite wood coaster (though I admittedly havent been on very many). Even if that werent the case though, Ill still miss it since it seems to be on its way out--it served as nice change of pace from the steel loopers the park is otherwise dominated by.

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