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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT Discussion Thread)

P. 359: Iron Gwazi opens on March 11th, 2022!

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Well, there you go. Now that I've rationalized A/B's actions there I can basically just post "SMDH" about Gwazi standing for some unknown period of time because they don't have the money to knock it down.

 

I do agree that I'd rather see them dismantle the ride now, rather than leaving it SBNO for who knows how long.

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Well, I'm definitely glad I'm heading down to Tampa next week for the holidays. I never thought Gwazi was all that bad; I just think it's layout pales in comparison to GCIs built in the past 10 years. However, it sucks to see it go. The part of the rumor about it just sitting there indefinitely (rather than being torn down soon) doesn't seem to be confirmed yet, so I hope that isn't true.

Edited by BrianGC
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I only ever was able to ride Gwazi in it's later years.

 

Was it ever decent?

 

The first time I ever rode it was in 2006, and though I'd heard bad things, I thought it was pretty good. Not top-ten material, but still enjoyable. However, every time I've ridden it since then, it was wretched.

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I'm so sad to hear this. Really. I'm thankful I had to the chance to ride both Lion and Tiger when I went to Busch Gardens Tampa in 2008 for a first time visit to the park. Till this day Busch Gardens Tampa stands as my "most enjoyed" time at a theme park. No crowds. No lines. April 15, 2008 was a great day for me! I'm just upset that not only this park, but other parks are suffering as well. I just hope the best.

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I think the first time I rode this was back in 2004. I didn't think it was that bad. In fact I remember getting off it and telling Robb exactly that. Probably because I had heard so many bad things about it I had low expectations going in. Still, even the last time I rode it last year. I didn't think it was awful. Anyway. I got the experience of riding with both trains. Oooooo! Think they will be able to sell the trains? I wonder who will take them? Does GCI refurb their trains and then resell them? Joe? Answers?

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^From what I remember of our Q&A when the Millennium Flyers were added just before Cheetah Hunt opened, the GCI trains, like all other trains that Busch has for their coasters are maintained in-house with at least one train always in maintenance since it is a year-round park. That being said, with one full side of the ride having been closed for some time, it is likely that at least one if not several of the trains became spare parts and nothing more. I'd imagine that there are maybe two to three full trains that could be sold in used condition if Busch really bothered to try.

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While Gwazi wasn't the worst wooden coaster I've been on, I'm not all that upset it's leaving. The roughness wasn't that bad honestly, but it felt so sluggish which really killed the pacing of the ride. It's a shame because I really like the layout, even though the one side was already closed when I rode it. At least I got the credit.

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Goodbye Gwazi! I really wish that Busch was doing better financially...they could do so much to that area...if they had the money...I would like to see the entrance area to be redone (it is very small and can be very crowded) with new theming and a big giant ride where Gwazi is. It would be cool to see a really cool dark ride that like takes you through the different adventures in Africa and come face to face with giant animal animatronics...if only they had the money lol

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Damn. This doesn't come as a surprise; there have been murmurs about this happening since before the Millennium Flyers replacement, but it's too bad. I'm not sure that I'll be back down there in time to catch it, which sucks because it was closed when I visited earlier this year. I've had many great rides on Gwazi- all of them while it ran the PTCs. The only thing I won't miss is the incredible ability of the staff to turn what should be a near walk-on into a 30 minute wait; it takes dedication and a laughably bad loading procedure. I'm not as bothered as some when a crew isn't running a 40 yard dash to dispatch trains, I don't even care if crew members appear to be wandering around aimlessly, but this was something entirely different and special.

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What made this GCI so bad compared to others? What did GCI do differently?

Personally, I believe the problem with Gwazi was how it aged. Because Gwazi was built before the MF trains were released, it had to run PTC trains that beat the track to hell. Busch Gardens caught on and replaced the trains but this was too little too late.

 

While I am kind of sad about this news, I think everyone was just waiting for this after they closed Tiger. I don't agree with the decision to not demolish Gwazi immediately. Having an enormous empty plot of land in the middle of your park isn't nearly as embarrassing as having a massive duelling wooden roller coaster with a walled off entrance. That just screams cut backs.

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I think the first time I rode this was back in 2004. I didn't think it was that bad. In fact I remember getting off it and telling Robb exactly that. Probably because I had heard so many bad things about it I had low expectations going in. Still, even the last time I rode it last year. I didn't think it was awful.

 

I rode it for the first time last month and felt the same way. Nowhere near as bad as I was expecting, but nothing particularly memorable either. I don't have strong feelings either way to see this close, seems likely that it'll sit SBNO for a while since the park just opened a major new ride this year.

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