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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT Discussion Thread)

P. 372: Serengeti Flyer swing ride announced!

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

 

 

GCI made the mistake of building it at a park that was privately owned for years but then went Public so Blackstone could make a few bucks and then budget cuts and Blackfish and then more budget cuts and then more budget cuts til they could only operate 1 side and then closed it permanently.

 

 

I rode both sides in 2012 and was neutral about it. Wasn't the worst coaster in the park or in Florida.

 

 

How long until we can start guessing on ride replacements?

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If it weren't RMC's exclusive contract with Six Flags we could have seen Busch Gardens Tampa announce a RMC wood/steel hybrid coaster called "Twisted Gwazi"!
There is NO CONTRACT. It's called RMC is still a new company, can only do a few coasters a year, and Six Flags were the ones who jumped on the hybrids first. No contract.
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If it weren't RMC's exclusive contract with Six Flags we could have seen Busch Gardens Tampa announce a RMC wood/steel hybrid coaster called "Twisted Gwazi"!
There is NO CONTRACT. It's called RMC is still a new company, can only do a few coasters a year, and Six Flags were the ones who jumped on the hybrids first. No contract.

 

 

I think there's something where RMC can't built taller than Goliath for a few years.

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If it weren't RMC's exclusive contract with Six Flags we could have seen Busch Gardens Tampa announce a RMC wood/steel hybrid coaster called "Twisted Gwazi"!
There is NO CONTRACT. It's called RMC is still a new company, can only do a few coasters a year, and Six Flags were the ones who jumped on the hybrids first. No contract.

 

 

I think there's something where RMC can't built taller than Goliath for a few years.

Yes, but that isn't a contract where they can only build hybrids at Six Flags parks.
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Huh, weird choice not to take it out right away.

 

I wonder if they're juggling options that don't involve dismantling it? When Drachen Fire closed, they went through a ton of phases, but all the GP ever knew was that it was closed. First they were going to do a train redesign, then they tried to sell it, then they went back to a train redesign when there were no buyers, then they even considered reopening it as is and were cycling trains in 2001. Then they finally just took it down.

 

I wonder if Gwazi will share a similar fate? Or maybe they really just don't have the money to even take it out...

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Well, that's it for me. I always wanted to re-visit the park, after my first 1987 visit.

When the coasters were still few, but they were good ones. So the (then) new wood

coasters were keeping my interest in returning. But not to be.

 

Just as well, I would have wanted to ride Gwazi when it/they were new and smooth.

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When I was there in 2012, only the Tiger side was running. Since I really like Lightning Racer and find Wildcat ok, I thought Gwazi would be a good coaster especially with the new trains. I couldn't wait for the coaster to get to the final brake run because of how rough it was. Even if the Lion side had been running, I don't think I would have gone to it. It's a shame they aren't going to demolish it right away.

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I've lived in Orlando my entire life...never been to Busch Gardens...thats pretty sad!! May try to make my first trip out before Feb 1st, just so I can say I got to ride it.

 

Well, that's saying something . . . I guess.

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

 

GCI made the mistake of building it at a park that was privately owned for years but then went Public so Blackstone could make a few bucks and then budget cuts and Blackfish and then more budget cuts and then more budget cuts til they could only operate 1 side and then closed it permanently.

 

GCI built the ride where a viable buyer offered to build it. It was custom designed for Busch so GCI is not at fault. Blackstone, the IPO and Blackfish have nothing to do with the ride's deterioration. The PTC's killed the track and the structure. The re-tracking hardly fixed those issues and the Millennium Flyers were too little of a fix, too late in the game. They didn't make the ride run any better and didn't increase its popularity with guests so it was no longer justified to operate and maintain both sides (that both continued to deteriorate during their operation). The ride hasn't drawn a crowd even during the busier times in years. The wait times were inflated mostly because of the notoriously bad operations (often times it would take 3-6 minutes to dispatch a train and they barely bothered to duel both sides in the latter years of both tracks running) and guest satisfaction between the awful wait and the awful ride experience were both reason enough to drop this ride on the guest satisfaction spectrum.

 

Budget cuts may help to justify Gwazi closing for good, but all of the above factors are primary causes of an eventuality that would have happened whether or not the SeaWorld parks were suffering overall. Gwazi has been doomed for a long time.

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So now can we say all GCI are Great Coasters? Wildcat seems to get better reviews now.

 

I rode Wildcat this year and it was far smoother than in 2012. It's weird too because I'm one of those nerds who gets mesmerized at thoroughly looking at the ride structure and there was very little new wood to be seen, it appears that it has the same track that it had when it ran the PTC's. Lightning Racer is the same way, it appears to have the same track structure from when it was built, yet it has never gotten rough. It seems that wooden coasters perform optimally when their design incorporates undulating curves and changes in direction as opposed to long, sustained curves; along with single-axle trains at the ride's opening, seasonal operation, and a relatively humid climate.

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It's definitely not the worst coaster out there, but I had a feeling it was on its way out. Granted, it doesn't make sense from a general view to leave a large coaster to rot. I mean, that's gonna open up a lot of space for another big ride if Gwazi gets bulldozed, and you're just adding insult to injury telling guests that its closed for good. But I guess, at the moment, it's just too costly for SeaWorld to tear it down. This is proving to be one shitty year for SeaWorld/Busch parks from all sides (media, corporate, public, etc.). Even a die-hard like me can't help but think that this ship is slowly sinking...

 

All of these old dual woodies (even though Gwazi ain't all that old to begin with) seem to be getting cut lately; I hope this isn't developing into a trend.

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I'm so SHOCKED!!! I can not believe they are taking out Gwazi!!!

 

It's been years since I have been on Gwazi, but I remember that we always rode it when we were at the park. I do remember it being rough, but it was still some what fun. However, I was young and dumb back then! Now there is no way in the world my back could physically handle riding it again. Am I glad it is closing? Yes, hoping that eventually there will be an awesome attraction to replace it! That is a LOT of land that they will free up once Gwazi is gone. Maybe a really well themed bird themed wing coaster?! I look forward to seeing what the future holds for the park!

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I rode it last year, it certainly wasn't a bad coaster but it certainly wasn't a memorable one. It's a shame that this coaster never had Millennium Flyers from the beginning. It possibly could have been a whole different coaster if the PTC's didn't destroying the track and structure.

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!sigh! Just another great classic going away, and the only dueling coaster in Florida is now Dragon Challenge! I hope for something like a new RMC Dueling Coaster!

 

Dragon Challenge no longer duels. It hasn't in years. Gwazi for the last year or two only had one side open so it really didn't duel anymore either.

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Never rode it, but I think this is a birthday present to spare me the pain of when I could've been able to. If it is anything as bad at Hades 360, then that is a gift I'll gladly take.

 

As for Wildcat, Hersheypark usually re-tracks sections of it every year (same for Lightning Racer) and they worked on the final helix last off-season. It seemed to help make the ride a little smoother, but I still consider it to be a pretty rough coaster overall. If GCI invented the millennium flyers earlier and used them on it, I am willing to bet the ride would be as smooth at Lightning Racer, but it was GCI's first coaster and they had to grow to get to that point. How often did BGT re-track Gwazi?

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I've always been a Gwazi supporter,when people said it was rough I stood up and said it was just a bit rickety like a wood coaster should be.OK so I rode it last week while doing Christmas Town knowing it could possibly close anytime as I had heard rumors about it closing and the thing is now almost unrideable,unless you're heavily into pain.I remember riding it 3-4 times in a row years ago when it was newer and when they changed the trains a couple of years ago it was actually pretty tame.I had heard it got rough again pretty quickly after the new trains but I hadn't ridden it in a while so i had no idea I would get out of it feeling like I was in an car accident.Hopefully it doesn't sit there too long and they build something excellent to replace it.

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Well...whatever Gwazi, that's pretty much how i feel about you. Easily the lamest coaster operating in Florida in its current state with no airtime, no dueling or second track, painfully slow operations policies, no guests riding it...this is like a sports trade where a player has been underperforming, or a divorce where too much has been said. Just go you poor thing.

 

Here's hoping that something big and awesome replaces that major area of space in the park someday, or maybe just a path between Nairobi and the western part of the park to make the place walkable. Oh, and that SeaWorld entertainment doesn't jeep declining, that too.

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