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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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I think Cheetah Hunt is a great ride and makes great use of the canyon area with the twists. My son can only ride the rides under 54 inches right now and he loves it. Besides, look how long the line for this ride is after being open a few years already. Seems to me it's quite popular despite the complainers out there. As for Gwazi what a shame to see such an impressive looking coaster end in just a short 15 year lifespan. Sure would have been great to see a Rocky Mountain treatment done to it. Look at what that has done for those few rides that were also getting rough.

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I think it's amazing to have three pages of "omg it's a great ride defense" when there was one comment about how it's a bit underwhelming.

 

Kind of sounds like most people have talked themselves into it, no? Admit it, we're coaster enthusiasts and we'd probably rather it be a 54 inch height requirement, 80 MPH, inverted top hat, 2 zero g rolls and airtime hills Maverick-level ride. We all know what Intamin can build.

 

But it's not, it is a general crowd-pleaser, and it's exactly what the park ordered. That's fine.

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I think Cheetah Hunt is a great ride and makes great use of the canyon area with the twists. My son can only ride the rides under 54 inches right now and he loves it. Besides, look how long the line for this ride is after being open a few years already. Seems to me it's quite popular despite the complainers out there. As for Gwazi what a shame to see such an impressive looking coaster end in just a short 15 year lifespan. Sure would have been great to see a Rocky Mountain treatment done to it. Look at what that has done for those few rides that were also getting rough.

 

The ride's line has more to do with its low capacity than it does its anything else. Not to say it doesn't have wide appeal, because it does, but the longest wait I've had at BGT has always been Gwazi and I don't think many will sing its praises any longer.

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Gwazi's long line is attributed to the very long loading/unloading process. I've never seen such a drawn out loading procedure on any ride I've been on. Seems it took 5 minutes at least to get a train dispatched.

 

+1. Do they intentionally hire the worst employees of all time to work Gwazi, or is it just a coincidence?

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I think Cheetah Hunt is a great ride and makes great use of the canyon area with the twists. My son can only ride the rides under 54 inches right now and he loves it. Besides, look how long the line for this ride is after being open a few years already. Seems to me it's quite popular despite the complainers out there. As for Gwazi what a shame to see such an impressive looking coaster end in just a short 15 year lifespan. Sure would have been great to see a Rocky Mountain treatment done to it. Look at what that has done for those few rides that were also getting rough.

There's always the possibility for an RMC refurb. The park said they were considering all options for the coaster, and they didn't say anything about tearing it down just yet.

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There's always the possibility for an RMC refurb. The park said they were considering all options for the coaster, and they didn't say anything about tearing it down just yet.

 

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I think Cheetah Hunt is a great ride and makes great use of the canyon area with the twists. My son can only ride the rides under 54 inches right now and he loves it. Besides, look how long the line for this ride is after being open a few years already. Seems to me it's quite popular despite the complainers out there. As for Gwazi what a shame to see such an impressive looking coaster end in just a short 15 year lifespan. Sure would have been great to see a Rocky Mountain treatment done to it. Look at what that has done for those few rides that were also getting rough.

There's always the possibility for an RMC refurb. The park said they were considering all options for the coaster, and they didn't say anything about tearing it down just yet.

 

I don't necessarily think it's a good candidate for that type of thing. Rides like the Texas Giant were quite marvelous track designs, sometimes too ambitious for the roughness of a wood coaster to allow all riders to enjoy it. Gwazi wasn't the size or speed of those rides and its track design in the early days was fun simply because of the wood track. This was before it became unbearably rough.

 

Gwazi used to be my favorite ride in my home park but I can't imagine it being all that great of a ride as a steel ride.

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“No decisions have been made about what lies ahead for Gwazi or for the future plans of that area of Busch Gardens,” said Park President Jim Dean.

 

This line just sticks out for me. In one way, they're confirming Gwazi is closing but at the same time not necessarily saying that Gwazi is gone for good. They're playing coy for this announcement, but I find it particularly odd that they're so openly leaving the door open for Gwazi as opposed to simply saying that it is closing and a replacement will be announced in the future... Maybe the structure is salvageable and something special (RMC, please) can be done to the ride after all...

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Well... Amy from RMC did mention this in the Q&A on Facebook:

 

Any park can have our IBox or "IronHorse" system. Six Flags has just been so great to work with and they are keeping us busy! But, there are projects at other parks coming up in the next 2 years that utilize our IBox Track.

 

Busch Gardens seems like an even likelier candidate for conversion. Of course, it's still speculative at this point.

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There is also the possibility that the ride needs too much work to keep it going right now, and they don't have the money to either fix it, tear it down, or replace it with anything.

 

Ding Ding Ding... we have a winner.

 

But in the long run when Sea World / Busch gets out of this rut I'm sure they'll replace it with something awesome so this is still a good thing. I just hope they don't leave it sitting there too long as it would be a bit of an eyesore after awhile.

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I wonder how people would feel if they replaced Gwazi with the coaster BGW is getting (that's not been announced) this year. I mean, it would still be the only coaster of its type for over 800 miles.

 

Also, I have a question. I plan to go to BGT this summer. I have to go either on Friday, June 19 or Sunday, June 21. Which would most likely be more crowded? I'm worried about getting to do everything because the park closes at 7 PM those days, surprisingly.

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I wonder how people would feel if they replaced Gwazi with the coaster BGW is getting (that's not been announced) this year. I mean, it would still be the only coaster of its type for over 800 miles.

 

Also, I have a question. I plan to go to BGT this summer. I have to go either on Friday, June 19 or Sunday, June 21. Which would most likely be more crowded? I'm worried about getting to do everything because the park closes at 7 PM those days, surprisingly.

 

In these days of quick queue systems that parks can charge you extra for, new rides with low capacity just mean more income.

 

I don't think you'll have any major issues on either day. Get Cheetah Hunt out of the way and proceed in a logical order to traverse the layout and the higher capacity of most of the other rides should mean a smooth day. I haven't done Falcons Fury yet though, so I'm not sure what the wait on that would be.

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I think it's amazing to have three pages of "omg it's a great ride defense" when there was one comment about how it's a bit underwhelming.

 

Kind of sounds like most people have talked themselves into it, no? Admit it, we're coaster enthusiasts and we'd probably rather it be a 54 inch height requirement, 80 MPH, inverted top hat, 2 zero g rolls and airtime hills Maverick-level ride. We all know what Intamin can build.

 

But it's not, it is a general crowd-pleaser, and it's exactly what the park ordered. That's fine.

 

Good post, and its funny that most assume I wanted it to be another Maverick (which I did not even like) when I was really hoping for more Magnum.

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Yeah... sure... you might want to take that off of your description.

 

Wooden coasters need to be maintained over time, I am sure it was a decent ride for a few years after it opened. I don't think the park did much track work and the Florida heat only adds to the problem. Its not GCI's fault that the park didn't maintain the ride.

 

A lot of the lines in the closing announcement stand out to me too, sounds a lot like what SFNE did for Cyclone. It would also be a massive waste of wood to rip it all down. It has a decent layout too they could do something cool with the layout and add a few high fives, zero gs, and more. Remember Alan Schilke said he has a lot more ideas and this could be one, a dueling coaster.

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There is also the possibility that the ride needs too much work to keep it going right now, and they don't have the money to either fix it, tear it down, or replace it with anything.

 

That's what some said about Colossus amidst all the rumors and fantasizing over an RMC rebirth. There aren't the same rumors with Gwazi, but there isn't the same following that SFMM & Colossus have either. It's certainly possible that Gwazi could be a potential RMC target.

 

To me, it simply looks like BGT just doesn't quite know what direction they want to take yet.

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There is also the possibility that the ride needs too much work to keep it going right now, and they don't have the money to either fix it, tear it down, or replace it with anything.

 

That's what some said about Colossus amidst all the rumors and fantasizing over an RMC rebirth. There aren't the same rumors with Gwazi, but there isn't the same following that SFMM & Colossus have either. It's certainly possible that Gwazi could be a potential RMC target.

 

To me, it simply looks like BGT just doesn't quite know what direction they want to take yet.

 

There are very clearly rumors that Gwazi is a victim of tighter budgets. Screamscape pretty clearly posted exactly that when the rumors it was closing came back in force around the time of the SEAS stock holders announcement. It wasn't even that big a surprise, because Gwazi being closed down to save money had been rumored for over a year prior to that. Shutting down half the ride and building a handicapped platform over the station for it seemed pretty obvious too.

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I think it's amazing to have three pages of "omg it's a great ride defense" when there was one comment about how it's a bit underwhelming.

I think it's because we've heard it over and over and over and over again from selfish coaster geeks that Cheetah Hunt wasn't what THEY wanted. But seeing it have so many supporters is a nice change.

 

Kind of sounds like most people have talked themselves into it, no? Admit it, we're coaster enthusiasts and we'd probably rather it be a 54 inch height requirement, 80 MPH, inverted top hat, 2 zero g rolls and airtime hills Maverick-level ride. We all know what Intamin can build.

Not me. I was actually VERY happy when Busch didn't build a "Maverick Killer." They already had three VERY good 54 inch height requirement rides, two nice 42" rides, a kiddie coaster and really nothing of quality for the middle ground.

 

Cheetah Hunt was PERFECT. And I personally love it as I feel it rounds out their coaster collection and brings a near-perfect balance to their selection of coasters. And removing Gwazi will actually help IMPROVE the overall quality of the rides there.

 

And just like with Cheetah Hunt, I actually hope that the park replaces it with another 42" or 48" coaster that is accessible to younger ages because I feel that is what the park needs. I refer to Cheetah Hunt as "Florida's California Screamin'" (and I love that ride, too!) It's long, it launches, it has one inversion, has something for everyone, and all riders gets off smiling other than grumpy coaster geeks, and it's overall just a kick-ass ride every time I go on it!

 

BGT doesn't need a Maverick-Killer, it doesn't need a hyper coaster, it needs something for everyone, and THEN I feel they can build another "big ride."

 

Maverick was the perfect ride for Cedar Point, and Cheetah Hunt is the same for BGT. And I love them both equally for different reasons.

Edited by robbalvey
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