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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT Discussion Thread)

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

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From BGT Facebook:

 

Ride Update: The Serengeti Railway will be closed temporarily starting today as we make way for a brand new attraction in 2016! But don’t worry, take a trip on the Skyride for the best views of our Serengeti Plain.

 

Hmm......

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It seems that there is a lot in store for the future of Busch Gardens even though it seems that SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has taken a hit recently. I'm hoping that this will be a nice family coaster that has a really good indoor section! But the future looks bright! Falcon's Fury last year, Colossal Curl at Adventure Island this year, possible new coaster with indoor section next year, the really large Gwazi site, and the area that used to hold the Critter Castaway show!

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First Disney decides to close Pirates of the Caribbean this summer, now Busch Gardens has to close their safari train. Oh well, at least with Busch Gardens it isn't a huge loss as I'll be going to Animal Kingdom anyway and it's to make way for construction of a new attraction. I kind of expect the serengheti to be phased out in a few years anyway. They'll probably try to make Tampa more like Williamsburg with just a few animal attractions here and there. (Basically all of them except the Serengheti plains.)

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Busch Gardens Tampa is first and foremost an animal park, then a ride park. They will always maintain their animal collection, if anything they've added more animals in recent years. Cheetahs, Kangaroos and other Australian animals plus a recent addition to the elephant population just to name a few. They just built that large medical care facility too, so I think the animals will continue to be their main focus of the park if not the top two reasons for being.

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After seeing so many responses complaining about it being closed all summer, asking when it would come back or comments about how they shouldn't close it forever even with it stating "early summer re-opening" in the description of the photo, this comment made me laugh, too bad Busch Gardens missed the sarcasm or the social media team deliberately ignored it.

 

Edit: I also see someone quoting wikipedia and it's 2017 listing of Iron Gwazi.

image.thumb.jpg.8da00ef01cb55e12a8720977bb24f074.jpg

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My wild guess on What Busch Gardens is going to replace Gwazi with is a wood/steel hybrid "remake" of it called "Revenge of Gwazi"!

 

My thought for Gwazi would be a RMC remake, still dueling but one side with inversions and the other without. That's not going to happen, though.

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Finally, after years of going to Disney and Universal, we finally got to go to Busch Gardens. And it was a great way to kick off spring!

As most of you may know, Busch Gardens is now a sister park to Seaworld. And let me tell you, I think this is MUCH nicer than Seaworld. Everything is updated, the rides look really nicely maintained and the park had a great collection of rides. The park was a bit crowded. We got there at ten and went right to Cheetah Hunt (typical GP thing to do). We were happy to see the sign say it was a five minute wait, but when we got up the steps, it had already turned into a 60 minute wait! We got right out of the line and purchased the quick queue unlimmited, which saved the day!

 

Ride Count:

Cheetah Hunt: 3x

Montu: 2x

Kumba: 3x

Sheikra: 4x

Tidal Wave: 1x

Stanley Falls: 1x

Congo River Rapids: 1x

Scorpion: 2x

Falcon's Fury: 2x

Phoenix: 1x

Sand Serpent: 1x

Air Grover: 1x

 

The biggest lines of the day belonged to Cheetah Hunt (hitting 70 minutes all day), Stanley Falls (reaching 60 minutes, full queue) and last, yet shockingly, Kumba (which had about a 30 minute wait for the regular queue) So this quick queue was a life savor and I highly recomend buying it to boost your park experience.

 

Ride Reviews:

 

Cheetah Hunt: My first and last ride of the day. It's a fantastic family/thrill coaster! I loved the unique lay out and multi launch asspect of it. The ride moves really nicely with the terrain and it really fits into the park quite nicely. The ride shares a huge station with the awesome sky ride. It has nice theming in the queue but I can't take my eyes off of the very outdate builing it's in. lol. (it's like modern meets the 80's) The ride itself was smooth, fast and tons of fun! I am happy that I went on not expecting it to be a real thrill ride, but just a fun family/thrill. My dad was expecting more and was a tad let down by it but he still enjoyed it as his "warm-up". Intamin did a fantastic job with this and I hope more of these pop up in the US. Because it certainly is the star of Busch Gardens. 9/10

 

Montu: B&M Inverts are my favorite type of loopers. I was extremly excited about this one due to the high ratings eveywhere else. But I was a tad let down. Dueling Dragons Fire still stands as my favortie kind, but this was a tad better than Talon. The layout is awesome. It's long and unique. But that MCBR kinda kills is. After that it just kinda " strolls" along the track. The first half hits HARD but the seond half is just "meh".

But it still was tons of fun and one of the best coasters in the park! 9/10

 

Sheikra: Damn this was awesome! I went on it thinking that it was just going to be forceless after the drop, I was wrong! This ride pulls so much force during the first half of the ride! The Loop into that sharp turn is so nicely executed! The second drop into the splash pool is just plain fun! Not boring at all! They even had a video that taped us riding the whole thing! It had tons of off-ride shots of us, kinda like that new camera that was shown at Nor' Easter last week! We actually bought the video, I'll share it here when I download it. This was my first Dive Coaster, and I was extremly impressed with it. It makes me excited to ride Griffon this summer and compare the two. 9.5/10

 

Kumba: This ride wasn't amazing like I expected. It was absoultely the most well designed, forcefull B&M that I have ever ridden. And it blew everything else in the park, right out of the water. Kumba is easily my favorite coaster in Flordia. This thing just hauls A$$ all the way through the track. Everything about it is amazing. I really wish more floor coasters were built because Hulk and Kumba make for an unforgettable first impression for any park that is looking at one. Here's my rant though. I have been riding the Hulk for YEARS now. I really can't understand why people hop on the bandwagon and say it is "really rough". Kumba was just as "rough" as Hulk! Both coasters have a pretty mean rattle to it in some rows. The back seat of Kumba was noticeably rougher than the front rows, but it still gave a fantastic ride! The same goes with Hulk! They both have some "choppy" spots to them but I really do believe that they are both amazing rides. It just annoys me to read all the negative comments on Hulk when Kumba has the same type of rattle! But Kuma is INSANE. I also heard that this ride gets a very little line, from many people. But Kumba had a bigger line than Montu, Falcon's Fury, Sheikra, etc..... So I was a little surprised but happy to see such a classic, still drawing tons of crowds. If I had to choose one ride to go on at that park, it would be Kumba. Awesome job BGT! 10/10

 

Falcon's Fury:

Best. Freefall. Ever. This thing was wild! Sure, it's brakes were a little bit too early but the whole experience of this ride is just top of the line. The seats and restraints are very accomidating and comftorable. The views are spectacular and the drop is breathtaking. Such aunique and innovative ride. Part of me wants more of these free falls but the other part of me wants this to be the only one built, so BGT has something totally different from everyone else. Great job with this ride! I looks and rides awesome! 10/10

 

Phoenix:

I was so excited to finally try one of these out! And it was tons of fun! The ride has a nice cycle. Although the restraints are a tad uncomftorable, the ride gets the blood flowing for sure! So happy that this ride is still here and I REALLY hope it is around for years to come. 9/10

 

Scorpion:

This little thing packs a serious punch! The turns and loop were crazy! Sadly, they were only running one train. Do they usually have two on? Because the second train was MIA. My dad only remembers this and the Phoenix from back in the 80's when he visited. And he was happy to see that they were both still here. The only thing I will say about this is that it was a little bit on the choppy side. But it didn't hurt whatsoever. The ride could also use a serious paint job! 8.5/10

 

Sand Serpent:

Wild Mouse. Moving on.

6/10

 

Stanley Falls:

One of my favorite log flumes! Very old school and fun! But it still manages to draw a HUGE crowd all day. Tidal wave, next door was a walk on but this was atleast an hour wait in the regular line! Very fast-paced flume with nice drops! Love how they are still maintaining this old school flume! 10/10

 

Tidal Wave:

It's like Stanley's ugly sister. lol But in all seriousness it was just OK. The ride was basically just a smaller version of Jurrasic Park RAdventure......minus the dinosaurs... The theming has a lot of potential but it seemed very run-down. It is kinda hidden in the shawdows of Sheikra and Stanley Falls. If I could choose which ride goes next, it would be this. They can replace it with a much more, modern and exciting ride. It is sitting on a very nice piece of real estate. 7/10

 

Congo River Rapids:

Very well done rapids ride that intertwines with Kumba in the back of the park. Another high attendance attraction. This one gets you drenched and has some great landscaping. The double loading system was quite nice, even for the quick queue guests like me. 8/10

 

Overall, Busch Gardens is a lot of fun. I was super bummed that Gwazi is gone. It looks like a lot of fun! And rough coasters really don't phase me unless they're umbarable. I know this is every 13 year old, six flags fanboy's dream, but an RMC version of Gwazi would be top of the line. I love the logo that Gwazi had, it looks cool! Hopefully something unique will come to the front of the park. I'd rather not see a B&M Hyper snooze coaster. They should check out some of Intamin's stuff. Something unique is always welcomed too! Maybe even.......RMC......or GCI.....

 

I'll have some pictures and more reviews added later on....But I hope you enjoyed reading!

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As most of you may know, Busch Gardens is now a sister park to Seaworld.

It has been since 1989. Not exactly news.

 

Sadly, they were only running one train. Do they usually have two on? Because the second train was MIA.

Nope. I don't understand why, but they have never ran in anything but a 1 train operation. They do have 2 trains, and every once in a while the second train will be sitting on the storage track, but mostly it is away in maintenance somewhere.

 

I was super bummed that Gwazi is gone. It looks like a lot of fun!

Yep, you definitely didn't get to ride Gwazi if you think that

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Yeah. Scorpion, for as long as I can remember, has operated with just one train. Personally, I would wait for it though, I love it! It was my first looper when I was a kid and I think it is just an awesome coaster. It was closed the last time I went back in May of 2014.

 

I didn't mind Gwazi. I liked it a lot when it was dueling and after it got the new trains (May of 2011 visit). Didn't really complain. I decided to ride it again this past year because it was on the chopping block. It surely was a lot rougher than the last ride, but it didn't bother me too much. I could tell things were different many of the riders on the train though. It's a giant plot of land, so it'll be exciting to see how things unfold in the future.

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