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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT Discussion Thread)

p. 375: Phoenix Rising family inverted coaster announced for 2024!

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So I got to go to the park for the first time in years last week. I have to say, falcons fury was absolutely worth any delays or issues they had in construction. This might be one of my favorite rides of all time. I've never experienced anything like it in my life! It's also one of the most beautiful rides I've ever seen/watched. The insane paint job is icing on the cake..


MAJOR WIN for BGT. I think the GP would agree as well, I saw people of all ages coming off that ride completely blown away, and it seems to draw a steady crowd the whole day. Though, I was lucky enough to catch it early in the morning when it had no line and got a couple rides in thankfully.


I think this and cheetah hunt (loved it!) were two rides that fill out this park lineup perfectly, and I really hope to see busch work with intamin more in the future to produce such high quality rides. Has there been any technical issues/ breakdowns with these rides since they have opened? I feel like, other than the difficulty perfecting falcons fury, these rides have been reliable enough that they would consider doing more business with them.

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No, this coaster will be LOUSY!! The layout is total crap plus the fact that the seats spin will make park guests very dizzy. Which means Cobra's Curse will be their last ride of the day.


It will only be your last ride of the day if you have motion sickness and are stupid enough to ride. If you get sick from spinning rides and you decide to ride a coaster that you fear will make you sick, then you deserve to have it be your last coaster of the day.


Are you also going to come to the defense of people with vertigo that can't enjoys ride with height?

Are you also against the animal exhibits that people with animal phobias can visit?

How about the park serving food items that diabetics and those with food allergies can't enjoy?

How about the people coulrophobia, kinemortophobia or sanguivoriphobia who could be traumatized during HalloScream?

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Tampa Bay’s Premier Halloween Event Has Unearthed a New Evil and Returns to Busch Gardens for 19 Nights


TAMPA, Fla. (June 17, 2015) –This fall, for 19 select nights, Howl-O-Scream® 2015 returns to Busch Gardens® Tampa with sinister surprises and unexpected terrors around every corner. Howl-O-Scream 2015 has Unearthed a new evil and Busch Gardens’ 300 acres will be overgrown with new dark and sinister fun.


Hundreds of roaming creatures will swarm in the streets, making escape nearly impossible. A chilling live show will get your pulse pounding, and Florida’s top thrill rides in the dark, including North America’s tallest freestanding drop tower Falcon’s Fury™, will keep the screams coming all night long.


Freaky Preview returns this year and will open Howl-O-Scream 2015 on Friday, Sept. 25 and Saturday, Sept. 26. The event then runs Thursday through Saturday nights, Oct. 1 – 31, and select Sunday nights, Oct. 18 and 25. Operating event hours are 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.


Get your tickets early and save on a single terrifying night at Howl-O-Scream 2015. For a limited time, any single-day admission to Howl-O-Scream 2015 is $45. Plus, Busch Gardens Pass Members receive a limited-time exclusive discount on any single-day admission to Howl-O-Scream 2015 for only $35.


Howl-O-Scream 2015 is a separate-ticketed night event. No costumes are allowed. Stay tuned to HowlOScream.com for the latest terrifying details, or call 1-888-800-5447 for more information.


Join the conversation by using #EvilUnearthed and follow Howl-O-Scream on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube to learn about promotions and insider information first.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Last night Theme Park Review was invited to the launch of the 2015 edition of Summer Nights at Busch Gardens Tampa. The event includes extra entertainment including a new version of the wildly popular Kinetix and DJ dance parties throughout the park along with extended park hours allowing guests to enjoy more rides, shows and animal experiences in the park! Summer Nights is included in standard park admission and well worth staying around after dark--just think, coasters in the dark!


Over near Zagora Cafe a new Zagora Market stand is being constructed.


Cheetah Hunt has blended into the Serengeti beautifully...


Rhino Rally no more.


A welcome sight when entering Pantopia.


New food options!


The Dragon Fire Grill is officially open!


The Dragon Fire Pub is too!


It looks great inside!


I can never get enough of Sheikra!


Such a fun effect to watch!


Going down!


It isn't a trip to Busch Gardens Tampa without some Zambia Smokehouse ribs!


These people have no idea how wet they are about to be.


Many people forget that the Tanganyika Tidal Wave still operates in the back corner of Stanleyville... It still makes quite a splash!




I haven't given Kumba enough photo love recently...


So I'm gonna make up for that.


I love this one!


Phoenix basking in the daytime glow of the moon.


One of several DJ dance parties set up throughout the park for Summer Nights.


I've got a photo addiction when it comes to Sheikra.



The park is open until midnight!


Next up was a pre-Kinetix party!


Kinetix is hosted on a stage in the former "Gwazi Park" often used for special events.


I like desserts.


Kinetix is an annual Summer Nights show that features singing, dancing, acrobatics and pyro all combined for an awesome experience!




Some incredible acrobats at work.


Aeriel stunts are also a part of Kinetix.


I'd never before seen an act where people are flung off of a see-saw into the air.



The evening concludes with fireworks in view from Gwazi Park.


There are some great pyro moments during the show.


Fireworks lovers will definitely enjoy this one.




Nothing to see here...


Cheetah Hunt looks gorgeous at night!


Walls have taken up half of Egypt in preparation for construction on Cobra's Curse for 2016.


The construction wall keeps going...


And going...


And goes all the way down past the entrance to Montu.


Another DJ dance party in front of Cheetah Hunt.


Special thanks to Busch Gardens Tampa for hosting us during this fun evening! Summer Nights runs on Fridays and Saturdays through August 16th some head to Busch Gardens Tampa to check it out!

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I am going to Busch Gardens Tampa on the second week of August for the first time ever. What day of the week has the shortest lines and how will the lines be in general in that time of the year? Should I think about getting the quick queue?

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I am going to Busch Gardens Tampa on the second week of August for the first time ever. What day of the week has the shortest lines and how will the lines be in general in that time of the year? Should I think about getting the quick queue?


Same as any theme park. Go on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and you won't need quick queue. Buy it if the park is loaded with tour groups and the waits are longer than you would wish.

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Thank you, jedimaster1227! Great report! I'll be seeing Kinetix this week and I'm really looking forward to it! Great photos, too! Kumba and Sheikra and Cheetah Hunt all lend themselves greatly to good photography.


I can report back about the lines in early August, I'll still be here by then!

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Thank you for the photos.


The more I learn about Cobra's Curse the more excited I am. Between the unique indoor queue line (that will follow the concept of Manta at Sea World) and the outdoor theming, this ride will definite step up Busch Gardens game.

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They're definitely the worst day of the week, but the park is open from 9:30-midnight, so you'll have plenty of time to do everything. Just make sure you wait until 2:30-4:30 to ride Cheetah Hunt and you'll be able to ride everything. Also, make sure to see Kinetix, as it's a really good show.

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They're definitely the worst day of the week, but the park is open from 9:30-midnight, so you'll have plenty of time to do everything. Just make sure you wait until 2:30-4:30 to ride Cheetah Hunt and you'll be able to ride everything. Also, make sure to see Kinetix, as it's a really good show.


Does Cheetah Hunt have that long of a line until that frame and then its good for the rest of the day?

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The line is the shortest during that time, as well as any time after 9pm. Especially do not ride it in the early morning, as everyone goes there first, so it will usually have over an hour line for the first half of the day, fading down to 20-40 minutes as it gets past 2pm since everyone goes to eat at the back of the park. Then it starts to build at 4ish, then fades down again as it gets closer to 9 since most people go to see Kinetix, and then it stays shorter for the rest of the night.

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^ The best seats on Cheetah Hunt are the first two rows, they give the best airtime up the tree.


Get a back row, far right seat ride on Kumba.


Montu is great in the front or back. Same for Sheikra.


Make time for Falcon's Fury, you won't be disappointed.

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For Sheikra, definitely try both the back row and the front. They both experience the major parts differently and its worth having both experiences. It's rare that the ride has a line that makes doing this in quick succession difficult. I don't think there is anything about Montu or Kumba that makes them any different from any other looper in terms of seats, obviously the back has a bit more G in a lot of elements. For Cheetah Hunt, I find the back is dramatically better, but since the ride is designed by Intamin its made with terrible capacity, so to try and keep the line somewhat manageable they assign seats.

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The front is definitely better on Cheetah Hunt just for the forces at the top of the tower after the second launch. The back just gets slowly dragged over the top. Also, almost all employees at that ride do not assign rows when running dual station. Keeping up with 16 rows is practically impossible, so we just tell you which station to go to and let you decide on the row you want.

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So I am about to leave for my Disney/Busch Gardens trip in a few days. I see above many great tips on how to best avoid lines at the park. I just have two questions:

1. what has your experience been like on the Mears shuttle from Orlando?

2. What are the policies with Backpacks at the park. I know Disney lets them on everything, and I am used to Six Flags policy of bins in the station. Will I get those options or are they like Universal where lockers are required.



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The Mears shuttle is great. I used it a few times back when I first started visiting Orlando/Tampa. Depending on your pickup spot it takes an hour-hour 20 minutes to get to the park. Just be sure to arrive a bit early at your pickup spot and be sure to be back at the bus before it's scheduled return time (which they will tell you on your bus). The thing with this is they usually return before park closing (usually by 6 or 7PM) so don't expect to get any night rides.


They do not allow backpacks on rides and you will need to use a l.o.c.k.e.r for most coasters. They do have bins/cubbyholes for shoes/flipflops/cups but they aren't secured and used at your own risk. You may be able to leave your bag off to the side at some flat rides. I hadn't been recently, but the lockers used to be 50 cents...I heard they went up but someone else here perhaps can confirm.

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Yeah, bags aren't allowed in line at major rides. There are cubbies, but as they are unsecured, bags and other valuable items aren't allowed. Non-valuables, such as hats, glasses, cups, etc are allowed in line and will be placed in the cubbies. There are small free lockers at the top of Cheetah Hunt and SkeiKra for phones and other small valuables. If you don't have a secure pockets use those lockers. A ride operator will gladly lock it up for you while you buckle yourself in. Loose articles are considered secure when placed in a zippered pocket or fanny pack (hats on belt loops will be asked to be removed and places in a cubby, so don't bother attaching it there, cuz it will just slow down the operators), or in the case of GoPros or other similar cameras, a chest or wrist mount (not a strap, but a mount). Anything else is not allowed, and if seen, you will be asked to place it in a cubby.


Lockers are $0.50 each time you lock them, and have no time limit. They only take quarters, and there are change machines that take $1 and $5 bills near most of them. Cards are not accepted. They have implemented new lockers at SeaWorld that take cards, but are much more expensive ($1 for the first hour, $2 for each hour after that vs $0.50 for as long as you want). Not sure if they will be coming to our park, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did. I think that covers everything you could possibly want to know.

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