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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT Discussion Thread)

P. 372: Serengeti Flyer swing ride announced!

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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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School goes back in session on Aug 25, so any day before that will have more crowds, but still shouldn't be too bad, especially on a weekday. I'd wait until you get there before deciding on Quick Queue or not, and don't go to Cheetah Hunt first thing to decide, as between opening and 1pm, the line will definitely be long. As for seating with Quick Queue, it spits you out at the area where you choose your rows (the "bullpens"), so you can choose your own row.

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How bad are the lines in the middle of August and does Quick Queue assign you to a seat or can you pick your own seat.


The lines at Busch Gardens are never necessarily long, compared to queuing times at places like Universal Studios or Walt Disney World in Orlando.


The average wait times on Busch Gardens Popular Attractions(For Me):

Montu: Walk-On - 5 Minutes

Cheetah Hunt - 10 Minutes - 35 Minutes

SheiKra - Walk-On - 15 Minutes

Kumba - Walk-On almost always

Scorpion - 5 Minutes - 20 Minutes

Gwazi - You might be waiting at the entrance of this one for a while, but don't worry! The ride is definitely not closed for good!

Falcon's Fury - 15 Minutes - 45 Minutes


In all of my visits to this park, I have never purchased a Quick Queue, because I don't need it. Hope this helped!

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Maybe during the off season, but for the on season it's more of:


Montu: Walk-On - 20 Minutes

Cheetah Hunt - 15 Minutes - 75 Minutes

SheiKra - 5 minutes - 30 Minutes

Kumba - Walk-On almost always

Scorpion - 5 Minutes - 30 Minutes

Falcon's Fury - 15 Minutes - 60 Minutes

Sand Serpent - 10 Minutes - 45 Minutes

Phoenix - Walk On - 15 Minutes

Congo River Rapids - 15 Minutes - 90 Minutes (all depends on the weather)

Flume - 15 Minutes - 60 Minutes (also weather dependent)

Tidal Wave - Usually a near walk on, but can sometimes go up to 45 Minutes if other water attractions break down

Skyride - 10 Minutes - 45 Minutes on the Crown Colony side, 5 Minutes - 30 Minutes on the Stanleyville side

Ubanga-Banga Bumper Cars - 5 Minutes - 20 Minutes


But yeah, I've been going to this park for well over 10 years and I've never been there for a full day and ran out of time to do everything, with the exception of days with an abnormally large amounts of lightning related park shutdowns.

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Both times I went to BGT, once in 2001, and again in 2010, it was either walk-on, or pretty much walk-on for Kumba. Considering how awesome that coaster it, I'd say it just might win the award for best return of investment of waiting time for a coaster - at least on a consistent basis!

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A lot of people have been saying it hurts their head. I don't know if they're getting a little ear-boxing or if they just can't handle the intensity of Kumba.


I have absolutely no problems with Kumba. Having been to BGT twice in the last year, my experience is that it was a little shaky after the MCBR, which I can understand might cause a little discomfort for some riders. But my overall impression is it that was running extremely well for a 20+ year old ride. My favorite ride at BGT!

Edited by viking86
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