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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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I've never had trouble getting around the park. I will say that it was probably more newbie friendly before they opened up the shortcut from Edge Of Africa to Nairobi when they built Cheetah Hunt. Now in order to see all the animals in Edge Of Africa, you have to do some backtracking in parts of it. Kumba may be off the main path, but it does circle around by Congo River Rapids back into Jungala so it's not that bad.

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I saw on their website that they have matinance days and cheetah hunts was from the 2nd-4th but yeah it's open now.

The problem with Montu being on a dead end is that there's nothing else out here it's just cheetah hunt and montu. It'll help when they open Cobras curse but I think they need a flat ride of some sort there. Also the construction is literally piles of dirt feat big pit.

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I have to say this year's Howl-O-Scream is looking very interesting!


The theme is Unearthed with Scarlett as the icon. The level of detail in the following video looks very promising of the type of house they are building for Unearthed. Below is a video introducing Scarlett.




1. NEW Unearthed - Scarlett's Revenge (From the Producer of the Blair Witch Project)

2. The Basement

3. Circus of Superstition 3D - The Last Laugh

4. DeadFall - Thirst for Blood

5. Zombie Mortuary

6. Death Water Bayou

7. Zombie Containment Unit 15 - Moving Targets


Fiends is the only show.


Here is the Map:


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi everyone!

I visited Busch Gardens last week the day before my Zumba convention started. I was staying at the Hyatt Regency so I hopped on the trolley to SeaWorld and took the shuttle to BGT. I bought the unlimited Quick Que so I didn't worry about mapping out my plan for the day. I just followed people to Cheetah Hunt and carried on throughout the park till I had hit all the rides. After that I doubled back and re-rode some and rode the train to see the animals. Overall the park was great! Great coaster selection, cool animals to look at, and the whole place was nicely themed with lots of shade and trees.

I usually try to hit parks when I travel. Last year after the convention I hit up Fun Spot then Universal & Islands of Adventure. This year I chose BGT for the day before and SeaWorld for the day after. Next year I'm thinking about hitting Seaworld again for Maku and Universal's new water park and/or Aquatica.



Our rooms flags. My friends are from Jordan and The Philippines, but we all live in beautiful Vancouver BC.



We came to Orlando for the Zumba Instructor convention, but technically it hadn't started yet so we went to Ben & Jerry's.



Waiting to get on the shuttle to BGT. The shuttle went from SeaWorld to Busch Gardens, and it took about an hour and 20 mins. Only thing I didn't like was that it drove us home at 6pm which was a bit early for my liking, but it was free so I won't complain.



While driving down the highway I found some of these Mickey Mouse power lines.



Montu greets us as the bus pulls into the lot



Cheetah Hunt looks amazing!



Cheetahs are awesome.



My first ride of the day. This ride was fantastic!!! The ride never stopped. I felt like it was almost over and then it kept going. It's the only Intamin ride I have ever ridden and I can't wait to try more of them.



Next ride was Montu. I liked this ride a lot. First ride I was in the second row and I wasn't to impressed. Second ride I took in the back and it was amazing! Later in the day I came back for another ride and when the train came back into the station a kid and thrown up all over his restraint. I hope his family brought an extra shirt...



Taking a break from the coasters I walked through the trails and found a big aquarium full of cichlids.



Here is a blurry hyena.



Cheetah Hunt being awesome.



I took a look at the care center



No animals needing checkups today.



I got here just in time to see the elephant



This is the first time I've seen an elephant. The trunk really creeped me out. It moved so weirdly.



Onwards to Pantopia! Falcon's Fury looked crazy.



I didn't ride it, didn't even make it into the line. I'm not big on drop towers. I just watched it cycle a few times and carried on.



Cobra looked like a better alternative to the drop tower for me. It was nice to ride with only a lap bar. The one at West Edmonton Mall has those weird should harnesses. It wasn't the best ride, but it's a great family looper. I seen lots of families riding it together.



The rain started to come down so I went to get some lunch. The food was standard park food.



The clouds parted and the shined down on this glorious piece of machinery



This is hands down the best coaster I have ever ridden. I don't understand why it had such a short line all day. I rode it so many times with my Quick Que, but it was never more than station wait in the regular line.



Rapids looked good, but I wasn't in a water ride mood.



I came upon some weird things....



Nightmare fuel roaming around this area.



The flume ride looked good. I wasn't in a water ride mood so I skipped it. FYI Tidal Wave was down for the day.



Hello Sheikra!



I rode this in each row. I liked this ride. I wish it was a bit longer but it was still great. I watched a guy take the walk of shame. 2 ride ops tried to close his restraint, but it was far from close to closing. Felt kinda bad for him, he waited in the 40 min que for only to be denied.



I caught the train in Stanleyville and took a ride through the serengeti plains. Rhinos are cool.



Zebras! My favorite print



Giraffes and antelope just chilling in the shade.



I got off and started my wandering again. The orangutans were huge.



Back over to the elephants



This tortoise was MASSIVE



These flamingos were behind a short fence. They were very friendly little guys.



I didn't feed them because I'm not stupid, but I did try to lure them over with my empty hand. It seemed to work pretty well.






They had a small group of penguins. I love these guys. So cute!



"Hey can you turn down the heat please?"



Got dinner here. I can't remember what I ordered, so it must not have been that great.



I love parrots, I have 2 small ones at home.



Here are some baby ducks just because baby ducks are super cute.



I found a whole army of sleeping flamingos. They sleep with their necks noodled on their bodies.



Follow your nose!



These things were awesome



The tiger was sleeping both times I went past him.



One last pic of Falcon's Fury full tilt.



Bye bye Busch Gardens. I will be back someday!



When I returned to my hotel the Zumba precon party had already started!


Sorry for the long post. I didn't realize I had so many pics.

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Great trip report! Enjoyed reading and seeing. One thing that Busch does that I've never seen other parks do is offer a one time quick queue for those who get denied a ride after waiting in line so long so they can go on something that is a little more relaxed in the restraint department. At least they did when I worked there a few years ago.

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Most of the time I seen kids playing, or people taking photos on the test seats. I never seen anyone actually test it. I seen a few big boys using the middle seats of Kumba with no problems.

I didn't know they gave out a pass for walks of shame. That's a good idea for sure, that should make people feel a bit better about it.

What I noticed was TONS of empty seats on every train. They really need better groupers, and single rider lines. Thank god I had Quick Que Unlimited so it wasn't holding me back much. I never had anyone sit beside me on Cheetah Hunt, and once on Sheikra there was only 1 other people in my row! When lines are 45mins long, you would think they would try to help capacity. This went for both BGT and SeaWorld. I was the only one in the row on Manta once, and all other times it was just me and my friend in the row. There was a guy grouping people in the stations so I don't know why they were sending out so many empty seats.

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Yeah, it's very rare to see anyone but children sitting in the test seat. I think I have seen an adult trying it maybe 5 times in my life and I have been to BGT hundreds of times.


As for grouping, on Cheetah Hunt especially, it's just not practical. Sure you could on SheiKra, Montu and Kumba, but on Cheetah Hunt, at their fastest, they are sending out 16 rows of people every 90 seconds. That's just not really possible to keep up with, especially with the super long station that's very hard to see the end of from the turnstile, and the language barrier of many foreigners that slow down the process. At the expense of capacity, they just let everyone choose their seat, which actually makes people quite happy as they like being able to choose, and they don't usually know that it meant a somewhat longer wait for them. Falcon's Fury is the one ride in the park with actual forced grouping, so there is rarely an empty seat. It makes sense though, as the grouper has a long time to set up the seats while the ride is running. As for Manta, it's hit or miss for me. Sometimes I go and there is a grouper setting up 3-4 in every row. Sometimes I go and there is a grouper in one station but not the other (not sure why that would be), sometimes there is a grouper that just waves you through (usually on quieter days), and sometimes there isn't one at all. I don't know, maybe they could learn something from Universal and their incredible grouping, but with the park not as busy, and the ride vehicles not as suited for it (their vehicles usually have less rows to make it easier), it's just not worth it to them to do it.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I was at Busch today, and they opened Shiekra today about an hour before closing. It was closed for maintenance. Not a good visit. Most rides 1 train operation. Falcon's Fury never opened. I'm glad I got a few rides finally on Shiekra at the end of the day.

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I was at Busch today, and they opened Shiekra today about an hour before closing. It was closed for maintenance. Not a good visit. Most rides 1 train operation. Falcon's Fury never opened. I'm glad I got a few rides finally on Shiekra at the end of the day.


I saw on Twitter today that Sheikra is running without the water scoops. Is that true? Wouldn't the train fly into the brake run much faster than normal?

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It's true and it's amazing. It's really surprising just how much faster it takes the final turn without the water brakes, and it comes out of the magnetic portion of the brakes still going pretty fast, so the friction brakes really kick in hard. If you can, I recommend anyone go and ride it before they put them back on. I'm not sure why they aren't on right now, but I kind of wouldn't be surprised if it was for Howl-O-Scream, just to amp the coaster up a little bit.


Here's a screenshot of a video I took on the 26th of it running without the water scoops.

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