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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT Discussion Thread)

p. 348 - Iron Gwazi POV!

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Ok kids,I need some advice...

 

I'm heading to Universal Orlando on April 25-26 (Monday, Tuesday) with a friend. Unfortunately she needs to go back to work on Wednesday, but I'm off the whole week, so I'm thinking of going to BGT for the first time by myself. Here are my questions:

 

Is it possible to do the whole park in one day? How long do you think it would take, I'm not really into spinning rides... How long do you think it would take to hit all the big rides? Any small attractions that "don't miss?"

 

Can you WALK to the park? I, thinking of staying at the Holiday Inn Express across the street, and can't seem to see a break in the fence on google maps.

 

Any stand out food? Both in and outside the park?

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Holy crap you nerds are a tough crowd.  It looks like a coaster that will make me hoot and holler the entire time I'm on it while simultaneously trying to throw my fat ass as far from the train as pos

It means that you can look forward to a fun-filled day riding Kumba, Montu, Cheetah Hunt and Sheikra and while you're in line for one of those you might be able to watch an Iron Gwazi POV on your phon

I actually agree with many of you talking about how the RMC's are all very similar.  And that's fine. There's nothing wrong with building a ton of very similar kick ass rides when most people who ride

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Is it possible to do the whole park in one day? How long do you think it would take, I'm not really into spinning rides... How long do you think it would take to hit all the big rides?

On a day like those, where it is an off season weekday, you will have absolutely no problem with lines at all unless for some reason a bunch of end-of-the-year school trips decide to come on that day. Even then, it won't be bad. You will easily be able to do everything, even the smaller things. Just don't ride between 10:30 and 1:00 to avoid the line, and everything else will be a breeze. I would say you could do all of the major rides in 3 hours, and add in some shows and smaller rides and you could fill out the rest of the day. Also, know that all rides open 30 minutes after the park does, with the exception of the ones in the front area of the park (Cheetah Hunt and Montu), which opens at opening, and Congo River Rapids, which opens an hour after the park does. If you are there right at opening, ride Cheetah Hunt first, then Montu. Otherwise, go to Montu, the Animal Care Center, or go to the rides further back to catch them at opening.

 

Any small attractions that "don't miss?"

I'd say definitely do Scorpion, as it's a classic coaster that you don't see much of here in the southeast. Also, Congo River Rapids is an excellent rapids ride that you should do if you are OK with getting wet. If you get to the park early, head the the Animal Care Center ASAP to see if they will be doing any treatments there, as, if they have one that day, they usually happen before 12, often at 10:30 or 11. There's also an area in Nairobi called Jambo Junction located just behind the Hippo statues, and behind that is Curiosity Cavern. The latter especially is something that most people don't notice, and both offer some neat animal encounters. And if you want a great view of the large animals, make sure to get on the train at the Nairobi Station. That's the one that will take you out back into the Serengeti Plain. For shows, I highly recommend Iceploration and Opening Night Critters, and Treasures of the Mirage is good if you have time to kill and you want some AC and/or some food, but it isn't a must see. The others shows you should skip unless you have small children.

 

Can you WALK to the park? I, thinking of staying at the Holiday Inn Express across the street, and can't seem to see a break in the fence on google maps.

Yes, you can. The pedestrian entrance is located at the corner of Busch and McKinley, on the McKinley side. Here's a Street View of it. So it's a little walk from the hotel, but considering the amount of walking you will be doing all day at the park, it really isn't that much.

 

Any stand out food? Both in and outside the park?

Best food IMO is at Zambia Smokehouse in Stanleyville next to SheiKra. Their BBQ is amazing, but it is also the most expensive place to eat. Second place goes to Dragon Fire Grill in Pantopia. A bit more affordable, a ton of options of food from around the world, and you can watch Treasures of the MIrage while eating if you time it right.

 

I also have to say that you should definitely download the Busch Gardens app before you go. It is absolutely invaluable. It will tell you wait times, show times, directions, and pretty much everything else you could need.

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A quick update on the Cobra's Curse construction from my visit today. They have added more the the front and back half of the portion that is up, with the front half getting a large overbanked turn, and the back half getting a very bouncy turn

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http://www.seaworldinvestors.com/news-releases/news-release-details/2015/SeaWorld-Entertainment-Inc-Announces-New-Partnerships-and-Business-Initiatives-During-Investor-and-Analyst-Day-Presentation/default.aspx

 

SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: SEAS), a leading theme park and entertainment company, held the company's Investor and Analyst Day today. The event was also webcast live via the investor relations section of the company's website.

 

A SeaWorld Animal Rescue-theme ride concept announced in today's SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. Analyst and Investor presentation.

 

During the presentation, President and Chief Executive Officer Joel Manby shared with investors and analysts a plan to build on the company's strong business fundamentals by evolving the guest experience to align with consumer preferences for experiences that matter -- to learn more about the natural world, the plight of animals in the wild, along with family entertainment and attractions.

 

The plan includes a new approach to in-park activities as well as greater connection to the company's award winning television programming that highlights SeaWorld Entertainment's world-class veterinary care and animal rescue operations. Other elements of the plan include a more simplified approach to value-based pricing, investment in new attractions, and an ongoing focus on cost control as part of a larger commitment to financial discipline.

 

In addition, Manby announced several new business initiatives, including partnerships with Panasonic and Evans Hotel Group.

 

As a part of a multi-year partnership with Panasonic Enterprises Solution Company, Panasonic will become an Official Technology Partner of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and its Parks. Panasonic Enterprises Solution Company provides advanced technology solutions serving sports, entertainment and retail industries.

 

"Panasonic is very pleased to be chosen by SeaWorld Entertainment as their new technology partner," said Jim Doyle, President of Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company. "There are endless possibilities when it comes to adding technology to update and enhance the guest experience throughout all of the parks. Panasonic looks forward to delivering the most cutting-edge technology solutions to impress and amaze."

 

Manby said after the presentation that a key objective of the Panasonic partnership is to use technology to better connect park guests with animals and the company's 23,000 employees, now known as ambassadors, with the larger goal of inspiring a shift in behavior.

 

"We hope that experiencing animals in our parks moves our guests to a deeper understanding of the plight of all animals – and an increasingly threatened natural environment -- and inspires those guests to help conserve the world we share," Manby said.

 

The company also announced Monday that it has signed a letter of intent with Evans Hotels Group to explore development of a resort hotel on SeaWorld's leased land in San Diego. Evans owns and operates well-known resorts and attractions in San Diego County, including The Lodge at Torrey Pines, Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa, the Bahia Resort Hotel and the Bahia Belle and William D. Evans sternwheelers. The Evans partnership is part of SeaWorld Entertainment's strategy to look at opportunities and partners to develop resort properties in or near some of its parks.

 

"We are delighted to partner with Panasonic and Evans Hotels, companies that have such well-established reputations for quality and innovation," Manby said. "We are excited to begin deploying Panasonic technology solutions to enhance the guest experience in our parks and to explore resort development opportunities on Mission Bay with Evans Hotels."

 

"Evans Hotels and SeaWorld Entertainment have been pioneers in helping to make Mission Bay the leisure and entertainment destination it is today. Our companies have each served the local community and visitors to San Diego for more than half a century. This project is an exciting opportunity for our iconic brands to join together to create the ultimate resort experience," said Robert H. Gleason, President and CEO of Evans Hotels.

 

SeaWorld Entertainment's management also announced that the Company's Saturday morning family television programs, Sea Rescue and The Wildlife Docs, have been renewed by Litton Entertainment through summer 2018. The award-winning and Emmy-nominated shows are number one in ratings in their respective Saturday morning timeslots on ABC. The shows document the Company's long-standing commitment to assisting wild animals in need – more than 27,000 to date -- and the sophistication of animal husbandry and veterinary care in its zoological parks.

 

"Animal rescue is part of what we have always been and a key way we are different from other theme park companies. These shows are part of a larger strategy and we are looking to transform what guests experience in our parks and what the public learns about us," Manby said. "In developing new experiences in our parks we want guests to explore, to be inspired and, ultimately, to act and we feel our parks are uniquely suited to creating meaningful and fun vacations -- experiences that matter.

 

"The overwhelming majority of adults – nearly 95 percent according to research we have seen -- tell us that they believe that visiting a zoo or aquarium can inspire conservation," Manby said. "We see a growing trend within our core guest demographic that a vacation can and should be more than just fantasy and entertainment. Guests want to know that they're making a difference for the world we share and our parks deliver on that promise."

 

As part of that commitment, Manby announced the company has initiated production on a new orca presentation for its San Diego park. The new experience will engage and inform guests by highlighting more of the species' natural behaviors. The show will include conservation messaging and tips guests can take home with them to make a difference for orcas in the wild. The current show, One Ocean, will run through 2016.

 

Manby also provided investors and analysts details of new attraction concepts and seasonal events, including a SeaWorld Rescue-themed roller coaster and the addition of holiday shows and experiences featuring characters from the Christmas classic, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."

 

A replay of the webcast and the related presentation materials will be available beginning at 12 p.m. Eastern Time on November 10, 2015 via the investor relations section of the company's website at http://www.seaworldentertainment.com.

 

- See more at: http://www.seaworldinvestors.com/news-releases/news-release-details/2015/SeaWorld-Entertainment-Inc-Announces-New-Partnerships-and-Business-Initiatives-During-Investor-and-Analyst-Day-Presentation/default.aspx#sthash.TWmmEapr.dpuf

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A smaller more intimate version of Animal Kingdom Lodge on/in/near the Serengeti plains section of the park is the first thing that came to my mind when I read Busch Gardens resort. There could be some really cool opportunities for morning and evening tours for resort guests if the resort is positioned in the park. Maybe add a train station and make stops for the resort, lots of cool possibilities.

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Yeah, the area on the right side of the park marked in yellow would be a great place for an AK Lodge-esque resort, and it's right along the train tracks. I really wouldn't be surprised if that's what goes there, as they specifically marked it as developable land, but it's too far out there to be anything that is an actual part of the park.

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As cool as that resort would be, there's not much space for parking there or really a hotel. If the built it in the larger yellow area in the back, it would give a much larger space but not as intimate of a view of the plains. I could see that area by the train as a sort of Rafikis Planet Watch stop for camp kids or to promote conservation like SeaWorld is doing with their new rides.

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As cool as that resort would be, there's not much space for parking there or really a hotel. If the built it in the larger yellow area in the back, it would give a much larger space but not as intimate of a view of the plains. I could see that area by the train as a sort of Rafikis Planet Watch stop for camp kids or to promote conservation like SeaWorld is doing with their new rides.

 

They could in the top corner and larger area. Relocate those buildings and open the view there. It could work. Will it? No clue. This isn't roller coaster tycoon, so relocating show buildings are easier said then done.

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I've got to admit, this park has the worst rideops as far as their attitudes! I go to a lot of different parks every year. Lot's of folks rip 6 Flags Magic Mountain in LA, but this one is far worse. They refuse to make eye contact with their CUSTOMERS, and don't speak when spoken to. They can't be that unhappy could they be??? I did have the sky ride rideops wish me a pleasant evening when it was 5PM - closing today. Otherwise they don't speak or look at you. This is unreal! I hope park management reads this and makes some changes..

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For Adventure Island, if they moved the employee parking lot across the street to the yellow area above the park and they expanded in the old lot and the other yellow area, it could nearly double the park, which is very needed since Adventure Island is so small.

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I've got to admit, this park has the worst rideops as far as their attitudes! I go to a lot of different parks every year. Lot's of folks rip 6 Flags Magic Mountain in LA, but this one is far worse. They refuse to make eye contact with their CUSTOMERS, and don't speak when spoken to. They can't be that unhappy could they be??? I did have the sky ride rideops wish me a pleasant evening when it was 5PM - closing today. Otherwise they don't speak or look at you. This is unreal! I hope park management reads this and makes some changes..

 

I would disagree with this. I think they have good operation and much better than what I have experience at most cedar fair and six flags parks.

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I've got to admit, this park has the worst rideops as far as their attitudes! I go to a lot of different parks every year. Lot's of folks rip 6 Flags Magic Mountain in LA, but this one is far worse. They refuse to make eye contact with their CUSTOMERS, and don't speak when spoken to. They can't be that unhappy could they be??? I did have the sky ride rideops wish me a pleasant evening when it was 5PM - closing today. Otherwise they don't speak or look at you. This is unreal! I hope park management reads this and makes some changes..

 

I would disagree with this. I think they have good operation and much better than what I have experience at most cedar fair and six flags parks.

 

I disagree as well. I will say I have only experienced slow operations on Montu ONCE as the ride operators didn't seem to have a sense of urgency and that was maybe 3 years ago. Other than that most of the employees are quite friendly and willing to assist.

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I've got to admit, this park has the worst rideops as far as their attitudes! I go to a lot of different parks every year. Lot's of folks rip 6 Flags Magic Mountain in LA, but this one is far worse. They refuse to make eye contact with their CUSTOMERS, and don't speak when spoken to. They can't be that unhappy could they be??? I did have the sky ride rideops wish me a pleasant evening when it was 5PM - closing today. Otherwise they don't speak or look at you. This is unreal! I hope park management reads this and makes some changes..

 

Yeah, I think you might be in the minority here. I have had nothing but great experiences at the Busch parks all around. Very friendly staff, and for the most part very consistent and quick operations. I don't know what may have happened on your trip, but I have never seen anything even close to the low level of MM status.

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