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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT Discussion Thread)

P. 358: Two new slides & more announced for Adventure Island!

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At the park now, and have to say that I'm not impressed with operations.

 

We ended up spending over $200 on fast lane, and it really has not helped us at all.

 

The ride crews are stacking all 3 trains, cheetah has not run all day, several rides we have gotten in line for broke down and we were made to leave the line, the Kumba crew was more worried about the taco bell delivery they recievd than doing there job.

 

Been here all day and we're only able to use the fast lane twice due to all of this.

 

Btw...it just took 9 minutes to dispatch a single train on montu as I stand in the line writing this.(after going through the fast lane line).

 

All of the coke freestyle machines in the park are out of most of everything except coke all day. Employees told me the wearhouse was out of most flavors.

 

Beyond all the negatives, it's a beautiful park.

 

I agree...

I was also here on this day (July 4th) and we were thinking the ride operators and possibly management as well were on some kind of strike.

 

We have been here on days so busy you could hardly walk without bumping into someone, and it was not as bad as this day. For not being too busy (well for this time of year and being a holiday) had to be the worst day we have ever experienced in this park.

 

I am here in the park on average twice a week and have seen it getting worse and worse over the past several months. The park has also been looking neglected with over grown weeds, tiger's water green with algae, animals escaping, and I can go on and on. Not to mention that every time we come there are at least 2 rides closed/broken at any given time.

 

I am so disappointed in what is happening to this park especially after visiting the beautiful park in VA. We will not be renewing our passes next year.

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ok. . we're there tomorrow (finally!).

 

any food suggestions in the park?

 

(we're basically gonna hit the park as soon as we check in hotel tomorrow night, so will be there from ~4-close), meaning we'll eat dinner there, as well as getting Cobra's Curse and the evening show out of the way.

 

Monday we have a safari early, but then will spend rest of day meandering the park and doing things as we pass them, including all the animal exhibits.

 

we're back again on Thurs to hit anything we miss (I'm guessing mainly shows), or re-rides of things we really liked.

 

so really interested in food suggestions at the park. The lunch buffet at the Serengeti Restaurant *looks* good, but wondering if anyone has tried it?

 

thanks!

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^ Bert - I have heard people rave about the Zambia Smokehouse, but we have eaten there twice and came away somewhat disappointed as the BBQ seemed pretty dry and chewy both times.

 

While I have never eaten at the Crown Colony (now called the Serengeti Overlook), it has beautiful views, a very nice bar and plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.

 

I've also heard that the Dragon Fire Grille is good, but we didn't go the last time we were there because the Food & Beer/Wine fest was going on, so we ate at the kiosks.

 

I will be most curious to hear about your visit given the somewhat negative comments surrounding people's recent visit on the 4th. I certainly hope that the park isn't letting down their guard in terms of park quality and operations.

 

HAVE FUN!!!

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^ Bert - I have heard people rave about the Zambia Smokehouse, but we have eaten there twice and came away somewhat disappointed as the BBQ seemed pretty dry and chewy both times.

 

While I have never eaten at the Crown Colony (now called the Serengeti Overlook), it has beautiful views, a very nice bar and plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.

 

I've also heard that the Dragon Fire Grille is good, but we didn't go the last time we were there because the Food & Beer/Wine fest was going on, so we ate at the kiosks.

 

I will be most curious to hear about your visit given the somewhat negative comments surrounding people's recent visit on the 4th. I certainly hope that the park isn't letting down their guard in terms of park quality and operations.

 

HAVE FUN!!!

 

thanks!

 

should be interesting, because (if you recall), we don't do fast-pass since we use waiting in lines as a chance to look around and relax -- we also do multiple days, so if a line is long, oh well, we have time

 

Dragon Fire Grille is apparently home to the bellydancing that happens a few times a day, so we are gonna be there for sure, but wasn't too sure about eating there, since the menu looks too large (in a food court kind of way), and we prefer smaller menu done well, over so-so large menu -- but if you've heard it's good, we will give it a try when we go for a show.

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^ I wouldn't think that you would have any issues with big lines tomorrow, Monday and Thursday anyway...most likely not enough to warrant the Quick Queue as it's not a holiday, weekend or peak season.

 

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if you end up with walk-on's for everything with the exception of Cobra's Curse and Cheetah Hunt.

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^ that's good to know. . I wasn't expecting "Disney sized" crowds, but figured it would be busy due to summer and kids out of school.

 

but if it's light crowds (especially if due to heat -- which we Texans are used to and don't mind). .it will make the day even better, ride-wise (the I expect the heat will make animals hide).

 

I'm thinking SeaWorld on Wed might be busy, only because that's in Orlando. . . but we only plan that one day there, since Nick won't ride *any* of the coasters there.

 

but he IS looking forward to Cheetah Hunt and Cobra's Curse at BGT

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The Crown Colony is now called Serengeti Overlook I believe. Good choice for a relaxing meal. The buffet has always been good to me. Also i's a good choice if it rains. or you need a good cooling off. Dragonfire is ok too. It's more of a food court and will get really busy if it rains. For a snack, get the bacon pretzel be Falcons Fury, its yummy.

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Full report when I get back, but just a quick update on 1st afternoon. .we made great time, had a good flight, got the car and checked into hotel easy/peasy, and even got to BGT by 3:30 pm. .. so a good 5 1/2 hours to work with on the 1st day.

 

as we are waiting for tram, I notice nothing has run the entire time since we pulled into parking lot. I asked the tram guard and she said they were shut down due to lightning in the area.

 

Sun was out, but there were some clouds around, so no big deal. . we went to Serengeti pub to eat something (and peeked into the full restaurant buffet on 3rd floor -- we're doing that for lunch tomorrow). . . the Pizza was acceptable, but the flatbread pulled pork was quite good. Heck, the fries were good! Nick ate them, and he almost never eats fries.

 

after watching the giraffes from the deck, it was almost 4:30 and everything was still down. So we walked over towards the train, which seemed to be running. . .and were told that they had just shut that down. (poop).

 

there was a lot of thunder starting at this point, but we decided to make the best of it, and watched the Penguins, then went the Gorillas & Chimps (the chimps were hiding inside from the thunder, but the Gorillas were out and having a grand old time). We also went into the "myth" cave, and enjoyed (and took lots of pics of) the bats, the Bush Babies, and all the other cool animals there. Then went next door into the "ambassador" animals section, and saw all the babies and the dozen or so flamingos -- so that was nice.

 

as we came out of that it was close to 6 already, and the train had started the engine up again, so we asked and told it would be 5-10 minutes, so went ahead and rode the train (lots and LOTS of animals out and about, I guess because the cloud cover had make it not quite as hot).

 

While on the train, pretty much all the coasters started testing, and by the time we made it back to the Nairobi station, everything (including Falcon's Fury) was running. . (two excptions - the skyride NEVER even had buckets on it, and the flume when we passed it was drained) so we bee-lined it to Cheetah Hunt. Fairly short line, less than 20 minutes, but we got a ride in. . operations were fantastic. The were loading 2 trains at once (which I assume is standard, based on the station set up), and they were just flying thru the short line.

 

after getting off, we decided instead of doing CH again, we'd go to Cobra's Curse -- which was showing a 30 minute wait, but not much of a line. We got to the room with the mural (and good for BGT for giving lots of stuff to look at for the theming, to keep the crowd entertained). . . when they made an announcement that storms were in the area and the ride was shutting down. (now we were inside, in the cool air (yay), and couldn't see, but from what we heard, it POURED for a while. . . and although we were C-L-O-S-E . . hell, after some folks left we actually ended up at the loading area. . .we could see the rain slow to a drizzle.

 

We stuck it out until 8:30, and then lots of lightning started again, so we threw in the towl and headed towards the front gates (stopping for Mango Smoothies, and frosted cookies (hey, I needed the sugar).

 

but we never made it even out of the Egypt area of the park, except for on the train. . . we just stayed around there so LOTS of walking tomorrow (w/ 1st stop being Cobra's Curse and Montu, before the safari)

 

on the way out, a BGT employee asked us if we had time to do a survey, and I joked that they didn't want to ask US, since our total ride count in 5+ hours was the Tram, the Train, and Cheetah Hunt. . .but I didn't hold it againt them, since they can't control the weather and we DID enjoy the animals we looked at. . so the time was well used.

 

I noted we would have stayed for Kinetix, but since all the rides had been down almost the whole time we had been in the park, that I was pretty sure they weren't gonna do the fireworks. She said she'd go check, but as of 10 minutes earlier, they were going to.

 

she went and checked, and came back and said "yeah, the fireworks are on still". . and it was 8:50, so we turned around and went back into the park (much to Nick's chagrin) and went to Gwazi park to watch "Kinetix"

 

the musical portion is VERY "cruise ship". . but the acrobats were all quite good, and the jumprope team is impressive as hell. . . and yeah, the fireworks near the carcass of Gwazi were enjoyable -- so we ended the night on a great note (and now tomorrow don't need to go to the show and can do rides, assuming no rain again, instead).

 

full trip report when we get back, including the other places we're hitting. . but just wanted to get the thoughts down (and hey, the Courtyard Marriott has free-use compters in the lobby -- one of the reasons we like staying at this chain)

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BGT has been my home park for a decade, and I love it. It's easily my favorite park. Here are some pictures I took during my visit on New Year's Eve.

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It was packed so we had to park on the grass.

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This tree is beautiful.

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This tree is beautiful.

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IMO this is the best place to eat at BGT.

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Kumba is my favorite ride in the park.

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R.IP Gwazi

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If you look very closely you can see Kumba's cobra roll

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Falcon's Fury at night was crazy.

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I wanted to ride scorpion a few times but sadly it was closed. I was going to ride Montu , again but the line was too long so I just went home. It was a very fun day.

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The Crown Colony is now called Serengeti Overlook I believe. Good choice for a relaxing meal. The buffet has always been good to me. Also i's a good choice if it rains. or you need a good cooling off. Dragonfire is ok too. It's more of a food court and will get really busy if it rains. For a snack, get the bacon pretzel be Falcons Fury, its yummy.

 

 

still in Tampa (headed home tomorrow). . but just a quick update of where we ate:

 

Busch Gardens:

Serengetti Pub (for a light lunch on the 1st day) -- servicable, but only so so pizza - tho the Flatbread Pulled Pork was very good.

 

Serengetti Overlook - EXCELLENT food on the buffet (the Fried Chicken, the fried Fish, and the Jambalaya were absolutely stellar, and the rest of the offerings were good to great). Nick wasn't hungry enough for the buffet so he had the Chicken Breast Salad (the salad was decent, tho the chicken was a bit dry. . and the waiter made up for it by bringing Nick one of the Buffet Deserts, carrot cake, which Nick really liked). Also, you simply can't beat the view. . and the air-conditioned dining room wasn't very full. . guess folks don't want to pay $18 for a buffet, but seriously, worth every penny.

 

The Bacon Pretzel by Falcon's Fury was just as amazing as promised, and we had the meatball version at SeaWorld, and it was just as good.

 

Garden Grill (I think that's what it was called). . . we had this today, and it was the pizza buffet. Reasonably priced, with so-so pizza. Not my favorite, but what Nick was craving, so we went there. The place was pretty deserted, but the staff told me the restaurant is open daily, and that they are always dead now, since Gwazi isnt open next door to drive the business. The chicken Parmesan was pretty good, and the Meatballs were decent. Again, for the price it was an ok choice, but no where near as good sa the food elsewhere in the park.

 

we passed up DragonFire Grill, since absolutely nothing on the menus appealed to us (I guess it just caught us at the wrong moment).

 

we also shared a pulled pork platter from Zambia Steakhouse, and we did find it very dry. (The one from Serengetti Pub was *much* better).

 

off-site we went last night to a local chain called "Shells" that's close to the park, and it was really, really good. A seafood restaurant that's a throwback to the 70's (with classic AM rock music playing, a giant bar in the center, and a hostess stand that looked like a rowboat!). Seriously, this place looked like it hadn't been updated since it was built, and it was "old school" fish cooking. . we loved it. The Blackened Salmon was good, the fried clam appetizer , and cheesey seafood dip appetizers were good, and Nick said the clam chowder was super rich and among his top 5 he's ever had. . . so if you go to BGT, an evening trip to "Shells" is worth it!

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we passed up DragonFire Grill, since absolutely nothing on the menus appealed to us (I guess it just caught us at the wrong moment).

 

 

 

You're triggering me so much with that statement.

 

?

 

(I don't understand what you mean)

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we passed up DragonFire Grill, since absolutely nothing on the menus appealed to us (I guess it just caught us at the wrong moment).

 

 

 

You're triggering me so much with that statement.

 

?

 

(I don't understand what you mean)

 

 

Trigger:A topic, phrase or word that emotionally sets someone off. Could refer to anger, or reliving a traumatic experience. Sometimes this is logical, other times it seems like an attention grab. It is fairly common for certain communities on, for example, Live journal to be overly sensitive to people's 'triggers' (often but not always relating to sexual assault)--any mention of violence may be censored.

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I'm still pretty sure no one knows what you're talking about.

 

Sniff, I can never get someone to understand what I say

 

 

 

Back on track, what I'm trying to say is that I like the Dragon Fire Grill and (in a joking fashion), I disagree with your opinion.

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I'm still pretty sure no one knows what you're talking about.

 

Sniff, I can never get someone to understand what I say

 

 

 

Back on track, what I'm trying to say is that I like the Dragon Fire Grill and (in a joking fashion), I disagree with your opinion.

 

ah.. . ok, but you realize, I didn't voice an opinion on the food since we didn't eat there.

 

I even qualified that we just weren't in the mood that day for anything on the menu

 

we passed up DragonFire Grill, since absolutely nothing on the menus appealed to us (I guess it just caught us at the wrong moment).

 

so great if you like it, we just didn't eat there.

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I'm going to be coming to Tampa for my first time ever in October, and we're visiting BGT (per my request ) and I was just wondering if the major coasters are doable in one day and how busy it usually is around that time of the year?

 

Really stoked for Kumba and Montu, I just got to force my friends to be up super early or they can meet me there and I'll cab/taxi.

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