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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT Discussion Thread)


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I think best seats are pretty subjective

 

Not on Kumba, back row far side or GTFO.

 

Same seat as Nitro's hot seat for me as well. This is good to know.

 

I heard BGT is basically like Dorney with no lines, so I'm definitely going to try and do a front/back ride on at LEAST Kumba, Montu, Sheikra and Cheetah Hunt.

 

Sheikra is going to break my Dive machine virginity and I'm excited

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Best part of Busch Gardens Tampa's Howl-O-Scream?  Getting to ride all the coasters at night!!!  

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Thanks for the tip. We are going to wait to see what the weather is like since we are going the last weekend. I know we are going to buy the passes so we can get in the skeleton key rooms, just will not pay for that on Saturday, hoping for Fri night, I know we will purchase online before we get to the park because it is cheaper.

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I'll be at the park Saturday night and MAYBE Sunday for the first half of the day.

 

I've been to BGT many times but never during their haunt event, so I'm looking for any tips!

 

How crowded will it be Saturday night and Sunday morning/early afternoon?

 

I am usually more interested in riding coasters at night than doing haunts, but based on people's reviews here, I am starting to want to do the haunts. If I am there both days I will probably do at least some haunts.

 

If I get the front of line pass for haunts and coasters, would it be realistic to do all the haunts and one front of line access to each of the six rides included and still have a decent amount of time to hit my favorite coasters again? (suggesting I don't go back on Sunday). Does front of the line access to coasters assign seats? I don't want to be stuck in the middle of trains, but I don't mind back if front is off limits.

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^ Given the fact that you probably have a majority of people in Florida from the East Coast over there due to Hurricane Matthew, coupled with the fact that the weather doesn't look too bad for Saturday & Sunday, I would say to expect heavy crowds (obviously expect the worst on Saturday).

 

A friend of mine down that way said that it was damn near impossible to get a hotel in the Tampa area because of all the East Coast evacuees moving over to that side of the state in order to wait out the storm. Maybe you might get lucky and most will head home on Saturday/Sunday - if the weather clears.

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I think best seats are pretty subjective

 

Not on Kumba, back row far side or GTFO.

 

Same seat as Nitro's hot seat for me as well. This is good to know.

 

I heard BGT is basically like Dorney with no lines, so I'm definitely going to try and do a front/back ride on at LEAST Kumba, Montu, Sheikra and Cheetah Hunt.

 

Sheikra is going to break my Dive machine virginity and I'm excited

 

Cheetah Hunt has lines. . . even if not busy, expect to wait at least 20 minutes.

 

and if Cobra's Curse goes down?. . Montu (right next door to it) gets SLAMMED. . but it was walk on when Cobra's Curse was running.

 

Sheikra & Kumba were walk ons on busy days when we were there.

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Can someone please go to Busch Gardens tomorrow? I'd love a trip report. Initially I was shocked that they were planning to open but besides the wind the weather actually doesn't seem that terrible. I could see them being anywhere from dead to absolutely slammed with people who were planning to go to the other Florida parks.

 

With 27 MPH sustained winds I'd be curious what (if any) coasters they open though.

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^ Given the fact that you probably have a majority of people in Florida from the East Coast over there due to Hurricane Matthew, coupled with the fact that the weather doesn't look too bad for Saturday & Sunday, I would say to expect heavy crowds (obviously expect the worst on Saturday).

 

A friend of mine down that way said that it was damn near impossible to get a hotel in the Tampa area because of all the East Coast evacuees moving over to that side of the state in order to wait out the storm. Maybe you might get lucky and most will head home on Saturday/Sunday - if the weather clears.

Thank you for your input.

 

I am thinking it'll be pretty busy, but I was hoping the hurricane may distract people from going to the park even though it will have already passed most of Florida. I'm hoping anyone who went to west Florida will be on their way back home now, and maybe tourists that had the options to adjust travel plans won't be around this weekend. I am sure most of the crowd is local and it won't really make a difference, but I can buy the front of line pass if needed.

 

Luckily I already have a hotel in Tampa!

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I went to Howl-O-Scream last night for the first time, and it was definitely an experience. The original plan was to hit Horror Nights as is tradition, but with Universal closed we found an alternate. While we weren't at the park during normal hours, I can give some insight into the crowds. We got in with early admission around 5:30, and rode everything to our hearts content before 7:30 (i.e. Cobra's Curse at 15 minutes, Cheetah Hunt at 10, and all the B&M's were walk on.) 7:30 finally rolls around, and we hit the first house, Black Spot, because we just had gotten off a marathon of Sheikra. We walked directly in to the house, with nothing resembling a wait or anyone else with us. This was a pretty common theme throughout the night. Outside of Motel Hell and Circus of Superstition, we walked directly in to each house alone. Even then, our longest wait was legitimately three minutes for Motel. We waited 15 minutes for Falcon's Fury when it opened and that brought back some humility. All in all last night was amazing, and it was all due to Hurricane Matthew. To sum up the crowds, we were walk on front row of Montu at 11 and as we saw the parking lot ahead of us there couldn't have been more than 200 cars. It was dead. We felt the positive and negative effects of Matthew as we came from Jacksonville, but last night was beyond memorable. So while not a formal and all our Trip Report, I hope that works for you Coasterbill and anyone else wondering how it was!

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So we're going Wednesday, opening to close. Any tips for navigating the park? What to do first?

 

My goal is to try and get on the major four (Sheikra, Kumba, Montu, Cheetah Hunt) as much as possible in back/front both sides of the train.

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So we're going Wednesday, opening to close. Any tips for navigating the park? What to do first?

 

My goal is to try and get on the major four (Sheikra, Kumba, Montu, Cheetah Hunt) as much as possible in back/front both sides of the train.

I'd recommend that you do cheetah hunt first as it has the longest lines. After that ride Montu and you can either take the skyride or walk to Sheikra. Then head on over to panotopia to ride falcon's fury and Kumba.

Navigating the park is pretty easy as there are signs every where that fell you where each attraction is. The map is pretty useful too.

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Sky Ride is down for scheduled maintenance so you'll need to walk.

 

By the way, don't make the mistake of making this trip just about coasters. Take your time, check out the animals, watch the cheetah run presentation, pet / feed the Kangaroos / ride the train / ride the flume. There's way more to this park than coasters.

 

Personally it's my favorite park in Florida (I understand that that's incredibly high praise), the coasters are outstanding but there's so much more to this park than coasters.

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Sky Ride is down for scheduled maintenance so you'll need to walk.

 

By the way, don't make the mistake of making this trip just about coasters. Take your time, check out the animals, watch the cheetah run presentation, pet / feed the Kangaroos / ride the train / ride the flume. There's way more to this park than coasters.

 

Personally it's my favorite park in Florida (I understand that that's incredibly high praise), the coasters are outstanding but there's so much more to this park than coasters.

 

Listen to Bill, he is knowledgeable.

 

Although I prefer BGW, Tampa is a very very very very very good park. Of course ride the coasters but like Bill said, make a point to visit all the animal exhibits. Depending on how late you stay I suggest hanging around the big cat exhibits around dusk as they tend to be way more active at that time. Ride Kumba in the back, Montu in the front and Shiekra in any row. Oh also make sure to drink a few cold buds while you're there. After all, this is Busch Gardens. Did I mention the park is very good?

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Another thing that's great to check out at lunch time or early before Busch Gardens is the Yuengling brewery tour, which is right around the corner and also free. Beer is a great thing.

 

Also, Kumba.

 

Yes! I did the Yuengling tour in Pottsville. Way worth it.

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^Agreed. Especially since the change of ownership/IPO resulting in no more free beer in the hospitality house. I agree with coasterbill that it's also my favorite park in Florida. Is Disney a better overall/resort experience? Yes, but if you go to Busch Gardens on a weekday for 75% of the year, you have the place to yourself other than Cheetah. If you like your theme parks in a laid back, mosey your way through the park, ride everything, enjoy beers, and see everything manner, Busch Gardens Tampa is the place. And Falcon's Fury to remind you that life is real.

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Personally it's my favorite park in Florida (I understand that that's incredibly high praise)

 

I second this! And I think either Sea World or Fun Spot America is my second favorite park (with Legoland faring highly as well!)

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Well after being the literal first person to enter the park today, it has no official become my favorite park EVER. The atmosphere, the music, the animals, the theming, everything is so top notch, it puts SFGAdv to shame.

 

Montu is CRAZY in the back, I f-ing LOVE it!!

 

Kumba back right is the magic seat like everyone said, amazing

 

Sheikra broke my dive coaster virginity and it was awesome, best airtime on the two drops.

 

Falcon's Fury is my favorite drop tower ever, made me extremely nervous the first time, but after reriding 3 more times, I became addicted.

 

All in all, I got to do everything I wanted, walk through the aviaries, and other walk through animal exhibits.

 

Just wow, the food was even amazing, we went to the Smokehouse by Sheikra, everything was delicious and the whole area smelt amazing, even on Sheikra you got a blast of the smokers after the MCBR.

 

I rode everything more than twice except for Kumba and Cobra's Curse because of the line length, and no time to go back to the back for Kumba.

 

I need to get back here again

 

Montu - 2

Sheikra - 4

Falcon's Fury - 3

Cheetah Hunt - 2

Kumba - 1

Cobra's Curse - 1

Scorpion - 3

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Well after being the literal first person to enter the park today, it has no official become my favorite park EVER. The atmosphere, the music, the animals, the theming, everything is so top notch, it puts SFGAdv to shame.

 

Montu is CRAZY in the back, I f-ing LOVE it!!

 

Kumba back right is the magic seat like everyone said, amazing

 

Sheikra broke my dive coaster virginity and it was awesome, best airtime on the two drops.

 

Falcon's Fury is my favorite drop tower ever, made me extremely nervous the first time, but after reriding 3 more times, I became addicted.

 

All in all, I got to do everything I wanted, walk through the aviaries, and other walk through animal exhibits.

 

Just wow, the food was even amazing, we went to the Smokehouse by Sheikra, everything was delicious and the whole area smelt amazing, even on Sheikra you got a blast of the smokers after the MCBR.

 

I rode everything more than twice except for Kumba and Cobra's Curse because of the line length, and no time to go back to the back for Kumba.

 

I need to get back here again

 

Montu - 2

Sheikra - 4

Falcon's Fury - 3

Cheetah Hunt - 2

Kumba - 1

Cobra's Curse - 1

Scorpion - 3

 

Awesome! I'm glad you had a great time! Busch Gardens Tampa is ranked #1 as my #BestThemeParkVistEver! That was way back in 2008! I love this park and hopefully I'll be able to get here again in the near future.

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Glad you had a great time. I have no idea why I didn't enjoy the hell out of this park.

 

I don't either. This park seems like it's tailor made for you. Great beer selection that you can take everywhere in the park, good clientele, cool animal presentations and shows and awesome coasters with (in many cases) minimal waits. What's not to love?

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I was at Busch Gardens Tampa last Saturday and Sunday. I've been to the park probably 5 other times in the last 15 years, but this visit was exceptional!

 

It was my first time at Howl-O-Scream on Saturday night and I was thoroughly impressed! The haunted houses were all very good with the highlight being Death Water Bayou and the lamest one was Zombie Containment Unit 15 (which could've been great but the execution was just not impressive). The scare zones in the park were surprisingly great too! Rides at night were awesome of course.

 

I spent big money on the Front of Line pass for coasters and haunts. It saved a lot of time in line for haunts at first, but the rides had no lines and the haunts emptied out as the night went on. The park was surprisingly dead! No one at Kumba at all at times. It was better than an ERT session (other than the two ride max rule).

 

Sunday was very nice with the animals and getting to ride everything again. Again, brief lines.

 

I've been on most of the rides before, and of course the B&M line up is second to none. As for new rides since my last visit...

 

Falcon's Fury: During my last visit, this was supposed to be open but it was delayed for a few months. I was so excited to ride it this time, and while the drop itself was disappointing in comparison to Acrophobia at SFOG (which is probably my favorite drop tower) in terms of force, but the height was impressive and the tilting to face down at the top was surprisingly extra terrifying. It actually made me a bit "scared" and is definitely around the top of my drop tower list with Acrophobia and Larson towers.

 

Cobra's Curse: For a family coaster, it was great. Decently forceful. I enjoyed the forwards, followed by backwards, followed by free spinning. The elevator lift was very cool as well. I love unique rides like this! Only downside was the spinning was minimal.

 

 

Anyways, Busch Gardens Tampa impressed as always!

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