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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT Discussion Thread)

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  • 2 weeks later...

A disheartening story at BGT last night. A man was struck by a bullet from some idiot with a gun, outside the park, shooting the gun into the air during "celebratory" gun shooting on the 4th. The person struck was kept overnight in the hospital for observation. It's doubtful police will catch the irresponsible gun freak. Story link, http://www.baynews9.com/fl/tampa/news/2018/07/05/police--man-struck-by-celebratory-gunfire-at-busch-gardens

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It's doubtful police will catch the irresponsible gun freak.

No, I've seen CSI AND Bones, and they totally have those ballistics simulators. They just get a really smart person who taps on a computer, and they know exactly where the shots were fired from. It's so easy.

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It's doubtful police will catch the irresponsible gun freak.

No, I've seen CSI AND Bones, and they totally have those ballistics simulators. They just get a really smart person who taps on a computer, and they know exactly where the shots were fired from. It's so easy.

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OK locals and frequent visitors......We will be there in a couple of weeks. Have one day before a cruise out of Tampa, so I just went ahead and bought the quick queues on line to save time, was almost a for sure we were going to get them anyway. A few quick questions:

 

1) When I printed out all the tickets and such is just said to present the paper quick queue tickets to ride attendants to get in the line. Is that correct or do I need to turn them in for a wristband or something similar? Never heard of just carrying a paper around all day to use, and I've been to a lot of parks and gotten a lot of fastpasses and such.

 

2) I also did a serengeti tour and it would not let me print out a ticket for that. Have a receipt, stop by guest services I presume?

 

3) Any recommendations on food? We will probably be there open to close so will need a few nice breaks. I saw the restaurant with the three course price fixe menu; worth it?

 

I was there 35 years ago so obviously some changes have occured, lol. Hopefully, all the neighborhood gun owners are having a quiet day

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OK locals and frequent visitors......We will be there in a couple of weeks. Have one day before a cruise out of Tampa, so I just went ahead and bought the quick queues on line to save time, was almost a for sure we were going to get them anyway. A few quick questions:

 

1) When I printed out all the tickets and such is just said to present the paper quick queue tickets to ride attendants to get in the line. Is that correct or do I need to turn them in for a wristband or something similar? Never heard of just carrying a paper around all day to use, and I've been to a lot of parks and gotten a lot of fastpasses and such.

 

2) I also did a serengeti tour and it would not let me print out a ticket for that. Have a receipt, stop by guest services I presume?

 

3) Any recommendations on food? We will probably be there open to close so will need a few nice breaks.

 

I was there 35 years ago so obviously some changes have occured, lol. Hopefully, all the neighborhood gun owners are having a quiet day

 

we didn't do Quick Queue, so can't help with that one. .

 

 

the Serengeti tours have a booth across from the train station (past Cheetah Hunt). . that's where you'll exchange your voucher for the ticket at the time of your tour. Check at Guest Services on your way in (or call them before you go) to be safe, but that's how we did it last year.

(you'll have a great time, the Giraffes get super close to the truck).

 

 

as to food, we really liked the food at the Restaurant at the top of the Serengeti Overlook (just across from Cheetah Hunt entrance). I did just see a report (on this string maybe??) that they've revamped the menu, but they kept some of the mainstays and the food was great.

 

other than that, folks will recommend the BarBQue near Shiekra (we didn't try it), and the Bacon Wrapped Pretzels near Falcon's Fury (as fantastic as everyone says they are).

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^ You look a wee bit hesitant about petting the neck, Bert. I know you aren't, but still. Awesome shot.

 

It's just when Nick took the picture. . I was reaching for it.

 

we had just finished hand feeding them:

IMG_0325.thumb.JPG.a58b40bdba8b940dc7a6e2b31f3360aa.JPG

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OK locals and frequent visitors......We will be there in a couple of weeks. Have one day before a cruise out of Tampa, so I just went ahead and bought the quick queues on line to save time, was almost a for sure we were going to get them anyway. A few quick questions:

 

1) When I printed out all the tickets and such is just said to present the paper quick queue tickets to ride attendants to get in the line. Is that correct or do I need to turn them in for a wristband or something similar? Never heard of just carrying a paper around all day to use, and I've been to a lot of parks and gotten a lot of fastpasses and such.

 

2) I also did a serengeti tour and it would not let me print out a ticket for that. Have a receipt, stop by guest services I presume?

 

3) Any recommendations on food? We will probably be there open to close so will need a few nice breaks. I saw the restaurant with the three course price fixe menu; worth it?

 

I was there 35 years ago so obviously some changes have occured, lol. Hopefully, all the neighborhood gun owners are having a quiet day

 

1) yes you present the paper.

2) double check the instructions. But stop by guest services inside the park to verify your and quick queue.

3) I personally like Dragon fyre grill in pantopia or Zambia smokehouse in stanleyville. Dragon fyre has a lot of options (american, tex mex, italian, Asian and a deli) plus if you time it right you can see a show while you eat.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Quick tr from yesterday. We had a great day at the park, all the coasters up and running. With quick queue we got through all the major rides within 4or 5 hours, then could relax and enjoy seconds at our leisure. Only major ride down was Falcons Fury, it did have a wall across the entrance and looks to be under refurb.

 

The giraffe experience was fantastic! Worth every penny and it wasn't really all that expensive.

 

Ate at Dragonfire, good for a family because there were so many options.

 

Thankfully we did not encounter any stray bullets

 

Thanks for everyone's advice.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I feel like enthusiasts didn't pick apart Jungala closing enough or BGT costs cut enough, so I'll bite. I never quite understood about the money problems at BGT, but Jungala really irked me more than seeing Gwazi still standing there on my last visit.

 

There have been mentions over the years of park operating budget constraints for BGT between podcasts, coaster events where park operations discussed Rhino Rally's closing, forum discussions about the unexpected closing of the entire Jungala land, and the somewhat infamous explanations for the closures of Gwazi and Tidal Wave. For such an amazing park, having so much SBNO,

non-functional attracions (especially the Tidal Wave/Jungala area), is really conspicuous and annoying, like a beautiful royal garden with dead black bushes scattered throughout the premises.

 

This always perplexed me because BGT is the most attended theme park in the country outside of Orlando or Los Angeles. For example with Gwazi and Tidal Wave, the ride was in bad shape, but are operating costs really the reason to close it? Can't a park of this caliber afford to demolish/remove this eye soar? It feels odd that smaller parks would never let such an eye soar stay like Hercules at Dorney, Son of Beast at Kings Island, Rolling Thunder at SFGadv, or Thunder Run at Carrowinds. Why let Gwazi blemish a world class park for so long? Did Tidal Wave really cost that much? I can't imagine a shoot the chutes ride being that much a burden on operations when parks as small as Canobie Lake can run the same model). For any park of it's caliber attendance-wise, I consistently hear constant discussions about longer term growth, major expansions, 5-8 year development. It's not that they don't make major park additions, they do! However, for a park that pulls in more people than Cedar Point, Knott's, Hershey Park, Canada's Wonderland, Magic Mountain, etc. I've heard money issues associated with BGT more than I heard for all of the aforementioned parks combined. Since 2012, BGT has added Falcon's Fury and Cobra's Curse and seen a lot more closed then that. Any of the other top 10 drawing parks in the country have had consistent major additions/land expansions.

 

I can't fathom a situation where Hershey would just let Lightning Racer or SFMM just let Viper sit closed as a SBNO paperweight for years b/c of "low ridership/high operating costs" or Knott's closing down Ghost Town or Wild Water Wilderness as a budget cut move, but this all seems normal to us now for BGT.

 

Am I'm only getting part of the story with BGT? Does anyone feel like the parks development has lagged behind where it should/could be considering how big a of a draw BGT is? I do understand that its parent company Seaworld lost a lot of stock value but is that the sole reason for the slim ops?

 

Also, I'll bite. Any updates or developments on the "Twisted Tiger, Uproar, and Tigris" end of things?

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I agree, the park is really loading up with closed attractions. I was there recently and the site of Gwazi really saddens me. You can see parts of the entrance roof falling apart. At least Tidal Wave is not an eyesore anymore. This is my home park and I really hope they start stepping up their game. And will someone please tell me what the hell is up with Montu? Every visit I have this ride breaks down. One time recently it broke down every time my son and I got in line. I have never seen a B&M coaster with as much down time as this one. Maybe it’s time for a major overhaul of this ride. I never see Kumba or Sheikra break down as much as this one. Seems Busch did the best by this park than any of these owners since then. Shame Busch couldn’t buy them back and get it back to its glory days.

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Does anyone know how crowds typically are at BGT the Wednesday right before Thanksgiving? As someone who absolutely LOVES big cats (they honestly might be a bigger draw for me personally than even the old school B&Ms), I want enough time to ride the coasters with some amount of leisure and still check out BGT's animal offerings (I've heard amazing things about the cheetah show I think?).

Budgeting for QQ is definitely possible considering we will probably only have one day there and want to make the most of it.

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A good portion (if not all) Florida public schools and most colleges/universities are out that whole week. Christmastown will also be going on in the evenings (included with park admission). The park will be busier than a normal weekday as when school is in. You should still however be able to get through the park without QQ. Should the park be busier than you like, you can always purchase it at the park. I wouldn't buy beforehand. I've been numerous times where it was dead and would see people with QQ and I'd personally be pissed had I paid for something that wasn't needed. The park is open 10-10 so you should have ample time to get all the rides in. As a heads up, it would be good to try and see all the animals early on (before lunch) when they are most active, especially the tigers. Once it starts getting dark, they block most of the habitats off (unless it's part of the main path).

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