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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT Discussion Thread)

p. 348 - Iron Gwazi POV!

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Well, and everyone's situation is different, but for me flights aren't really the issue. The real $$$ comes from all the park tickets/passes, hotels, transportation, and food. Everything adds up!

I graduate college this spring. Once I get a full-time job and earn some time off, you bet a Florida trip is on my radar. I need to get on VelociCoaster and Iron Gwazi sooner than later! Ice Breaker looks fun too.

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1 hour ago, JJLehto said:

Interesting. Where do you find these flights? 
I mean that sounds almost unbelievable! For that damn cheap I'd nix my road trip and just fly to Orlando and rent a car to get around. 

Frontier, the greyhound bus of the sky. Sometimes they raise prices artificially and issue promo codes so sign up for the email list and then just watch that and the website. Like today flights from Providence to Orlando in March are "expensive" at $27 (lol) but it'll drop.

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Allegiant pretty much has a standing $20 off any flight in my Facebook.  Book each way and each person on different tickets.  Getting me to Houston for $9 each way.  And they have no charge change fees now so cancelling and rescheduling is no big deal.

 

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15 minutes ago, southpuddle said:

Just don’t expect to arrive to your destination on time if you take Frontier 🙃

Famous last words but I've had worse luck with JetBlue, American and United than Frontier. I haaaaaaaaaate JetBlue.

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There's also this thread which may be slightly outdated at this point, but I thought it had some decent tips for airlines, hotels, credit cards, etc.

 

16 hours ago, prozach626 said:

Damn. I didn't know Busch Gardens closed for two weeks in March.

Aww come on man, cut Kumba some slack, it's almost 30 years old!

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3 hours ago, coasterbill said:

Famous last words but I've had worse luck with JetBlue, American and United than Frontier.

This. Out of the last 8-10 times we've flown:

Delta Airlines: Our flight out was delayed by a couple hours, so our connection in Salt Lake City was gone by the time we got there. We had the option to stay in a hotel for the night and catch a 4am flight, or fly 10 hours through the night on a "red eye," bouncing us from airport to airport, until we would arrive at our destination. We opted to stay overnight, and our luggage was nowhere to be found. They gave us a paper thin tee shirt to change into in the morning, and a toothbrush... 

American Airlines: Our connection in DC was canceled at 9pm, because the aircraft had issues. We had to stay overnight, but at least we had our luggage. We got there at 11pm  (just in time to grab a double gin and tonic at the bar to help put me out) and had to be up at 3am to catch another flight. We got notification via email on the shuttle to the airport the plane was still down, so we were going to have to take another flight at 9am, catch another layover on the West Coast with a 30 minute cushion, and arrive at our destination at 7pm. We rented a car and drove the remaining 5-6 hours.

United Airlines: Our flight was at 6am. We had to wait in the terminal for another flight home until 6pm. They had to book us with another airplane to make that happen, and we were lucky enough to grab the last couple seats. It was a small jet, which tend to move around a bit more. I was turning green by the time we landed. Again, we didn't get to sit together.

This is why when we're within 10-12 hours driving distance we usually go that route. Otherwise, we try as much as possible to get a direct flight. It's to the point where we'll fly in a few hours away from our destination and drive the remaining distance, rather than to have a connecting flight to the nearest airport.

So yeah, I'd have no issues rolling the dice with Allegiant and Frontier. Flying is always fun and exciting for us... until it's not.

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5 hours ago, coasterbill said:

Frontier, the greyhound bus of the sky. Sometimes they raise prices artificially and issue promo codes so sign up for the email list and then just watch that and the website. Like today flights from Providence to Orlando in March are "expensive" at $27 (lol) but it'll drop.

Hell $27!? Pretty sure 207 is what I would normally expect. I will absolutely check this and others out. Dang Ive been getting screwed by using Kayak and the big names lol

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I almost exclusively fly Southwest.  I love their boarding procedure, lack of bag fees, and all the flights I've taken with them have been on time.  It doesn't hurt that I basically fly for free with my CC rewards points.

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Yeah watch out for the personal item size with Frontier. That’s the one thing. Pack light...

Anyway, is this topic off topic enough yet?

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11 hours ago, coasterbill said:

Frontier, the greyhound bus of the sky. Sometimes they raise prices artificially and issue promo codes so sign up for the email list and then just watch that and the website. Like today flights from Providence to Orlando in March are "expensive" at $27 (lol) but it'll drop.

Spirit has $37 round trip flights between Hartford and Orlando almost all winter. And I've never had a problem bringing a normal sized backpack on a Spirit flight for free.

At that rate I would even be willing to fly down to Orlando for the day just to go swimming and fly back.

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16 hours ago, Zand said:

I've never had a problem bringing a normal sized backpack on a Spirit flight for free.

Same with Frontier, but if I told someone to try that then that would be the one time they checked and they'd get mad at me. lol

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^Definitely an "attempt at your own risk" thing. I have a large laptop-style bag that barely fits within Frontier's personal item requirements, and though I think it'd pass if they checked, it's nice not to have had that hassle yet. Don't know if I could say the same for a backpack. I use it for all my Frontier flights, and fortunately I haven't had many issues with them, so I like to take advantage of the low costs ($75 for my upcoming Denver to San Antonio round trip 🤯)

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So we went to the park on Sunday and had a great time. We also checked out the hippo insider tour and the sloth tour which we had never done before.

We really enjoyed both and thought they were both absolutely worth the money, especially the sloth tour where you get to pet them and (for obvious reasons) can get much closer than you can to a hippo.

You can’t get quite as close to the hippo obviously but the trainers there are amazing and have some incredible stories and information about their three hippos. The trainers alone made it worth the price of admission. They actually had to cut them off because if not they would have been there excitedly telling us hippo stories until midnight.

 

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59 minutes ago, coasterbill said:

So we went to the park on Sunday and had a great time. We also checked out the hippo insider tour and the sloth tour which we had never done before.

We really enjoyed both and thought they were both absolutely worth the money, especially the sloth tour where you get to pet them and (for obvious reasons) can get much closer than you can to a hippo.

You can’t get quite as close to the hippo obviously but the trainers there are amazing and have some incredible stories and information about their three hippos. The trainers alone made it worth the price of admission. They actually had to cut them off because if not they would have been there excitedly telling us hippo stories until midnight.

 

That's awesome to hear, we're going in a few weeks for spring break and my oldest loves sloths so we're going to take her on that tour and she's going to freak out lol. Although I did find it odd the the age minimum for the Sloth tour was 8 years old and the minimum for the penguins and flamingos was 5 so we have to split the kids up into separate animal tours. Kind of funny considering a sloth is like the tamest animal on planet earth lol.

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