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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT Discussion Thread)

p. 375: Phoenix Rising family inverted coaster announced for 2024!

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So despite a laundry list of questionable choices and complaints about this park, we made the most of this 2 day visit. 

Absolutely BGT is a bucket list park with the legendary Kumba & Montu and they not only lived up to the hype but it's so great that they are SO SMOOTH! Riding Banshee 2 days ago it's laughable comparing old to new B&M. 

Kumba feels massive yet the stats have you thinking it's a smaller looper. What a beast. Not once did my head touch the OTSR, even on the cobra loop. 

Sheikra is my new favorite dive coaster. That backrow air is incredible! 

Cheetah Hunt is such a perfect family coaster. I love how the inversion is hidden way out in the Savannah and you could hear it take some guests by surprise. Loved the front row's airtime going up the tower and the back for the drop off. 

Falcon's Fury was life changing in a way I had only experienced similar to DoDoDonpa. What an insane, amazing, terrifyingly great ride. 

Gwazi was closed.

Cobras Curse was closed.

The safari up charge was 10000% worth it to hand feed giraffes! I'll post a more detailed trip report later, off to Orlando for Sea World and Universal for 4 days! 







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44 minutes ago, PKI Jizzman said:

So despite a laundry list of questionable choices and complaints about this park, we made the most of this 2 day visit. 


Glad you ended up having a decent visit. It's really a great park that can just be very frustrating at times with their operations. Pretty much been like that as long as I can remember visiting. Unexpected ride closures can happen especially considering the park is open year round so that's understandable, but to be fair their ride operations are usually pretty decent to make up for everything else so the coasters alone keep me coming back.

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23 hours ago, xVicesAndVirtues said:

^We never go on weekends because the park is usually slammed on weekends and dead on weekdays, but I haven't seen them use the second station in at least 2 years, if not longer.

I went on Wednesday 6/9 and Thursday 6/10. They used the second station on Wednesday but not on Thursday. The line was pretty decent when they ran both stations and 4 trains. On Thursday when they ran one station and 3 trains, the line was abysmal and they double stacked the trains almost every dispatch.

Perhaps we dodged a bullet on our two days. We had an excellent time, and every ride was open. Food service could've been better but it really wasn't too bad. We mostly just kept going back to the big grill right near Falcon's Fury (the name escapes me...) where there are multiple food options to choose from and a huge seating hall in the air conditioning. Reminded me of Harmony Hall at Carowinds.

I plan on going back tomorrow or Wednesday. Crazy this is my new home park now.

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They've gotta run it every now and then, and it's been spotted testing before so I don't believe anything is changing. I'm not sure I'd even wanna travel to visit with Gwazi open given how poor the park is operating this year.

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I know it's not going to happen but how cool would it be if they found a way to open Iron Gwazi for "limited previews" or whatever exclusively during Howloscream. Open it up at night during the event for one month only, then close it down and open it to the public next spring or whenever.


Come on BGT, do it you cowards, I promise I'll buy a ticket 😄.



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Right, they're going to open their new big draw during the time of year that's absolutely the busiest anyway.  That makes perfect sense.

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4 minutes ago, Mike240SX said:

Right, they're going to open their new big draw during the time of year that's absolutely the busiest anyway.  That makes perfect sense.

I mean said it's not gonna happen but it would be cool if it did, that was the very first line?

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I went to the park today for a few hours. I guess the threat of rain after Elsa scared people since the park had very low crowds.

Cheetah Hunt was running 3 trains with 1 station. Posted 30 minute wait but the actual was only 5 - 10 minutes.

Falcon's Fury was closed.

Sheikra had 2 trains running with 1 station with and no line.

I tried Congo River Rapids for the first time. I was mostly dry until one waterfall at the end that got me soaked and all the water jet at the end that pushes the raft to one of the 2 conveyor belts caused others to get soaked.

Dispatches were fast with hardly any stacking.

There was some heavy rain that lasted around 15 minutes but the rides reopened shortly afterwards. I would really like to see some indoor rides added with how often it rains and since the park has so few non coaster rides.

It's difficult to find a self serve kiosk that works. Last time I tried one outside of the park entrance near the tram drop off and it didn't print my one time Quick Queue. Today I tried the one near Montu and it stated I didn't have any pass member benefits. The one near Sheikra allowed me to print the Quick Queue. At all 3 of the kiosks, none of the scanners were working and I had to manually enter my pass number.

One thing that is taken some getting used to (although not that important and not a complaint) is that at Busch Gardens and Sea World there is no all clear or dispatch message from the ride operator like at Six Flags or Cedar Fair parks.

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  • 2 weeks later...
6 hours ago, dlasflyer said:

Anyone heard anything about the Skyride? If they aren't ever going to open it, maybe they should tear it down

Their three-station Sky Ride requires quite a bit of staff to operate. I'm sure that once the staffing issues go away, it'll re-open.

EDIT: Thought I was in the BGW thread, thus the three-station comment.  Either way, Sky Rides do take a bunch of people to run.

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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has announced one of their new houses for Howl-O-Scream 2021, The Forgotten!



Dark discoveries await in the underground vampire realm

Victims will be drawn into a hidden world beyond the rubble and rocks of an unsuspecting quarry, where dark secrets lurk in the shadows. Just beyond a hidden gutter entrance, the legend of the human uprising is revealed as a swarm of starving vampires plot their imminent revenge. Will those who enter return to the world of the living or are they destined to become the newest minion of the Forgotten army?







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I was at the park yesterday for a few hours.

They opened the security lines at 9:45 a.m. and didn't test the coasters until around 9:50. I got the first Cheetah Hunt train of the day and with 1 station open, that line builds up fast. By the time I rode Cobra's Curse and Montu and walked back past Cheetah Hunt, the line had a posted hour wait with the line almost to the entrance. Later in the day the posted wait time was 2 1/2 hours.

I didn't realize that a lot of the rides don't open until 11 a.m. Scorpion, Sand Serpent, Kumba, Congo River Rapids, log flume and I think the bumper cars were all closed. In a park with so few rides that seems to be a problem on crowded days.

Montu was running 1 train that I thought might be because it was early but seeing the ride having a 60 minute wait for some of the day today and longer waits compared to usual over the last few days, it might be an all day thing. Tigris was also closed all day yesterday and today.

All passholders got $10 in Busch Bucks this month that could be printed from a kiosk (how to actually get the Busch Bucks was not mentioned in the e-mail they sent out). Combined with the 50% off Platinum Pass discount, it was nice to be able to get around $21 worth of merchandise for just over $1.

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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has announced two more houses that will be found at this year's Howl-O-Scream!




Welcome to Purgatory Penitentiary, where afterlife sentences are served with a vengeance. Incarceration is just the beginning, as maniacal guards shuffle fresh meat down dark and lawless paths for processing. Surviving the prison yard leads to maximum security and confinement that is anything but solitary. There are only two options for inmates here: breakout alive or be devoured in detention.





The voodoo chants have died off, replaced by blood-curdling howls…and your screams. Dark magic has manifested into darker curses, as ravenous werewolves claw their way through the bayou on the hunt for human flesh. Beneath the midnight sky, the moonlight reveals glowing eyes, bloodstained teeth and an inescapable fate for all who enter the swamp.

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Maybe BGT can use IG's queue and station for one of the haunted houses. It could count toward ridership numbers and they probably won't even have to take the decorations down for next year.

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More event details for this year's Howl-O-Scream have been announced! 




Something wicked this way haunts…an ominous legend summons you with her inescapable curse.

Curiosity has brought many travelers into this dark forest, but only bone-chilling stories and dying screams make their way out. With each step deeper into the woods, the prospect of survival quickly fades as demonic disciples hunt wandering intruders through their abandoned village. Human sacrifices are chased to the witch’s altar, where dark fates are sealed with more than spells. 


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Driven out of the bayou by ravenous werewolves, the witch doctors now practice their dark magic on you as they pursue their twisted revenge through ancient curses.



Rising from their watery grave, shipwrecked pirates seek to plunder the world of the living, taking all lost souls as their bounty.



Eerie legends and horrifying myths passed down through centuries of ghost stories have gathered in the woods, turning wary skeptics into doomed believers.



Cutting through the cemetery may seem like an easy way out, except when the corpses rise from the ground only to drag you back into their graves with them.



You’ll find more than spare parts as you rummage through this surly scrap site. Will you make it out in one piece or be devoured by the haunted rubble?



Take a creepy walk down memory lane to the bygone era of papier-mâché masks and homemade costumes sure to stir up the nightmares of your childhood.



You can run but you cannot hide as giant toys spring to life in a murderous rampage with you in their sights. Childhood memories will be destroyed when these toys turn a play date into a slay date.



Beware of the hidden zone and roaming hoardes...just when you think you know what's coming, untold horrors lurk in the darkness awaiting your arrival.




These captivating creatures of the night will infect you with dance fever and keep your pulse pounding with their raucous dance party on the Festival Field Stage. Bring your depraved sense of humor as the deranged doctor takes his motley crew on a wild vacation to Las Vegas.



As guests dine between devilish destinations, the live performance of this skeleton band lights up Dragon Fire Grill with epic covers of classic rock anthems.




Buckle up for an extra bumpy ride where the road rage from your fellow travelers includes a monstrous appetite for human brains.



Catapult through an exhilarating array of looping twists with forward & backward motion.



Come face-to-fang on this immersive one-of-a-kind spinning roller coaster.



Race through Busch Gardens on this thrilling triple-launch roller coaster.



200 feet from the sky, 90° straight down - ride this extreme roller coaster if you dare.



Drop 300 feet face-down on North America's tallest freestanding drop tower.



Challenge yourself to seven intense inversions on this award-winning coaster.



Experience the roar on the legendary steel coaster, Kumba.



Twist and turn with a 360° vertical loop and speeds of 50 miles per hour.



Zip, zoom & climb through the air on this "wild-mouse" style coaster.




Fuel up on liquid courage at an ALL-NEW ghoulishly-themed outdoor bar!

On your way to “The Forgotten” be sure to stop by and pick your poison from bewitching brews and cocktails served by sinister creatures of the dark. After all, our vampires prefer their victims with a little more flavor in their bloodstream.


  • Swamp Water 
    • Milagro Tequila, Flor de Caña Rum, Beefeater Gin, Monin Granny Apple
  • Witch’s Brew
    • Tito’s Vodka, Blue Curacao, Grenadine, Cranberry Juice
  • The Bite Jell-O Syringe Shot
    • Milagro Tequila, Berry Jell-O

Plus a selection of beer, hard seltzers and spirits.



Be sure to stop by the Shop of Horrors featuring the latest Howl-O-Scream fashions including shirts, hats, ghoulish sweatshirts and haunting gifts. 



Test your luck at DarkHeart’s Games of Skill, located in Pantopia. A plethora of classic and new-age carnival games means there’s something for everyone’s taste. You can also win prizes at several other games around the park!

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