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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT Discussion Thread)

P. 359: Iron Gwazi opens on March 11th, 2022!

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If anyone is planning on going today, it looks like the weather has caused almost everything to close. The only coasters that are open are Sheikra and Kumba.

Edit, looks like more rides are opening now.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Had a great day at BGT Thursday. I knew going in that Sheikra and Montu would be closed. But my vacation is "use it or lose it" so I went for it. I got Cheetah Hunt x4, Cobra's Curse, Tigris, Kumba x3, Scorpion x3, Sand Serpent, Falcon's Fury, and took the train ride. Cheetah Hunt was a blast. Park was pretty dead. I have been easing in to dark ride and flat rides. Falcon's Fury was my first drop tower. I have never researched drop towers, so I was surprised by the face down drop.  I sat down by the entrance to Iron Gwazi to take a break and they started testing, first empty cars, then with what I assume were employees. Why must they torture an enthusiast with 199 coasters under his belt so? lol Guess I'll have to go back later this year. Photo trip report will follow eventually.

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Trip planning question, thought I'd throw this one out to some of the more experienced travel experts here and see if anyone had any thoughts. I'm planning on taking my daughter to hit BGT for the Iron Gwazi passholder previews AND to ride Ice Breaker at SeaWorld Orlando in the same day, either Saturday the 19th or Sunday the 20th. Any suggestions on plan of attack for this? The Iron Gwazi passholder preview is from 12pm to 6 pm, and Ice Breaker will have just opened to the public that Friday.

 

Option A: Be at BGT at opening, rope drop for Cheetah Hunt and Cobras Curse, then ride whatever until noon. Hit the IG preview at noon for a few rides depending on the lines then head to SeaWorld, probably arrive around 3 or 4 then just standby for Ice Breaker hoping the line isn't too bad for an opening weekend.

 

Option B. Go to SW first thing in the morning, rope drop Ice Breaker, take a few laps on Mako/Kraken/Manta, then drive to BGT and probably arrive around 12:30 or 1. Hit the IG preview, and maybe grab a few rides on Kumba and Montu until we decide to leave.

 

I can't really decide if one approach is better than another, the opening weekend lines for Ice Breaker is kind of the only unknown factor. I can't imagine it being more than 45-60 minutes at most at any point of the day but then again these days with a new ride opening, and that being presidents day weekend, it's hard to tell. Anyone got any thoughts/suggestions on this?

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I can't recommend rope-dropping BGT.  When I was there the same week last year, the only thing operating at opening was Cheetah Chase - everything else had a sign posting an opening an hour or two later.  That was on a mid-week day though, maybe weekends are different.

I think option B is probably your better choice.

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12 minutes ago, Mike240SX said:

I can't recommend rope-dropping BGT.  When I was there the same week last year, the only thing operating at opening was Cheetah Chase - everything else had a sign posting an opening an hour or two later.  That was on a mid-week day though, maybe weekends are different.

I think option B is probably your better choice.

Thanks, I've never encountered that but something to keep in mind. All my trips there the past year have been on weekends and most of the major stuff opened on time, though I do recall Scorpion/ The mouse not opening until a few hours later one of those days.

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I like the first plan better. You're going to Cheetah Hunt first and unless it Intamins itself it will be open with the park.

Does Ice Breaker open with the park? It's new, so I assume the answer is yes but it's also SeaWorld, it's in the back of the park and last year their idea of "Park opens at 9" meant "Manta opens at 9 or you can look at dolphins or flamingos for an hour I guess".

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14 minutes ago, coasterbill said:

I like the first plan better. You're going to Cheetah Hunt first and unless it Intamins itself it will be open with the park.

Does Ice Breaker open with the park? It's new, so I assume the answer is yes but it's also SeaWorld, it's in the back of the park and last year their idea of "Park opens at 9" meant "Manta opens at 9 or you can look at dolphins or flamingos for an hour I guess".

I think that's what I'm leaning towards, Cheetah Hunt is my daughter's favorite in either park (for now) so at least that gives us a chance to get on that first thing with a minimal wait. And for me that makes the longest leg of the drive early in the morning, 3 hours to BGT, then 1.5 hours from BGT to SW, then only 2 hours to get home at the end of the night. She's out of school Monday so if we stay til close and marathon Mako and don't get home til midnight who cares.

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Marcus Leshock will be riding Iron Gwazi tomorrow morning live on WGN 9 news Chicago at 7:15am CST. He's bringing his coworker who said he hasn't been on a coaster since around 1980, so might be fun to watch him go from The Demon in 1980 to a world class RMC! No idea how that will go lol

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So the question on everyone's mind:

Iron Gwazi or Steel Vengeance?

I know you've ridden both, and while they're both extreme RMC creations, they look vastly different in the ways they were built. Aesthetically, I am leaning toward MF since it's a tangle of wood AND it sits on the lake. 

But what are your thoughts?

Thanks! 

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I don't want to make my final verdict just yet as I've only ever ridden Steel Vengeance on hot summer days/nights and I've only ridden Iron Gwazi on a cold Florida morning, but as of today SV is the better ride. Neither ride is in my top three RMC's. That being said, they're both incredible and better than 98% of the coasters on the planet!

 

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15 hours ago, SharkTums said:

I don't want to make my final verdict just yet as I've only ever ridden Steel Vengeance on hot summer days/nights and I've only ridden Iron Gwazi on a cold Florida morning, but as of today SV is the better ride. Neither ride is in my top three RMC's. That being said, they're both incredible and better than 98% of the coasters on the planet!

 

Thanks! It looks awesome and we are lucky to have a world class RMC so close to Orlando FINALLY!  Add VelociCoaster to the mix and Central Florida now has 2 amazing rides!  AND they're open year round! Almost makes it worth living here!!

 

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7 hours ago, pianojohn said:

Thanks! It looks awesome and we are lucky to have a world class RMC so close to Orlando FINALLY!  Add VelociCoaster to the mix and Central Florida now has 2 amazing rides!  AND they're open year round! Almost makes it worth living here!!

 

Makes it worth coming back down in early May for us even though we were JUST there in December. Can't wait to get on IG May 6th!

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I'm guessing they're the same, but are the seatbelts and restraints identical to the other RMCs?

One of my friends is fine on Twisted Cyclone but struggled with Lightning Rod (mostly since the staff refused to push down on his restraint).

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Went back and saved my past review of SV in a word document, so I can copy/paste it here when I finally get around to riding Iron Gwazi. Fast/Airtime/Snappy Transitions/My legs hurt/Good for a couple rides, then done.

Meanwhile:

Beer. Cheetah Hunt. Beer. Montu. Beer. Kumba. Beer. Shiekra. Log Flume. Beer. Cheetah Hunt. Beer. Montu. Beer. Kumba. Beer. Shiekra. Log Flume. Beer. Cheetah Hunt. Beer. Montu. Beer. Kumba. Beer. Shiekra. Log Flume. Beer. Cheetah Hunt. Beer. Montu. Beer. Kumba. Beer. Shiekra. Log Flume. Beer. Cheetah Hunt. Beer. Montu. Beer. Kumba. Beer. Shiekra. Log Flume. Beer. Cheetah Hunt. Beer. Montu. Beer. Kumba. Beer. Shiekra. Log Flume. Beer. Cheetah Hunt. Beer. Montu. Beer. Kumba. Beer. Shiekra. Log Flume. Beer. Cheetah Hunt. Beer. Montu. Beer. Kumba. Beer. Shiekra. Log Flume. Beer. Cheetah Hunt. Beer. Montu. Beer. Kumba. Iron Gwazi... Beer. Shiekra. Log Flume. Beer. Cheetah Hunt. Beer. Montu. Beer. Kumba. Beer. Shiekra. Log Flume. Beer.Cheetah Hunt. Beer. Montu. Beer. Kumba. Beer. Shiekra. Log Flume. Beer. Cheetah Hunt. Beer. Montu. Beer. Kumba. Beer. Shiekra. Log Flume. Beer. Cheetah Hunt. Beer. Montu. Beer. Kumba. Beer. Shiekra. Log Flume. Beer.  Uber.

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On 2/10/2022 at 2:44 PM, pianojohn said:

So the question on everyone's mind:

Iron Gwazi or Steel Vengeance?

I know you've ridden both, and while they're both extreme RMC creations, they look vastly different in the ways they were built. Aesthetically, I am leaning toward MF since it's a tangle of wood AND it sits on the lake. 

But what are your thoughts?

Thanks! 

So I've been avoiding POVs, reports, etc to kind of keep the element of surprise up and opinions my own, as my bf and I were attending the Passport to Thrills event today.

Also the past year or so I've been kind of negative about operations/issues we've had going to this park. We've actively avoided it in favor of the other parks in Central Florida due to our experiences. I'm happy to say that the park totally nailed it for this event and went a long way getting some of that old charm back. The employees working the event were hyping it up with everyone, operations were great, even the coaster cooperated well and we didn't see any downtime while we were there (though I heard there was some brief downtime earlier in the morning). They also extended the event so that registered guests could ride all day instead of just during the original reserved time slots. This was a great decision and we had an awesome day!

As for the coaster, it's truly amazing and I can't believe we have this to ride here in Florida. We got to the park in the early afternoon and with our first 2 or so rides on it, I would have probably told you that I prefer Steel Vengeance. We've also had a good amount of rides on Steel Vengeance as we usually visit once a year for 3-4 days at a time, usually in August.

As the afternoon warmed up into the mid-70s and the coaster warmed up with it, it became a whole new beast altogether, and this increased more with our night rides. The only RMCs that can leave my shins as bruised as they are right now are Twisted Timbers and Lightning Rod. I got grey bubbles in my vision pulling out of the first drop and the "death roll" is one of my favorite elements on an any coaster. Twisting out of it at the bottom of that element is seriously nuts, especially if you sit on the right side of the train. If you watch a POV it looks like there's no airtime. The wave turn and every one of the little bumps in the second half of the ride gave ejector air by the end of the day. The sensation of speed and "out of control" feeling (I feel like I'm quoting the old Mitch Hawker poll here) are so much better than on Steel Vengeance, of which I find can be a slightly repetitive coaster that feels a bit less "out of control" and more deliberate in it's motions. Just like...wow. I knew it was going to be good, I didn't think it was going to be this good.

If the 2022 TPR Poll was being held tomorrow, I'd say I prefer Lightning Rod and Untamed, tie Iron Gwazi with Zadra next, and put Steel Vengeance right after. We got about a dozen rides on Iron Gwazi in total and I seriously can't wait to go back and ride it again.

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Got 3 rides on Iron Gwazi today. This thing is amazing. Yeah, it has the great airtime we expect from RMC, but I was actually very surprised by the ride's positive Gs too. I greyed out at the bottom of the first drop every time, and there are some other sweeping turns on the ride that really press you into your seat (something that a lot of RMCs don't have). The layout flows perfectly and there are no dead spots and I honestly have no complaints about the ride at all. It is my new favorite RMC, a top 5 coaster, and a WONDERFUL addition to the park.

Also, for reference, I waited through the entire queue (started where the lockers are) and it took me 90 minutes, no breakdowns either and fairly regular operations with two trains. Fairly slow dispatches but they were regular. I'm sure this ride will pull quite the line, since it was a complete clusterf*ck this morning when it opened, so I'm storing that info in my head for what's a 90 minute wait haha.

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