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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT Discussion Thread)

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

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The pretzel place at BGW by Verbolten and the Drop Tower is one of my favorite food places anywhere, so if it's anything like that then I very much look forward to it!

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Trip report from my 2 days at the park, Tuesday March 29th, and Wednesday March 30th.

First I’ll start with the area around the park. Some said it wasn’t the best of area’s, but I thought it was fine. I walked a mile and a half to and from the park from my hotel both days.

This wasn’t my first time at the park so I’ll start with what’s new: Iron Gwazi, and it’s a masterpiece! The most intense coasters tend to be my favorites, and Iron Gwazi takes my #2 overall spot. Bumping I305 down to 3, and sitting behind Steel Vengeance. Everything that makes RMC’s great makes this great, but at a higher level. And it being a walk on for most of the second day was just fabulous!

The addition of Iron Gwazi also shot BGT up my park rankings to #3 behind Cedar Point and Kings Island. But it wasn’t JUST Iron Gwazi that did that. Some of the coasters were a lot more fun than I remember.

Cobra’s Curse was closed on my first visit, so this was a new credit for me. And no coaster has ever exceeded expectations more than this one. I thought it would be a fun family ride, but this ended up being a top 50 coaster for me. Ranked ahead of quite a few inverts, wing’s, dive’s, and a couple hypers. Maybe I just LOVE spinning coasters, which means I need to get myself to Silver Dollar City this summer!

Another ride that surprised the crap out of me was SheiKra. Now I’m not sure this is true, but it seems like they hold you up there a split second longer than the other North American dive coasters. It’s still very smooth, and very enjoyable. And it moved up to #2 in the dive coaster rankings behind Yukon Striker.

Montu and Kumba were both running great as usual. Montu’s new paint job is AMAZING. Montu’s first half is still the best part of any invert, but it’s second half is below average IMO. Which is why it stays at #3 on the invert list behind Afterburn and Raptor.

Kumba I’m still in love with. Still glossy smooth, intense, and overall just an awesome ride! I still prefer it to Maverick…

The rest of the coasters are fun, but they ran as I remembered them. The only ride I dislike is Cheetah Hunt because of the hard restraints, they dig into the top of my shoulders, and the seat isn’t comfortable at all. That ride just wasn’t designed for me at all. And unfortunately Falcon’s Fury was closed both days due to high winds, and the sky ride was closed.

Overall my visit was very fun, very enjoyable, and with the addition of Iron Gwazi I think this is now one of the super elite park’s in the country!

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4 hours ago, rachelmadcow said:

I just cannot believe IG is not better than SV. I find SV to be not as good as NTG if I'm frank.... 

Have you ridden both?
I have. And I prefer Steel Vengeance.

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5 hours ago, rachelmadcow said:

I just cannot believe IG is not better than SV. I find SV to be not as good as NTG if I'm frank.... 

 

34 minutes ago, pianojohn said:

Have you ridden both?
I have. And I prefer Steel Vengeance.

I prefer SV too, and by a very large margin.

But SV is too intense for some, so maybe that's the reason.

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I think Gwazi's lack of a MCBR helps its case so much. When I rode SV last August it was trimming very heavily on the MCBR and made the second half just so repetitive and tedious IMO. By the final bunny hops it was like, "Is it over yet? Is it done yet?" The first half is excellent though. Iron Gwazi feels like SV's first half the whole ride and it never lets up and powers to the end with speed. Obviously SV needed the edge with capacity though, so I understand CP's reason for adding a MCBR.

Iron Gwazi is just consistent from top to bottom, beginning to end, without a single dead spot or trim. When I rode SV that was very much not the case. But I can see anybody's reason for preferring either coaster based on personal preference and taste. Neither is a bad coaster and they are both some of RMC's best work.

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I completely expect to like IG more than Vengeance, which honestly rates pretty low on my RMC's because the ending sequence is just so terrible. The first half is stellar, the end just ruins it for me.. Uncomfortable, for one and the ride would be much better if they just eliminated everything from the final barrel roll on. IG looks so much better in this regard to have solid elements start to finish.

 

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Everything said about SV is certainly true, the main reason I personally like IG better is the ability to marathon it. Back in 2018 l, my family used CPs busted fastlane system to get 5 rides in a row on SV late one Saturday night. It broke all of us and we were super sore afterwards, but totally worth it!

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^ I totally agree. I couldn't marathon Steel Vengeance, if I wanted to. I was at Busch Tampa for the platinum season pass previews last month. In a little over 3 days, I rode it 91 times. No that's not a typo. I had 2 more days there and wanted to hit 100, but it was closed both days.

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14 hours ago, pianojohn said:

Have you ridden both?
I have. And I prefer Steel Vengeance.

Only SV. The final bunny hops were terrible and I smashed my globes in that final sequence. 

I generally think RMC's are backbreaking though. They're the new Arrow Multi Looper. 

i-said-what-i-said-nene-leakes.gif

 

IG appears to be next gen  and features a lot more swooping elements rather than tight geometry. 

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I have ridden both and also prefer Steel Vengeance but Iron Gwazi is a solid #2 in terms of my favorite RMCs. 
 

I do prefer the first drop on Iron Gwazi but the disorienting, unrelenting nature of SV is just bar none. I will say the engineering of the track design feels more intentional in a way than SV but I think it slightly detracts from the out of control nature. The second half of IG in particular is phenomenal but it is about what you would expect just by looking at it if you’d ridden a good number of RMCs. I am also one of the few that love the last stretch of SV even if it is repetitive. It’s just so good. That said, on IG from the first drop through the death roll, it is quite a rush that truly takes your breath away. 

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+1 for Iron Gwazi. Twisting out the bottom of the death roll on the right side of the train in the back 2 cars is so nuts. That and the sideways airtime hill are more intense than any element on SV. I do like the abundance of head choppers on SV though. Iron Gwazi is also both easier and harder to marathon at the same time. Easier because of Busch Gardens' amazingly crowd-free weekdays, harder because the more intense airtime and elements destroy my shins.

I can see why someone might prefer SV for a more comfortable ride, but in terms of intensity/thrill, Iron Gwazi is significantly better.

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I think the core problem with RMCs is the train.  They are the worst along with the comfort collars.  The final run on SV is ruined because of the restraints and train.  I still enjoy the heck out of them.

 

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10 hours ago, xVicesAndVirtues said:

 

I can see why someone might prefer SV for a more comfortable ride, but in terms of intensity/thrill, Iron Gwazi is significantly better.

Interesting because I disagree 100% with this. To me SV is by far the more intense/ thrilling ride.

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3 hours ago, tndank said:

I think the core problem with RMCs is the train.  They are the worst along with the comfort collars.  The final run on SV is ruined because of the restraints and train.  I still enjoy the heck out of them.

 

The trains on RMC's could be better, but are they the worst? Probably not, although I could do without the shin guards. But I have marathoned SV many days and nights, and I just marathoned IG and neither was uncomfortable. 

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Those shin guards really hurt RMCs for me. They make me feel paralyzed from the waist down. 

Having recently ridden both SV and IG, it's a near tie for me. But I'd give IG a slight bump due to making me literally run like a kid to ride it again. It's just so damn fun. I also hate the final hops on SV.

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6 hours ago, tndank said:

I think the core problem with RMCs is the train.  They are the worst along with the comfort collars.

Clearly you never rode Son Of Beast.

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  • 2 weeks later...

With Spring Break over for most (or all?) of the US, I was interested to see how Iron Gwazi's wait times were going to be considering the wait times haven't been too bad overall since the ride opened. Before the ride opened to the public, I thought with it being a RMC and a brand new hyped up ride it was still going to have a 45-60 minute wait even on a slower day.

I stopped in for 90 minutes yesterday around 2:30 and it was only 1-2 train wait. If that's how it's going to be normally on a weekday when schools are in session, anyone who can visit on those days is going to have a great opportunity to marathon the coaster.

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Yeah weekdays at non peak times (and obviously avoiding spring break, holidays) is what I strive for. I've made out like a bandit before, like Kings Island or SFMM totally dead. Sadly it wasn't in the cards this time, I'll be in BGT this Sunday. But hoping it'll be less insane than Saturday and I'll be getting fast lane for sure. I ran into some extra $ almost like fate from the coaster gods....an amount that will likely just cover a fast pass :)

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I just got back from an Orlando/Tampa trip and was able to ride Iron Gwazi. It was a fantastic ride, but it unfortunately did not live up to the hype for me. I rode Velocicoaster earlier in the week, and I much preferred it; it really shows how far theming can go to make an experience complete! Comparing to other RMCs, I put it behind Steel Vengeance and Twisted Timbers. Interestingly, I really enjoy the second half of SV that brutally nails you with a bunch of airtime hills that was described above. Because of the length of SV, it also feels like more of a dramatic experience.

Even though IG has incredible pacing until the end of the ride, it feels as though it runs out of elements during the second half. The first drop, sideways airtime hill, barrel roll of death (way more crazy than I expected) and wave turn are incredible. After that, the stall and twisty bits just don't match up. It is kind of the opposite of Velocicoaster, which ramps up from beginning to end. 

 

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Well I've landed in an unexpectedly rainy Tampa. Was forecast to be sunny and clear (as of yest) so much to my chagrin looks it's supposed to rain ALL weekend, esp Sunday when I planned to go 😮

Well, I'm here and hey I've gone to parks on rainy days before and sometimes things turn out magical (it stays dry and there's no crowds) so time to pray to the coaster gods!

 

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12 hours ago, JJLehto said:

Well I've landed in an unexpectedly rainy Tampa. Was forecast to be sunny and clear (as of yest) so much to my chagrin looks it's supposed to rain ALL weekend, esp Sunday when I planned to go 😮

Well, I'm here and hey I've gone to parks on rainy days before and sometimes things turn out magical (it stays dry and there's no crowds) so time to pray to the coaster gods!

 

First time in Florida? Lol...this is the average forecast for like 300 days out of the year. And definitely not rain all weekend.

Screenshot_20220430-110712.thumb.png.23e3bbeb97342f93425ee3ab6a48ebe7.png

I'll be there tomorrow too...first time! Got QQ with 1 Gwazi ride included lined up, but will go there first to make sure I get at least 2 rides on it. So pumped to finally get to this place.

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