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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT Discussion Thread)

P. 372: Serengeti Flyer swing ride announced!

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It was supposed to reopen in late summer but then they cancelled that because it would have to close again because of Screamin’ Swing construction. I wouldn’t be surprised if it never reopens considering the staffing it requires and so many parks getting rid of them over the last few years. 

10 hours ago, gardyloo! said:

One of the biggest perks this ride has over SV. I was at CP 2 weeks ago and it and Maverick were the only two rides with a steady line all day. Marathoning an RMC of this caliber is really unique exceptional (other large scale RMCs like Zadra have tedious lines for example).

I plan to marathon a lot once the weather gets cooler. After 3 rides on Iron Gwazi, 1 on Cheetah Hunt, Montu and Cobra’s Curse combined with the heat index just under 110 degrees, I had enough.

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On 8/23/2022 at 2:23 PM, YoshiFan said:

Probably not much of a surprise but Falcon’s Fury is temporarily closed again. Also Sheikra is going to be closed from November 1st-December 22nd. I wasn’t expecting that long of a closure after it was already closed for a month earlier this year.

Anyone have an update on Falcon's Fury?  It was closed when we went this summer and I'm headed back to BGT next month.  Really hoping it's open by then as FF is easily my favorite drop tower.

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So, I'm going to Busch Gardens Tampa for the first time soon and had some questions I wanted to ask before I go.

1. If I fit on everything at Six Flags Darien Lake and Hersheypark, should I have any problem fitting on anything at Busch Gardens Tampa? I am admittedly on the slightly bigger end. Like, how different is fitting on those RMC trains like on Iron Gwazi compared to fitting into an Intamin Mega Coaster train?

2. Any cool natural places to check out nearby?

3. Any good food in and around the park?

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If you can fit on everything at Hersheypark, I think you should be able to fit on everything at BGT. Fahrenheit is probably more restrictive than anything at BGT with how Hershey keeps shortening the belts.

I haven't been there myself but the Sunken Gardens are supposed to be good.

https://www.stpete.org/visitors/sunken_gardens.php

I'm not sure about the food, I usually go to Wawa on the way home.

On 9/14/2022 at 5:58 PM, VegasBaby said:

Anyone have an update on Falcon's Fury?  It was closed when we went this summer and I'm headed back to BGT next month.  Really hoping it's open by then as FF is easily my favorite drop tower.

Supposedly there is a wall around the ride. I don't think it will be reopening anytime soon but I hope I am wrong.

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19 hours ago, TheAmericanKnight said:

So, I'm going to Busch Gardens Tampa for the first time soon and had some questions I wanted to ask before I go.

1. If I fit on everything at Six Flags Darien Lake and Hersheypark, should I have any problem fitting on anything at Busch Gardens Tampa? I am admittedly on the slightly bigger end. Like, how different is fitting on those RMC trains like on Iron Gwazi compared to fitting into an Intamin Mega Coaster train?

2. Any cool natural places to check out nearby?

3. Any good food in and around the park?

The Premier trains on Tigris are pretty tight, so definitely try out the test seat on that one.  You should be fine on the rest of the coasters.

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19 hours ago, TheAmericanKnight said:

1. If I fit on everything at Six Flags Darien Lake and Hersheypark, should I have any problem fitting on anything at Busch Gardens Tampa? I am admittedly on the slightly bigger end. Like, how different is fitting on those RMC trains like on Iron Gwazi compared to fitting into an Intamin Mega Coaster train?

 

I use to work as a Rides Supervisor at Darien Lake, and at one point a Millennium Force ride host for a whole 5 days so I’m fairly familiar with those restraints (and I can only imagine the new trains are even more accommodating, with the Dragster style t-bar). If anything, I’d say that Iron Gwazi is more accommodating based on the body types of those I’ve seen ride and not be able to ride. Good luck and have fun! 
 

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  • 2 weeks later...

As expected, the park will be closed Wednesday and Thursday and possibly Friday too (part of the e-mail says Friday, the other part does not).

BUSCH GARDENS TAMPA BAY WILL BE CLOSED
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 28 – FRIDAY, SEPT. 30

Dear Pass Member,

Due to Hurricane Ian, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will be closed Wednesday, Sept. 28 & Thursday, Sept. 29. Please stay tuned to our social media channels for updates. Annual Pass members’ guest tickets with an expiration date of Sept. 30 will be extended through Oct. 16. “

I hope anyone in the path of the hurricane remains safe. 

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On 9/16/2022 at 1:02 AM, YoshiFan said:

Supposedly there is a wall around the ride. I don't think it will be reopening anytime soon but I hope I am wrong.

Can confirm, there is indeed a wall built around Falcon's Fury and there's a notice posted on the wall saying (paraphrased) that it's down for refurbishment so it can be enjoyed for many more years to come, but due to the supply chain issues it is taking them longer than expected to get parts. I wouldn't expect it to be open until next year at the earliest.

That being said, here's some other thoughts from my family's visit last Sunday, September 25th.

  • This was my second visit to the park, but the rest of my family's first trip. We got there right at opening with the intention of making Iron Gwazi the first ride of the day. When we walked over to it, we were greeted with a line sprawling back the length of a football field and a sign up in front of the gate stating "We are working hard to get this ride up and running today!". So, um, yeah... and that's how Air Grover became our first coaster of the day instead.
     
  • From there, we followed a circle path around the park. My son and I hit the 54" coasters in succession; Sheikra, Tigris, Kumba. All of them were running well. The lines at this point were still pretty short, so we were able to stay on for a re-ride on Sheikra, and we only had a 5 minute wait for the front row on Tigris. Kumba on the other hand was only running a single train, and although there was one family in front of us, it ended up taking about ten minutes for us to get a front row ride over there.
     
  • My wife and daughter rejoined us to hit Scorpion and Sand Serpent before grabbing lunch. I pitched Scorpion to my wife as SooperDooperLooper's little cousin, as that was her first looping coaster, and to my surprise she actually enjoyed herself! The ride was running amazing without any rattling or headbanging, and it still had some serious bite to its forces. A heck of a lot of fun. Sand Serpent on the other hand, well, it was definitely a credit.
     
  • We grabbed lunch at the nearby Dragonfire Grill. They honored the SWSA platinum pass discount and knocked about $15 off the cost of the meal. It was here that we learned about their new policy, which is no straws. At all. "Not even paper straws?" "Nope, we gotta save the animals." (Never mind the fact that their reusable cups came with those thick reusable plastic straws, which is more than Six Flags can say over the past few years.) Is this a chain wide thing now? I swear when we were at SWSD back in April, they still had straws there. Whatever. So I ate an ICEE with a spoon. Don't judge me.
     
  • As the girls were wrapping up their lunch and my daughter really wanted to get some spooky face paint, my son and I headed off to the last 54" coaster of the batch, Montu. In case you didn't already know, he's a huge fan of inverts. His top three for the longest time were Talon, Banshee, and Alpengeist. This only recently changed when we went to IOA back in June and Velocicoaster took the #2 spot from Banshee. We got to Montu to find it a verifiable walk-on in the middle of the day, hopped in the back row, and headed out from the station. Instantly I saw the smile on his face begin to form, and he was laughing, screaming, and having a ball the entire ride. We got back to the station with his hair sticking straight up and he said "I think I have to take Talon out of my top spot." I asked him if he'd like to ride again but this time in the front row since there was next to no one there. We walked around, got back in line for a two-train wait for the front, and in his words "it was even better up front! Oh my god! There was so much going on!" So a back row ride was good enough for #1 and a front row ride firmly solidified that opinion for him.
     
  • After Montu, my wife and daughter met up with us again for Cobra's Curse, a short ten minute wait from the room with the video projections. This ended up being my daughter's favorite coaster of the day. She wasn't expecting it to go backwards, much less start spinning! My wife handled the first two parts pretty well, but she isn't really a fan of the spinning parts understandably. The theming is pretty great overall, and it definitely stands out amongst the rest of the park's collection of coasters.
     
  • Cheetah Hunt was up next, and this was the longest wait of the day for us at nearly one hour. I told my wife it was somewhere in between Hagrid (which she loved) and Velocicoaster (which she passed on riding). This turned out to be her favorite of the day, though there were some spots that caught her off guard. We all agreed it would be better without the overhead restraints, though.
     
  • By this point in the day, it was about 4:30 PM, and we found ourselves back at the beginning of the park. Checked the wait time on Iron Gwazi which had now opened and it was posting a 45 minute wait. We all hopped in line, but my wife decided to sit this one out as well; she's not great with heights, having had bad experiences on her two hypers so far, and her only other RMC hybrid (Wicked Cyclone) took her about six months of contemplation to decide that no, she didn't like it after all. The wait time was significantly less than posted, with a mostly empty station up top, but it was definitely being hampered by the fact that they were only sending on average one train approximately every 5-7 minutes. Even still, we ended up only waiting 25 minutes after putting our stuff in the locker. The ride itself? My son absolutely loved it and has put it as his #3. My daughter unfortunately had the same issues she tends to have with most of RMC's trains, which is the seatbelt buckle digging directly into her thigh, which means every time there's any bit of airtime she winces in pain. I ended up focusing more on her throughout the ride and wasn't able to give IG my full attention, so I'm probably going to have to give it another ride before I can fully form my own opinion about it, but after that first ride I liked it more than Steel Vengeance but less than Twisted Timbers. I'm weird, I guess.
     
  • After the ride on Iron Gwazi, we decided we didn't want to hop back in line a second time since our flight out of Florida was early the following morning. Instead, we called it an hour before park close, hopped back in the car, made a stop off the highway to grab some Waffle House for dinner as one does, and said our final goodbyes to this very cool park. We still prefer Williamsburg over Tampa, but I can see an argument to be made either way! And I'm pretty pleased with the fact that we were able to hit all of the park's coasters on a Sunday without having to shell out for any skip-the-line passes. Always a plus.
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On 10/1/2022 at 4:14 PM, coneyislandchris said:

Is this a chain wide thing now?

It's a global thing, unfortunately. Great, isn't it? Saving the world one straw at a time.

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On 10/1/2022 at 11:07 PM, SharkTums said:

I have also had to eat my icee with a spoon lately at parks...even with a paper straw, it just never works. 

🤫 Just say you love the paper straws or they'll come for the spoons next!

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Check out Busch Gardens Tampa's new attraction for 2023 - Serengeti Flyer, the tallest and fastest Screamin' Swing attraction yet!

image.thumb.png.ae52dfc98bd025ddc6d59758a344f8fe.png

https://buschgardens.com/tampa/rides/serengeti-flyer/

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay today announced Serengeti Flyer as the park’s all-new 2023 attraction. Serengeti Flyer will be the world’s tallest and fastest ride of its kind, a screamin’ swing, upon opening in spring 2023.

With each swing, riders will soar higher and higher above Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s expansive 65-acre Serengeti Plain while experiencing multiple negative-G moments before plunging back toward the Earth. Serengeti Flyer will feature twin dueling arms that soar progressively higher reaching speeds of 68 mph and a maximum height of 135 feet at the ride’s peak. Guests will be seated back-to-back in rows of 10 across two gondolas, allowing for 40 guests to experience the ride at once.

“Serengeti Flyer’s thrilling ride experience is bound to provide riders with a pulse-pounding encounter that can only be found at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay,” said Neal Thurman, Park President of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. “We believe that Serengeti Flyer will be the perfect high-thrill addition to our world-class portfolio of attractions including Iron Gwazi, the Golden Ticket Award Winner for the Best New Roller Coaster in 2022.”

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay annual pass members will be among the first to experience the new attraction upon opening in spring 2023.

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16 hours ago, thrillseeker4552 said:

An absolutely perfect addition to the park that desperately needs flat rides. Big win in my book! Can't wait to ride next year.

Also - off topic - today is my 10 year anniversary of posting on TPR! :)

Agreed, these are great flats and will be a welcome addition to the park.  Now if they could just get Falcon's Fury operating  . . .

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Quick question: if it's 135 feet tall, it is the exact same height and stats as Sea World San Antonio's ride.
How then can this be the "world's tallest?" Unless they're building a high pad for it to sit on or it's at a higher elevation.

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1 minute ago, pianojohn said:

Quick question: if it's 135 feet tall, it is the exact same height and stats as Sea World San Antonio's ride.
How then can this be the "world's tallest?" Unless they're building a high pad for it to sit on or it's at a higher elevation.

Is there a taller one?  (I agree, with you, though)

 

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43 minutes ago, pianojohn said:

Quick question: if it's 135 feet tall, it is the exact same height and stats as Sea World San Antonio's ride.
How then can this be the "world's tallest?" Unless they're building a high pad for it to sit on or it's at a higher elevation.

Worlds Tallest (tied, but you don't need to know that).  I think SF does the same thing with some of their giant frisbees.

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^Reminds of the introduction of the Tubes' What Do You Want from Live" album: "Tied for number-one group in the world!"

I'm not flat-ride fan, but I like Screamin' Swings and have no problem with them popping up at the Busch parks.

 

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If they're not going to build an indoor ride, this is easily the second-best addition I can think of for this park! And it looks gorgeous.

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