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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT Discussion Thread)

P. 372: Serengeti Flyer swing ride announced!

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Today, Colin and I had the chance to visit Busch Gardens Tampa Bay to take part in the Howl-O-Scream media day. During this fantastic event, we were given a brief taste of what this year's event has to offer--sheer thrills and scares, brought on by the new leading lady, Slyvie of the hit band, myX.


Special thanks to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay for providing us with some excellent preview photos from this year's previews, and for putting together a truly spectacular event for everyone. The official photos will be posted first, followed by photos we took during our day at the park and during the preview event.







Death Row Vengeance








MyX - Revenge Rocks


Sylvie on Stage



At the entrance of the event gate (typically the Nairobi Passholder Entrance), signs prominently feature this year's houses and shows.


Slyvie is all over this event!






Sylvie's got some rage in her!


Event prices...


This cool structure has been put up at the entrance of the park.


We have yet to see if any (or all) of these TVs will be on for the event.


Pre-gate theming is always a plus.


More entrance marquees.


The Shop of Horrors has reopened for the season!


I've never understood why they sold cigars here...


Lots of rock theming for the year.





This is peculiar....


It appears that the House of Vayne remains active!






The glow signs are back up...


The park map is set!


A stage has been set up across from the entrance to Gwazi.


It wouldn't be a Halloween event without food and drink tents.


The most unique addition to this year's Howl-O-Scream lineup comes in the form of "Alone," a brand new house concept meant to pluck guests out of the comfort of a group walkthru, forcing them to go it alone (or with a small group of no more than three accompanying) through the maze.


Here are the "deets."


It looks like we'll be served a modern take on the classic tale of the Minotaur. Should be interesting!


The house in the Ubanga Banga bumper cars enclosure seems ready for tomorrow.


Duly noted!



Ain't I a sweetheart?


Subtle additions help set the mood in Timbuktu.


Something tells me that we won't be seeing cake dancers here.


Hello... Ladies.


The old Akbar's Flying Carpet Tours building continues to be used for Howl-O-Scream each year.


Doing our worst Bill and Ted impression!


The facade for Sylvie's house is extremely well done!


Pre-scream cam fun!




Here I go!


Howl-O-Scream really does rock!


Doing a better Bill and Ted impression!


Come check out Howl-O-Scream, because as we learned today, Revenge Rocks!

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Ah, the scream cam! BGW strapped one of those to my chest a few years back. It was a bulkier model, and I could hardly see where I was going.


Looks like a great media day, Adam. Still have all your fingers?

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If anyone does Alone, let me know what you think about it. Was thinking about buying tickets when I go on the 9th, but not quite sure.


Scott, you're in luck, I'm doing Alone on the 8th but I'm sure someone will do it before then. I need tips on how to get through it, I want that t-shirt!


Damn Syvie is so hot. I think she's quite kind, she's a woman you'd your right arm for but only wants a few fingers.


^Chuck, the show at the feast this year is called Blood Relations, which looks like a musical show.

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**Just got back from Freaky Preview and braved ALONE... Gotta say that it was pretty damn cool... I'm not going to spoil anything, but it truly isn't difficult to make it through... I was very worried I was going to get "lost" or too scared to finish on my own, but neither happened... at the same time, if you are VERY timid, I can see it being more "challenging" to make it through... in the house there were LOTS of cool effects, some of which confused the hell out of me... the house made me laugh, confused me and scared me all at the same time... worth the $25 pre-purchase price if you ask me, if to only get the T-Shirt... and BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW!!! Both nights of Freaky Preview sold out of ALONE reservations before the event even opened!!! DO NOT WAIT UNTIL YOU GET INTO THE PARK!!! Many MANY people were asking about buying tickets in the 20 minutes I was waiting my turn, only to be turned away...


(these are not listed in the order I went through them... I'm listing them as I think of them...)

The remainder of the night was a blast... many recycled houses, which I honestly don't mind, since many of them are very VERY enjoyable and worth revisiting.

**My favorite is still the Nightshade Toy factory(went through twice), now in its new location, was even better than last year if you ask me...

**My X Revenge Rocks (went through twice) house was very cute... not very scary, but well done. It was a nice replacement for 13 from the past 3 years...

**Not much changed in D.E.D.er from last year. Still a silly but enjoyable house.

**My former favorite, Trapped in the Walls, still good, but may need to be changed out next year (if you ask me...). The paranormal investigation 'update' of it all wasn't showcased enough, and very little was changed to the house to keep it feeling fresh... Univeral HHNs paranormal house "Legendary Truth" did this theme MUCH better this year... but Trapped wasn't terrible, just a touch disappointing, being my former favorite...

**Deconstructed, used to be my least favorite was a pleasant surprise to me... maybe it was just good timing, but I got many scares from it... but in the same breath, that house can be changed out in lieu of a new on next year too, and I wouldn't mind...

**which brings us to Death Row Vengence... another house I really liked in its first two years... and now in year 3, I still like it... but it might need more of a facelift it they want to keep it around for another couple...

**Biggest surprise of the night for me was another returning one... Taste of Blood... Liked it in its first year... I was tired of in its second year... But I loved this house THIS year... they reversed the maze, and for the better... the flow just seemed smoother... the scares were plenty... and the same gags that were there from years past seemed to work even better... again, maybe like Deconstructed, it was good timing, but I jumped a lot during Taste of Blood...


Can't honestly say much about the scare zones... they were okay I guess, maybe even lacking... but nothing terribly memorable... We caught 2 songs from "My X" (which was on a tiny stage infront of Gwazi's entrance) and they sounded great, but left to go through more houses... and those houses were top notch (even the ones I've grown tired of...) And the light crowds certainly help the enjoyment of the night (unlike the blazing heat temperatures... at least the rain held off until my drive home...)


Amazing night... and on top of the houses, scares and beers... we rode Gwazi (lion, as tiger is currently closed... perhaps for the rumored millenium flyers?! I can dream, no?!) and believe it or not, it was running better than it ever has... maybe because it was later in the day, "cooler" air, warmed up trains?!... and also rode Kumba (my FAVORITE coaster!!!) Great Night!!!! I hope to add some pictures here over the weekend...

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Sounds awesome! Great report, Now i deffinately can't wait for tonight! I haven't been to BGA in a long time, so im looking forward to riding my favorite coaster as well as going in all the houses. Im also glad to hear about the light crowds.

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I guess you can call me the official MS Paint guy for Cheetaka.



If you ask me that looks like a top hat in the distance...perhaps in the Rhino Rally area? Maybe my eyes are just tricking me into believing my wishful thinking.


EDIT: I'm referring to the picture on what for me is page 74, with the "vertical section" behind the tree...conveniently the picture did not re-post itself when I quoted Steve.

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I always thought the second launch was in the trench. The first launch must be right out of the station, maybe a little airtime right off the platform. I am very curious to see how the launches will be operated, if the cars will slow or be Boosted. I very much wanted a Tophat but the tower element is looking promising.



Cheetaka is officially Florida's best coaster.

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I have a feeling that you'll just roll into each launch and speed up without any sort of break in the action. If that weren't the case, I think the pacing would be pretty terrible. But who knows. I think that at least the second launch, so close after the first, won't involve a stop; but maybe the third one, way out by Rhino Rally, will? I'm curious about that last stretch - it's so short for being right after another launch.


I can't wait to see this coaster in its entirety and ride it in Winter 2012. dragonskeep, I don't think you're too far off when you say that this could be Florida's #1 coaster!

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