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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT Discussion Thread)

P. 357: Two new Howl-O-Scream houses announced!

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Hambone:

 

Regarding Rhino Rally, it used to have a water portion where the truck would drive onto a bridge and then the bridge would "float away" down the river as if it had collapsed and then the truck was in "mortal peril." However, the water portion was a maintenance nightmare and it is no longer a part of the ride. The canyons that the water portion went through are now being used for a the turn-around section of Cheetah Hunt. Now all they do for Rhino Rally is drive you around, tell some bad jokes, let you see a few animals up close, and return to the station.

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The Hits - feeding kangaroos, Lory Landing (first grader had four birds on him!), riding Gwazi with the new trains, riding Scorpion with the first grader as his first looping coaster, riding SheiKra & Montu with my third grader, watching the Orangutans in Jungala, and animal watching.

 

The Misses - The third grader was tall enough for SheKra & Montu, but a half inch too short for Kumba? They are all 54 inches, so why aren't the measuring sticks consistent? Dining plan was a good idea, but the food choices are limited for kids and overall the food is mediocre at best. Freezing my butt off on SheiKra at sunset - it was darn cold 200 feet in the air (and I was convinced the anemometer was going to fly away it was so gusty!)! The Brazilian groups that kept line jumping in front of my first grader. Rhino Rally - disjointed story line, mediocre driver, few animals - what's the point?

 

You know, I've been visiting the park since the late 80's as a kid, and have watched it grow up tremendously. For the most part, I agree. It's lost that cutesy small park feel to it. I've learned to embrace it. I agree with the major "hits". Jungala is the neatest kids section I've seen, Scorpion is still most kid's first looping coaster (it was mine too), and animal encounter sections are just as neat as most zoos. The misses, I can't say I agree with the majority of them. They're things that the park can't control. I think the only major "Miss" the park has is their operations.

While yes, they've grown up to be a big park player along with IOA, and Disney, I think it's helped the park create new opportunities you wouldn't have seen had it stayed that little park. This biggest disappointment was the loss of Anheiser Busch. (2 free beers! I miss those.) But all in all, I have to say Jim Dean and his staff are doing a pretty good job at creating an experience for their guests that is memorable and immersive.

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Hambone, I agree with you on the kangaroo feeding as a "hit". They are going to make a FORTUNE off me because I do this at least twice every time I've gone now since November. I could easily spend hours in that area just watching the kangaroos and wallabys and petting & playing with them. They're really just freaking awesome. And I think I've bonded a bit with the little wallaby... the smallest one. He's so wee! Seriously he's like not much bigger than my cat!

 

I had some fun with a Brazilian tour group a couple weeks ago. I actually infiltrated into one and followed along for about 20 minutes without getting caught (I guess I fit in pretty well). Then I got the guide of another group to take a photo of me holding the flag!

 

As for the food, you need to know what to eat there. The BBQ at Zambia Smoke House is ok. Mediocre theme park BBQ over all, but... they have BREAD PUDDING! How many restaurants serve that, let alone theme parks? I love me some bread pudding and the stuff at Zambia is pretty tasty. What I really love though is the spaghetti & meatballs at the Desert Grill in Timbuktu. BIG plate of spaghetti and 2 big meatballs (hehehe... balls) for $7.99. That's a bargain for theme park food. I want to try the fried chicken there sometime. I was going to a few weeks ago, but dumb me got in the wrong line, so I settled for the spaghetti instead.

 

I'm going back to the park this Saturday with my parents. My mom is dying to feed the roos & wallies. I'm looking forward to checking out Cheetah Hunt progress... and riding the coasters already there of course!

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^^^

Hey aimster - your last TR: with your "joining a Brazilian tour group", then "commandeering of anothers flag" almost made me pee my pants... it made my somewhat crappy night at work (yeah, was reading it during the graveyard shift) SO much better...

 

...and never tried the Zambia Smoke House, but sounds like a great deal... as well as those Spaghetti & Balls (Tee Hee)... I also like the new Pizza buffet (but would MUCH rather have the hospitality house back ) for $9.99 (+passholder discount makes it even less) which is "all you care to eat"... especially after a couple of beers.. Mmmmm.. coasters, beer and pizza.. YUM-O...

 

...awesome pictures... VERY entertaining TR... Oh... and wonderpup is adorable... keep it up...

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I went out to the park today, sorry no camera, but about 70% of the track is up for Cheetah Hunt. You will be below ground a lot on the ride. It really is looking nice. In other park news; feeding the Kangaroos is great fun, I love the Lories as well. My rides on Gwazi were both limited to Lion and were smoother and slower. I am sure the trains will find a good line and be a little better but I have had better rides on the PTC trains so far. The Flyer trains look great and allowed me a back of the train ride on Gwazi so thats an over all improvement. Looking forward to Tiger, summertime and night riding. Kumba was awesome, one of my best rides ever. They were running one train but it was well worth the wait. This park already has a great coaster line up with more on the way, good times.

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I went out to the park today, sorry no camera, but about 70% of the track is up for Cheetah Hunt. You will be below ground a lot on the ride. It really is looking nice. In other park news; feeding the Kangaroos is great fun, I love the Lories as well. My rides on Gwazi were both limited to Lion and were smoother and slower. I am sure the trains will find a good line and be a little better but I have had better rides on the PTC trains so far. The Flyer trains look great and allowed me a back of the train ride on Gwazi so thats an over all improvement. Looking forward to Tiger, summertime and night riding. Kumba was awesome, one of my best rides ever. They were running one train but it was well worth the wait. This park already has a great coaster line up with more on the way, good times.

 

I just have to reply because I agree with you that Kumba is running absolutely amazing. Crazy fast pacing, forceful, and REALLY snappy...yet completely smooth! Amazing.

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From my many experiences on Kumba, sitting in the middle of the back row gives the same smooth ride as the front. Actually, I had a few great rides this past Wednesday, both in the front and back. Heck, outside of a little shuffle before the first corkscrew, I find that this coaster runs smoother than 90 percent of the B&Ms I've been on. ...Including Montu.

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While I've only spent two days ever at the park -- one of them being last Saturday -- I was really surprised at how forceful and smooth Kumba was. For the record, both my rides were in the very back, and for reasons unknown, B&M's on the whole haven't treated my head well in the past.

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^Sit in the back of the train through the interlocking corkscrews and then say it's running smooth. Ay karumba!!!

 

However, I still love the hell out of that ride, B&M doesn't build them like they used to!

 

I've sat in the back row every ride this year. Incredibly smooth considering how snappy and forceful the ride is.

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^Coming off the break run and entering the first corkscrew is some of the most wicked B&M rattling I've ever encountered, even more than Dominator and the old stand-ups.

 

That's just really weird because I have not experienced that at all. I know how bad Dominator is because all I remember from that ride (at PKD) is getting bashed side to side. The transition off the break run has been really smooth, and once again, surprising considering how little the mcbr slows the train. Weird!

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^I'm usually in the back right seat, maybe that's the difference? It was the same two weeks ago as it was back in October, so I'm not sure why nobody else feels it. I sure as hell know I did, I had the headaches to prove it!

 

However, the awesomeness that is the first half of the ride in the back right seat (especially the zero-g roll) far outweighs the crappiness of the entrance into that first corkscrew, so I still subject myself to it.

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^I'm usually in the back right seat, maybe that's the difference? It was the same two weeks ago as it was back in October, so I'm not sure why nobody else feels it. I sure as hell know I did, I had the headaches to prove it!

 

However, the awesomeness that is the first half of the ride in the back right seat (especially the zero-g roll) far outweighs the crappiness of the entrance into that first corkscrew, so I still subject myself to it.

 

Once again, I always sit far right or far left in the back. I guess we need to go at the same time and ride the same train

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I took some time on this last trip to watch Kumba run for a while, you can get soooo close. It really is one hell of a roller coaster right now. The year Kumba opened I missed quite a bit of school, some of the best times ever. I also ride back seat right and will have to pay more attention to what you have mentioned. Honestly it was so out of control feeling I just must have missed it. I am going to get back out next week and hope for similar riding. I mean seriously i came off the ride seeing stars. Just great. The reason i ride.

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