I have kind of a weird relationship with Busch Gardens Tampa. Certainly, it’s a pretty park. And it has lots of individual attractions that I really like. So I always go back to it optimistically, wanting (and maybe even expecting) to love it. Yet I inevitably walk away with the impression that the park, as a whole, is just okay.
Maybe it’s the fact that, outside of SheiKra, I’m just not knocked out by the park’s coaster lineup. Or maybe it’s that I always end up encountering some kind of seriously weird and/or bad employees/operational policies there. I don't know. All I know is that, for me, it can't hold a Yankee Candle to its sister park, Busch Gardens Williamsburg.
Having said that, this visit was probably one of the most enjoyable I’ve had there. Possibly because I purposely focused on the things I already knew I liked, and didn’t worry too much about hitting every coaster.
The lion topiary out front is new (to me).
Only running one side (of course). I'm not even sure which one it was.
We're ready. (And, um, dorky.)
Gwazi is almost as difficult to photograph as it is to ride. :OP
The Garden Cafe (formerly, the Hospitality House).
Pink chickens on stilts. (Yeah, I know that's a lame joke. I stole it from a Rhino Rally driver.)
The best coaster in Florida, so far as I'm concerned.
SheiKra's giant queue building.
I'm not sure that the new "floorless" aspect really adds much. However, the seats are now stadium-style, which is nice.
In all its "better than Griffon" glory.
I still love the way SheiKra interacts with the area it's in.
And I love my camera. :O)
Just some of the offerings at the Zambia Smokehouse.
The Tanganyika Tidal Wave used to be a slow Jungle Cruise-esque boat ride, apparently.
It's way better than we're making it look here. :OP
Going up. That's Jungala between us and Kumba.
This is not going to end well. :OP
Just a bit splashy.
Jungala is part kiddy land, part animal exhibit, and actually pretty cool.
We didn't climb around much, as we were all wearing sandles. But it looked fun.
The semi-enclosed frog hopper.
More topiary. I like it.
Jungala offers several neat ways to view tigers, including an air conditioned option.
I like this photo more than I like Kumba.
Congo River Rapids, with Kumba peeking out from the bushes.
Congo River now has monkies in its queue. I'm pretty sure that's new, as well.
Uh-oh, the kid in yellow has spotted me.
I never did get all the Kumba love. I mean, it's okay. Kinda rough for a B&M, though.
How many rides can you see in this photo? (And does the Sky Ride cable count? :OP)
Timbuktu is kind of like BGT's "county fair" section. :OP
There's something really disturbing to me about this setting.
"I AM YOUR LIZARD KING!" - "Hey, uh, watcha doin' there, Ralph?"
Rhino Rally is (arguably) the park's signature non-coaster attraction.
Doesn't this look like a promotional photo from the 70's? :OP
Obviously, it is a bit like Kilimanjaro Safari's at DAK.
Pardon me, a Rhino has interrupted my thought.
I like Rhino Rally way better than Kilimanjaro--but only if the river section is working properly.
Yeah, you can see the track. It's still really amazing, though, to see this jeep ride become a boat ride.
Hooray, we made it!
Edge of Africa is a large walk-through animal exhibit, and might very well be my favorite thing at BGT, outside of SheiKra.
Presented in Super Hippo Vision.
Some yummy humans.
"Holy Hell, was that a lion?!"
More 'Edge of Africa' goodness.
The jeep in the background is an upcharge type deal. I've never done it, but it looks interesting.
The Crown Colony House is a full service restaurant with a view of the savannah. (And one of the few things BGT has over its sister park up north.)
And now off to the land of Egypt.
Tut's Tomb is a walk-though attraction. It's minor, but nice enough.
And it exits into the coolest looking gift shop ever.
But the big attraction in Egypt is this thing.
I do like Montu, but not as much as the similarly laid out Top Gun/Afterburn at Carowinds.
Montu Rules The Sand!
A train full of Montu riders wave goodbye with their sock-feet, bringing this trip report to a close. Thanks for reading, and drive safe.
Great pics I love Busch Gardens Tampa. Glad to see you had a great time. I will agree that operation wise Williamsburg rules the two but I disagree about the coasters. I love sheikra as you do to, but I think that Kumba and Montu create the best 1,2,3 combo in any themepark line up. I agree that Kumba has gotten a little rough, it is going into its 16th year in operation. But despite that I have to say Busch Gardens has 3 of the 10 best B&M's ever built.
Again just an opinion
Very nice report. I absolutely love Busch Gardens Africa. I love the collection of animals they have and their coasters are pretty good too. If they had a hyper, then I would give Africa the edge...until then Europe is slightly better.
HatetoFLY wrote:Great pics I love Busch Gardens Tampa. Glad to see you had a great time. I will agree that operation wise Williamsburg rules the two but I disagree about the coasters. I love sheikra as you do to, but I think that Kumba and Montu create the best 1,2,3 combo in any themepark line up. I agree that Kumba has gotten a little rough, it is going into its 16th year in operation. But despite that I have to say Busch Gardens has 3 of the 10 best B&M's ever built. Again just an opinion
Very true. Kumba and Montu were built back when B&M made kick arse rides. ...though Montu has been tamed a bit. As for SheiKra, it's just not in the same league IMO. Overall, I would say that Dueling Dragons, Montu, and Kumba are the three best B&Ms in the US.
You're out of your mind if you don't think sheikra, montu and kumba are a solid coaster lineup. What is a better inverted coaster than Montu? It's definitely the best one I've been on so far. Kumba, is a surprisingly good coaster and in my opinion more fun than the incredible Hulk.
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