Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT Discussion Thread)

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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT, BGA) Discussion Thread

Postby adavis » Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:16 pm

Are those wait times fairly typical for this season? I would imagine with Montu down there's a bit more congestion than usual. I've got my fingers crossed for low wait times in March.

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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT, BGA) Discussion Thread

Postby gatorchomp83 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:27 pm

^ That doesn't seem typical. It's been a long time since I've seen Kumba have a 35min wait, honestly.

Not this past weekend, but the weekend before, I was there on Sunday and Kumba was a walk-on. Sheikra was 10min. It was like that two weekends before, as well. This was a holiday weekend, however, and most schools/jobs had today off. Not to mention the gorgeous weather we've been having here in Florida of late.

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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT, BGA) Discussion Thread

Postby adavis » Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:43 pm

gatorchomp83 wrote:^ That doesn't seem typical. It's been a long time since I've seen Kumba have a 35min wait, honestly.

Not this past weekend, but the weekend before, I was there on Sunday and Kumba was a walk-on. Sheikra was 10min. It was like that two weekends before, as well. This was a holiday weekend, however, and most schools/jobs had today off. Not to mention the gorgeous weather we've been having here in Florida of late.

Don't think you have much to worry about in March.


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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT, BGA) Discussion Thread

Postby coasterbear30 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:08 am

I was there on Saturday of this past weekend and it was pretty busy. Had it not been for having a Quick Que we wouldn't have gotten to ride as much as we did. Earlier in the day it was decent but mid-late day it was pretty busy. Sheikra line was at least an hour, Kumba was probably about 30 minutes, Gwazi was 45 minutes, Scorpion was about 40 minutes. Sad that Montu was down but at least we got to ride Sheikra 5 times and Kumba 3.

I will have to say that I was none too impressed with the MF's on Gwazi. I love GCI and MF's but I still thought that even though the ride was better, it was still pretty rough. Not what I was hoping for....

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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT, BGA) Discussion Thread

Postby alpengeist04 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:05 pm

adavis wrote:Are those wait times fairly typical for this season? I would imagine with Montu down there's a bit more congestion than usual. I've got my fingers crossed for low wait times in March.



Trust me, the holiday weekend didn't help with the lines. To answer your question, you should be fine in early to mid March before spring break starts. ...Walk-ons early, with 10-20 minute waits later. Of course, the wait for the front will be bit longer depending on the ride and number of trains. ...Basically what gatorchomp83 said. ;)

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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT, BGA) Discussion Thread

Postby jjune4991 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:12 pm

coasterbear30 wrote:I will have to say that I was none too impressed with the MF's on Gwazi. I love GCI and MF's but I still thought that even though the ride was better, it was still pretty rough. Not what I was hoping for....


Yes, the ride is still rough (a wooden coaster is rough? No way!) but all I was hoping for was to be able to re-ride without feeling like I just had a seizure. :b
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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT, BGA) Discussion Thread

Postby dragonskeep » Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:31 pm

^ It does manage that. I just hope it gets a little faster. It is a much better overall ride than before but I personally had better rides on the old trains. I haven't gotten to ride Tiger yet though.

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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT, BGA) Discussion Thread

Postby jedimaster1227 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:04 pm

http://www.buschgardenstampablog.com/meet-cheetah-keeper

As assistant curator, what does your job entail here at Busch Gardens?
I work with the animal collections in both the Edge of Africa as well as the new Cheetah Run exhibit. I also perform and supervise the care and maintenance of both our animals and our staff.

What kind of background has led you to be able to work with the cheetahs?
I actually grew up working on a farm. From there I graduated high school and went on to get my degree in Biology from the State University of New York. After school, I began working in the wild animal field and I also became a bird trainer for various shows. Then I went to SeaWorld and worked there for 9 years before I finally came to Busch Gardens.

How are you training the cheetahs to be integrated into the Cheetah Run exhibit? What is the biggest thrill of working with cheetahs?
We’re doing a lot of familiarization with the cheetahs by bringing in different elements of the park, such as smells, sights, noises, etc, into their habitat and getting them comfortable with what’s going to be in the new Cheetah Run habitat. We’re also taking steps to build relationships with the different cheetahs to where they are comfortable working with us and becoming cooperative with the run exercises.

What are you looking forward to guests experiencing at Cheetah Run?
I’m looking forward to having the guests immersed in this whole new world defined by speed and agility and seeing how they react to what they learn. I want them to see and understand what the cheetah is all about - how they behave, how they interact, and especially how they run.

Can you tell us about your trip to Africa to work with cheetahs?
My visit to Africa was spent with Ann van Dyk at the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre in DeWildt which has become very successful at understanding cheetah breeding. Over 40 years they have learned much about the process by which cheetahs should be put together to encourage propagation. Ann has recently developed a new breeding facility at Shingwedzi and it is at this facility that they have produced approximately 30 cheetah cubs last year, seven of which are now here at BGT.

How is Busch Gardens involved in these cheetah conservation efforts?
At the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Center there is an education program where guests are invited to participate in cheetah runs and interactions in their classroom facility. Also by educating the local people they are able reduce the number of cheetahs that are shot and killed every year, thus contributing to a decrease in wild cheetah mortality. By building relationships with organizations like Busch Gardens, the opportunity to further the goals in regards to the cheetah’s success is much more possible. Through conservation education we will be successful. The SeaWorld Busch Gardens Conservation Fund has donated $88,000 to 4 different conservation organizations since 2005 and Busch Gardens alone has donated $40,000 to White Oak Conservation in the name of cheetah research.

If any of our younger readers want to work with cheetahs in the future, what type of education or experience would they need?
The obvious response is to get a good education. But more importantly you need to pursue what you are interested in. The best start you can get is by volunteering or interning at local zoos or animal exhibits and learning as much as you can. Starting at the bottom and working your way up is often the most beneficial and rewarding experience you can work toward.

Will you be riding Cheetah Hunt when it opens?
Absolutely! I made plans to ride it from the day I heard it was coming. I will definitely be on that coaster opening day.


And also courtesy of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, we have a video of construction on Cheetah Hunt!

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Last edited by jedimaster1227 on Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:15 pm.
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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT, BGA) Discussion Thread

Postby ToTheMax012 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:14 pm

Its always great to hear what parks do for conservation efforts.

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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT, BGA) Discussion Thread

Postby robbalvey » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:28 pm

The Cheetah Hunt Trains have arrived!!!

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hunt2.jpg
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train7.jpg
Last edited by robbalvey on Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:33 pm.

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