Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT BGA Discussion Thread)

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

Postby megametal » Tue Mar 03, 2015 3:36 pm

So is 8 hours enough time to do everything (including perusing the animals) and maybe re-rides on some coasters? The only familiarity I have with Florida parks is doing the Disney parks during the summer. I suppose I should get quick queue?

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

Postby nswain1110 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:08 pm

megametal wrote:So is 8 hours enough time to do everything (including perusing the animals) and maybe re-rides on some coasters? The only familiarity I have with Florida parks is doing the Disney parks during the summer. I suppose I should get quick queue?


It certainly can be if the parks not especially busy. I've been on days where I was able to ride all major rides in around 3 & 1/2 hours, with some re-rides and beer breaks so it's certainly doable. I'd say since you're going on Thursday, you'll be fine ;-)
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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT BGA Discussion Thread)

Postby aCoasterStory » Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:44 am

So I finally figured out why Montu has that little sluggish bit in the 2nd half (between the 2nd vertical loop and the flatspin):

The train.


The reason the turn after that loop has to go so high (causing the speed of the train to drop and thus affecting the pacing of the ride) is because it has to have enough clearance above the train tracks.


I don't know why I never noticed this before, but I'm not sure what else they really could have done given the needed clearance.

I only really see two things that maybe could have been done:

1) A slow inline twist after the upwards curve, taking the place of the little dip before the turn into the flatspin. I don't know how much this would have really helped the pacing, and the only such twist I can think of is the one on Banshee, so I don't know that that would have been an option back when Montu was built.

2) Replace that whole upwards curve with another inversion, either an Immelmann plus a turn or a Sidewinder. Advantages would be that since the riders would be above the track, the track itself could be lower, leading to less of a loss of speed; plus inversions are awesome. Downsides would be that this would basically be a repeat of the first two inversions (loop, Immelmann) back to back; if they did a Sidewinder, then it's basically just the 2nd half of the Batwing again.


I'm not trying to advocate that they change anything now (or that they should have changed anything to begin with). Heck, Montu is my favorite invert. I had just always wondered why the pace lagged right there, and it took me until recently to figure out why they designed it that way.
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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT BGA Discussion Thread)

Postby IntaminLove » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:03 pm

I went to BGT for the first time yesterday and I had a good time. I can't post pictures since I don't have computer access. I might post some when I'm back from my vacation.

First of all this park is beautiful and well maintained. I enjoyed the aesthetics almost as much as the rides. The individual animal exhibits were some of the most beautiful areas in the park and they put the Chicagoland zoos to shame. The Serengeti Safari was cool, but overpriced. I was a bit mad when I rode the Serengeti Railway later on and saw all of the same animals. The best part was feeding and petting a giraffe.

All of the employees were very nice and helpful. The park guests were pleasant and I met some cool people. This made me less excited about going to SFGAm this season.

Besides the Serengeti Railway, I only rode a few flat rides. Skyride is great and it provides some awesome views of the park. It's the longest sky ride I have been on and the only one that changed direction. Falcon's Fury is awesome and now it's my favorite drop tower. This is a must ride.

Now for the coasters.

Sand Serpent - I don't like wild mouse coasters and I just rode this for the credit.

Sheikra - This was my first dive machine and it was slightly better than I expected. The vertical drops had nice airtime and the rest was forceless.

Cheetah Hunt - I knew going in that this was more of a family coaster and that's an accurate description. I was surprised that the last row was forceless and that was disappointing. The front row had pops of airtime and some decent forces. Cheetah Hunt is a fun and solid coaster.

Scorpion - This is a deceiving little coaster and I was surprised by the strong forces. I wish I had time for a second ride and I hope to get multiple rides during my next visit.

Montu - I was really looking forward to Montu because it tops a lot of people's inverted coaster list. I rode in the back row for my first ride and it was rather tame. I expected forces similar to Batman The Ride and Raptor. I couldn't believe Montu had so much hype and I hoped my ride was a fluke. The front row gave me what I was looking for and Montu is one of my favorite inverts. This is a must ride.

Kumba - I heard good things over the years, but I wasn't sure what to expect. Kumba is a great ride and it's the best coaster at BGT. I liked the back row a bit more than the front, but both rows are great. Kumba's zero g roll is amazing and it's my favorite inversion on any coaster. The cobra roll is also amazing and it's my favorite cobra roll. These inversions made me fall in love with Kumba and I couldn't get enough. This is a must ride and it might be my favorite B&M. Now if only SFGAm could get a clone or something similar.

BGT is a great park and I can't wait to see what the future holds. I probably won't go back until they get another coaster because this is an expensive park. I hope that happens sooner than later. If you are ever near BGT then I recommend a visit.

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

Postby robbalvey » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:32 pm

IntaminLove wrote: I probably won't go back until they get another coaster because this is an expensive park.

Welcome to Central Florida!!! :lmao:

Seriously though, if you are ever back in Florida again, look into the "Flex Pass" - It usually last 14 days and gives you unlimited visits to BGT, SeaWorld, Universal, and sometimes some other add-ons. It's makes your visit to these parks MUCH more reasonable!

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

Postby chickenbowl » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:48 pm

robbalvey wrote:
IntaminLove wrote: I probably won't go back until they get another coaster because this is an expensive park.

Welcome to Central Florida!!! :lmao:

Seriously though, if you are ever back in Florida again, look into the "Flex Pass" - It usually last 14 days and gives you unlimited visits to BGT, SeaWorld, Universal, and sometimes some other add-ons. It's makes your visit to these parks MUCH more reasonable!


Quoted for truth! Orlando Flex Pass is the way to go. My first visit to Florida was a breeze and having a hotel within walking distance to Universal was excellent. We were able to go to any park whenever we felt, no stress!
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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT BGA Discussion Thread)

Postby aCoasterStory » Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:58 am

megametal wrote:So is 8 hours enough time to do everything (including perusing the animals) and maybe re-rides on some coasters? The only familiarity I have with Florida parks is doing the Disney parks during the summer. I suppose I should get quick queue?


Even on a busy Saturday, you should be able to get in multiple rides in on everything (Cheetah Hunt will be the biggest challenge). Things should be a bit better on a Thursday, but most of this will still hold true.

Everybody runs straight to Cheetah Hunt first thing in the morning. You want to be on the front end of that group. This means getting to the parking lot 30min before the park opens so you're there and through the entrance before the rope drop. If you hustle to Cheetah Hunt, you can ride once on one of the first 2 trains, get off and back in line, and ride again within 10-15min. After that 2nd ride, the line could be anywhere from 25-50min as the rest of the crowd gets there. This is the perfect time to head over to Montu. It will basically be a walk-on for the first hour or so, and you can get multiple rides in quickly. If there's nobody waiting in your row when you get back to the station, you can ask and they will oftentimes let you ride a 2nd time (after that, they make you walk back around, though).

The back half of the park doesn't open till 30 mins after the front, and depending on how long it took with CH/Montu, you have a couple of options. If you're right at that 30min mark, you can take the skyride back to the back of the park and hit SheiKra several times quickly with minimal wait (it'll take you longer to get from the exit back around to the station platform than you'll wait in line). Then you should be able to pop up to Kumba for a ride or two or three before the wait gets long. After that, you'll have to deal with decent lines for Scorpion, Sand Serpent, and Falcon's Fury, but I wouldn't stress too much because you will have already ridden the headliner coasters. The good news is that the line for Falcon's Fury hasn't been too bad, and if you're a single rider, you can often skip huge chunks of it (depending on how efficient the grouper wants to be). Scorpion, however, is one of the most painfully frustrating lines to wait in because it looks so deceptively short but the single-train keeps the pace moving slowly. Sand Serpent, IMHO, isn't the best wild mouse coaster out there, and I usually don't re-ride if I ride at all, so don't feel bad if you need to skip it. After this, enjoy a late lunch, catch a show or two, and go around to see all the animals plus any re-rides you may want to do. Near closing, the lines generally get pretty short on everything except Cheetah Hunt, so there's an opportunity to get multiple re-rides in during that last hour. I'd recommend picking one ride to really hit hard at the end of the night and sticking with it so you don't eat up a ton of that time walking between them. If you don't mind leaving late, though, you could always hustle over to Cheetah Hunt and get in line right before closing. A lot of people do this, so it could be a decent wait, but it's a way to end the night on a fun ride (and be near the front of the park).

Your other option is to wait till the end of the night for multiple re-rides on SheiKra, when the lines are really short. If you decide to do that and skip SheiKra in the morning, you should easily be able to get several rides in on Falcon's Fury, Scorpion, and Sand Serpent before the crowds really get up there, and then head up to Kumba. Kumba's line doesn't start stacking up till around midday, but it can be 60 min or it could be 5, depending on how the crowd's flowing that day. After that, check out some animals, eat some food, and get some re-rides in before circling back to SheiKra an hour or so before closing. The walk back from SheiKra to the front isn't the most fun thing after closing, but they will hold the train in the Stanleyville station for a few minutes to take people around to the station in the middle of the park. It definitely takes a lot longer than just walking (and you still have to walk a bit once you get off), but sitting down feels good after a long day of running around, so I don't generally mind.

If you can do it, I highly recommend the Serengeti Safari (I think feeding giraffes is pretty cool, personally). They've also got a bird area where you can feed lorikeets for like $5 (they'll come land on your hand and eat the nectar out of the cup). The last time I was there, I was walking through Jambo Junction, and got to help feed flamingos (for free). I always love the tiger exhibt, and if you're into kangaroos, you can pay a few bucks to feed those too. Don't miss the gorillas (the trail is easy to miss if you aren't looking for it), and make sure to walk along the Edge of Africa too (they have meerkats now). The elephant interaction wall can be pretty cool as well. If you can, it's really awesome to see the cheetah lure run, but they do it at different times every day, so it's hard to know when it'll be unless you go to the first cheetah presentation. And for that matter, all the trainer presentations are really well done and informative. They may also have procedures going on in the Animal Care Center, but visit with caution (the last time I went in, they had to put an animal down because it was too far gone to save).


Now as for Quick Queue, I find them to be useful in certain circumstances only as most of the time you can get plenty of rides in without it (see above). It does let you skip a bunch of the line, but you still have basically a station wait for everything. Cheetah Hunt can still be 20+mins (more for the front row), but that's much better than the 60-90 that the standby line will be. For everything else, you may wait a train or two (3 on a super busy day) unless you're going for the front row.

The basic Quick Queue, I'll only really get if I want to get more than a couple of rides in on Cheetah Hunt (if you don't want to do one of the rides like the log flume, they'll let you use that ride's slot for another; I'll often use it for a number of Cheetah Hunt rides and a couple of SheiKras), since that's generally the only ride with a substantial wait when I loop around the park the way I do. I've only ever gotten the Unlimited once; that was the weekend after Christmas, and it was packed. I got my money's worth that day (40 rides, including a crap-ton of Falcon's Fury), but I think it's only really worth it when you're skipping substantial lines on more than just Cheetah Hunt; they will also sell out, so be forewarned. You can buy the basic QQ at kiosks all throughout the park (I haven't seen the basic one sell out), but you can only get QQU at the entrance.
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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT BGA Discussion Thread)

Postby Hilltopper39 » Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:14 am

robbalvey wrote:
IntaminLove wrote: I probably won't go back until they get another coaster because this is an expensive park.

Welcome to Central Florida!!! :lmao:

Seriously though, if you are ever back in Florida again, look into the "Flex Pass" - It usually last 14 days and gives you unlimited visits to BGT, SeaWorld, Universal, and sometimes some other add-ons. It's makes your visit to these parks MUCH more reasonable!


Discovery Cove is also a great value if you opt for the $25 upgrade which gives you access to Seaworld. Busch Gardens and Aquatica for 14 days (I think). That makes the price of Discovery Cove a little easier to manage and is a great option for Orlando if you're looking for something other than Disney and Universal.

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

Postby IntaminLove » Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:04 am

robbalvey wrote:Seriously though, if you are ever back in Florida again, look into the "Flex Pass" - It usually last 14 days and gives you unlimited visits to BGT, SeaWorld, Universal, and sometimes some other add-ons. It's makes your visit to these parks MUCH more reasonable!


Unfortunately I'm on vacation with my parents and they only wanted to go to one park. BGT was the closest and I really wanted to ride Falcon's Fury. Some friends are jealous that I'm in Florida and they want to take a road trip sometime. When that happens we will definitely get Flex Passes and go to all the major parks.

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

Postby robbalvey » Thu Mar 05, 2015 2:03 pm

So yesterday we got a sneak preview of Busch Gardens Adventure Island's newest slide - Colossal Curl! For those of you who have been to Busch Gardens Williamsburg's water park you might recognize this ride, and it's GREAT! Was so happy to see Busch partner once again with ProSlide for another one of their multi-feature slides that is full of fun and thrills!

Colossal Curl, along with the drops and twists that traditional slides have includes two fantastic features. A mini-funnel and a half-pipe style element, and both are totally fun and scream inducing! The photos and video can speak to them better than any text can so check them out!

As far as the park itself goes, I have always liked Adventure Island...a LOT and it's nice to see them introducing new attractions as it's been since 2006's Riptide was the last time the park added a new slide. It was worth the wait! Colossal Curl is a blast!

Photos & Video:

Photos & Video by Robb Alvey, Jack Crouse, and Adventure Island.
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Here are the 2015 prices for Adventure Island!
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We are in the right place!
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An overview of Colossal Curl.
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Hanging out with these Colossal Curly dudes!
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The signage and everything looks bright and fun!
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The funnel is the first of it's two feature elements...
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...and it does this to you!
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The half-pipe thingy is the other one...
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...and it does this.
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I happen to *LOVE* ProSlide and their Cloverleaf raft is one of my favorite water slide ride vehicles that they produce.
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"I AM READY TO RIDE!!!"
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So how is Colossal Curl to ride?
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It makes you look like this! lol
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And this!
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Somewhere under all that water is the people!!!
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Flattering photo for sure! (TPR is not responsible for any therapy needed after viewing this update)
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Busch Gardens General Manager Jim Dean is proud of his park's newest attraction.
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"Hey Jim...wanna go for a ride?" "But I don't have my swim suit!"
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"Doesn't matter!!!" lol
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Jim and the park management team take a ride, first bump, balalalalala, and love it!
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"Hey Jim...you're a little wet!" ;)
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Serious amounts of fun to be had on Colossal Curl!
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Here's another overview of the ride.
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Adventure island just does so many things right that you don't see a lot of other water park do. These streams run through certain parts of the park and you can walk in them to help keep your feet from burning up when it's super Florida hot outside!
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They have a nice mix of old-school and more modern slides.
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The park opened in 1980 and it's nice to see some of the older slides remain, but they don't last forever and it's great to see the park also updating it's attractions!
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And don't forget that with Busch Gardens right next door, you can go from the family thrills of Colossal Curl....
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To Cheetah Hunt! Hope you guys enjoy your day at both parks!
Last edited by robbalvey on Thu Mar 05, 2015 2:23 pm.

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