Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT Discussion Thread)

P. 833: Iron Gwazi video & info!
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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT, BGA) Discussion Thread

Postby live2tell75 » Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:41 pm

So I checked out the new trains on Sat. I had a nice surprise and bumped into Jake and Dave at the Gwazi station right after opening. We hung out for the rest of the day along with Dave and Jake's friend's Nate and the Adams. Had a blast! Gwazi must have had an Exorcism, because the evil is gone! The ride is much better, a lot smoother. It's an intense ride, still not smooth as glass but a MAJOR improvement. Another plus about the new trains is that they are gorgeous and very comfy! Best surprise, I couldn't believe that they were dueling from opening till closing. I haven't see that in years! The last few years, if I didn't have to, I would skip Gwazi. I think on Sat. I rode from open to close almost 10 times and didn't get a headache! That's a major thumbs up from me!
KevEJKangarooweb.jpg
After riding Gwazi in the morning, Kevin came by for a bit to check out the new Walkabout Way. So we were totally suckered into feeding the Kangaroos and buying the phtos, but we loved it!
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Jake, Nate, Dave and I on one of our last chilly Gwazi rides of the night.

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

Postby Jakizle » Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:48 pm

^Haha wow, I love how all of the onride photos came out that night! Despite the timing issues with the camera they were all hilarious to me. New Kangaroo exhibit was awesome =)

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

Postby Ed Farmer » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:44 am

Glad to hear positive reviews of Gwazi's new trains. Lets not forget that in the past Gwazi has ridden smoother after it's annual refurb. I suspect at least some of the glowing reviews can be chalked up to that rather than new trains.
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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT, BGA) Discussion Thread

Postby jjune4991 » Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:14 am

Skycoastin Steve wrote:First, have you ever fed giraffes? Do you want to? Have you ever wondered what various animals' noses looked like from three inches away?


Actually, you can feed giraffes at the Lowry Park zoo for only $5. And a park ticket is much cheaper. But anyway, that experience is fun anywhere you are. :)
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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT, BGA) Discussion Thread

Postby jedimaster1227 » Mon Jan 24, 2011 1:00 pm

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has sent us a press release announcing the launch of their new park-specific blog!

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay announced today the launch of a park-specific blog at http://www.buschgardenstampablog.com

The new blog will feature stories from all areas of the park, including animal training, engineering, entertainment, horticulture, culinary, merchandise and more. It will also focus on providing behind-the-scenes details and other unique content that can’t be found on the park’s .com site.

“This portal is a place for us to regularly share information and create a two-way dialogue with current and future guests,” said Busch Gardens’ Vice President of Marketing, Gerard Hoeppner. “The launch of this blog is a social media milestone for our new Digital Marketing team.”

Busch Gardens’ digital presence also includes a growing fan base on Facebook and Twitter, as well as a YouTube channel and their Busch Gardens .com and .org sites.
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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT, BGA) Discussion Thread

Postby eddie200330 » Mon Jan 24, 2011 1:15 pm

^ In that blog there is a video section with some nice animation of Cheetah Hunt. You have to watch about 1/3 of the way into it for it to start.
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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT, BGA) Discussion Thread

Postby PortugePunk » Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:16 pm

those new trains are saweeet! LOVE me some Millenium Flyer action. I bet it makes a huge difference on this beast. I rode it way back in '02 and it was crazy rough even then.

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

Postby lt_hambone » Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:12 am

My first trips to BGT were back in the early 80s when we moved to nearby Palm Harbor. Back then BGT was a very simple, family focused park divided into two distinct areas. On one side was the huge Serengeti Plain with hundreds of free-roaming animals, and the only way to see the animals was either by train, sky ride, or monorail. On the other side were the rides - nothing fancy or outlandish, and all were for the family to enjoy together. In the middle of the park was the brewery were one could take a tour and sample some beer. BGT was the anti-Disney back then - a quieter, smaller park that complimented the large, noisy, and expensive WDW just an hour to the east. I also got the vibe that BGT knew there was no way they could compete with Disney, and they were happy keeping the park the way it was.

We moved away in the mid 80s, and my next visit wouldn't be until 1999. I still remember walking into the park and having my jaw drop. Gone was the quieter, smaller park that I remembered. Newer, bigger rides had sprung up - Gwazi, Montu, and Kumba. The huge Serengeti Plain had been invaded by the Edge of Africa exhibit and the new land - Egypt. The brewery was gone, replaced by a forest of timber and rails. I felt sad because to me, the park was loosing its family friendly appeal, and was trying to keep pace with IOA, the new kid in town.

My next visit was last Saturday during the grand re-opening of Gwazi. Once again, my jaw dropped as I entered the park. There was another new coaster (SheiKra), and another one being built (Cheetah Hunt). The Python was gone, which left only two big coasters my first grader could ride (Cheetah Chase and Scorpion). The huge Serengeti Plain had been invaded yet again by Rhino Rally and Cheetah Hunt, and the monorail was officially gone. I also noticed the crowds had changed as well - while there were still plenty of families, the majority of guests that day were older teens and young adults coming to ride the big coasters. The look and feel of the park that I had cherished in the 80s was gone for good.

Sigh.

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?


Photos - Unfortunately, all of the pictures I took are too perfect and without the proper watermarks for me to post on this board. Since I do not know how to apply watermarks, I will refrain from posting.


Finally - I do have a whole bunch of questions for the boards.

First - Scorpion - Where's the second train?

Second - Where are the Clydesdales?

Third - Is the Garden Café the former Hospitality House? Looked familiar, but didn't know for sure.

Fourth - Wasn't the Desert Grill originally a Fest Haus, just like the one in BGW?

Fifth - Wasn't there a dolphin show at some point? If so, where was it?

Sixth - Settle this debate. A guy in line was trying to tell me that each of the five big coasters has a twin in BGW. Python = Loch Ness Monster, Montu = Alpengeist, Kumba = Apollo's Chariot, SheiKra = Griffon, and Cheetah Hunt = TBD. I disagree. Who's right?


Thank you for reading, constructive and destructive criticism is welcome and appreciated.

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

Postby Maximo37 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:31 am

lt_hambone wrote:First - Scorpion - Where's the second train?

Second - Where are the Clydesdales?

Third - Is the Garden Café the former Hospitality House? Looked familiar, but didn't know for sure.

Fourth - Wasn't the Desert Grill originally a Fest Haus, just like the one in BGW?

Fifth - Wasn't there a dolphin show at some point? If so, where was it?

Sixth - Settle this debate. A guy in line was trying to tell me that each of the five big coasters has a twin in BGW. Python = Loch Ness Monster, Montu = Alpengeist, Kumba = Apollo's Chariot, SheiKra = Griffon, and Cheetah Hunt = TBD. I disagree. Who's right?


Thank you for reading, constructive and destructive criticism is welcome and appreciated.


First - More than likely torn apart in a maintenence bay being used for parts.

Second - The Clydesdales went the way of the Dodo not all too long after Busch/InBev sold the parks to Blackstone.

Third - Yes, that is the former Hospitality House.

Forth - Yeah, the Desert Grill is BGTs equivalent to Fest Haus in BGW

Fifth - The Dolphin show was in the theatre that now houses the Sesame Street Film Festival/Pirates 4D. It used to be an open air stadium. It was closed in. A/C added. And became the 3D Film theater which you see now.

Sixth - I don't know if all the coasters in each park are counterparts of each other...
But here it goes if you were to pair some of them up.
Python=Loch Ness Monster (a very poor match up... hey they are both products of Arrow... and painted yellow...)
Montu=Alpengeist
Kumba=Drachen Fire (a coaster built by arrow, which was closed down and removed due roughness and low ridership. It was located behind the former Big Bad Wolf site)
SheiKra=Griffon
Cheetah Hunt=(maybe)New BGW 2012 coaster.
Last edited by Maximo37 on Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:33 am.

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

Postby The SETGO Guys » Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:32 am

Removed by User
Last edited by The SETGO Guys on Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:06 pm.

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