Busch Gardens Tampa, Tampa Bay, Florida, USA
Although I live in Orlando and have an AP for both Disney and Universal, my trips to BGT are few and far between. I will be traveling through Tampa a bit more lately, and with the tax return money I decided to get a BGT Annual Pass to see how often I will go now. I only spent an hour and a half in the park, but came away with some thoughts.
-The automated ticket machines were very user friendly, and I had my AP within one minute.
-It was 2:30pm, but there was a substantial line at the main entrance. Only one turnstile was operating, and it took a good 5 minutes to make my way into the park.
-Overall, the place just feels run down and like it's hanging on by a thread. I remember visiting yearly in the early 2000s, and the park almost had that "Orlando feel" back then. In the main entrance area and up toward Gwazi, I felt that old Geauga Lake vibe I would get the last couple of seasons.
-There were virtually no waits for anything today. Even Cheetah Hunt was a station wait. But operations are still laughable. Montu and Kumba were single train, Sheikra was three trains/one station and constantly stacking those three trains several minutes. Cheetah Hunt was stacking pretty well too. The average station wait that would be less than 5 minutes anywhere else was a solid 10-15 minute wait for everything here today.
-Scorpion had the most perplexing operation procedure today. The train would come in and clear. The op would then go up and down to each group waiting for the next train and ask how many and assign us to a row, even though we were already standing at the gates. They were just barely getting enough to fill a train, but he also was insisting all single riders double up, and took the time to shuffle us around. Then he walked the length of the train a second time, instructed us all to take one step back and not make any contact with the gates, waited a few more seconds, and then opened them (keep in mind, they open in.) So, from the time the train parked until the gates opened for the next group was clocking in at more than one minute.
-Falcons Fury is still incredible. One of the biggest "OMFG" moments I've ever had on a thrill ride.
Overall, the park has a great collection of rides, and I will very much be using my pass to stop in once a month or so for an hour or two to get on a couple rides before heading home to Orlando rather than full days. For as large as the park is, it just feels so lacking and for the first time ever, has a run down feeling to it. Gwazi still stands SBNO. And now the shoot-the-chutes flume is SBNO. Large chunks of the old Rhino Rally ride are still visible from the SkyRide. The place has so much more potential than what it currently offers. I hope as the years go by things get a better vibe.
You must be logged in to post