BGT: A Coasting Safari

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Tuesday, April 29, 2003 5:18 PM
I can't say enough about our Spring Break vacation. Think about it, 3 single males, who teach and coach in the midwest head south with the destination Key West? I cannot begin to hear the boo birds that we skipped the 2 remaining parks on our tour to spend another 2 days in Marathon and Key West at my uncles Beach house in Marathon.......cough, cough......for FREE! Did I say that's more Rum Runners for me? Onto the coasters....

Gorgeous Easter-eve day in Tampa, where we met two teachers from our school vacationing in Tampa, both are in their 60's and wanted to watch us 'youngsters' take laps on what A-Busch had to offer. The five of us found joyful greeters, smiling faces and a impecable park to enjoy the entire day. We purchased the two day pass, one for BGT and SWO on the next day to ride Kraken.

Sure, you can say BGT has only 4 solid coasters and 2 average rides, but does everyone notice the atmosphere or the theming that this place provides? WOW!

We began the morning with 3 straight laps on Montu. I'm a huge Raptor fan, in fact it's my favorite coaster, but Montu is an excellent invert. I have never received air on an invert before but I fell out of my seat on each pass of the immelman, truly intense! The layout with tunnels and Egyptian theming only intensify the experience. The Batwing was a great topper to a fast paced first half of the ride. Though the coaster slowed through the second half, I still enjoyed the pass before the last corkscrew where the rest of our crew took pictures of our dangling legs on the flyby! 5 laps total.

We took spins on Python, which has improved with the foliage growth around the ride over the years. Scorpion was much better than I anticipated with the intense helixes at the end.

I can't say enough about Kumba. In short, we took only 2 laps because of mechanical problems, but the layout is one of the best I have ridden. The combination of loop, dive loop, zero-g, thru the jungle, under the walkway into the cobra was incredible. Overall, Kumba lived up to all of the hype and delivered.

After a trip on Rhino Rally, which was another great addition to the park in the last 3 years, we found the biggest surprise of the day: Gwazi. After riding GASM and Ga Cyclone the day before, my tastebuds screamed woodie! And boy, did this thing deliver. I love CCI and GCI, but after my first lap, I ran like a school kid back to the other side for another spin. 6 laps in all, 3 on each. The laterals, the air, the fan turns, the helix climax....I can't wait to head back.

The only negative of the day was that Gwazi, which I heard rarely duels, did not duel at all. I don't understand, purchase a huge pile of wood, market it as duelling, then let the trains run free. The ride is a 9 and would be a 10 if the 3 flybys were added. We also experienced the most lazy ops on our trip at Gwazi....they had as much personality as an I-75 construction zone. Sorry guys, but it was the worst on the trip.

Overall, a beautiful day with great riding. And oh, did I mention the free beer? (insert Jim Carey voice here...) Yuuuuummmmmaaayyy!

There's nothing like a woodie...

Friday, May 2, 2003 12:39 PM
Glad you enjoyed BGT- honestly though, the dueling on Gwazi doesn't really make anymore exciting. I went last Firday and I asked the ride ops to do duel and they did- it really didn't make much of a difference. It's still a great ride.

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