Busch Gardens Africa First Time! 12/2/07

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Friday, December 7, 2007 9:44 AM
We arrived at Busch Gardens at around 10 o clock which is a half hour after opening. We noticed the parking lot was pretty empty and not many coasters seemed to be cycling but we thought that things couldn’t be that bad because we were in 80 degree weather and it was snowing back home in NJ.

When we arrived at the ticket booths and walked right up to purchase our tickets. To our surprise we were offered a funpass for the price of a regular ticket. Since the fun pass was good until the end of 2008 we snatched the offer because you never know what the future may hold.

The first coaster we decided to hit was Gwazi which was number 250 for me. To our surprise as we walked up we saw both sides cycling together. We decided to ride the Tiger side first. The wait was about a 2 train wait for the back which ended up being about 10 mins due to slow loading. We found the ride to be smoother than people made it out to be but not too intense. We also thought it lacked severely in dueling elements compared to LR. Overall 6/10.

Next we turned around and decided to ride the Lion side which was a 2 train wait for the back which ended up being 10 mins as well. This side provided the elements I’m used to on a GCI. It had airtime a lot of laterals was just as smooth as the Tiger side and provided an out of control feeling. The dueling aspect was still mediocre however. Overall Gwazi Lion gets an 8/10.

Next we ventured up to try Sheikra our first dive machine. The wait for the front row was about a 10 min wait. I have to admit that I had low expectations for this ride. I also have to admit I was wrong. The lift hill was steeper than expected and the drop more intense. The ride doesn’t pound you with forces but it’s a very fun coaster for what it is. I was also amazed at the sheer size of the drop, track and ride vehicles in person. Overall 9/10.

Next on the agenda we walked up to give Kumba a try. This was a 3 train wait for the front seat. I thought this coaster looked a little too similar to Medusa but I still thought it would be a fun ride. I loved the tunnels and the way the loop wrapped around the lift hill. I also thought that it provided some pretty good forces but wasn’t as intense as people said it was. I also thought that it was pretty smooth. Sure it rattles a little bit compared to newer B&M’s but its no where near a headbanger. I prefer Medusa though just for the slightly smoother ride. Overall 8/10.

Next we walked up to the newer Cheetah Chase. I had already ridden this ride at BGE and many other mice to boot so I knew what to expect. The ride was a walk on was smooth and provided good laterals. What else can I say about a Wild Mouse? Overall 5/10.

Next we decided to take a trip on Scorpion which was a walk on. This was a fun ride that was very reminiscing of Laser. It provided a smooth ride and actually had a helix that made me black out pretty badly. This was a surprise coaster of the day. Overall 7/10.

It was about time to head over to Montu but on the way we caught the Elephant show. It was a pretty good show but the size of elephants just doesn’t impress me that much anymore. I guess it’s because I’m so tall myself.

On the way to Montu we decided to give Rhino Rally a try since it was a walk on. The water portion was not working but I don’t really know what that means so it didn’t bother me. It was cool seeing the animals up close but since I live near SFGADv it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. Overall 7/10.

Next we finally made our way over to Montu which was a 3 train wait for the front. The trims were off and the mid course was barely on so all I can say is wow. This ride packs more punch than anything I’ve ever ridden. The theming was great as was the overall smoothness of the ride. My feet hurt afterwards from the G forces but it was completely worth it. Overall 10/10.

After our first ride we hopped on for a back seat walk on ride. Surprisingly it wasn’t nearly as intense but was still loads of fun.

We also made our way back for a front row ride on Sheikra which was a 30 min wait. Once again this ride delivered a fun experience that wasn’t too intense.

We also saw the bird sanctuary which was neat because we got to hold and touch the birds. The reptile house was my favorite because of the various snakes and the crocs. It’s really amazing how big these things are up close especially the alligators. We also had fun watching the monkeys and Gorilla’s. It’s amazing how much they are like us. I have a huge interest in evolution so I could have watched them for hours.

Overall it was a great day and we will be returning hopefully when that hyper goes up.

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Friday, December 7, 2007 10:52 AM
You did not partake of any of the free beer?

Busch Gardens is/are the only park(s) where something takes precedence over riding Coasters.

The first thing one should always do is make reservations for the beer masters class because they go fast. (Free, but limited tickets, lots of beer though.)

Then go ride a couple coasters and make your way to the Beer Hall. At Africa, always Start with the Smaller of the Bar areas across from the main taps. There are usually Taste tests and or limited edition or specialty beers. Quite often they will run out and when they are gone, they are gone. (also free)

It is only then that you make your way in line for the main taps. They have a 2 beer limit here, and are very good at recognizing 'cheaters.' If you time it right throughout the day, it is possible to obtain more then 2 free beers from there. (not that I would recommend it. ;) )

All in all, I usually end up with more free beer then I can drink.

That why I love Busch Gardens. Oh, and the coasters. lol

Sounds like you had a good time though.

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Friday, December 7, 2007 1:19 PM
Got Kumba and Montu #1 and #2 in that order for me. The length and forces of both these rides are awesome. Kumbas Loop throough lift, INCREADIBLE 0G roll and Dive into the valley upon entering the Cobra roll with the ground hugging elements are what sets that ride above and beyond for me.

Glad you had fun! Remebemer Chimps beat humans in simple memory test :)

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Friday, December 7, 2007 2:17 PM
I highly recommend the Serengeti Safari. I did it a couple years ago, and as much as I adore the coasters at BGA it's the thing I remember the most. Getting to hand feed -- and pet -- an adult giraffe is something I'll always treasure. And the rhinos are pretty cool, though somewhat intimidating. An amazing experience.
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Friday, December 7, 2007 5:13 PM
I did the Safari a couple of visits ago and it was well worth the extra money. Unfortunately, on our last visit, we spent a bulk of the day trying to get on the tour but it kept getting bumped because of thunderstorms in the area.

Glad to see you did the Lorikeets. That is one of my favorite animal exhibits in the park.

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Friday, December 7, 2007 5:19 PM
I am always surprised that people love Montu so much, its pacing is weak to me. It has a good first 15 seconds, then it gets real kind of slow, then picks up again with batwing, after that its rather dull again.

Kumba on the other hand I love. Every time I ride it I am surprised by its intensity. Just when you think it can't go much faster, it somehow seems to gain more speed and throws you into the cobra roll.

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Friday, December 7, 2007 5:35 PM
I'm one of the ones that loves Montu. I have to disagree with you about the pacing, though. I think the pacing is just insane on there. My last trip out there, on my first ride we were going through the batwing and I was asking myself how we had gotten there because the action had not let up. The curves and wingovers in the trenches is really what makes the ride for me, however.

Not to discount Kumba, though. Kumba is aging gracefully and gives one power packed ride. I actually did not like Kumba after my first visit. I must have had a train with square wheels on it because I thought it was too jarring and had a miserable ride. After my second visit to the park I became a believer.

When it comes down to it, though, Montu and Kumba are by far the best coasters in the park. Sheikra doesn't even come close...

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Friday, December 7, 2007 7:54 PM
I actually had no idea that there was free beer otherwise I would have taken the offer.
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Friday, December 7, 2007 8:20 PM
Glad you got to go, I go to USF right across the street so I go weekly!

Kumba definitely takes the top spot for me, followed by Montu, Sheikra, Cheetah Chase, Gwazi, and Scorpion.

Great park isn't it? Clean, always fresh and lots of animals.

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Saturday, December 8, 2007 5:31 PM
^Yes, it is definitely a great park.

The only complaint I have with it is the lack of flat rides. Heck, SFMM has more flats.

Otherwise: great coasters, great animal exibits, great scenery, and as has been stated, FREE BEER.

I just visited last Tuesday and the park was almost a ghost town. I was walking on everything. Definitely a great time of year to visit.

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Saturday, December 8, 2007 10:13 PM
Sure is. We go almost every weekend (well, Friday) and we walk onto everything.

I think the lack of flats is a good thing. They don't overdo anything and they don't just plop something in.

By the way, never ride Phoenix. That thing is evil.


And yes, great scenery and free beer are pluses.

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Sunday, December 9, 2007 12:18 AM
Right, they don't overdo anything but with the flats, it's almost non-existent. Not counting the kids rides, they have what? Maybe 3-4 flats and none of them are thrilling. I don't touch Phoenix because its the same crappy Intamin ride that we had at SFGAm called Power Dive and they were smart to remove it.
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Sunday, December 9, 2007 9:57 AM
True. All of their traditional rides are found in Timbuktu. There's a new one over near Gwazi where the rock climbing wall was too. You can tell it's been there for a week or so.

It's weird. I will ride any roller coaster I see, but I am scared of Phoenix. It's so loose, insecure.

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Sunday, December 9, 2007 11:14 AM
Never fails to blow my mind how long it takes to load people on to Gwazi. First off when there are two trains loading at the same time Gwazi should be the fastest, but it never is. Even when one train is loading, and has the shortest line in the park, it can take a half hour for no understandilble reason. Generated excitment for Gwazi quickly turns into confused frustrations.

As for Kumba, Montu, Scorpion and Shreika the lines aren't long and the coasters couldn't be better. One of the better Zoos I've been to and a great theme park. Gwazi frustrations aside one of my favorite parks. *** Edited 12/9/2007 4:17:00 PM UTC by rc-madness***

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Sunday, December 9, 2007 1:21 PM
Gwazi takes forever, and you are very lucky if the two trains even dispatch near the same time. During the "off-season" here, they shut down Lion and run Tiger. There are still only ten people in line, not even a train's worth, and I sit in the train for ten minutes before it leaves!

The others, amazing. And let me tell you, that Cheetah Chase is fun too!

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Monday, December 10, 2007 11:59 PM
The loading on Gwazi reminds me of the loading on Deja-Vu. Rideops have to check the belts first, and then they go a second round to check the lap bar restraints.

Very time consuming.

Cheetah Chase? Meh, it is braked way to hard. The first half is fun, but the second half just crawls.

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