Busch Gardens Tampa, Tampa Bay, Florida, USA
Spent the afternoon of 11/16/13 at Busch Gardens Tampa. Turned out to be a nearly perfect day as far as weather and crowds go. We arrived at the park just after noon, it was cloudy and overcast all day which helped keep the temperature low and the crowds were extremely light all day.
We began our day going left towards Gwazi. I hadn't been on this ride during my past couple visits so I was excited to see how it was running. It was not nearly as rough as I remembered it being, we rode towards the back with no wait and had a decent ride overall. Something interesting I noticed was the station of the non-operating side now has a bridge crossing directly through the ride track; which seems to all but verify that Gwazi will be only operating one side for the foreseeable future if not the remainder of its life however long that may be.
After Gwazi we made our way to Sheikra where we walked on to the front row. Great view, great drop, silky smooth ride; still a winner and probably my favorite ride in the park.
Next we made our way to Kumba where we rode in row four. Such an intense and forceful ride that never lets up. I must be getting old because one ride left me seeing stars and staggering to the exit, whereas I used to marathon this coaster all day.
Next we grabbed some lunch in Jungala, got a plate of chicken, fish, fries and a side order of mozzarella sticks. Good for what it was.
After a trip across the park on the Skyway we rode Cheetah Hunt. It was roughly a fifteen minute wait for the front row. This ride was much smoother than I remember and had a couple great moments of airtime. Definitely rose up my rankings a bit.
Montu was next, we jumped right on the back row. Once again, running incredibly smooth and felt more forceful than I remember it being, definitely solidified its place as my favorite B&M invert.
Next we made the walk through Edge of Africa to Timbuktu where we rode on the classic Schwarzkopf coaster Scorpion with no wait in the front followed by the Phoenix inverting boat flat ride. Cheetah Chase was temporarily down and ended up being the only coaster we missed out on (along with Air Grover).
We ended the day by backtracking through the park and getting re-rides on all of the coasters and feeding the kangaroos before leaving at 5:30. It was a great day at the park and I can't praise the staff enough for being excellent and friendly, and the park's operations for having the coasters running in fantastic condition, and as an added bonus all running multiple trains.Last edited by Capitalize, Tuesday, November 19, 2013 12:04 PM
Montu is fantastic. Easily my favorite of all inverts I've ridden.
You're not getting old, I don't think. Kumba is a great ride, and I love it, but it had some pretty intense headbanging towards the end of the ride if I remember correctly.
I was only at BGT twice, but I remember one side of Gwazi being significantly smoother than the other (the rougher side being the only ride that ever made me throw up from a migraine afterwards). Still, I'm always Hopeful for refurbishing/retracking/redesigning over tearing down a ride. Maybe some Iron Horse track to save it?
Glad to see you had a nice time. BGT had a great little collection of rides, and their employees were so nice and helpful. Plus, the park is so gorgeous. One of my favorite parks to visit actually. Thanks for the report!
"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band
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