Busch Gardens Tampa 6-17-13

Thursday, June 20, 2013 8:22 PM

I flew down from Scranton, PA to hang out with a friend in Tarpon Springs Florida and we decided to do the park on a Monday and here is what went down.

We arrived shortly after opening and headed for Cheetah Hunt. This was new for me since last visit back in 2010. I sat in the front row and I was amazed at the air time at the top of the hill after the second launch. And it was smoother than I thought it was going to be. No neck whiplash from the restraints on the turns.

Montu-sat in the second row. Much faster than I remember it going. Always a thrill going through the batwing element. My fav B&M invert by far

Kumba-Sat in the middle. Got some ear banging on the interlocking corkscrews but still a classic.

Skipped Gwazi and scorpion. I got a credit on grover's express. I am still slightly hanging my head =)

Flats-Since it was so humid we rode the rapids ride. Also a new experience. I would have made it out pretty dry but got blasted by a water cannon from a bystander.

Skyride-Great views of the park and some of the animals. I like how there is a checkpoint in the middle and you go in a different direction.

Train ride-Great views of the animals.

Bummers-We went to ride Cheetah a second time (now keep in mind it started breaking down around 1pm. For about the next hour or so we saw empty cars testing when we passed by the ride) We get in line and it broke down at least three times. Of course it was right when we were next.

A ride op said the ride kept shutting itself down at some point. Maybe someoen can help me out with that one. It seemed like when the op announced it was back online it would dispatch 2-3 cars then break down again. So about a 45 min wait to get a second lap in. Good thing we are patient people.

Bummer 2-Grover's express only goes around once. I thought most skaters give you at least 2-3 laps. Maybe it depends on the ride op.

A-HA moment. That great airtime on cheetah hunt!

Operations-Great as always. Very helpful and courteous.

Food-I ate chicken fingers and fries and they were really good. Not too greasy tasting. Probably the best park "fast food" I have had in a long time.

We decided to make the trek back to my friends house. About a 45 min drive away and relax and saw a great sunset at Sunset beach.

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Friday, June 21, 2013 8:22 PM

No Sheikra?

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Saturday, June 22, 2013 2:54 PM

Ah memory got the best of me. Yep we rode Sheikra twice. Front row was awesome
As usual and one lap in middle row. I lean more toward griffon though.

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Saturday, June 22, 2013 4:06 PM

I think it would be safe to say that CH is the overall best ride in the park (maybe behind Montu). The terrain does look very cool too. Did the cheetahs in the exhibits run alng with the train when it passed by? I heard people say things about this.

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Sunday, June 23, 2013 3:55 PM

I did not notice. I rode it just after opening. I saw a few cheetahs but they were laying down. One of the park ops (and I overheard this) said they will have a cheetah run along to some sort of thing later in the day during a presentation. That sounds really cool though. If the ride did not keep breaking down, they would have more chances to run lol

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Sunday, June 23, 2013 4:31 PM

Good grief. They don't make the Cheetahs run along with every train. That would make for some very tired cheetahs, as well as a cruelty charge or two. It's only a couple times a day, if that. The cheetah exhibit that replaced the Clydesdales is very nice, but in general, Cheetahs look like they prefer a lazy day.

I love it when posters say things like 'blank' ride is the best ever without ever even having taken a ride. I'd say CH is a fun ride, but after all the hype I was slightly underwhelmed. The first launch was weird, the second launch was good, the tree thing was weird (although visually very cool), and the rest of the ride just didn't deliver the relentless speed that was promised. Maybe the ride is mimicking those lazy Cheetahs after all...

IMO, Maverick is better.

Last edited by RCMAC, Sunday, June 23, 2013 4:32 PM
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Monday, June 24, 2013 10:27 AM

They don't make the cheetahs run with the train at all. They do get them to run, however, as part of their exhibit sometimes to demonstrate their speed and agility.

RC is right. I can't even imagine the cruelty of having animals run along side a coaster train all day. If that were the case, I would strongly encourage the cheetahs to hunt park operators. :-)

Last edited by Carrie J., Monday, June 24, 2013 10:29 AM
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Monday, June 24, 2013 11:33 AM

Yeah, no, sorry. The Cheetah Run area is nearby, and there is no race between the animal and the coaster. (although when the original announcement was made it was rather vague and might've left the impression that it would be a side by side kind of thing. It wasn't, and I couldn't imagine such a thing anyway) I was able to see the big cats, but unfortunately managed to miss the scheduled demonstrations which happened only twice on the very slow day I visited.

I did get to spend quality up-close and personal (sometimes frightening) time with the kangaroos and wallaby. They musta thought I was carrying a sugar cube in my pocket or something. I hopped outta there pretty quick.

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Monday, June 24, 2013 12:34 PM

Perhaps they mistook your fanny pack as a pouch? ;-)

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Monday, June 24, 2013 1:26 PM

If you ever see me with a fanny pack let me know right away because there's been some terrible mistake...

Now, those lorikeets were another thing all together. At the time I was a smoker, and all I could think of is that they must've sensed that. I couldn't get even one to light on me. And I wasn't about to pay 5 bucks for a teensy cup of sugar water just so I could risk getting pooped on.

Maybe they thought I smelled like kangaroo, and ain't NObody got time for that.

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