Posted Monday, June 7, 2004 11:44 AM | Contributed by supermandl
Busch Gardens Tampa is trying to capture some of the Disney magic and reverse three years of sagging attendance at a time when Disney's competing animal theme park near Orlando, Animal Kingdom, is not experiencing attendance declines.
Read more from The Tampa Tribune.
The indifference in Tampa is only rivalled by that at Boomers!, and that's pretty sad considering what an awesome park BGT could (and should) be.
Then again, perhaps I got spoiled in San Antonio and Arlington (TX), but those are two parks I can't wait to get back to...the attitude and enthusiasm of the staff at those parks was *contagious*, and I mean that in the best way possible...:)
Busch might be well-served to remember they're in the HOSPITALITY industry first and foremost...the rest, as they say, is GRAVY...;)
Why do they have to try and copy disney anyway? Katonga? please. Im not saying I need a hypercoaster- IOA doesnt have one, and I would prefer to go there any day over Busch. Its just that Bush needs to build quality rides that are fun- This new dive coaster could be a real mess if they try and rely on making it a theme experience instead of a thrilling experience- Kumba and Montu work because they are excellent coasters, they have very little theme- and if Busch would build a few more exciting coasters like those two, they would be able to compete very easily with Disney- and anywhere else for that matter
I think they could concentrate on building better rides- more consistantly (a la- Cedar Point), and let Disney produce the shows, and have the "magic".
I've been turned away from Montu for a having a very small, zippered camera case that was secured through a loop by my belt. My wife was turned away from Gwazi for having a small wallet that is on strap and slung cross ways across her chest. When we ride, she usually stuffs it into one of your side pockets to secure it. I wouldn't call either loose but I guess they do and they make the call. In the case of my camera case, I showed the guy how it was secured, tugged on it to show him, and offered for him to do the same. He wanted no part of it and just pointed to the lockers. Now in the case of my camera, maybe they thought that even though it was secured, I was maybe going to try and use it. If thats their loose article policy, then fine. My problem is them seemingly making an ultimatum to you to either pay for a locker or dont' ride. Especially when most parks (including BGW) have spots for loose articles in the station and others offer free lockers. Both episodes really left a sour taste in my mouth.
I had a camera that I was putting into my zipper pocket just as I walked through the entrance and was insisted to pay for a locker before I could ride. I would probably have thought fair enough, a bit crooked of them, but whatever, had it not been for the girl's incredibly rude attitude when she told me.
And of course the ironic part is that you're left with a key, which is no more or less a loose item than the camera I just payed $0.50 or whatever to store (obviously, the price isn't the issue here).
Six Flags' problem with their "built it and they will come" philosophy was that they were doing at the expense of customer support. I say without any hesistation that Busch Gardens is the worst major park in Orlando (never mind that it's an hour away). They tried to beat Animal Kingdom - Rhino Rally - and ultimately failed. They were leading the thrill ride market until Islands of Adventure came along. All they need is a few more seriously decent thrill rides and they'll claim that back from IOA in a matter of years (IOA's hardly in a position to expand, so I can't see too much retaliation from them). Make them look nice and fit in with the African theme of the place, but don't go overboard and try to do a Disney or you'll end up with Journey to Atlantis again (decent ride, but the less said about the "storyline" the better).
And duh, give the customer service a much needed bump and you'll actually look decent in comparison to what Orlando has to offer.
And let me say that people at Boomer's made BGT seem like they were having the times of the lives. I don't know of any park employees that seemed as depressed an indifferent than those at Boomers Dania Beach. I think I saw a rock smile more than they did.
Personally, I didn't find BGT that bad...actually quite nice. Now it is NO WHERE even close to awesome like BGW, but it's a great park.
All you have to do is look at BGW - that park is awsome. Why did BGT get Python- when BGW got Loch Ness?
As far as Python, just look at the year it was installed...sure it gets no ridership, and I personally don't care to ride it, but I guess I can understand the park keeping it (esp. since I have no choice in the matter, LOL).
But when it comes to operations and policies, there really is NO excuse...the GM from BGW could come down and turn BGT into a gold mine, IMO. A lot of you seem to think you caught BGT on a "particularly bad day"....my question is this: how do SO many people roll snake-eyes?
There ARE better rides at BGT than at ANY other park in the state, there's almost no question about it...bring the level of "GUEST satisfaction" to that same level, and they'd be turning people away due to crowds just like the Mouse has to do....
I should mention that despite my *complaints*, I still go at least 3-4 times a year and have a great time...:)
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