First ever Busch Gardens Tampa Trip 10/1/07

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Monday, October 1, 2007 8:35 PM
Ok guys. This is going to be my first trip report in god knows how long on this site! Now since august 15th I've been down here in Orlando, Fl on the Disney College program and been having a blast! Besides working at the Magic Kingdom park at Liberty Tree Tavern, I've been enjoying having all the benefits of hopping to each of the Disney's parks at no charge and enjoying the Disney discounts. Al thought i enjoy Disney World, i need some kind of thrill rides and Disney didn't provide it for me. Well, on Oct 1st 2007 they held a bus trip to on of the parks i had to visit, Busch Gardens Tampa. The day was a very sunny and breezy. Since it was a monday, i didn't expect too much of a crowd so i went along. We arrive around 10:30 and got our tickets from the group leaders. After the brief do and don't s speech and group photo i was off to the much hyped floorless beast Sheikra.

My first impression of this coaster in action was a brief ok, this shouldn't be bad'' even with the holding break. I heard all the screams but didn't pay too much attention to it. After riding Kingda Ka and Top thrill Dragster with their 90 drop, i thought this was really going to be nothing. First ride on Sheikra was in the front row. Now, i never in my 20 years of life would have thought that this coaster almost had me terrorized! We climbed up the hill, crest the top and turned to the around to the right. We got to the holding drop and i literally was scared as hell. '' What the hell am i doing!'' is what i though as we stood their for a few seconds and the screams of the others riders made it even worst. We dropped and i held the handle bars for a few seconds and then put them up! The rest of the ride was easy to take after that. After I got off i didn't realize how much of an impact this ride had on me as my hyands was shaking. A first time ever effect besides after experiencing TTD and Kingda Ka's launch almost 4 years ago. I think this is an amazing coaster and is just what smaller parks like Kennywood or even Michigan's Adventure needs. Excellent job B&M and Busch!

The only problem i did have was that compared to Disney and Universal parks, the ride hosts weren't enthusiastic and the all the coasters besides Sheikra and Cheetah Chase were running one train. Also, they seem to check restraints Very slow. The next coaster was Kumba which is pretty good but i'd much rather ride a Floorless like Medusa(East), Kraken, & Dominator instead. At least the waits weren't too bad. About 15 minutes. After Kumba i took the sky ride to Egypt so i could ride Montu. This is definitely an amazing coaster. It falls right behind my favorite inverted Dueling Dragons (Ice). I ended up riding 4 times. I really like the theming in this area compared to the other sections. It seems like this section was paid alot of attention. Next, i got a quick bite to eat at Colony Restaurant and enjoyed my fresh chicken strips platter as i watched the people feed the giraffe in the Serengeti Plain. I wish i knew about it so i could save some money and take the tour.

After that, i pretty much went to view animals in the Edge of Africa and near Rhino Rally. Rhino Rally was actually a good ride but i prefer Kilimanjaro's safari at Animal Kingdom. I saw more animals, got pictures of them, and felt the ride had a nice story to it. Rhino Rally didn't really have a story to me but the tour guy we had was really good with crowd participation. Now, i walked past Gwazi because i wanted to ride sheikra first and then come back to that. Gwazi Tiger was the only one that was running. Seems weird to have a dueling coaster with only one side running. It was my time to ride it now in the back. What a horrible idea! The ride really tossed me to the side and gave me a minor headache afterwards. I felt like i was on rolling thunder and that's sad being the ride only came out a few years ago. Seems like El Toro will always be my favorite woodie unless i ride some coasters at Holiday World.

Afterwards all i did was wander around the park, meet with other college program employees, eat free food at the Gwazi pavilion for us, ride Scorpion, the train ride, pirates 4D, and re ride Sheikra in a total 5 times. We left the park 15 minutes after closing which was at 6:15. Overall I enjoyed myself and hope Busch Gardens only gets better in the future. My only suggestion would be to raise their level of guest satisfaction up a little bit. I'm sorry if I'm being harsh, but Disney & Universal, especially Disney, have put guest satisfaction at the top of the list. Make me feel like I'm a VIP when i walk through the line, lol. All parks should follow this formula. Thanks for taking the time to read this report. *** Edited 10/2/2007 1:13:38 AM UTC by Starintraining***

The future is in your hands!
Monday, October 1, 2007 8:59 PM
I haven't ridden sheikra in floorless, but have floored. It is my favorite steel coaster to this point. I rode it 4 times when I was down there, twice in front and once in each row. That holding brake on the drop is simply the most terrifying/fun I have had on a coaster, second only to Mr. Freeze's launch at St. Louis. I want badly to get back for Sheikra.
JVC Everio 30 gig hdd camera Nikon d70s
Monday, October 1, 2007 10:38 PM
Sheikrafanatic's avatar ITs really a new ride since they took out the floors, I still remember what they look like, and no its not because i have a piece of one sitting next to me.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2007 1:07 AM

To some degree , yes, but overall, no.

It's a neat visual if you are on an outside seat, but if you are in the middle rows, it doesn't change anything.

Still like the ride though. It's definitely a crowd pleaser.

My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012 11:57 PM

Sheikra doesnt look very scary, but it probably is

Thursday, April 5, 2012 5:54 PM

To me, SheiKra is a decent ride. But I'm in the minority when I say B&m's Dive coasters are not very impressive. Nothing I would want to ride over and over. Now, walking on top of Griffin is something I would do everytime. That was awesome!

Even though I'm not a SheiKra fan, I do love BGT. It is one of my favorite parks. Great rides, shows and animals, all in one place!

Jerry - Magnum Fanatic
Famous Dave's- 206 restaurants - 35 states - 2 countries

Friday, April 6, 2012 4:36 AM

You aren't alone, the B&M dive coasters don't do much for me either. They're fun, but not nearly as spectacular as some enthusiasts make them out to be.

And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

Monday, April 9, 2012 7:28 AM
Raven-Phile's avatar

I'm with Jerry on this one. I thought Sheikra was lame.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 6:55 AM

While I know they're basically the same ride, I preferred Sheikra. But I just wish there was a little more to them.

The amusement park rises bold and are huddled on the beach in a mist


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