KickTheSky's FL Coaster Pilgramage Pt3-BGT

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Monday, February 25, 2002 7:06 AM
Our last park stop was Busch Gardens Tampa.  There was two coasters in this park I didnt do last time, Gwazi Tiger and Python so I wanted to pick them up and more importantly I wanted to hit my favorite invert, Montu!

My wife and I ended up hitting this park on Thursday on the way to stay with some friends in Tampa.  It was just my wife and I though for the day.

We hit the park about an hour after opening.  I thought we might be in for long lines because of this but I was wrong.  Every ride in the park was a walk on except for Rhino Rally which posted an hour and a half wait time.  Talk about a ride with low capacity issues. The line looked like a 15 minute B&M line to me.  We ended up skipping the nature safari for more coater time for me. 

I ended up riding Montu 4 times, all front seat rides, all walk ons.  They were running two trains and not filling either of them.  I was disappointed to see they drained the alligator pit as you leave the station.  Front seat on this ride absolutely rocks.  All you people out there that complain about the midcourse brake I didnt notice it to much and it didnt take away from the excellent ride.  The second half of this coaster is so excellent with the ravines and the one unexpected flip at the end.  I just can't say enough about this wonderful B&M invert.

Kumba is a different story.  This ride was way too rough.  I was getting head banging going through the first vertical loop.  Please tell me why this ride gets laterals going through a loop intense enough to slam my head into the harness?  This thing has to be running on square wheels.  I did two laps on this ride hoping the second ride might be better.  It was worse.  I remembered not liking this ride the first time I was at Busch.  I hate it even more now. 

Python is well, short.  A walk on like everything else it didnt bang my head as much as I thought it would, certainly less than Kumba did. 

Scorpion has got to my second favorite coaster in this park.  It is fun for an old steel looper and the lapbars just add to the fun.  I also love the circular loop that gives you the intense Gs.

Gwazi has got to be one of the roughest woodies I have ridden except for Mean Streak.  I found Lion to be smoother than Tiger and I felt the floater air much better on Lion too.  I did ask them politely to duel on my last ride and they did so for me.  I ended up thanking them afterwards.  It is a much better ride dueling and the flybys can actually be experienced unlike Dragons. 

As for the rest of the park, we found the dining options to be very expensive and most places quite limited.  They do serve better than average food though.  We ended up settling on a sandwich place over by Python and they even made a special sandwich for my vegitarian wife upon request. 

Also, I highly recommend the Lorikeet exhibit.  I must have been in there for an hour feeding the birds there.  These birds will fly right onto your shoulder or onto your hand and eat this nectar you can buy for 2 bucks.  Good value and a great time.  We ended up skipping the safari this year so this was our close up with the animals for this year and it was much cheaper than the 29.99 for the safari.

Anyways, this was our last park of the trip.  We ended up spending the last two days looking at real estate to become permanent residents of the B&M capital of the world.  Just think, riding Montu over and over again....

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Bob Hansen

"Excuse me while I kick the sky!"
kickthesky@hotmail.com

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Monday, February 25, 2002 4:39 PM
Wow, recently everyone that has been on Kumba but me has had square wheels. I guess I got it the day new ones were put into service or something.

And just wondering, how did you get air on Gwazi? When I was on it, I didn't feel a thing other than a lot of roughness... But I do agree that Lion is smoother (lol, how can something that rough be smoother?) than Tiger.

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I still have no signature.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2002 2:41 AM
TRBigger--did you ride Gwazi in the front?  We were in the 2nd seat and got some great pops of air.  No air in the back though :*(
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Tuesday, February 26, 2002 4:15 AM
Catherine, now that you say that, that is where I got my air, towards the front.  It was mostly floater air but it was there in abundance on Lion.  On Tiger it was just too rough to notice!
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Bob Hansen

New Top 5:
5-MF; 4-X-Flight; 3-Hulk; 2-Kraken; 1-Raging Bull

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Tuesday, February 26, 2002 8:00 AM
The last 2 times I went to BG Kumba has been horrible!  Many people have said it wasn't bad recently, and they have been running 2 trains, so I must be getting the bad train or something.

I was also disappointed about the gator pit on Montu.  That was one of the best parts of the theming.

Gwazi is altogether a horrible ride now.  Aside from the horrible load procedures, the ride is VERY rough and isn't that old.  Plus, every time you're about to get air, the track angles to the side, giving you laterals instead.  The only good air spot for me is the 1st drop on either side in the back.  There are a couple spots in the front to, but nothing great.  I also hate how they have 2 trains on the track, yet only load one.  I guess they are either too lazy to take one off, or too lazy to fill one up.  This ride has some serious issues.  They should have gone with CCI.

Next time you're down here, consider heading to Ft. Lauderdale and taking a ride on the Dania Beach Hurricane.  This coaster has gotten better w/ age, it VERY smooth, and has awesome air in every seat!

-Matt

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Tuesday, February 26, 2002 8:22 AM
I too had a bad experience with Kumba (in 1998).  It was VERY rough, but I attribute that to bad wheels.  I have been on the same train on a B&M two days in a row....first day was rough, second day was very smooth.  Wheel changes make a big difference!

Kick The Sky, it's nice to hear someone else mention the lorikeet exibit.  That was the biggest surprise of my trip there.  It was SO much fun.  If you're not scared of birds, I reccomend it to everyone.

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- Peabody

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Tuesday, February 26, 2002 9:00 PM
Thanks for the TR, Kick The Sky....SO happy to hear you all know the difference between a gator and a croc...;) 

Tiger, when NEW was a fun and INTENSE wooden twister...notoriously hard to maintain, esp. considering it's a year-round park.  I do feel there could alot more done to preserve what is still a good coaster IMO, although it has dropped off already.  Lion grows on me, I guess I'm learning to appreiate more subtle air, and it certainly has aged better than its counterpart.

Dania Beach Hurricane, as noted is fast, furious, float-atious, and has some great bucking air in the finish...that thing just ROCKS!  Kudos to CoasterWorks!....anybody got a spare 500K?

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Florida needs an Intamin and/or CCI soon...PLEASE!
Son of Drop Zone - PKI CoasterCamp I Champions!!!

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Wednesday, February 27, 2002 3:38 AM
The lorikeets were really cool. I'd want one for myself, if I didn't have my stupid parakeet who doesn't know a thing. I think in my TR from a few weeks back I mentioned them. The worst part I didn't even notice until I was back at the hotel, and that was one of them pooped on my shorts once. Thats not bad considering some people probably get a huge load dropped on thier head from a large bird above.
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I still have no signature.
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Wednesday, February 27, 2002 2:37 PM
I always luck out and get a excellent coaster experience from Kumba! I guess it is just fate or maybe the beast just doesn't want to let me down.
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confucius say:Show-off always shown up in showdown.
Best Fortune ever!!
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