Orlando/Tampa-Day One, BGT

Associated parks:
None

Wednesday, March 6, 2002 10:08 AM

Since my grandmother missed our wedding in December (double knee replacement), my wife and I decided to go visit my grandparents in Tampa. She was thinking wedding photos, videos, stories...I was thinking coasters.

So, after arriving to their house on Thursday, we set out for BGT the next morning. After getting slightly lost (good thing that 75 takes you to BGT, because we missed the 275 exit), we arrived at the parking lot at about 9:50. I noticed that there were a great deal of senior citizens and children, which I figured meant walk-ons all day long.

However, the longest wait I would endure all day turned out to be the wait to get on the tram from the parking lot to the entrance. They were only running 2 trams, which meant that i didn't get to the park until about 10:30. I'm not a patient man, so I started the day in a bad mood. This was cured by-

Montu-Boy, she was running like a banshee on this particular day. First lap was a walk-on in the back row, right hand side, and I absolutely got whipped around the first drop. Because they were on single train operation, the mid-course was virtually turned off, making the second half of the ride INSANE. Second lap in the front row was pure bliss-I now firmly believe that the only way to ride inverts is in the front. The visuals on Montu are second only to Dueling Dragons (see next TR). The only downside was the one train operation, which was switched to two later in the day.

Next up was Rhino Rally. The loading procedures on this ride are abysmal. What should have been a roughly 10-15 wait was nearly an hour. I was thoroughly disgusted by several line smokers, so much so that I took a cigarette out of a man's hand, nearly inciting a riot. After a little bit of shouting, everyone calmed down. I made sure to avoid this group of folks for the rest of the day, though.

Now, on to the ride. I don't know if it has always been so slow, but the "ride" element was fairly boring. The enjoyable part was getting so close to the animals. We literally came within arm's length of zebras and rhinos. I don't know what, if any, systems they have in place to discourage the animals from getting too close to the Rovers, but it was a little unsettling to see a rhino run right across the pathway about 10 feet in front of the Rover. I would have enjoyed the rapid river part of the ride if it had been a little more "rapid." As it was, I viewed it as a fun little novelty.

Scorpion was next on our hit parade. This ride was a walk-on to the front seat, and it delivered, as always. I find this coaster to be the equal of any ride in Florida-maybe I'm just nuts. My wife was pleasantly surprised at the speed and intensity that Anton's genius provides. Just as I was getting off the coaster, I saw a couple of enthusiasts with Shivering Timbers and Millenium Force T-shirts, but I didn't get a chance to talk shop-my wife doesn't like enthusiast speak :)

While in the Timbuktu area, we took a ride on the Phoenix, a looping Pirate ship. This ride is always a favorite of mine, if only for the bewildered look of riders after they disembark. This is one ride that you really do need to secure your personal items on. I hate to admit it, but the pause at the top of the loop still frightens me just a tad. If it weren't for the netting above the seats, it would be even worse.

Lunch followed at Das Festhaus. I'm still not really sure why there is a festhaus in Timbuktu, but the food there is excellent, if a bit pricey. A rack of ribs, a plate of spaghetti, a cup of strawberries, two sodas, and two salads came to about $34.

Kumba was up next for a few walk-on laps. The ride seemed to have two different personalities-pre mid-course, and post-midcourse. Pre mid, the coaster was smooth and powerful, roaring through the zero-g roll and the cobra roll with great precision...post mid, it felt like they switched to square wheels. After three laps, I had to take a break for my head's sake. We would return later in the day to test my theory, and it still held true. Despite the low turnout, Kumba was running 3 trains, I believe.

Gwazi almost ruined my day. I was excited to see that they were actually dueling the coasters all day long, and I nearly dragged my wife up to the station. First of all, I have a Canon ELPH camera that fits neatly in a pants pocket. I bought the camera specifically for that purpose, so I wouldn't have to put it in a locker or a backpack, etc. So, when I was boarding Lion, and the ride op was checking my belt, he asked me, "Is that a camera in your pocket?" I said, "Yup." "That can't go on the ride." "Why not?" "Policy."

So I had to get off the ride, go get a $.50 locker, and come back up, only for the ride op to tell me that I couldn't get back in my seat, because he had already buckled it and pulled down the lap bar. At this point, I went kinda ballistic. I understand that it's not his policy, but it seems like a fairly stupid thing to enforce.

So on to the ride...rough. The dueling effects are nice, but they don't make me forget that my head hurts quite a bit afterwards. I do like the laterals, but there's very little actual airtime. I would place it towards the bottom of my wooden coaster list, if I had one. I found Tiger to be a little more enjoyable than Lion, but neither set the world on fire.

The Lory Landing exhibit made my feel much better about my head rocking I had received on the two previous rides. For those that haven't been there or read about it, there is an enclosed, netted area in which about 2 dozen small "lorikeet" birds live. You can buy a small cup of nectar for about 2 dollars, and the birds will land on your hand and drink from the cup. It was about the most fun thing I have ever done at a theme park. I didn't get away unscathed-my t-shirt had a little bit of bird poo on it. The birds are very friendly. They'll climb all over you after you feed them, almost like they are thanking you for visiting. If you aren't afraid of birds, I highly recommend this exhibit. Great fun.

The dolphin show is always entertaining, and this year was no exception. Particularly amusing was the fact that the youngest dolphin was constantly disobeying the trainer, doing tricks that he hadn't asked for. I always think that Clyde the Sea Lion is funnier and more entertaining than the actual dolphins, and I do get tired of the environmental messages, but it was well worth seeing.

Next up-Day Two, IOA/USF. Thanks for reading!

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Doesn't it seem as though morons always have the caps lock on?

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Wednesday, March 6, 2002 10:19 AM

Mark W. Baruth said:
so much so that I took a cigarette out of a man's hand, nearly inciting a riot. After a little bit of shouting, everyone calmed down.

Hmmm...That's a bit extreme.

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"He's blazin' away like the stars in the universe.." A. Vega + M. Rev "Ghostrider"


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Wednesday, March 6, 2002 10:20 AM

Mark W. Baruth said:
"I was thoroughly disgusted by several line smokers, so much so that I took a cigarette out of a man's hand, nearly inciting a riot. After a little bit of shouting, everyone calmed down. I made sure to avoid this group of folks for the rest of the day, though."

I'm really starting to get the feeling that the resident "Millitant Non-Smokers of CoasterBuzz" wont be satisfied until someone gets thrashed.

Otherwise, great TR.
jeremy
--solemly shaking his head...

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Wednesday, March 6, 2002 10:29 AM

I have no problem with smokers, but smoking in line where I have no choice but to breathe in the smoke I'm allergic to, is something I could do without. If I choose to, say, go to a club to hear a band, I'll grin & bear it, because I chose to go, but in line at a park is another story.

Now, I wouldn't have gone so far as to actually remove a cigarette, but it IS discourteous (and typically against park rules) to be smoking in line.

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--Greg
"The collective women in your life have more baggage than a Samsonite factory..."
My page

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Wednesday, March 6, 2002 10:52 AM
Where's "Figaro" when you need him?

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"He's blazin' away like the stars in the universe.." A. Vega + M. Rev "Ghostrider"

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Wednesday, March 6, 2002 11:01 AM

Second lap in the front row was pure bliss-I now firmly believe that the only way to ride inverts is in the front. The visuals on Montu are second only to Dueling Dragons (see next TR).

I agree fully with this. I am normally a back seat man on every coaster out there, but nothing beats a front seat ride on an invert. I don't like looking at the back of the seat in front of me the whole ride.

Oh, and I agree fully on the Lorikeet exihibit. I love this one and intend to revisit it everytime I come back to this park. My wife is afraid of birds (and coasters too, what a wimp) and she didnt even go in the enclosure where the birds are.

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Bob Hansen

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

*** This post was edited by Kick The Sky on 3/6/2002. ***

*** This post was edited by Kick The Sky on 3/6/2002. ***

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Wednesday, March 6, 2002 2:17 PM
I think i neglected to say that my wife is asthmatic, and she was obviously suffering. I would have suffered silently, but you have to stand up for your wife

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Doesn't it seem as though morons always have the caps lock on?

*** This post was edited by Mark W. Baruth on 3/6/2002. ***

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Wednesday, March 6, 2002 2:34 PM
Did you ride Python?

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Out of the coasters i've ridden here is what I rank them overall:(ive been to canobie lake and SFNE)
1. S:RoS 2. Yankee Cannonball 3. Riverside Cyclone 4. Canobie
Corkscrew 5. Thunderbolt 6. Galaxy 7. Mind Eraser 8. Dragon coaster 9. poison ivy's tangl

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Wednesday, March 6, 2002 6:01 PM

More power to you! I hate people who smoke in lines, when there are clear signs all over that say smoking is prohibited. They are about the only thing in lines worse than line jumpers.

Sounds like you only got half the Kumba I got. When I went, it had round wheels, both laps, through the whole course. You missed a lot, the corkscrews (when smooth, I doubt they can be when rough) were a blast, and I lost my sense of direction (only because they were my first interlocked corkscrews.)
Sounds like Gwazi was a little better for you than me. You didn't mention any horrible roughness that made the ride almost unbearable. I too, had no airtime on it. Unfortunatly they didn't duel when I was there...
And why didn't you bring me with?! I really have to go there sometime when Montu is in single train operation so I can have the MCBR like you had it. That my change my opinion about it. I found the second half extremely slow and forceless, except the corkscrew. The first half was awesome though. Just out of curiosity, could you tell if the trim before the batwing was on, and could you feel it?

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Yatta!
Hey, look, I have a signature now! Even if it is only Yatta...

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Thursday, March 7, 2002 3:44 AM

MikeMir87-

I didn't ride Python, because I've been on it several times before and haven't enjoyed it once.

TrBiggar-

I've gotten about 50 Kumba laps in my life, dating back to opening day of the ride. I would have placed it as a top 5 ride before this trip, but I was really disheartened to find it to be a little rough now. I'm sure that BGT will remedy the situation in due time, bringing Kumba back to its full B&M glory. As far as Montu goes, I don't believe the trim before the batwing was on, or at least I didn't notice it.

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Doesn't it seem as though morons always have the caps lock on?

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Thursday, March 7, 2002 11:50 AM

I wish I had the guts (and the stature) to grab someone's cigarette. tips hat to Mr. Baruth

Hey, dude, I just checked your profile and saw that we both live in Columbus and both play alto sax. Cool.

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He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.

*** This post was edited by Den on 3/7/2002. ***

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