TR: 6/15/02 BGT (or was it SFBGT?) - Long

Associated parks:
None

Sunday, June 16, 2002 12:12 PM
I was in the Tampa area and decided to swing by Busch Gardens to check out the crowds and get some rides in. I got there at 4:00 and had 4 hours to ride. The best thing was that they were no longer charging parking, so I saved $7!

This park has seriously gone downhill. The last time I was there in February, all the rides were open and there were no crowds. Well, that was not the case this day. It was a summer Saturday, yet Kumba and Gwazi Tiger were not operating, and they even closed one of their few flat rides! It was starting to remind me more and more of a Six Flags park than a Busch park. Although it wasn't too crowded, there still were lines, and these rides should have been open. Anyways, here's my reviews:

Gwazi Lion: I waited 30 mins for a back seat ride. Since it was later in the day, I fugred the line would have ben shorter. They were running 2 trains, but their loading procedures are still lame and take forever. It was running better than the last time I was there, with some actual floater air, but nothing too intense. I returned at the end of the day and got 3 quick rides in. This was when I get really mad. A ride op stapled me REALLY bad! He kept pushing my lap bar into my lap until it locked right on me! He was using excessive force to lower the bar onto me. He thought my feet weren't flat on the floor, but they were, and he was just being rude. I wasn't trying for a one-click ride or anything. However, it was running much better at closing, and was a little more intense, yet still no great
air. I was kind of disappointed that the Tiger side was not open. I heard from other guests that it was open in the morning, but they closed it becuase it "broke". I highly doubt it was broken, they just shut it down to save operating costs. With the park this crowded, they should have had it open.

Tidal Wave: I hadn't ridden this in a couple of years, and since it was so hot out, I decided to take a ride. I like this shoot the chutes because it has the long boat ride at the beginnning. They really need to clean up the gum on all of the walls though. This thing rivals Goldrushers old gum monument! I got pretty wet, and the drop on these rides is great w/ the double dip.

Scorpion: I got a ride in the 3rd seat after waiting about 3 trains. This ride is one of my favorites at BGT! The intensity in the loop and the final helix make this ride great. I think I'm partial to all Schwartkoph's though...

Montu: 15 min wait for row 3. Montu was running great today! The trim before the Boomerang was barely on, and I got the "numb feet" feeling in that element I get on the B:TR clones. The midcourse was also on very light. The only gripe I have is that the queuehouse is too large and unorganized. It's a big room fukll of people and they are all clueless.

Hospitality House: After a quick trip to my car to get my id, I had to make the necessary stop by the hospitality house for some free beer! If you haven't been to Busch Gardens, but sure you bring your id and check out the beer school. I had missed all of tday's sessions, but it's one of the best things at the park, and they give you a lot of samples.

Python: I decided the grab a ride since there was no line. They added some new padding to the headrests on the seat, yet the OTSR's are still there and there is some real bad headbanging coming out of the final corkscrew. I hate to say it, but I wouldn't be upset to see this coaster removed to make way for a new one. I hate to see it suffer Drachen Fire fate, but it is too rough, and nobody was riding it. I do love the air on the drop though...

Another thing that made me mad about this vist was seeing a construction wall surrounding the Crazy Camel. The last flat ride that got this wall was the Mamba, which is no longer there. I really hope they don't remove yet another flat ride at this park. They only have 5 right now (Sandstorm, Phoenix, Bumper cars, a carousel, & the prevously mentioned crazy camel), so they really don't need to get rid of any more.

That's about it. Overall and pretty good visit, but BGT really needs to start opening their rides and running them at full capacity. Even Motnu only had 2 of 3 trains running. A park that is usually wonderful, was not performing up to par at all. Hopefully they will get it right later this summer before I return again.

-Matt

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Sunday, June 16, 2002 5:03 PM
Wow i feel dumb which one is crazy camel?

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Track Record: 110 and counting.....

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Sunday, June 16, 2002 6:16 PM

it's similiar to a Chance Wipeout and is in the Timbuktu section of the park.

-Matt

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Sunday, June 16, 2002 7:17 PM
One thing you have to remember about this park is its not just a theme park its a zoo also. So their main focous my not always be on rides.

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Joey Ciborek, Florida Coaster Club, Member
"WE RIDE ALL YEAR!!!" www.FloridaCoasterClub.com
"It's like an addiction" Me, The Discovery Channel, Ultimate Guide: Roller Coasters 5/27/02

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Sunday, June 16, 2002 10:06 PM
Great TR! Your trip could have been worse, but Kumba being down must SUCK!

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X-Flight World's Only flying coaster!
Batwing World's only flying coaster!
S:UF World's only flying coaster! Don't you love SF ?

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Monday, June 17, 2002 10:16 AM

I've had a couple of similar experiences there also. They should really run it more like Sea World is in Orlando. I was at SW last week and they were running Kraken through very heavy rain with a 2 train operation. It also closes at 10pm and has a fireworks show. BGT closes at 8pm.

I don't really care for the SW shows and am not into sea animals that much but the park has impressed me so much in the way it is maintained and operated that I love to go there. The atmosphere is really good. If it wasn't for Kraken I would've never set foot in the place to notice how nice it really is.

The last couple of times at BGT they have disappointed me. I think their staff trainig department is probably to blame. It seems like the people they hire just don't give a crap about the guest's experience. Not surprising really since the management don't seem to care either.For God's sakes run at least 2 trains on your coasters! All of the Orlando parks do! Let's not even go into that Rhino Rally crap they wasted all that coaster money with.

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