Uber Florida Trip Part One-BGT & SWO 6/7-6/8

Associated parks:
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Sunday, June 20, 2004 10:16 PM
For the first time in 5 years my family made a trip down to Florida, we spent 1 day at BGT and 1 day at SWO, 2.5 days at IOA/Universal and 7 days at Disney. I will be writing 7 parts, and this is the first one and will cover BGT and SWO.

Day 1 (June 6th): Busch Gardens Tampa

Arrived at the park 10 mins prior to opening and see that the parking lot was virtually empty, rejoice and head to:

Montu-2 times, no wait either time, Score-9 (out of 10)

Before I begin this I have to admit Alpengeist is my favorite steel coaster and being that Montu is Alpie’s smaller brother Im a little partial to this coaster but I enjoyed it much more this trip then I did my first. The Innelman seemed much more intense then I remember, and the Batwing, sunken in loop and corkscrew were just as amazing as I remembered them. All and all a great ride. Moved on to:

Rhino Rally-1 time, no wait, Score-5

Even though I had read reviews about how this ride was not as exciting as it seemed I still climbed aboard with high expectations. The river part is sort of neat but way too short as is the animal viewing itself. Disney’s Killimanjaro Safari beats this one hands down. Headed towards:

Cheetah Chase-1 time, 2 min wait, Score-5

Having already ridden this ride at BGW before this I knew what was coming but was pleasantly surprised to see the trims not as tight (or maybe it was just the FL heat) because I zoomed through this ride, next up:

Scorpion-1 time, no wait (see a pattern here :)), Score-6.5

Just as good as I remembered it although my legs either grew taller or this train has less legroom then normal because it was a much tighter fit for me then Sooperdooperlooper was last summer. time for an old favorite:

Kumba-2 times, no wait, Score 9

I love this ride, its so fast and smooth, too bad the attendant stapled me both times so I could hardly breathe :( time to cool off:

Congo River Rapids-1 time, no wait, Score 6

Drenching, extremely spinney but unfortunately too short, time for a relaxing ride:

Skyride-1 time, no wait, Score 5

The animals were extremely active below us, the wind felt wonderful, and got us to the Crown Colony House and our lunch all and all a fine ride, after lunch it was time to ride:

Gwazi-3 times (2 lion, 1 tiger), no wait, Lion-8 Tiger-5

Last time we rode this we thought that Tiger was the smoother and faster track of Gwazi but either they just retracked Lion or Tiger needs a retracking because the opposite was true today. Lion though was a fantastic ride, and had the distinction of being our first and last woodie of the trip. Time to see the new show:

Katonga-1 time, 30 min wait (thoroughly enjoyed since it was entirely in plush seats in an Air Conditioned room), Score 4

Disappointed in this show, it had so much promise but the sound was horrible I could hardly understand half the show. The half that I did understand (the caterpillar and frog stories) was wonderful, and those two singers had great voices. The puppetry was wonderful throughout and I probably would have enjoyed this show a lot more if they fixed the sound. Time for another show:

Haunted Lighthouse 4D-1 time, no wait (cut it close), Score 6

Wow they did a good job inclosing this theater! After seeing Pirates 4D and never being an RL Stine fan my expectations were not high at all. I was pleasantly surprised at this flick; it had a plot (shock of shocks), not that many “I saw that coming from a mile away” sight gags and Christopher Lloyd was in it. I might actually see this one again the next time Im at a Busch park. Time for the final ride:

Train Ride-1 time, 5 min wait, Score 6

The last time I was here the Serengeti Plain was a gigantic dig site for Rhino Rally so I never got to experience this ride before. Much better animal viewing then Rhino Rally and thoroughly enjoyable. We then headed off to Orlando and checked into Hard Rock Hotel for 4 nights the next day it was off to:

Day 2 (June 8th) Sea World Orlando

Arriving to yet another empty parking lot right before opening we rushed out of the car and ran off to:

Kraken-3 times, no wait, Score 9

This ride is everything its hyped up to be, defiantly my new favorite floorless the gs on this baby are amazing. This ride is worth the price of admission to SWO plus you get a great view of WDW (TOT, Spaceship Earth and the Castle) from the lift.

Journey to Atlantis-2 times, no wait, Score 7.5

Great ride, but there is too much “water” and not enough “coaster” in this water coaster. However, the themeing is excellent.

Wild Artic-1 ride, 10 min wait, Score-4

Your normal run of the mill simulator, but a huge improvement over mission Bermuda Triangle.

A word on the shows:

As a whole I feel that the shows at SWO are not up to the standard I saw at SWSA, with the exception of the Dolphin Show (which was by far the best dolphin show I have ever seen anywhere). However, the otter in the sea lion show did not want to perform and due to that the actors really got screwed up in that show I saw. Also we got a shortened version of the Shamu night show because of a massive thunderstorm (we exited the park in ankle deep water). The water ski show was horrible; it was mostly a dance show on a beach except for one cool section involving kites attached to boats. The daytime Shamu show seemed like an extended advertisement for Jack Hanna. The other bright spot was the nighttime Sea Lion show, absolutely hilarious, a must see. We did not see Odeyssa (because we were going to Cirque de Soleil the later in the week) or the Pet Show.

Next up Universal Studios, including a spoiler filled Mummy report!

**Sorry about the spacing, format problem fixed!** *** Edited 6/21/2004 2:58:37 AM UTC by Touchdown***

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Sunday, June 20, 2004 10:37 PM
The Pet Show is the best show at Sea World! Too bad you missed it! You did not miss much with the Cirque du Soleil look alike show... we all fell asleep on it, while the true thing will keep us on the edge of our seat!
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