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Jun 22, 2013
Tampa, FL
While doing some research on something else in the park this morning, I came across some information on a simulator ride called Akbar's Adventure Tours, which was in Egypt near the Crown Colony House.

According to Wikipedia, the ride was open from 1998 - 2007, although only "seasonally" from 2002-2007, and:

A motion simulator experience of a wacky tour of Egypt with Akbar (played by Martin Short), encountering markets, pyramids, and more. The ride opened up in May 1998 as the first family-oriented attraction in the Egypt section. As of January 2005, the attraction has been SBNO (Standing But Not Operating). In August 2007, the ride has reportedly been demolished, with anything of value going to other simulator rides in Busch-owned parks.

The attraction replaced Questor.

The queue area of the defunct attraction has been used as a haunted house for Howl-O-Scream since 2002.

Does anyone have any pictures or details on the ride? Did you ride it while it was open? Just curious if anyone had experienced it.
(Venturing into other forums, woo.)

I rode this in... 2001?? 2000?? I don't remember exactly when. I can tell you I didn't like it, because it freaked me out for whatever reason.

If I remember correctly, Akbar took like this American guy and his lackey(Along with the audience, which he acknowledged, I believe.)?? on a tour. The American was named Stanley, and would get really angry with Akbar because he called him Stan. And it was a running gag, and Akbar called him Stan frequently. And at the end of the ride, Akbar called him Stan again, and Stanley get upset and goes "I told you not to call me-" but get's cut off, because there was a sarcophagus that drops on his head. (Called Big Momma, and said sarcophagus was actually located in the queue, with a sign on it that had it's name.) To which Akbar casually replies "I was actually going to say, don't STAND there." And he thanks the riders, and the ride ends.

The other parts of the ride, was like a weird version of The Mummy, and you get chased by mummies, and they had little animatronic type thing, that came out at the audience above the screen.

that's honestly what I can remember, of the ride. Riding it once was enough.

Also, in comparison to Corkscrew Hill, this was live-action rather than animated.
Here's the original press release for the attraction:

TAMPA, Fla.- Guests strap in for a hilariously harrowing tour of Egypt aboard "Akbar’s Adventure Tours," Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s new motion simulator adventure. Premiering in March 1998, this uniquely hysterical experience appeals to all the senses of its passengers, especially their sense of humor, and adds a hilarious new dimension to the park’s recently built 7-acre Egypt area.

"Feedback from our guests indicated that a new and innovative simulator is an attraction they wanted to experience at our park. Akbar’s Adventure Tours is a funny and exciting complement to our world-class entertainment line-up," said Robin Carson, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s executive vice-president and general manager.

"Akbar’s Adventure Tours," produced by Praxis Films, combines a fast-paced motion picture adventure with audio-animation, the latest in flight simulation technology, special effects and sound providing the most hair-raising excursion one could ever take.

The films director, Robert Blalack, received the Academy Award for his work on the "Star Wars" and an Emmy for "The Day After."

This comical trek aboard the worlds largest motion-based simulator, laden with special effects, features actor/comedian Martin Short as Akbar, an ambitious Egyptian tour guide hanging on to a shoe-string travel business. His newest product is a simulated journey across the vast Egyptian landscape which he desperately hopes will save his business from repossession by Stanford "Don’t call me Stan" Wharton (comedian Eugene Levy). Equipped with his brother Omar’s home movies, Akbar embarks on his greatest venture ever (or so he hopes).

As guests enter the queue line, adorned with old-fashioned posters advertising various excursions offered by Akbar’s Adventure Tours, the contrast between the awesome attractions depicted and the humble means by which Akbar proposes to take them there quickly becomes apparent. Exotic music from traditional Egyptian instruments sets a mood of intrigue and excitement.

Before boarding, guests meet Akbar, the self-proclaimed "world’s greatest tour guide," in a hysterical pre-show film. Here, they are led on a tour through his workshop, where Akbar discovers his possessions being removed by Stanford Wharton. After some persuasion from his "baby" brothers Corky and Chip, Stanford reluctantly agrees to give Akbar one more chance at success with his new home-made simulator.

"Home-made" is an understatement given that Akbar’s simulator cabin is lovingly crafted from scrounged up materials. A projector pre-dating the dawn of movies and mismatched chairs give riders second thoughts about the trip despite Akbar’s assurance that no misfortune could possibly befall anyone on the maiden voyage.

Beginning their excursion on camel back, guests are jostled through a bustling marketplace as merchants and pedestrians dive for safety. Technical difficulties, an all too frequent part of the insanity, abound during the topsy-turvy trip.

Weaving and banking just above the desert surface, the simulator, now a bi-plane, gains altitude to reveal the ancient Pyramids and barely averts danger as it swoops precariously close to them.

Once the smoke clears (literally), passengers behold the coolest cat in Egypt, the Mighty Sphinx. Akbar gives his voyagers an up close view, a little too close perhaps, as the simulator slams into Egypt’s most precious treasure violently rocking the cabin and giving the Sphinx a literal face lift.

Once the simulator regains control, it’s on to excavation of the forbidden tomb courtesy of the "Spooooky Toooomb Train." Evidence of excavation, including scaffolding, picks, shovels and lanterns, are scattered throughout the tomb. Howling wind and moaning voices combine with darkness to create an eerie atmosphere as the mine car picks up speed.

Hamming it up for Stanford, Akbar has the time of his life until a mysterious force switches the car to the wrong track and into a spooky skull-filled chamber.
A monstrous guardian expresses its displeasure with Akbar’s intrusion and sends the ride hurtling out of control through a vortex.

A spine-tingling conclusion leaves guests holding on to their seats while a frightened Akbar also holds on for dear life. The simulator crashes through a wall, into a burial chamber filled with treasure just before shooting from the temple at top speeds and landing safely on the desert sand.

This one-of-a-kind experience leaves guests pining to encounter the humor of Akbar and his hair- raising ride again and again.

The Anheuser-Busch Theme Parks include Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay and Williamsburg, Va.; Sea World marine life parks in Orlando, San Diego, San Antonio and Cleveland; Adventure Island in Tampa Bay; Water Country USA in Williamsburg; and Sesame Place near Philadelphia. Anheuser-Busch Theme Parks employ more than 15,000 people. A leader in conservation and education, the Anheuser-Busch Theme Parks maintain an animal information site on the World Wide Web designed especially for students and teachers at: To learn more about the Anheuser-Busch Theme Parks, visit their interactive Web site at: or call toll-free (800) 4ADVENTURE.
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I actually loved this ride. Very similar to the Star Wars ride at Hollywood Studios in concept and design (non 3-D, of course. I read at one time the designers of the ride went bankrupt or out of business and there was no one else to maintain the ride, so kinda just disappeared. I do nto know if that much is true or not, but what I read
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Gatorwrath said:
[...]I read at one time the designers of the ride went bankrupt or out of business and there was no one else to maintain the ride, so kinda just disappeared. I do nto know if that much is true or not, but what I read

Yes, and when the ride was closed, any spare parts were sent to Williamsburg.
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I don't know if the official press release for the ride is better or worse than my memory, on how much I thought it was awful.

At least the fact that the whole story has been told based on what it was, rather than a memory from my 10/11 year old self.
Yes, I remember this ride fondly. It was one of our favorites as well as with family who came to visit. Everyone I know loved this as it was so fun, loved all the film of Egypt and Martin Short was very funny. We really were very sad when that closed and had hoped they would reopen it someday. That was so fun. No other past ride even comes close to the loss of this one.
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Anyone else think the closing of Akbars was related to 9/11 ? We've all heard the term "Allahu Akbar" , and the ride literally crashed a helicopter into unesco world heritage sites.
it closed because the simulator company was out of buisness and it was such low popularity it wasn't worth trying to source the parts... thus they sent the remaining parts to willamsburg and orlando I believe... and eventually disassembled the sim bays and used the pits for storage. much like what happened with wild arctic.
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eventually disassembled the sim bays and used the pits for storage. much like what happened with wild arctic.
Do you think that building is doomed for all eternity or will we see any type of indoor ride at some point ? Or could we see something in Pantopia theater ? No longer used, all shows canceled.
here's a idea, what if we get a pyramid themed dark ride in the old akbars tours building, I mean, they can retrofit the roof to make it look like a pyramid, and its could be a interactive shooting dark ride
here's a idea, what if we get a pyramid themed dark ride in the old akbars tours building, I mean, they can retrofit the roof to make it look like a pyramid, and its could be a interactive shooting dark ride
A few years ago, just for grins I mapped out my ideal 'transformed' version of BGT if I were given full creative control that day, and in my alternate universe the Serengeti Overlook restaurant would be retrofitted into a pyramid. It wouldn't be too difficult since the building is already roughly in a stepped pyramid shape; you'd basically just have to install an outer shell to give it the flat pyramid walls. It would be visually distinctive, thematically appropriate, and generate huge interest for the restaurant, with a possible walk-through attraction added to one of the levels. The elevator shaft would become an obelisk, and the Akbar's Adventure Tours facade would be updated to resemble an ancient Egyptian tomb on all sides. As for the former simulator, I'd replace it with a flying theater--you'd start off on a scenic tour of an ancient Egyptian city but then you'd accidentally unlock some spell that would pull you into a mythological world of Egyptian gods and mummies that you'd have to escape from.
Egypt is by far the most underused land. I know it's small, but all the relics, sculptures, artifacts and details to explore made it feel like a mini bazaar. By far the most rich in storylines and theming. Now it's literally just 200ft of closed games. Not uncommon to see even Cobras Crypt closed, the only shop in the land. Far cry from truly unique souvenirs that used to be sold at that very place, such as the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
IF BGT was to get a dark ride, Egypt would be the most logical area for it... It would require a major change for the parking lot though, I would move "preferred" to "C" B becomes only handicap, then the show building itself could be along part of the current tram and part of the disability lot... moving tram and disability next to it... expand the entrance plaza as a result too... but the building that was Arkbars is not really big enough to do much with by itself which is why it's a haunted house and storage.
I don't know about the logistics of expanding that area into the parking lot, but it's something BGT should seriously consider.
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