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: www.buschgardens.org. To learn more about the Anheuser-Busch Theme Parks, visit their interactive Web site at: www.buschgardens.com or call toll-free (800) 4ADVENTURE.