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Good morning all,

I completed my day and a half at BGT for my first ever visit! I’ve long wanted to visit Busch Gardens Tampa since before I ever set foot in Busch Gardens Williamsburg. My sister and I looked up the rides together as we were preparing for our first ever visit to Busch Gardens Williamsburg I remember seeing Montu and Kumba specifically.

So Thursday after I took an Amtrak ride from Orlando I arrived at the park at 2:30pm with a 6pm close which I never expected this visit to accomplish a ton yesterday but I actually managed to ride every coaster by around 5:30 with a few re-rides. The Florida parks I had been to all week (SWO, IOA, USF, HS, AK, and Epcot) we’re all exceptionally well landscaped and BGT was no exception. It was certainly difficult not to compare to BGW but while there are certainly similarities between the two parks they are also very distinct from one another. African themes and European themes are so vastly different and it shows here.

I figured when I arrived I would begin with Cheetah Hunt since it’s so unique. This was one I was worried about with the restraints which thankfully like every other attraction on my Florida trip, I was able to ride. After that I did Cobra’s Curse which honestly had a surprisingly finicky lap bar but I was able to ride. I went to Montu after, then walked confusingly through the safari section out to Pantopia. The layout certainly can get confusing for first timers but I found Pantopia and found out the Dragon fire Grill is basically a Festhaus equivalent which I thought was cool. I hit Scorpion and Falcons Fury as well as Sand Serpent because I rode it before as Wilde Maus when I was 7. I proceeded up to Kumba which the train I sat in on Thursday had some seriously short belts for the OTSRs in the modified seats, but I got on. I went to Congo River Rapids after that and the log flume then arrived at SheiKra which had me worried after I was walked from Griffon on 7/30 thankfully I got on easier than any B&M OTSR I’ve ridden recently. I then went to Tigris and it was around 5:30ish then and park close was in 30 minutes so I walked towards the front from that point to head out for the night.

Friday was a full day at the park and unfortunately I lost around 7 hours of ride time to rain clouds that would not stop forming and chilling over BGT. I arrived and did Cheetah Hunt first again, Cobras Curse was down so I got 3 more rides on Montu. I then went to take the train to SheiKra and see the animals on the safari. After SheiKra I went to Zambia because Smokehouse and then I decided to begin enjoying Bier Fest and the park was willing to do the exclusive pass holder 15 sample sampler for me which was clutch. I love these beer festivals the SeaWorld parks have. I noticed rain was coming in so I decided to head towards the front to go watch Turn It Up which was excellent and I’m glad I watched. The rain unfortunately didn’t magically go away while I was watching Turn It Up and I went back to Stanleyville to watch Cirque Electric which was also entertaining but also did not clear the rain out. At that point I lost around another 45 minutes waiting for the rain to stop in Tigris’s lockers the rain wouldn’t so I decided to head back to my hotel which the rain stopped and rides began operating after I left and then once I got back the second I was out of the Uber……the rain immediately resumed. After another hour plus of rain waiting in the Serengeti overlook I went back out and got on Cobras Curse. I skipped montu while in the area since I rode 3 times already and wanted to get back for a night ride anyway (whoops lol). I went to Pantopia and unfortunately Falcons Fury was down when I was there so this unfortunately resulted in no rides on FF Friday which I was disappointed to not get another ride on that thing but I’m sure I will be back for another ride before too long. Rode Scorpion again and hit Kumba for 3 laps then once I arrived for SheiKra I discovered it was closed for fireworks. I went and watched Spark and finished off my sampler then went back and rode Tigris again and 2 more laps on SheiKra before the park closed for the night and my Florida trip has been exhausted. I really like BGT which I expected I would find it’s coaster collection similar to BGW where the best ride is an older B&M and it needs a certain ride to open already to have its true standout. The atmosphere of the park is great I really enjoyed the African music in some sections and the animal exhibits were very nice. I’ll go into a little more detail on the rides below:

Cheetah Hunt: this ride is certainly interesting and I love its presentation. The station is very nice, I like how cool the trains look and I appreciate the ride for its uniqueness. I rode 3 times twice on Thursday once on Friday. It’s certainly not meant to be an intense coaster, it had a few nice airtime moments and I loved the views from it. Now I would have loved to ride it more honestly but we all know exactly what its biggest problem is. The hard strap restraints and let me say I’ve never ever been happier that I305 switched the straps when they did and I commend Cedar Fair for making that change. This attraction was concerning before I came down for being unable to fit, while thanks to my efforts that was not an issue the hard straps hurt the hell out of my shoulders. Given that the ride is fairly tame and I just rode VelociCoaster monday, this didn’t sit well with me about the ride and prevented additional rides. But overall I like Cheetah Hunt it certainly seems like the most “BGT” coaster there.

Cobra’s Curse: this ride looks great and the theming is incredible, I love the giant cobra statue it has quite the presence in the park, definitely a very unique coaster. The lap bars were strangely finicky I had to switch seats on my second ride because despite the test seat turning green and my first ride being largely a non-issue the sensors appear to be very inconsistent in the seats. The red and green markers don’t appear to mean much unfortunately. The ride itself is definitely……there. It’s one of those rides that I will probably ride once when I go and that’s it. The spinning section is short, the backwards section is laughably short, and the forwards section is not very long either, the short sections combined with the frequent slow downs to transition lowered the excitement quite a bit for me. The spinning section is very fun but just so so brief. I like the ride and would be bummed if I didn’t get on it on a visit just because it’s so unique but yeah the ride itself is nothing to write home about.

Montu - been looking forward to this ride for apparently 22 years! My new favorite invert and my favorite coaster in the park the positives are so strong through most of the ride with all the trenches. The batwing was very fun, I mean I just loved fhe combo of the trenches and the positive Gs it was a blast. I wish I could ride outside of rows 4 and 5 but I’m just happy to finally ride Montu. Excellent coaster.

Scorpion - I believe the only Schwarzkopf I have ridden is Sooperdooperlooper at Hershey and this one is definitely more intense. The ride carries some strong positives in the helixes at the end. There’s like no leg room at all if you’re above 6 foot unfortunately but thankfully there’s padding for your knees and that made the ride much more tolerable. It’s a cool little coaster to ride when you’re in Pantopia but if you found yourself booking it to Pantopia close to park close it wouldn’t be for Scorpion.

Falcon’s Fury - I was nervous about this one before the trip, drop towers have always freaked me out but it doesn’t stop me from riding them. One thing that helped me significantly with my fear on this ostensibly terrifying drop tower was a coaster YouTuber comparing the falling sensation to a dive coaster rather than a typical drop tower and once I realized that I felt significant less fear and hopped right on. Falcons Fury is awesome and the best drop tower I’ve ridden for sure. Unfortunately I only got one ride total on Thursday and none on Friday because when I was in Pantopia it was down and I lost 6 hours of park time to Florida weather. Can’t wait to ride it again.

Sand Serpent - it’s a wild mouse I dont have much on it.

Kumba - Thursday I rode a couple times and I have to admit I wasn’t a fan at first I had a significant amount of headbanging especially in the corkscrews and I was sleep deprived so unfortunately all the B&Ms were giving me a headache. Friday I got several night rides and found myself enjoying the ride significantly more. A word of caution to larger riders this B&M has the shortest seatbelts I’ve ever seen but Friday I seemed to have a different train with slightly longer belts and the headbanging was only really present in the corkscrews. It certainly has some strong positive G forces for sure and I like the uniqueness of the layout and how it incorporates the terrain.

Congo River Rapids is their rapids ride and Stanley Falls Flume is their log flume….not much else to say there.

SheiKra - My 2nd ever dive coaster and I admittedly like this one more than Griffon. The ride has more turns than Griffon so there’s some semi decent Gs through those and I liked the theming on the second drop. I rode SheiKra a lot surprisingly just because it’s probably the most re-rideable ride in the park comfort wise.

Tigris - Tempesto but orange. I like Sky Rocket IIs that’s all there is to say.

Iron Gwazi - definitely looks cool or sure……

Thanks for reading and I can’t wait to get back down to Tampa!
 
Jun 6, 2013
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Thanks for tl your great summary! Heading there tomorrow with the family. We're there for only a day, so sticking more with the family friendly, cheetah and down! Glad you had an awesome trip!
 
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