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Pretzel Kaiser

Silver Donor
Apr 5, 2011
So now that some of the undesirables have been dealt with around here, I feel that I can talk about my trip.  This past weekend I visited Florida and ended up doing four parks total.  Right now I’m just going to talk about BGT for a bit because, long story short, it’s now my preference of the two parks.

Let’s get the nitty gritty out of the way…

Montu- Great B&M invert, I love the fact it interacts with the ground a lot (a common theme at BGT), but I still like Alpengeist more.

Cheetah Hunt- I really liked this coaster.  Once you get past the figure-eight, I found the ride really enjoyable.  I prefer fast coasters with quick turns that interact with the area, and this ride scratched that itch well.

Kumba- Favorite coaster in the park and probably one of my top five ever.  I don’t have to explain why, because it’s mutha fuggin’ Kumba.

Shiekra- Better than Griffon, but I think dive machines are meh, so meh.

Scorpion- I underestimated this one and kind of wish I didn’t.  It’s a fun little coaster, I guess that’s why Schwartzkoff is a favorite around here.

Sand Serpent-  It’s almost like I’ve ridden this coaster before.  Hmm...
The fact that it’s from BGW aside, it’s a wild mouse coaster, simple as that.


Stanley Falls Flume- Better than Le Scoot, but it’s not hard to be better than Le Scoot.

The one thing I loved about BGT was it’s animals.  There were plenty of them, enough to keep me entertained throughout the course of one and a half days (poor Bill though).  All the large habitats were well designed so the animals had someplace to hide away from the view of guests and large enough to give the animals space.  There were also two netted aviaries and one netted kangaroo area, allowing guests to get up close to the animals and feed them.  Smaller enclosures (smaller compared to the large mammal exhibits) dotted the park, so guests are never far away from an animal exhibit.  

My favorite locations were Curiosity Caverns and Jambo Junction, where you have a large collection of small animal exhibits.  The thing I liked about these two locations were that they were unusual animals mixed in with popular animals.  You also have a full spectrum of birds, reptiles, mammals, even a few insects.  This kind of variety is great at introducing people to new types of animals they might not know about.  

The thing that blew me away at BGT was the animal care center.  This was a full veterinary clinic inside the park where guests had full view of the procedures being done.  There was no emergency blinds, and the park certainly was willing to let guests see the not so glorious aspects of animal care (what we saw were vets performing cloacal flushes on snakes, or snake enemas), and I was really impressed that the park wasn’t attempting to sugar coat what kind of care these animals require.  The benefit of something like this is not just simply educating the public about the animals, but letting them see the kind of work that goes into the care of the animals so people don’t blindly believe everything they hear about Blackfish.

I only watched one show at BGT, and that was Iceploration.  On one hand there are parts of it that are really well done and I do love the fact that it uses an original soundtrack.  On the other hand, the girl/grandfather parts were a bit hokey and there is a part with ice skating sleeping bags.  It did have a projected stage that was well done, so that made me a little more optimistic about LR, though I kind of wish LR was an ice skating show now.  Overall, it was better than Entwined, but I’m not sure I would bother with it again.  That moray eel was awesome though…

Having gone into my trip to BGT hearing that the park’s entertainment is not as good as BGW’s, I was certainly surprised to see costumed actors walking around and entertaining guests at the front gate while they waited for the park to open.  These African themed (aka not Sesame Street or Madagascar) stilt-walkers kept the captive audience entertained for a good 15 minutes before the park officially opened and were genuinely enjoyable.  More actors dressed like African stylized animals showed up in Jungala later that day.  My understanding is that Jungala is kind of a kiddy area, but I really liked them.  They each had their own schick; a frog had pogo legs, a bird had a long neck, a stick insect hid in the trees, etc.  I was pleasantly surprised to see these actors here, something I haven’t seen in the regular season of BGW in forever.

While a little rough compared to BGW, I thought the park looked great.  The areas themed to jungles had a lot of foliage and shade while areas like Egypt and Pantopia had a few palms, but the lack of shade was on purpose considering Egypt doesn’t have dense forests.  The thing that I noticed was that the newer additions like Pantopia and Cheetah Hunt looked the best, while the older attractions lacked the detail of the new.  However, given that the guest is supposed to be in the heart of Africa, that’s not a huge deal.  Most of the coaster stations are made up of log buildings, and it works for BGT.  No major complaints on this front.

I will say that even in it's unfinished state, I loved Pantopia.  The building details were fantastic and the Painted Camel is better than anything BGW has with it's stores.  I can't wait to see the finished product.

What I will say is I actually think the African theme works better for a theme park.  Don’t get me wrong, BGW is still a good park, but BGW has struggled to fit coasters on a thematic level.  I actually see BGW as “Order” with it’s cultured, sophisticated atmosphere and BGT as “Chaos” with it’s wild, untamed atmosphere. It’s easy to fit a coaster about riding on the back of a wild beast in the middle of the Congo, but do the same thing in Aquitaine where you can buy crepes and taste wines, the thrilling nature of rides don’t match up with the themes at times.  Not all the coasters at BGW have this issue, but it’s certainly something that came to my attention considering the theme of BGT.

Final Thoughts
After a lot of thought on what I like in a theme park and where BGW is headed, I would actually prefer to spend a day at BGT over BGW.  My logic is this, with less of an entertainment value at BGW, I have to turn to other aspects of the park for fun.  In my case it would be rides and animals.  While BGW has a nominal edge in the rides category, the draw of getting off Kumba and proceeding directly to a place where I can see flying foxes or gaboon vipers is just so attractive to me.  I also really enjoyed walking through the paths with dense foliage, something BGW doesn’t have.  I don’t even view BGW as any worse than before I visited BGT, BGT just happens to appeal to my personal preferences more.  I certainly do plan on going again, hopefully for HoS.

I'll have reports for the other three parks later.
I Agree with The Gwazi description, no words can even describe the pain I had on that coaster, even worse than Hurler, seriously. It was just pure misery. I cursed a couple times on that ride, and so did just about every person on the train. It gave me an instant headache, truthfully if you ask me it was better when it didn't have the Millennium Flyers. Not to mention it looks really run down, with one side literally rotting, it's not very attractive. As I have been banned for the past week expect my reviews soon, from earlier this month.
Just because there weren't any other places to put this *glares at admin staff*...

The Norfolk Zoo is going to be opening a facility like the animal care facility at BGT. You will be able to watch animal care up close. While I was disappointed by the animal collection there, this is cool.
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Ride update

Cobra's Curse- The ride is fun, not amazing, but a solid 7/10 coaster. The queue is amazing. There are little notes scattered throughout the queue in addition to the obvious stuff that tells a legit story. Very reminiscent of The Mummy's amazing queue.

Falcons Fury- I'm not a big fan of drop towers and the gimmick didn't really do much. I did it once so I never have to do it again.
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I suppose I will also write up something since PK and I were there together and generally do not agree on much coaster related...

One side note... In choir we used to talk about making a, "joyous sound..."

When I went hunting for lunch I wandered into the grill... I think what I heard was some kind of x-mas show... It may have been joyous, but not in any way on key. I have been know to be a bit... lets say critical about BGW's vocal talent. Well if what I heard is any indication of what BGT has to offer... It is like comparing the the London Philharmonic to... nails on a chalk board.
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