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Sep 24, 2013
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In about a week and a half, my boyfriend and I will travel down to Florida and will be visiting Seaworld and Busch Gardens Tampa for the first times. For Tampa, we decided to just purchase Howl o Scream tickets but will still like to try and fit in a few of the main attractions while we are there.

What are the things that we CAN'T MISS at Tampa (Howl O Scream or basic experience)?

Note, we live in Williamsburg and have been pass members at BGW for awhile now, so we are ok with skipping a lot of the basic theme park stuff since they tend to be pretty similar no matter where you go. Also, it will just be the two of us, no kids.

Thanks!
 
Jun 22, 2013
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If you're only going into the park during Howl-O-Scream, you'll miss a lot of what the park has to offer in the way of animal encounters, along with the great show Iceploration. Otherwise, all of the major coasters are open during HOS, and if you like coasters, then they are all worth a ride except maybe SandSerpent (which depending on how long you've been going to BGW, you may have already ridden there before it moved down here.)

BGT is really about the coasters and the animals - there isn't much basic theme/amusement park stuff here (we are sorely lacking in flat rides and indoor attractions).

If you have any specific questions about BGT, let me know :)
 

Shane

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I myself have never attended their Howl-O-Scream but know from reviews that it is a very high quality event that has to compete with Universal's Halloween Horror Nights. I have visited the park during its normal operating season and as far as the main-stream rides that

I would not miss:


Kumba - Since you are from Williamsburg, if you ever rode Drachen Fire at Busch Gardens Williamsburg you have to ride Kumba to see what Williamsburg should have gotten. Its a wonderfully paced coaster and one of the very few "old fashion" loopers that B&M ever made.

Scorpion - This is a very simple and short coaster packed into a tiny corner of the park, but it is one of the few remaining Schwarzkopf coasters left on the earth. It usually has zero line so shouldn't take any time out of your visit but is a very fun little ride.

Cheetah Hunt - This coaster is a lot of fun and is pretty long. It's layout hugs the ground and dives through some tight ravines which is really fun.

Montu - Alpengiest's sister coaster is quite a lot of fun. You will hear arguements across the amusement park community over which is better. To can't beat the way it dives down below ground level.

If I had to skip any of the major coasters it would be:

Gwazi as it is literally falling apart and can be a painful ride.

SheiKra, as it is so similar to Griffon that if you are looking to save time it can be skipped although I find it to be better than Griffon personally.

Sand Serpent is your run of the mill wild mouse that can be found at any county fair, but it was located at BGW at one time.

Conclusion:

The park does not have very many flat rides so there really isn't much to skip in that department, it has fewer flat rides than its Williamsburg sister. If you are unconcerned with animals you can skip them as well, though I have no idea if they are even out during HoS. The Kangaroos over in the Bird Garden's section of that park are a lot of fun though.

Thats just my two cent! Hope you enjoy your trip.
 
Aug 17, 2010
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The animal exhibits were a highlight of BGT for me, so definitely try to go at a time when you can experience those. The lion and cheetah exhibits are very well done. As far as rides go, Montu was my personal favorite. It packs the same punch as Alpengeist, but it's much smoother. Make sure you know a good doctor if you plan to tackle Gwazi, though. Oh, I jest. There are definitely some world-class coasters on display there.
 
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Sep 24, 2013
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I honestly don't care a super amount about the animal exhibits. While I'm sure the exhibits are cool and unique, my theory is that I have seen my fair share of lions and other animals already and I'm not sure when we will get another chance to go back to Tampa.

Boyfriend is really into roller coasters so he'll probably be hitting those up as much as possible. I get motion sickness after 2 or 3.

Thanks for the suggestions, and yeah it kind of sucks that we won't be able to do Tampa right, financially we just had to pick a daytime or a nightime visit and figured a Howl O Scream ticket was the best compromise.
 

Nicole

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Jul 22, 2013
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I personally love the animals at BGT. I've done both the Tiger/Orangutan and Elephant experiences and they were fantastic (I posted trip reports for both). Feeding the giraffes is fun too, but it was better when they used to combine it with a beer tasting.

My absolute favorite regular animal exhibit is Walkabout Way with kangaroos and wallabies. I have several pictures, which I need to post. Regardless, feeding them is just great fun. They are really very interested in you, when you have food. Actually one of the kangaroos last time didn't seem to care as much about the food; he just wanted to be petted.

Jungala is cool, but obviously much less interactive. Same with Edge of Africa.

Both the Skyride and the train give you great views of the Serengeti Plain, which is nice if you want a rest or break. I try to take the Skyride back to front, as the lines tend to be shorter in that direction.

Shane covered the coasters, so I won't add anything there other than to say that I always enjoy riding all of them, despite the similarities to BGW.
 
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Jun 22, 2013
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Nic said:
Both the Skyride and the train give you great views of the Serengeti Plain, which is nice if you want a rest or break. I try to take the Skyride back to front, as the lines tend to be shorter in that direction.

I agree with you on the Skyride, but just want to point out for MCMM, it won't be open either day or night for their visit as it is currently closed until the second week of November.
 
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Shane

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Nic said:
My absolute favorite regular animal exhibit is Walkabout Way with kangaroos and wallabies. I have several pictures, which I need to post. Regardless, feeding them is just great fun. They are really very interested in you, when you have food. Actually one of the kangaroos last time didn't seem to care as much about the food; he just wanted to be petted.

I had one climb up in my lap when we were there.

If you are going at night for HoS though I doubt that the animals will be out honestly.
 
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Jun 22, 2013
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Shane said:
If you are going at night for HoS though I doubt that the animals will be out honestly.

As far as I'm aware, most of the habitat areas are simply closed off (Edge of Africa, Tiger Trail, Walkabout Way, Jambo Junction, etc). So not likely to see many, if any, of the animals if only visiting during HOS.
 
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Nic, they still had the giraffes and beer last time I went. Sunset safari or something like that. Feed the giraffes. Drink 2 beers. No kids. What a deal!
 
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Nicole

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pandorazboxx said:
Nic, they still had the giraffes and beer last time I went. Sunset safari or something like that. Feed the giraffes. Drink 2 beers. No kids. What a deal!

I'm pretty sure they have gotten rid of the full-up beer tasting, though, haven't they? When we did it on our honeymoon, they had several Busch "microbrews" paired with various foods in the tasting room, prior to the giraffe feeding, where they had more (less interesting) beer.

(Wow, check out that run-on sentence.)
 
Sep 24, 2013
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Speaking of beer, this is not exactly BG related but we thought about hitting up a local brewery in the area. We did some searching and found a couple but is there one that people especially enjoy? Note, neither of us really like IPAs so I would avoid any that specialize in that.
 
Jun 22, 2013
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Yuengling is right next door to the park (in the block just north of BGT). They have tours in the late morning/early afternoon, along with free sampling after the tour. The tour is free, and the whole thing takes maybe 60 - 90 minutes depending on the size of the group and the guide.

http://www.yuengling.com/breweries/tampa/

That's the only brewery I'm familiar with here in the Tampa area.
 

Nicole

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Whenever we got to CENTCOM, we have drinks and dinner at Datz. It isn't a brewery per se, but it has a great (and constantly changing) beer menu. Extensive cocktails and good food, as well. It is near MacDill AFB, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

The current beer menu is here.
 
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