Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Location: Tampa, FL

Date of last visit: 2/11/00

Admission: About $46

Description of park: Busch's first park. Started out as just a zoological park with a Brewery tour, has since added several mechanical rides, mostly all in the back of the park. Has an African Safari theme.


All roller coasters use individual seat queues to wait for any seat.


An Arrow Corkscrew, built in 1977

Trains: 2 by Arrow (6 cars/ 4 per car)

Opinion: Nothing Special/ obsolete, even in its own park


A Schwarzkopf single looper - 1980

Features a single loop and a helix

1 train (6 cars/ 4 per car) - Lap Bars Only!

Opinion: "You can do a loop without OTS restraints, yeah!!" The lack of an OTS restraint system made this mediocre ride much better. Keep this ride, it is a dying breed.


A 1993 B & M sit-down multi-inversion coaster

Features 7 inversions, including a large vertical loop and a diving loop, and several others. If it's a coaster inversion, Kumba has an example of it. Also has a tunnel.

3 B&M 4 abreast trains, 8 rows each, only using 1 during my visit and still was a walk-on. By the time you make it through exit and re enter the line, an empty train is waiting for you.(Again, on my visit)

A word on B&M trains: While 4 abreast seating used to be a novelty, it is now a novelty which has worn thin. If you have to sit in a middle of the train, middle seat, you may as well be riding a coaster-simulator, since all you can see is the high seat back of the rider in front of you. (This has been known to induce motion-sickness in some riders, that is not experienced if those same riders have a 'window' seat on either end.) Also do either of the Swiss partners have arms? Their rides tend to have absolutely no elbow room between riders.

Opinion: My favorite Steel coaster! Delivers an extremly smooth ride and features a series of inversions that is very intense, and with the mid-course brakes off due to single train operation, no lulls or dead time.


A 1996 B &M inverted - A very intense powerful Inverted experience, thatmakes good use of strategicaly placed tunnels and trenched in its Egyptian themed area.

Gwazi -

A 1999 Dueling Racer.  Two intertwined wooden coasters are locked in eternal battle.  Will the lion or tiger get home first.  Some mild airtime and a well orchestrated performace.  GCI's first dueling coaster.

Other Attractions:

BGT offers both an extensive 'zoo' component as well as a 'theme park' component The Zoo is well-maintained and worth visiting. (You can always use it as ammo to convince non-coaster riders to go :) )

Note: The Brewery Tour is closed permanently.


Note: Quick whirlwind visit (4 hours) excuse lack of proper names.

Opinion of park: Exceptional, good family attraction with both rides for the kids/teens and animal exhibits for the older ones. Well cared for park with good rides.

Admission price seemed steep, but I guess we have Disney to thank for that. (If disney can charge $40, I'm sure we can charge $35 type thought process)

Back to Coasterville Mayor's Study