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.

Rollercoasters:

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

Python:

An Arrow Corkscrew, built in 1977

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

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

Scorpion:

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.

Kumba

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.

Montu

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.

Rides:

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)


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