Monday, November 30, 2009

Aerial Antics: Busch Gardens Tampa

I haven't been doing a lot of large theme parks on Aerial Antics lately, so I figured this was a nice week to take a look-see at Busch Gardens The Dark Continent Africa Tampa. Let's just go with BGT for now.

We have to take a pit stop at this building to pay respect to the awesome simulator, Questor, which once resided here. It was removed and replaced by Akbar's Adventure tours, which was a less than worth replacement, and in present day there is no longer any type of simulator at the park.

Here's the crazy water section of Rhino Rally, which I made a friend of mine stand in line for to experience because I thought it seemed interesting. It took up a lot of time and I missed out on riding Montu because of it. I'm bitter.

Gwazi consists of two separate tracks, the lion and tiger side. The dueling wooden coasters opened in '99 utilizing some of the land that the Busch brewery used to sit on.

This is Land of the Dragons, which is currently under construction to transform into the Sesame Street Safari of Fun. The new area will totally replace the Dragons theme, and use more of that empty space left by the brewery.

SheiKra is a visually stunning ride. The B&M vertical drop ride is the older sister of Busch Garden Europe's Griffon coaster. I like how the support footings in the parking lot are painted bright yellow, as if to scream "don't drive into me!"

Python operated at the park from 1976 to 2006 when it was removed in order to make more room for the park's new themed area, Jungala. This was Florida's first coaster with inversions, but now the track has probably been melted down and turned into cars... or something.

Many people gripe that a lot of B&M coasters are 'forceless.' Here's a prime example of one that is not. Kumba provides a really wild ride now matter how you cut it.

Another member of a slowly dying breed, Scorpion is a Schwarzkopf single loop coaster, of which only a few remain in the world. Busch Gardens Tampa has spent the time and money to keep this one in nice shape, which is a wonderful move in my book.

And we'll end with the one I missed out on, Montu. The B&M inverted ride is impressive from the ground, air, and probably even from underground. It's nearly 4,000 ft. long and stands around 150 ft. above the ground below at it's highest point.

Here's a link to the Bing aerials.


Rian said...

Gwazi is by far the roughest GCI, I think, I've ever been on. It doesn't matter which side I ride it still was very rough.

Anonymous said...

Do you want to disown that friend for making you miss Montu?

BnM Lover said...

Out of nearly 100 steel coasters ridden, Montu is hands down my favorite steel.

I've been to BGT 4 times in the past decade and always start with a couple or rides on Montu and end the day with a couple of rides on Montu.

I'm really sorry you missed this fantastic coaster.

NewsPlusNotes said...

I've heard a lot of comments about Gwazi being rough, too. I believe I just read that it's currently getting some retracking love.

And missing Montu was all my fault! I was into themed attractions real bad when I was there and thought it was worth waiting for Rhino Rally... then after riding it I realized my mistake.

I'll get down to BGT again some day...

Sabrina said...

Road trip? :-)

I think that's become my official catch phrase of 2009. But as far as catch phrases go, it's not a bad one to claim.