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Busch Gardens Tampa and Sea World Orlando, 4/12/21 and 4/14/21


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On Monday I went to Busch Gardens Tampa. My last time at the park was in January 2012 so there had been some new coasters added since then. Last month I bought a Platinum Pass when it was on sale and it looks like there are a lot of great benefits like 6 bring a friend free tickets that you can use anytime.

 

Cobra's Curse had just reopened after a breakdown with no wait. The elevator lift was something different compared to the traditional lift hill and I liked how there was a forwards section, then backwards and finally spinning without the spinning being too much.

 

Montu is one of my favorite B&M invert coasters. Instead of loading each row in the station, rows 1 and 2 would wait in row 1's loading area and everyone would move to their row when the gates opened. They also allowed more than 1 group in a row leaving a space in between each seat. There was also no announcement a train was dispatching on any of the coasters at Busch Gardens or Sea World. For the launched coasters, that meant a surprise of when you would actually launch. Montu has a great layout and forceful although not as intense as Batman The Ride.

 

Cheetah Hunt was my favorite coaster in Florida. It isn't too intense but an overall fun ride and I like how there are multiple launches.

 

Falcon's Fury was a ride I was unsure about trying. A drop tower where you face down sounded kind of scary but I thought I would try it with no wait so no time to think about it. The scariest part was at the top looking straight down at 300 feet and waiting for the drop. The drop itself wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

 

Scorpion is another classic coaster. Schwarzkopf loops are my favorite inversion and it was nice to ride a Schwarzkopf looper that still had the original trains.

 

Stanley Falls was next and is a good flume ride with 2 drops.

 

Sheikra was the only ride in the park with any kind of major wait with an hour wait time posted. I used my Platinum Pass single ride Quick Queue here and only had to wait 1 train. The vertical drops are great and the splashdown effect at the end is cool.

 

Tigris had some air time going up the ride after the final launch that I wasn't expecting. The coaster is short but has a lot of elements fit in. I wish it didn't have the comfort collars since there is nothing comforting about them but it wasn't enough to ruin the ride.

 

The train ride only had 1 train running. Combined with only every other row loaded, capacity was low and round trips were not allowed. If you were fast, it was possible to exit the train and get in line at the other station to make it a round trip. The train ride is great since you see so many animals along the ride.

 

Congo River Rapids were running and may have just reopened as they were still listed as closed on the website. I hope the sky ride reopens soon.

 

One thing I never really paid attention to at the park was the lack of non coaster rides. There is the train, flume, rapids, bumper cars, carousel, Falcon's Fury and maybe another ride I forgot. I would like to see something like a scrambler or other flat rides added.

 

Iron Gwazi looks amazing I hope they open it this year.

 

It was a fun trip to the park and they have a really good coaster line up. I'm going to post the Sea World report later.

 

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4 hours ago, Yoshi said:

One thing I never really paid attention to at the park was the lack of non coaster rides. There is the train, flume, rapids, bumper cars, carousel, Falcon's Fury and maybe another ride I forgot. I would like to see something like a scrambler or other flat rides added.

If I remember correctly, they are adding a S&S Screamin Swing next.

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That's good to hear, they really could use a ride like that.

 

On Tuesday 4/13 we went to Disney Springs, it was a little strange being on Disney property and not going to one of their parks but still fun to walk around the area. The LEGO Store got some new displays outside (or at least new since I was last there).

 

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I hadn't been to Sea World since 2004 when it was so crowded that you had to get to a show an hour early to get a seat. The temperature was also in the 50s so it was too cold for Journey to Atlantis and on this visit all the rides would be new for me.

 

Mako was first. It didn't open until 10:30 and no one else was going to the ride. I got the first train of the day and was the only rider on the train. I had high expectations for Mako considering how much I like B&M Hypers and the ride lived up to those expectations. The ride was really smooth with some highly banked turns and some good air time. It overtook Cheetah Hunt for my favorite coaster in Florida and my #3 steel coaster overall right after Nitro. My sister decided to try the coaster and we walked through the empty queue.

 

Kraken was another ride I was looking forward to and the station was completely empty so I went for the front row. I liked the layout of the coaster with the second vertical loop after the mid course brake run. The only negative was that the entire ride had the B&M rattle. Not enough to ruin the ride but I'd probably rank it 4th out of the 5 B&M Floorless coasters I have ridden (Hydra is last).

 

Journey To Atlantis was way better than I was expecting. The dark ride section at the start of the ride was good with some calming type music. We sat in a middle row to avoid getting soaked. I didn't realize there wasn't much of a coaster section at the end but didn't mind too much. After reading online that the ride had changed and the original version had a storyline, I wish I could have experienced that version but was still happy with the current version. This was my second favorite ride in the park after Mako.

 

We walked over to Orca Encounter passing Ice Breaker on the way. Although it wasn't open, it was testing throughout the day and looks like it will be a fun addition to the park.

 

I was a little unsure about trying Manta because the last few times I rode Superman, I didn't like waiting on the brake run not moving with my head tilted down and not really being able to move. I decided to give it a try and the ride is way better than Superman with some extra inversions and more track. 2 trains were running with 1 station being used. Waiting for the other train to dispatch was uncomfortable especially with the mask and hot weather. I'd probably try Manta again if 1 train was running.

 

We went to some of the exhibits like Wild Arctic (animals only as the ride is closed) and Shark Encounter. I hope the Antarctica Empire of the Penguin ride reopens.

 

We went back to Journey to Atlantis and I also rode Kraken and Mako again. Earlier in the day Kraken and Mako were running 1 train which was understandable with the low crowds but later on added second trains were added to both rides.

 

I also liked the way Sea World used Photo Key. At Busch Gardens, you had to remember what time you rode a coaster and then go to the photo place at the front of the park and have each picture manually looked up and added to your account. At Sea World, after each ride the person at the store could pull up the photo and scan the card right there so the photo was added to the account.

 

Overall I liked Sea World a lot more than I was expecting was really impressed with the park.

 

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Its a shame they took out Rhino Rally, that was a great ride especially with the break a way raft bridge. 

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I only rode Rhino Rally once but I agree it’s a shame they removed it. I would have liked to have tried the original version with the water section.

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