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Importance of indoor rides (in regards to weather)

Milo S

Newcomer
Apr 25, 2018
58
How important is it for BGT to build indoor/dark rides?

Having just learned about RMCs, I was pretty excited at the idea of Gwazi being converted into one. But recently with the persistent rainfall Tampa is experiencing, another roller coaster just means another outdoor ride being shut down during inclement weather. That's especially problematic since right now there are a lot of school field trips booked at the park, and when all outdoor rides (pretty much all BGT has is outdoors) are shut down, those kids are left with literally NOTHING to do.

Should it be a priority for BGT to build some indoor rides? I know BGW used to have one with DarKastle, but BGT being open year-round with much higher attendance could enable them to maintain a ride like that for much longer than BGW did.
 

Andysol

Veteran Member
Jun 21, 2016
3,765
For regional parks, like BGT- they are not nearly as important as a park in Disney World or UOR.
If it's crappy weather at a regional park, the locals aren't really attending.
If it's crappy weather at a resort park like WDW or UOR, the on-site guests are there regardless.
 

Galaxy Defender

Veteran Member
Oct 5, 2013
3,640
Atlanta, GA
I doubt it is even practical. Th we y would have to build plenty of indoor rides to get guests on a bad weather day. That would likely be too expensive. Bad weather is just factored into the cost of doing business for outdoor theme parks.
 

Milo S

Newcomer
Apr 25, 2018
58
I doubt it is even practical. Th we y would have to build plenty of indoor rides to get guests on a bad weather day. That would likely be too expensive. Bad weather is just factored into the cost of doing business for outdoor theme parks.
I was just thinking 1 or 2 indoor rides. Roller coasters should still be the main draw for BGT, of course, but for those rainy days, 1 or 2 dark rides would be helpful, so not all the rides have to close. Like, SWO has had Wild Arctic for over two decades. Maybe an African version of that could be made, perhaps built on top of the Rhino Rally plot.
 

Galaxy Defender

Veteran Member
Oct 5, 2013
3,640
Atlanta, GA
I was just thinking 1 or 2 indoor rides. Roller coasters should still be the main draw for BGT, of course, but for those rainy days, 1 or 2 dark rides would be helpful, so not all the rides have to close. Like, SWO has had Wild Arctic for over two decades. Maybe an African version of that could be made, perhaps built on top of the Rhino Rally plot.
You have just described Six Flags Over Georgia. It is had one dark boat ride from the beginning currently called Monster Mansion. Couple of years ago they finally got the Justice League battle for Metropolis indoor shooter ride. I think it is the only Six Flags park with two indoor rides.
 

Galaxy Defender

Veteran Member
Oct 5, 2013
3,640
Atlanta, GA
Is that a good thing? Because I wouldn't want BGT to be anything like a Six Flags park. Or is SFOG a really good park?
SFoG is one of the original three SF parks, the only ones built by Six Flags. It still has a good bit of that original charm.

Highlights include

A 50 year old steel wooden hybrid coaster
Hyper coaster
Brand new RNC hybrid that opens in 2 days
An over 100 year old carousel
Classic Sky buckets
Classic train around the park
Water park

Best of all, I buy my pass well in advance each year and get free parking and access to all Six Flags parks for $53.
 

Andysol

Veteran Member
Jun 21, 2016
3,765
You have just described Six Flags Over Georgia. It is had one dark boat ride from the beginning currently called Monster Mansion. Couple of years ago they finally got the Justice League battle for Metropolis indoor shooter ride. I think it is the only Six Flags park with two indoor rides.
Six Flags over Texas in DFW got Justice League in 2014 and have had a dark boat ride from the beginning as well- Yosemite Sam's Gold Rush Adventure. Great Looney Toons AAs. Only 70% work, of course.

We also have an indoor coaster (Runaway mountain)

But again- it's a regional park. So even if Six Flags (or BGT) had 4 indoor rides, and it's raining, it doesn't matter because hardly anyone will be there.
 
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Milo S

Newcomer
Apr 25, 2018
58
Six Flags over Texas in DFW got Justice League in 2014 and have had a dark boat ride from the beginning as well- Yosemite Sam's Gold Rush Adventure. Great Looney Toons AAs. Only 70% work, of course.

We also have an indoor coaster (Runaway mountain)

But again- it's a regional park. So even if Six Flags (or BGT) had 4 indoor rides, and it's raining, it doesn't matter because hardly anyone will be there.
Idk about that. BGT is a regional park, but it does get over 4 million visitors a year being in Central Florida (tourists tend to group it with Disney and Universal as a must-visit), and having recently been there amidst a huge crowd of local school groups and tourists from Europe and Brazil, not everyone leaves the minute it starts raining. Most actually stay in hopes that the rain will die down.
 

Andysol

Veteran Member
Jun 21, 2016
3,765
Idk about that. BGT is a regional park, but it does get over 4 million visitors a year being in Central Florida (tourists tend to group it with Disney and Universal as a must-visit), and having recently been there amidst a huge crowd of local school groups and tourists from Europe and Brazil, not everyone leaves the minute it starts raining. Most actually stay in hopes that the rain will die down.
It’s more in the same breath as Six Flags magic mountain/great adventure, Cedar point, knotts berry farm, Hershey Park and Kings Island. All of which are severely impacted by weather.
It’s not even in the same league as Disney and Universal. One large reason because there are no on-site hotels that cater towards it forcing guests to attend regardless of weather.

In regards to attendance- There is Disney and Universal at the top, all alone. And really, one could argue Disney all alone with Universal being the 2nd tier.
Then there’s the “mid tier”- which includes what I mentioned including sea world and BGT.
Then there’s the bottom tier which is fun spot, and other tiny regional parks.
 

Galaxy Defender

Veteran Member
Oct 5, 2013
3,640
Atlanta, GA
Idk about that. BGT is a regional park, but it does get over 4 million visitors a year being in Central Florida (tourists tend to group it with Disney and Universal as a must-visit), and having recently been there amidst a huge crowd of local school groups and tourists from Europe and Brazil, not everyone leaves the minute it starts raining. Most actually stay in hopes that the rain will die down.
BGT does get higher attendance than SF parks, but it is open year round. SF is open summer, weekends and holidays. BGT spreads out that attendance over over 365 days, making it easier for people to skip a bad weather day.
 

shiekra38

Legendary Member
Dec 13, 2009
13,859
Florida
I know they used to offer a "bad weather guarantee policy" that would essentially give you a free day when the weather was bad enough to where you couldn't ride anything for the majority of the day...I wonder if that is still in practice
 

GAcoaster

V.I.P.
Nov 30, 2012
4,587
Orlando
Yes, if you buy a one day ticket at full price and it rains you get to come back free another day:

"What is the Rain Guarantee Policy?

If rain ruins the fun at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay between May 15 through July 1, guests will be eligible to receive a complimentary visit to the park to use within 30 days of your visit.


If your day is impacted by weather, visit guest relations to receive a ticket for your 2nd visit. Policy enactment is at the discretion of Guest Services. Parking, lockers, Quick Queue & additional upgrade purchases from initial visit are not included in 2nd visit. Rainy day guarantee may ONLY be utilized by guests with a Single-Day ticket or Multi-Day ticket. Not valid with Pass Members or Fun Cards. "
 

ChristopherSE

V.I.P.
Jul 12, 2009
2,052
NJ -> Orlando
You have just described Six Flags Over Georgia. It is had one dark boat ride from the beginning currently called Monster Mansion. Couple of years ago they finally got the Justice League battle for Metropolis indoor shooter ride. I think it is the only Six Flags park with two indoor rides.
SF Great Adventure in NJ actually has a few indoor rides:

Skull Mountain (family coaster)
Justice League (shooter)
Dark Knight (wild mouse)
Houdini's Great Escape (spinning illusion dark ride) [open peak times]

And they have no effect on how the park functions. All last week, we had constant rain storms and the park closed early (or didn't open at all) every operating day. You really need at least 50% of your rides to be indoor to make a difference, I'd say. And between being a thrill park and a zoo park, Busch would have to do major rebranding to operate the same way Disney and Uni do. @Andysol 's point about resort vs. non-resort guests is a huge reason.

That being said, I really like having the handful of indoor rides at SFGA because it's a nice change of pace, and I can duck out of weather if needed. But only because a lot of people leave for (or don't show up because of) crappy weather at that park. If everyone stayed, everyone would flock to those 4 rides, and they'd be even more unbearable than they already are.

Though I've never been, it seems like a few indoor rides and shows at BGT would be nice for those passing rain storms y'all get in Florida every day in the summer. I think it could keep guest count higher for longer, instead of everyone ducking out?
 
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Milo S

Newcomer
Apr 25, 2018
58
SF Great Adventure in NJ actually has a few indoor rides:

Skull Mountain (family coaster)
Justice League (shooter)
Dark Knight (wild mouse)
Houdini's Great Escape (spinning illusion dark ride) [open peak times]

And they have no effect on how the park functions. All last week, we had constant rain storms and the park closed early (or didn't open at all) every operating day. You really need at least 50% of your rides to be indoor to make a difference, I'd say. And between being a thrill park and a zoo park, Busch would have to do major rebranding to operate the same way Disney and Uni do. @Andysol 's point about resort vs. non-resort guests is a huge reason.

That being said, I really like having the handful of indoor rides at SFGA because it's a nice change of pace, and I can duck out of weather if needed. But only because a lot of people leave for (or don't show up because of) crappy weather at that park. If everyone stayed, everyone would flock to those 4 rides, and they'd be even more unbearable than they already are.

Though I've never been, it seems like a few indoor rides and shows at BGT would be nice for those passing rain storms y'all get in Florida every day in the summer. I think it could keep guest count higher for longer, instead of everyone ducking out?
Well that stinks. Four indoor rides and everything still shuts down? I guess that's due to the lightning.

Well, one or two indoor rides are probably all BGT could build, so if that doesn't make a difference weather-wise, then I'd like to see them built just for variety and change of pace. It would indeed be nice, although you make a good point about over-capacity if those two rides are the only ones running during a downpour and everyone stays.

And I wasn't trying to say that BGT should operate like Disney or Uni. It obviously can't, and most tourists staying at those resorts don't bother driving the 80 miles down I-4 to check BGT out. But a good portion of them do (mainly from Uni), and the ones that do are pleasantly surprised by what they find. Some tourists I've spoken to even like BGT so much they wish it was in Orlando with its sister, SeaWorld, so it could be closer to where they're staying. It's not in league with those parks, but it's still in the region of Central Florida, so it still attracts some of that tourist audience, and a dark ride or two would certainly keep them coming back.
 

Milo S

Newcomer
Apr 25, 2018
58
Yes, if you buy a one day ticket at full price and it rains you get to come back free another day:

"What is the Rain Guarantee Policy?

If rain ruins the fun at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay between May 15 through July 1, guests will be eligible to receive a complimentary visit to the park to use within 30 days of your visit.


If your day is impacted by weather, visit guest relations to receive a ticket for your 2nd visit. Policy enactment is at the discretion of Guest Services. Parking, lockers, Quick Queue & additional upgrade purchases from initial visit are not included in 2nd visit. Rainy day guarantee may ONLY be utilized by guests with a Single-Day ticket or Multi-Day ticket. Not valid with Pass Members or Fun Cards. "
That's good they still have that system in place.
 

shiekra38

Legendary Member
Dec 13, 2009
13,859
Florida
Yes, if you buy a one day ticket at full price and it rains you get to come back free another day:

"What is the Rain Guarantee Policy?

If rain ruins the fun at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay between May 15 through July 1, guests will be eligible to receive a complimentary visit to the park to use within 30 days of your visit.


If your day is impacted by weather, visit guest relations to receive a ticket for your 2nd visit. Policy enactment is at the discretion of Guest Services. Parking, lockers, Quick Queue & additional upgrade purchases from initial visit are not included in 2nd visit. Rainy day guarantee may ONLY be utilized by guests with a Single-Day ticket or Multi-Day ticket. Not valid with Pass Members or Fun Cards. "
Yep, that's what I was thinking of
 
Jun 28, 2013
330
Florida
I was just thinking 1 or 2 indoor rides. Roller coasters should still be the main draw for BGT, of course, but for those rainy days, 1 or 2 dark rides would be helpful, so not all the rides have to close. Like, SWO has had Wild Arctic for over two decades. Maybe an African version of that could be made, perhaps built on top of the Rhino Rally plot.
Sorry to re-start an old thread, but I completely agree with your post. BGT actually used to have a ride just like Wild Arctic, called Questor (later Akbar's Adventure Tours), in the Egypt section; the ride building and much of the exterior theming are still there, hidden in plain sight. I know it's used for haunted houses now, but I've always dreamed of it being repurposed back into a simulator ride. For exactly that reason: they really need some indoor attractions. I wanted to go just yesterday, but then I noticed the dark clouds as I got closer, checked the app at a red light, and not surprisingly every single ride was showing "closed due to weather," and it remained that way until closing-- needless to say I didn't even bother going in. At SeaWorld the weather wouldn't have stopped me from going, because they have Wild Arctic, Empire of the Penguin, Turtle Trek, and plenty of shows and indoor walk-through exhibits to see.

15 years ago, Busch Gardens had a much better assortment of attractions for when it rained: they had a simulator, a 4-D show, several walk-through indoor exhibits, more shows, Rhino Rally (which I definitely remember riding in the rain), plus the few things here and there that they still have now. That's why it seems weird that they're so ill-equipped now. If they could just be on par with SeaWorld that would be a major boost for the park.

As for the resort thing, I think Busch Gardens absolutely should build an on-site resort, in fact I think there were plans to do just that, though they might have since been dropped. It's hard to sell a 5-park SeaWorld vacation when two of those parks require a 90-minute commute.
 
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Freak

Veteran Member
Jan 10, 2013
4,618
No man's land: SoCal
I live in SoCal where the majority of USH's and DL's rides are indoors. If it rains, that's barely going to affect their operations. That means shorter lines for me (Yay!). Then you have Knott's and SFMM where there are only a couple of indoor rides and the rest are outdoor. If it rains in those parks, they're closing up shop. Then there's the other extreme when I went to King's Island. When I went, it was misting at first then it was POURING. I still managed to hit all of the coasters except the Flying Ace. I was pleasantly surprised to see everything operating in the rain (Though FoF and Ghost Blasters were nice reliefs from the weather). Of course when it rained at Cedar Point the first time I went a decade ago, everything shut down from the rain. It depends on the park.

That being said, indoor rides are important for offering variety and taking a break from the weather. Coaster-heavy parks will shut down from the rain despite the fact they may have a few indoor rides, but when it gets hot, that's a great relief for everyone. Plus, it offers variety from the usual thrills. SFMM is absolutely MISERABLE during the Summer. It's in the SCV which is usually 15 degrees hotter than anywhere else in SoCal. Prior to JL, they had ZERO indoor rides. None. When they added that ride, it provided a nice relief from the heat that I'm sure the GP loved.

SF Over Texas has three indoor rides. Those are absolutely necessary because Texas gets humid as crap over there. If they had no indoor rides whatsoever, it would be unbearable and would only last so long over there.

So yeah, indoor rides are important. They could influence the GP in staying longer to spend more money. I think people are staying longer over the Summer at SFMM because of Justice League. Cedar Point should add a dark ride.
 

P@n!K_Sw1tC#

Veteran Member
Aug 5, 2009
1,431
Windermere
A Sally shooter dark ride would do both BGT and SWO wonders. One of the biggest mistakes the parks made was doing sh!t like Antarctica to try to compete with the big boys. You don't have to meet the measuring stick to be great, you just have to be different (Manta/Falcons Fury). This is why their roller coasters are such a draw considering all of the other high tech rides available in Central Florida. If I were in charge of capital planning BGT would be getting a family dark ride either in Pantopia or Jungala in the next few seasons. I'd do a Jellyfish themed indoor spinning coaster at SeaWorld akin to Crush's Coaster or Laff Track at Hershey.