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What's next for Busch Gardens Tampa??

DanB89

Rookie
May 15, 2011
185
Tampa
Here's what I really hope will happen there one day. This is admittedly just my blue sky idea.

One of the things that BGT does not do well right now is it's front-of-park statement. As it currently stands, you walk through the "main street" with a few shops, then are immediately face by the dated Zagora Cafe quick service location. Beyond that you have the currently standing-but-not-operating-and-now-rotting Gwazi. Not my idea of a great entry.

What if they took the opportunity created by Gwazi's closing to revamp that whole chunk of land and beyond? Tear down Gwazi, Gwazi plaza, and the Zagora Cafe, and you have a LOT of space to refurb the entrance statement for the park. They could replace Gwazi with the station for a B&M Giga, which would then climb over the bird gardens and traverse the park boundary up to the area next to Congo River Rapids and back. While doing that, they could also replace Zagora Cafe with a modern (and air conditioned) quick service location and rework the traffic flow as well as the Gwazi plaza area. As icing on the cake, they could update the Gwazi field event area with a new stage, and maybe even permanent seating for events and concerts, tying it all together to fit with the new coaster.

Will this every happen? I doubt it. But to my credit, when I first rode Maverick in 2007 I thought to myself "gee, wouldn't it be cool if Busch Gardens did something like this?" Cheetah Hunt may not be quite as exciting as Maverick, but hey, I was close. ;)
 
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shiekra38

Legendary Member
Dec 13, 2009
11,490
Florida
Here's what I really hope will happen there one day. This is admittedly just my blue sky idea.

One of the things that BGT does not do well right now is it's front-of-park statement. As it currently stands, you walk through the "main street" with a few shops, then are immediately face by the dated Zagora Cafe quick service location. Beyond that you have the currently standing-but-not-operating-and-now-rotting Gwazi. Not my idea of a great entry.

What if they took the opportunity created by Gwazi's closing to revamp that whole chunk of land and beyond? Tear down Gwazi, Gwazi plaza, and the Zagora Cafe, and you have a LOT of space to refurb the entrance statement for the park. They could replace Gwazi with the station for a B&M Giga, which would then climb over the bird gardens and traverse the park boundary up to the area next to Congo River Rapids and back. While doing that, they could also replace Zagora Cafe with a modern (and air conditioned) quick service location and rework the traffic flow as well as the Gwazi plaza area. As icing on the cake, they could update the Gwazi field event area with a new stage, and maybe even permanent seating for events and concerts, tying it all together to fit with the new coaster.

Will this every happen? I doubt it. But to my credit, when I first rode Maverick in 2007 I thought to myself "gee, wouldn't it be cool if Busch Gardens did something like this?" Cheetah Hunt may not be quite as exciting as Maverick, but hey, I was close. ;)
I think you may be on to something...I wouldn't be surprised if the whole front entrance is redone when the Gwazi plot is redone..I also don't think Burd Gardens area will be around much longer either..
 

Speed

Member
Nov 6, 2015
528
Here's what I really hope will happen there one day. This is admittedly just my blue sky idea.

One of the things that BGT does not do well right now is it's front-of-park statement. As it currently stands, you walk through the "main street" with a few shops, then are immediately face by the dated Zagora Cafe quick service location. Beyond that you have the currently standing-but-not-operating-and-now-rotting Gwazi. Not my idea of a great entry.

What if they took the opportunity created by Gwazi's closing to revamp that whole chunk of land and beyond? Tear down Gwazi, Gwazi plaza, and the Zagora Cafe, and you have a LOT of space to refurb the entrance statement for the park. They could replace Gwazi with the station for a B&M Giga, which would then climb over the bird gardens and traverse the park boundary up to the area next to Congo River Rapids and back. While doing that, they could also replace Zagora Cafe with a modern (and air conditioned) quick service location and rework the traffic flow as well as the Gwazi plaza area. As icing on the cake, they could update the Gwazi field event area with a new stage, and maybe even permanent seating for events and concerts, tying it all together to fit with the new coaster.

Will this every happen? I doubt it. But to my credit, when I first rode Maverick in 2007 I thought to myself "gee, wouldn't it be cool if Busch Gardens did something like this?" Cheetah Hunt may not be quite as exciting as Maverick, but hey, I was close. ;)
While fixing up the enterance they can probably find a good use for the old Critter Castaways show area
 

Brian G.

Editor-in-Chief
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 21, 2008
20,912
Orlando, FL
Here's what I really hope will happen there one day. This is admittedly just my blue sky idea.

One of the things that BGT does not do well right now is it's front-of-park statement. As it currently stands, you walk through the "main street" with a few shops, then are immediately face by the dated Zagora Cafe quick service location. Beyond that you have the currently standing-but-not-operating-and-now-rotting Gwazi. Not my idea of a great entry.

What if they took the opportunity created by Gwazi's closing to revamp that whole chunk of land and beyond? Tear down Gwazi, Gwazi plaza, and the Zagora Cafe, and you have a LOT of space to refurb the entrance statement for the park. They could replace Gwazi with the station for a B&M Giga, which would then climb over the bird gardens and traverse the park boundary up to the area next to Congo River Rapids and back. While doing that, they could also replace Zagora Cafe with a modern (and air conditioned) quick service location and rework the traffic flow as well as the Gwazi plaza area. As icing on the cake, they could update the Gwazi field event area with a new stage, and maybe even permanent seating for events and concerts, tying it all together to fit with the new coaster.

Will this every happen? I doubt it. But to my credit, when I first rode Maverick in 2007 I thought to myself "gee, wouldn't it be cool if Busch Gardens did something like this?" Cheetah Hunt may not be quite as exciting as Maverick, but hey, I was close. ;)
During my visit last week (My 1st real time hanging out at BGT) I was very surprised the entrance was kinda... plain. Hopefully that is on the dockets.

One thing I noticed about our interview with Brian Morrow was him mentioning their work on fictionalized areas (Cobra's Curse being a fictionalized dig site and their last efforts with Patagonia/Falcon's Fury) with some basis from reality. Wonder if that's the goal going forward.
 
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GAcoaster

V.I.P.
Nov 30, 2012
4,123
Orlando
Personally I preferred the "realistic" version of Busch Gardens rather than their fictional/non-specific themed lands. When it was The Dark Continent and the Williamsburg park was The Old Country, they really did an excellent job in the details and creating unique places. I get the move to the more generic "place that never was" theming since it's more culturally sensitive and more open to interpretation and less reliant on reality, but then again I wish many things could be the way they were with the Busch Parks (mostly wishing that they were still owned by AB and AB was still controlled by the Busch family). I know we can never go back and we have to make the best of the present and future but I still wish I had a time machine some days...
 

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
19,434
Pittsburgh area
Personally I preferred the "realistic" version of Busch Gardens rather than their fictional/non-specific themed lands. When it was The Dark Continent and the Williamsburg park was The Old Country, they really did an excellent job in the details and creating unique places. I get the move to the more generic "place that never was" theming since it's more culturally sensitive and more open to interpretation and less reliant on reality, but then again I wish many things could be the way they were with the Busch Parks (mostly wishing that they were still owned by AB and AB was still controlled by the Busch family). I know we can never go back and we have to make the best of the present and future but I still wish I had a time machine some days...
BGW was a fantastic park during it's earlier years. Like you, I miss the Busch family running those parks. They certainly put on a great show. The BGW Old Country made you feel like you were Europe. Great streetmosphere back then.
 

Jwhee

Veteran Member
Apr 29, 2013
1,591
Florida
At Mako I spoke to one of the lead creative directors for SWO and BGT, not any insight on a future attraction but this person was telling me about how the original concept for Cobra's Curse was called "The Mummy Making Machine". The concept was that guests would be "wrapped" into a Mummy as they spun on the spinning coaster. Kinda funny and neat concept! He said you can see concept art for the Mummy Making Machine in the queue for Cobra's.
 

Brian G.

Editor-in-Chief
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 21, 2008
20,912
Orlando, FL
At Mako I spoke to one of the lead creative directors for SWO and BGT, not any insight on a future attraction but this person was telling me about how the original concept for Cobra's Curse was called "The Mummy Making Machine". The concept was that guests would be "wrapped" into a Mummy as they spun on the spinning coaster. Kinda funny and neat concept! He said you can see concept art for the Mummy Making Machine in the queue for Cobra's.

;)

ClGLwEPWgAA5vO_.jpg
 

shiekra38

Legendary Member
Dec 13, 2009
11,490
Florida
The Mummy Making Machine...oh dear gawd...They would have been the laughing stock of the theme park community
 

DanB89

Rookie
May 15, 2011
185
Tampa
Yeah, I specifically remember hearing that they tried out several wing coasters and weren't impressed (thank God). Looks like we're back on track for that Fury-style Giga coaster :)
I really hope this is the case. BG doesn't need any more inversion-focused coasters, it needs a good airtime and/or speed machine.
 
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Kumba's Roar

Newcomer
Nov 9, 2015
93
Since they had originally wanted a Giga in 2016, I wouldn't be surprised if they are trying for it again. I am a bit surprised it would come so soon after Mako. I would have thought they would have wanted to give Mako more time in the light, but since SeaWorld is supposed to be getting another major attraction in 2018, maybe that is why they don't mind it is soon after. Either way, it is very exciting that there are already rumors of another BGT coaster. If it's not a Giga and is going to be by B&M, I would hope for a launched B&M. I'm guessing it would be a winged coaster in that case too since they already have most other types of B&M's between BGT and SWF.
 

OLSinFLA

Veteran Member
May 26, 2012
1,629
I rode the wing coaster at Dollywood. I found it a very different experience... more like flying than anything else. It wasn't so much as scary or thrilling as in different. And quite comfortable to ride.
 

shiekra38

Legendary Member
Dec 13, 2009
11,490
Florida
I really hope this is the case. BG doesn't need any more inversion-focused coasters, it needs a good airtime and/or speed machine.
Definitely..I have some family that can't do Montu, Kumba, etc because of the inversions, but did Apollo's Chariot just fine..I personally love inversions, but a good height and air machine is needed to further round out the park