Busch Gardens Tampa
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(8/5/16) Guest Violently Assaults Popular Park Animal (MORE...)
(8/3/16) Busch Gardens Tampa Opens Rising Tide Conservation Exhibit (MORE...)
(7/20/16) Another Returning Howl-O-Scream Maze (MORE...)
(7/13/16) More Howl-O-Scream Updates (MORE...)
Ride Rehabs - The following information is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.
Hippos of the Nile - Aug 8 through Aug 12
Rosita’s Fly Away - Aug 22 through Aug 26
Kumba - Sept. 6 through Sept. 16
Desert Runners - Sept. 19 through Sept. 23
Congo River Rapids - Oct. 17 through Nov. 4
Skyride - Nov. 7 through Nov. 23
Stanleyville Log Flume - Nov. 28 through Dec. 23
General Park News - (8/5/16) Sometimes we publish stories of cheer and joy... others about thrills... and others about the joys of being scared on rides and haunts, but then there are the really dark articles. Not just the ones about people getting hurt... which are sad.. but then there is the next level of darkness. This is where we drop down to the lowest level of humanity... into a world full stupid and cruel inhabitants, where logic no longer make sense and the use of the word "human" becomes a bit of a stretch.
Unfortunately this is where we are going today as a recently released 45-year old convict by the name of Joseph Corrao visited Busch Gardens Tampa with family members. For entirely unknown reasons Corrao suddenly reached into the park's flamingo exhibit and grabbed one of the parks more well known Flamingos, a 19-year old Chilean pink Flamingo by the name of Pinky, and then hoisted the bird over his head and hurled it violently into the ground as hard as he could.
Unfortunately, Pinky's injuries were so severe, with one leg damaged to the point of nearly being completely severed off, that the park staff had no choice but to euthanize Pinky. Corrao has been arrested and charged with "aggravated cruelty to animals". Unfortunately, Corrao has a history of this kind of behavior, having been charged with "aggravated assault on animals" back in 2013, and having just been released from prison in 2015 after a 2-year stretch for "aggravated assault" and "fleeing from officers" as the most recent offences in a criminal history that stretches back 20 years.
(8/3/16) Busch Gardens Tampa has opened the new "Rising Tide Conservation" exhibit, a 270-gallon aquarium housing aquaculture fishes, live coral and snails. This non-profit collaborative effort was initiated by SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment in 2009 and focuses on methods to successfully breed saltwater reef fish to provide alternatives to collecting them from the wild.
Rising Tide Conservation partners with public aquariums, research facilities, pet-industry professionals and saltwater aquarium hobbyists to protect coral reefs by developing sustainable aquaculture methods. The collection of marine tropical fish can cause damage to both the reef and the fish it sustains.
Busch Gardens Tampa has been establishing the tank system for nearly two years. The aquarium will display several marine fish that Rising Tide Conservation has successfully bred, including the first successful aquaculture of Yellow Tangs, which was done in conjunction with the Oceanic Institute of Hawaii Pacific University.
Guests can visit the exhibit by the conservation windows located to the right of Jambo Junction in the Nairobi area of the park. The exhibit is open daily during park operating hours.
(7/2/16) Busch Gardens Tampa had a little extra excitement on Friday when one of the park's orangutans (Luna) escaped from the enclosure and began to explore the park for about an hour. Park staff were able to tranquilize the orangutan and return it unharmed. Currently it is unknown exactly how it escaped, but apparently this was the second time an orangutan has escaped in the past couple weeks, though the previous escapee was said to be a different animal.
So apparently they are teaching each other how to escape, though that's not entirely unusual as orangutans are very intelligent. Growing up in San Diego as a kid, this reminded me immediately of another famous "Hairy Houdini" that was part of the famous San Diego Zoo named Ken Allen. Over his nearly 30 years of age in the San Diego Zoo, Ken Allen was made famous in local circles after he managed to escape from his enclosure several different times over the years. Upon escaping he would never bother anyone... and he never tried to leave the zoo, he would just wander around like a tourist, calmly explore and watch the other animals. The keepers would then find him, and peacefully lead him back to his own enclosure.
The keepers were stumped for years about how he would escape, and Ken Allen was smart enough to know when he was being watched and never reveal his escape routes. However eventually some of the other orangutans did see and follow his lead (monkey see, monkey do?) and the Zoo brought in enclosure experts and rock climbers to go over every inch of the enclosure to find and remove any possible hand/food holds and ensure the enclosure was Ken Allen proof once again.
(6/3/16) Island Nights are back at Adventure Island, with the park closing at 9pm on Thursday nights and 10pm on Friday and Saturday nights throughout the summer. Each evening, starting at 5pm, the park brings out a collection of live performers, a DJ, games on the beach and more.
(5/4/16) A reader sent me some good news and some fantastic news after a visit to Busch Gardens Tampa. According to the report it appeared as if the belts on Montu were replaced with new belts, though they report that these new belts are still a bit shorter than the belts that have been used for years. Why the new B&M belts have been shortened is still unknown, but they are better than they were before the rehab. On the fantastic news front, our reader was estatic to report that Montu was running fully unchained during their visit this week. The trim was not trying to slow the train down, and the mid-course brake run was also turned off, essentially turning back the clock and returning Montu back to the way it ran when it was brand new once again. Lets hope they keep it this way, because Montu was arguably one of the best coasters in the world when it first opened, as well as being perhaps the best B&M Inverted coasters ever built.
(4/17/16) According to a report at PixelsAtTheParks, it seems Busch Gardens Tampa may be planning on reopening the park's full-service Crown Colony Restaurant building later this year under the name "Serengeti Overlook", which was filed for a trademark in late February. With increased foot-traffic expected to hit this side of the park with the opening of Cobra's Curse, it would only make sense to reopen the restaurant as well.
(4/11/16) This kind of came out of the wild blue yonder, but a Busch Gardens Tampa spokesperson has apparently confirmed to PixelsAtTheParks that April 10th was the last day to ride the Tanganyika Tidal Wave attraction. The attraction is now closed for good it seems, though it makes little sense to me to close one of your big water rides just before the start of summer, rather than close it down at the end of Summer.
I suspect something very WRONG may have taken place with the ride to suddenly close it down, as the park's official rehab schedule page still had Tidal Wave listed last week to be closed for a scheduled maintenance break from May 9 to May 13th... but I guess they have opted to close it instead and have now removed that listing from the page.
(2/26/16) Time to celebrate, because Busch Gardens reports that Montu is open once again! If you get a chance to ride it, I'm curious to know how the restraint belts are looking. Hopefully they have all been replaced, because just before Montu closed down I had been hearing reports about how the belts were old, worn and appeared to be suffering from shrinkage issues, causing riders that normally fit into the seats to be forced into riding the double-belt "big boy" seats. Kumba was also reported to be suffering from the same problem, while riders could still ride SheiKra with no issues.
2016 - Cobra’s Curse - (6/14/16) PixelsAtTheParks has posted some pictures of employees test riding Cobra Curse, but they also tell us that the ride has quietly soft opened for select guests as well.
(6/11/16) Busch Gardens Tampa has now announced that Cobra’s Curse will open on June 17th. Passholders will also enjoy exclusive ride times from 8:30am to 9:30am every Saturday and Sunday in July.
(6/8/16) Webisode 3 covering the Cobra’s Curse construction progress at Busch Gardens Tampa has been posted by the park, showing off the ride and some interesting special effects inside the queue featuring the Snake King being brought to live through projection mapping.
(6/6/16) A new photo update from Cobra's Curse has been posted by Pixelsattheparks this week. Check it out.
(6/3/16) A new photo update from JohnnyUpsidedown showing off Cobra's Curse was posted this week. The ride is testing, the walls are down, and employees staffed at the entrance to turn everyone away because it is still not ready to open yet. Hopefully soon... very very soon actually.
(5/25/16) So when will Cobra's Curse open? It sounds like the testing on the ride is taking a little longer than expected, as the special VIP party for the ride that was scheduled to take place on May 26th has now been officially postponed. No new date has been set yet while the ride is still undergoing testing.
(5/23/16) A fun photo update of Cobra's Curse at BGT has been posted to PixelsAtTheParks.
(5/19/16) I'm told that the media even for Cobra's Curse will take place on May 26th, and the park will apparently hold special passholder preview sessions starting June 4th with special preview time slots happening every weekend in June. I'm guessing it will open to guests somewhere around these dates.
(5/17/16) Will Cobra's Curse be ready to open for Memorial Day weekend? Possibly, but there may be complications. A reader sent in a screen capture from the park's website taken the other day that clearly listed it as opening on May 27th... however it was quickly changed to simply say "This Summer" instead not long afterwards. With that in mind, I'm thinking the official opening may not happen until June.
(5/13/16) If you haven't seen it yet, Busch Gardens released a multi-angle POV video for their new Cobra's Curse coaster. I like how things start off, but unfortunately my initial take from the video is that the momentum of the ride seems to get killed by two areas where things just bring the screaming to a halt. The first happens on a mid-course brake run where the cars pause to rotate 180º and take on the next section of the ride facing backwards. Just as things start to move and get going again the experience is slowed 10-seconds later by a long lift hill, and only at the top of this section to the cars finally get to freely spin for the last 20 seconds or so before you hit the brake run.
(5/3/16) An awesome new photo update from Cobra Curse was sent in by our friend JohnnyUpsidedown that you must see. Check it out!
(4/29/16) Busch Gardens takes us for a new behind the scenes video tour of the Cobra’s Curse design and build-out. A new Webisode was released this week that tells us more about the themed queue for the attractions that will also be home to several different species of snakes such as Pythons, Mambas and Vipers. As you venture deeper into the queue the hallways will begin to become darker, colder and even more narrow, to make the atmosphere more creepy and feel you feel like you are going deeper into the ground as you approach loading station.
Also new this week is a teaser video from the park showing off a POV of theelevator lift in action, where you come face to face with the snake king.
(4/17/16) In The Loop caught a Cobra's Curse train being tested going up the elevator lift hill this week, just as they were leaving the park.
(4/13/16) The latest photo update from Cobra's Curse can be found at PixelsAtTheParks this week.
(3/30/16) The latest construction update for Cobra's Curse has been posted to PixelsAtTheParks this week. Lots of construction workers scrambling all over the site to try and finish it on time... the changes should start to come very quickly from this point to finish up the area all around the ride, the buildings, and to get things up and running.
Congratulations to the team at Busch Gardens Tampa for installing the final piece of track on Cobra's Curse on Saturday, March 19th. With the track now complete, testing of the one of a kind spinning coaster's systems can now begin.
(3/21/16) A new construction update from Cobra's Curse at Busch Gardens Tampa has been posted by PixelsAtTheParks this week. While things are still progressing fast over there, it looks like there is still a lot of work left to be done before it will be ready to open. Last I heard the park was hoping to have it ready in time for Memorial Day weekend, but we'll have to wait and see how it looks as the date gets closer.
(3/2/16) A new construction video showing off the Cobra's Curse construction site (though taken just before the head was put on) has been posted by Coaster Nation and embedded below.
(3/1/16) Busch Gardens Tampa has installed the tallest point of the new Cobra's Curse coaster... the giant snake head that you will come face to face with at the top of the elevator lift.
(2/19/16) I forgot to mention yesterday that when guests are waiting in the indoor air-conditioned queue for the new Cobra's Curse they will also be sharing some of that cozy space with snakes... a whole lot of snakes. It seems the park will build a large 400-cubic-foot snake exhibit inside the queue that will include Mambas, Pythons and Vipers.
Some video from the Hard Hat Tour was also posted by Mako Madness that is worth checking out.
(2/18/16) Our friend JohnnyUpsidedown was on hand for a construction tour of Cobra's Curse yesterday and posted a huge photo update after getting up close and personal with the park's newest coaster. Right now they estimate that they will have the track completely installed by mid-March.
(2/12/16) A new construction update for Cobra's Curse shows off the installation of the elevator lift system tower and much more.
(1/21/16) A new construction update for Cobra's Curse has been posted to WildGravityTravels this week. Check it out.
(1/14/16) Busch Gardens has posted a construction update for Cobra's Curse on their official blog this week, giving us some up close photos of some interesting elements we haven't seen before. The report ends with a description of what parts of the coaster are set to go up over the next month, which includes the vertical lift.
(1/12/16) The latest Cobra's Curse construction update has been posted by PixelsAtTheParks.
(12/30/15) A new construction update video for Cobra’s Curse was posted this week by Mako Madness. Check it out below as they look over not only the site, but at tons of track sections still sitting in the prep area.
(12/18/15) JohnnyUpsidedown has posted another great construction update for Cobra's Curse at Busch Gardens Tampa. Follow the link to check it out.
(11/27/15) Another great collection of Cobra's Curse photos has been added to JohnnyUpsidedown this week. Check it out.
(11/19/15) An interview with Jeff Hornick of Busch Gardens Tampa talks all about the Cobra's Curse coaster project coming to the park next year. Check it out below.
(11/18/15) A collection of four great new photos showing off the scale model of Busch Gardens Tampa’s new Cobra’s Curse spinning coaster were released this week along with a few new details about the ride experience. For starters, following the 70 foot tall vertical elevator-style lift, riders will come face to face with the huge statue jaws of the snake king Venymyss, while the track takes an “outward-banked turn” that will bring the riders up close and personal as they pass by. Cobra’s Curse will hit a top speed of 40mph along the three-and-a-half minute ride experience through an area themed as a modern day dig-site in Egypt where archeologists have uncovered Venymyss’ temple.
(11/16/15) A new Cobra's Curse construction update has been posted to PixelsAtTheParks.
(11/12/15) A great new construction update on the Cobra's Curse coaster comes from our friend Johnny Upsidedown, who has posted a page full of new pictures that really capture what's going on. Check it out!
(11/4/15) The latest Cobra's Curse construction update from Busch Gardens Tampa has been posted to PixelsAtTheParks.com.
(10/22/15) New pictures of Cobra's Curse construction were posted to CoasterOfTheDay this week. In other news, BGT is said to have raised their parking rate to $18.
(10/16/15) Cobra's Curse has gone vertical, according to the latest photo update from PixelsAtTheParks. I've got a couple of pictures also posted to Screamscape, as sent in by a reader.
(10/5/15) JohnnyUpsidedown has posted some great new pictures from the Cobra's Curse construction site, as well as getting a good look at a bunch of track and support pieces now on site.
(9/29/15) A new Cobra's Curse construction updates comes to us this week from Pixels At The Parks.
(9/7/15) A quick Cobra's Curse construction update has been posted to Behind the Thrills.
(8/25/15) A new construction update for Cobra's Curse can be found at PixelsAtTheParks this week.
(8/10/15) An interesting new photo update showing off many new details at the Cobra's Curse construction site has been posted to PixelsAtTheParks.
(7/30/15) BGTBuzz has posted a new look at the Cobra's Curse construction site this week.
(7/8/15) The latest construction update from Cobra's Curse at Busch Gardens Tampa has been posted to PixelsAtTheParks.
(6/22/15) The latest construction update from the site of Cobra’s Curse can be found over at Pixels at the Parks this week. From what we see so far there has been a lot of focus on clearing out the site around the former Tut’s Tomb attraction building, which will be repurposed for the Cobra’s Curse indoor queue. Meanwhile much of the rest of the work site is still focused on ground clearing and prep for the basic infrastructure.
(5/29/15) According to Busch Gardens Tampa, their new Cobra’s Curse coaster will use the old King Tut’s Tomb walk-through attraction to serve as the start to the ride’s air conditioned queue… something you will appreciate on those hot Florida days. While a full POV of the coaster was not released, the park did release a teaser. (See below) They also mentioned that the section of track after the elevator lift hill at the start of the ride would have the cars locked into a forward facing position, and at a certain point following this the cars would rotate 180º backwards and go up a second lift hill. When released from this second lift hill, the cars would then go into the free-spinning mode for the rest of the ride.
As you can see in the concept art, the ride will use a series of short 2-car trains, each able to hold four riders (2 rows of 2 across), and while this ride is from Mack Rides, the cars don’t appear to look like anything like the typical Mack Spinning coasters we’ve seen used elsewhere in the world. I can only imagine that perhaps this new car design might be somewhat of a hybrid between the Mack’s individual Wild Mouse cars (like Sand Serpent) mounted to the base and wheel assembly of their Spinning Coaster cars. While the park is still holding many secrets about this ride close to the vest, I was intrigued by the mention of a specific place where the cars would rotate 180º backwards before going up a second lift of some kind. Since I haven’t been able to find any trace of a second lift in the artwork released so far, I do wonder if the park may try to create some kind of theatrical event with special effects at this moment in the ride… sort of the big reveal for whatever the “curse” actually is before spinning the riders out of control for the second half of the ride. Just something to think about… but only based on pure speculation on my part.
(5/28/15) Busch Gardens Tampa confirmed that their 2016 coaster going into the Egypt section of the park is indeed a new spinning family coaster to be named Cobra’s Curse. The ride will be unique however, in that it will feature an 80 foot tall Cobra themed structure and a vertical elevator style lift hill. More details to come...
(5/27/15) Our good friend JohnnyUpsidedown sent in some new construction pictures from Busch Gardens Tampa showing off the progress on the new coaster site, as well as a funny looking construction wall they have in place. You can see even more over at his official site if you click here.
(5/19/15) A new constrution update for the Cobra's Curse attraction site has been posted by PixelsAtTheParks this week where you can see the new railway for the Serengeti Express being run over the site where a new trench will be dug to run under the railroad tracks, as well as a number of new concrete footers now in place for the park's newest coaster.
(5/16/15) SeaWorld Parks has filed for a new trademark name that is perfect for the rumored 2016 Mack spinning coaster project in the Egypt area of the park. The new filing for the name "Cobra's Curse" was filed on May 8th.
(5/13/15) Busch Gardens Tampa has set May 28th (10am) as the date when they will feature more details on the park’s new 2016 attraction project which they claim will “put a new spin on family thrills”.
(5/4/15) PixelsAtTheParks is back with a large new photo update showing off the 2016 project site, along with some nice big crates on site with the MACK Rides logo, which confirms our rumor about the manufacturer.
(4/20/15) New pictures of the 2016 construction site work have been posted to BGTBuzz this week.
(4/9/15) The latest look around the Busch Gardens Tampa 2016 project site can be found at PixelsAtTheParks.
(3/31/15) PixelsAtTheParks dropped by BGT once again to check on the early progress for the park's 2016 attraction. Right now things are mainly focused on the moving and rebuilding of the train tracks that will pass through the area.
(3/20/15) A construction update for BGT's new 2016 project has been posted to PixelsAtThePark this week, as the first signs of progress are being seen.
(3/18/15) Busch Garden Tampa has confirmed that the park will be closing the Serengeti Railroad for a period of time in order to re-route the rails as they pass Egypt to make room for a new 2016 attraction.
(3/13/15) PixelsAtTheParks reports that the first survey marking for the 2016 coaster project at Busch Gardens Tampa has appeared and they believe that construction could begin very soon.
(2/12/15) I've been informed that my guess yesterday about what is coming to Busch Gardens Tampa in 2016 is only half right. It will be a coaster... and it will be a coaster from Mack Rides... however it will not be launched... and it will not be the same style ride as SWC's Manta.
So what kind of coaster will it be? I'm not sure... I just know it wont be a launched coaster, and since the park already has Sand Serpent, it wont be a Mack Mouse either. While this leaves a few choices, the other popular rumor going around was for a Spinning Coaster, which I can really appreciate.
(2/11/15) The biggest question on the minds of BGT fans lately has been to wonder just what the park has planned for 2016. Previously, we had only heard that the 2016 attraction would be in Egypt, and would take over the old Tut’s Tomb exhibit space. This hardly seemed to be exciting when taken at face value, given how small the Tomb building is, but the other shoe has finally fallen this week, with new evidence that seems to indicate that the ride may be a coaster of some kind.
OrlandoUnited gets the nod here for posting about a new drainage plan the park filed with the city last week that shows off many more changes in the works for the old Tut’s Tomb project. The changes include a large expansion of the building itself (adding 11,605 square feet), the addition of three trenches to be dug to run through the area, one of which will run under the nearby railroad tracks, which will also be moved out away from the area to provide the much needed room to expand the attraction area. All said and done, the entire scope of the new drainage plan filed is 2.65 acres.
So what will this new attraction be? I’ve got a really good hunch of my own. Based on a rumor I heard about last summer, the SeaWorld attraction design team apparently was seen spending a little extra time out in San Diego last year with that park’s Manta coaster, a launched family terrain coaster experience from Mack Rides. Unlike the other parks who also built their own launched coaster projects from different manufactures around the same time period (Intamin’s Cheetah Hunt at BGT and Zierer’s Verbolten at BGW) San Diego’s Manta project faces some tough design restrictions due to the park’s height limitations and depth limitations for any below grade elements. All said and done, the Manta design team came up with a compact terrain hugging layout that still provided ample thrills for this family sized ride. The return to Manta last year was said to be a research trip to come up with ideas for a bigger and better version of Manta for Mack to build at another park in the chain at a future date. I’m guessing that time has finally come and Tampa will become home to Mack’s latest creation. Stay tuned… this could turn into something very exciting!
(10/4/14) Busch Gardens Tampa has filed paperwork for a new attraction they have planned for 2016. According to the post on OrlandoUnited the project is labled as being for 2016 and taking over the Tut’s Tomb area of Egypt. This isn’t a very large site at the moment, but given that this is for 2016 and not 2015, the overall size and scope of the project could be far larger than Tut’s Tomb as the open spaces available for future development in this section of the park are quite large if they venture out into the area habitat region.
Fall 2016 - Howl-O-Scream 2016 - (7/20/16) Busch Gardens Tampa has confirmed another returning haunt for this year's Howl-O-Scream event... Unearthed.
(7/13/16) BGT has confirmed that Circus of Superstition: The Last Laugh will return to Howl-O-Scream this fall.
(7/4/16) I thought I mentioned this before, but seems I only mentioned it on social media... but Busch Gardens Tampa and Williamsburg have posted their initial theme for this year's Howl-O-Scream event which they are calling Evil Encore. No details are posted on the individual park pages other than event dates for 2016. (BGW seems to have all their shows and mazes from last year listed however still...) With a name like Evil Encore however, it does sound as if 2016 may be a throw-back themed event, perhaps bringing back Icons and popular mazes from the past once again.
???? - The Future of Gwazi - Rumor - (10/26/15) Remember those comments about the future of Gwazi we saw posted to the CoasterOfTheDay website last week? I've been told from others who were there with Mark Rose (ACE / Florida) at the time that the previously reported tale is a misquote, as this all took place during some filming by the Travel Channel at the park on October 18th.
When Mark Rose was asked what was going on with Gwazi, he apparently stated that it was coming down. The brief explanation that followed just stated that they are deciding on how exactly they want to tear down a structure that large and they are still working on the plan.
Mark Rose also mentioned that the park does have new "plans" for the Gwazi area in the works, but did not go into any detail about what they may be. So there you have it... there will be no Gwazi resurrection.
(10/22/15) During a visit to the park by CoasterOfTheDay, they report finding BGT's Mark Rose (Dir. of Ride Design & Engineering) in the park and when asked about the fate of Gwazi, he stated that the structure would not be bulldozed down and that new work would begin on the site sometime in 2016. Sounds like BGT hasn't fully given up on the idea of having a wooden coaster (or hybrid maybe?) in the park after all.