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News & Rumors

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Busch Gardens Tampa
Tampa, FL
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

 

 

----    THE LATEST BUZZ    ----
    (5/25/18) Busch Gardens Tampa Mentions First Howl-O-Scream 2018 Details (MORE...)
    (5/18/18) Summer Nights Starts May 25 (MORE...)
    (5/4/18) Busch Gardens Tampa To Bring Back Free Beer Samples (MORE...)
    (4/26/18) Falcon's Fury Closure, Discount Waterpark Offer for College Students (MORE...)

Ride Rehabs - The following information is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.
Jungala area rides & Treetop Trails NOW CLOSED Until Further Notice
Phoenix - NOW CLOSED Through TBD
Kumba - Apr. 30 through May 11
Count’s Rally - May 14 through May 24
Gwazi Gliders - June 4 through June 8
Hippos of the Nile - June 11 through June 15

 

icon_STOPGeneral Park News - (5/25/18) Busch Gardens Tampa has confirmed the dates for this year's Howl-O-Scream event, which will take place over 19 nights between Sept. 21st and October 28th. They promise new details about this year's maze and scare-zone lineups will be coming soon.
    (5/18/18) As the sun goes down, the night comes alive at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s Summer Nights. New this year, the event starts earlier than ever on May 25 with extended hours, endless energy and world-class coasters that light up the night.
    (5/4/18) Good news for Busch Gardens Tampa beer fans… as the park has announced that for a limited time this summer the park will be bringing back the tradition of free beer samples. From May 1st through August 5, make your way to the former Hospitality House (now called the Garden Cafe) and you can pick up two 7oz beer samples each day you visit. Even better than before, every two weeks the park will feature all new beer brands, and will kick things off with samples from Corona just in time for Cinco de Mayo.
    In addition the park is launching a new Busch Gardens Brew Club that you can join for $79 for the year that will get you you’re very own private beer stein that will be stored in a “personal chamber” for you at the park until your membership ends, then you can take it home. While having your own personal stein in the park itself is kinda cool, you also get discounted beer refills all year long. Check out the Brew Club website if you are interested.  (Now lets talk about starting a Margarita Club next, shall we?)
    (4/26/18) According to a Screamscape reader who just visited Busch Gardens Tampa, the Falcon's Fury drop tower ride is currently closed for at least the next two weeks or more while they wait to receive replacement parts.
    In other news, College Students can take advantage of a new special offer to buy tickets to Adventure Island for just $25, now through May 25th. For details visit the official website.
    (4/17/18) So what's going on with Gwazi?  According to a post made to the Coaster Nation Facebook page, some new yellow paint markings have appeared on some of Gwazi's supports over the past few days. Are they finally getting ready to demolish it, or is something else looming in the future?

    (3/12/18) SeaWorld Parks seems to be trying some new tricks this year, testing them out at their Busch Gardens parks. While Busch Gardens Williamsburg has momentarily confused their passholders by replacing the classic "Season Pass" system with a new "Membership" system, the Tampa park is also offering a new pass upgrade concept.
    For an extra $299 (on top of having to buy separate park admission) you can now buy a "Year-Round Quick Queue" pass, giving you unlimited priority access to the park's Quick Queue attractions for an entire year. Normally a one-day Unlimited Quick Queue pass would cost you at least $20 or more, so you would have to visit the park AND buy a one-day pass at least 15 times in a year just to come out even with this new $299 offer.
    That's a lot of visits to BGT, but that just if you are lucky enough to get $20 Quick Queue passes on the days you visit... on more busy days and program's price can rise up much higher on peak days. So depending on the kind of days you visit, $299 may be crazy, or it may just be the thing you need to avoid the crowds.
    As of right now the Quick Queue program for this pass gets you on, Falcon's Fury, Cheetah Hunt, SheiKra, Montu, Kumba, Cobra's Curse, Scorpion, Stanley Falls, SandSerpent and Congo River Rapids.
    (2/28/18)  A reader reports that Adventure Island has closed the Everglides toboggan slides. The Everglides are no long listed on the park's website and our reader forwarded on a confirmation email from the park confirming that the attraction has been closed, along with the typical explanation about evaluating attractions based on guest feedback and so on.
    (2/9/18) Busch Gardens Tampa has confirmed that the park’s Food & Wine Festival event will return in 2018, running on weekends from March 3 through April 29. In addition to all the unique food and beverage opportunities, a highlight of the event is an impressive concert line-up of performers as seen below:
March 3 - Edwin McCain & Sister Hazel
March 4 - Grupo Niche
March 10 - The Fray
March 11 - Southern Uprising Tour: A Southern Rock Revival with Travis Tritt, The Charlie Daniels Band, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Outlaws
March 17 - Olga Tan
March 18 - Goo Goo Dolls
March 24 - Better Than Ezra & Tonic
March 25 - Michael Bolton
March 31 - Boyz II Men
April 1 - Natalie Grant
April 7 - Hank Williams, Jr.
April 8 - TLC
April 14 - Bret Michaels
April 15 - TBA
April 21 - The All-American Rejects
April 22 - Cole Swindell
April 28 - Flo Rida
April 19 - Kaleo & Bleachers
    (2/7/18) The latest update to the Busch Gardens website claims that the park’s Jungala area rides and Treetop Trails climbing area are ‘currently closed”. No reason was given, and it looks like the attractions have already been removed from the parks website as well, giving the impression that the area and Wild Surge ride may be closed for good. Or at least for the slow season…
    Anyone know more about this and if the closures are simply seasonal or are they being shut down for good?

 

icon_STOP2018 - Vanish Point / New Waterslide @ Adventure Island - Confirmed - (3/6/18) Adventure Island has posted a fun little video showing off the three different POV views you'll get from the three new slides being added to the Vanish Point tower. Check it out below.

    (10/18/17) According to a source the freshly announced Vanish Point slides coming to Adventure Island maybe very similar to the "Brain Drain" slides added to Rapids Waterpark just north of West Palm Beach, FL. If so the pair of drop-pods will launch riders into a pair of high-speed helix spirals before hitting the splashdown below.
    (10/11/17) Busch Gardens has confirmed that a pair of new drop-pod slides will open at Adventure Island in March 2018 called Vanish Point. "Inspired by the point on a wave where water and gravity form a perfect partnership, the crest of this 70-foot tower challenges you with two 425 ft. wave paths. Step into one of two skyboxes, and face your fears as the floor disappears beneath you. Or, get horizontal on a 455-foot long slide ending with a high speed finale." They also confirm that the new slides will be installed next to the Colossal Curl attraction.
    (9/20/17) Adventure Island is now teasing a new slide for 2018 with a video on their Facebook page that mentions "take the plunge" and shows off people's faces as they begin to fall... as in what they look like when dropping through a trap door style slide. This matches up with the rumor we've been hearing through the summer about the park's 2018 plans.
    Meanwhile TouringCentralFlorida.com has also posted on the video and details about a new filing the park has made with the City of Tampa confirming the new attraction for 2018 as well, with a location somewhere between Colossal Curl and Caribbean Corkscrew. (Screamscape's earlier rumor suggested it would actually be connected to the Colossal Curl slide tower).

    (7/24/17) While we haven't heard any updates to confirm or deny the possible addition of new trap door slides to Adventure Island next season, I'm told that the reason the one bridge pathway was closed was due to the condition of the wood in sections that had been causing some splinters to the barefooted guests and needed to be addressed.
    (7/15/17) Rumor has it that Adventure Island may be planning on adding a new slide for the 2018 season. According to our source it would feature one of drop pods added onto the top of the Colossal Curls slide tower. Inside the park they also noted that the bridge that goes over the Calypso Coaster and Aruba Tube has been closed off and blocked with construction warning tape. The location is said to be near the pathway to the old Gulfstream entrance used to be, so we could see some of this removed to make way for the new slide(s) coming in 2018. Our source also noted that the park has also removed the small Hydra Tube slides from the Paradise Pool area.

 

2018 - Walkabout Way Expansion - Rumor - (1/26/17) I'm hearing that the park may be planning an expansion to the Australian themed Walkabout Way animal area of the park for the 2018 season.

 

???? - Enclose Sand Serpent - Planning / On Hold - (6/24/17) Remember how Sand Serpent sat closed for months and we had no idea why? Well... we still don't know why, but the story just got a little more interesting, as it seems Busch Gardens Tampa has some interesting new plans in store for the park's resident Mack Wild Mouse coaster. According to a posting from TouringCentralFlorida, the park applied for a very interesting permit this month... a permit that would see the Sand Serpent coaster full enclosed inside a brand new 64 foot tall building structure that would house the coaster and the queue area in air conditioned glory.
    We don't know any more details beyond this, but typically when an enclosed coaster is built they either try to include some unique themeing and elements to the ride, or they simply go for a dark 'space mountain' style out of control experience in the dark, or even a mixture of both. Given that the chain is trying to push out more themed experiences with their rides when possible, I can see this happening here... that or they go with the dark concept and give riders VR headgear to wear to create a very new ride experience all together. Of course, where VR goes, the wait times increase, and that's not really the best idea on a coaster that doesn't have the best throughput already... but that's hasn't stopped anyone yet.
    Stay tuned... I'm guessing this will be the big roll out for the 2018 season.

 

icon_STOP2019 - New Coaster - Rumor - (4/25/18) According to a post from TouringCentralFlorida, Busch Gardens Tampa has filed official demolition permits with the City of Tampa to remove the remains of the closed Tanganyika Tidal Wave ride. Looks like we may have our location locked in for the park's 2019 location... rumored to be a new coaster.
    (4/6/18) TouringCentralFlorida.com has done a bit of digging to try and figure out just what could be in the works for Busch Gardens Tampa in 2019. As they reported, the last major new attraction to open was Cobra's Curse way back in 2016, so they are due for something spectacular. Worth noting is the fact that SeaWorld Parks just filed trademark paperwork for three new attraction name ideas, all with a Tiger theme:  Twisted Tiger, Uproar and Tigris.
    While I know many fans out there are still waiting for Busch Gardens Tampa to finally build a Hypercoaster / Giga Coaster style ride after all these years... after all the Williamsburg park built Apollo's Chariot and SeaWorld Texas built Steel Eel way back in 1999 but for some reason it took until 2016 to build Mako at SeaWorld Orlando... meanwhile Tampa's guests have been waiting patiently for almost 20 years now. Unfortunately, if the rumors are true... the next coaster that could come to Tampa may just be another Premier Rides' clone of Tempesto... which is what SeaWorld San Diego is adding this year as Electric Eel.
    The likely locations would be on the former Tidal Wave or Gwazi sites... both where long closed former thrill ride husks are still standing... offering a constant reminder to guests of their demise without being replaced. Plus the odd fact that the chain has cut the budget to the point where they no longer seem to want to even spend the funds needed to remove them... or at least not until they are good and ready with a replacement. (Quick check... the Jungala area rides are still closed right? Yep... still closed...)

 

2019/2020 - Resort Hotel - Rumor - (7/24/17) While Busch Gardens Tampa is apparently looking into building their own hotel, I'm hearing that any decision on the project may be pushed back until later in the year, probably around the time the company is set to post their Q3 financial results and have a more solid idea of where they stand near the end of the 2017 season.
    (6/26/17) Screamscape sources tell us that the new permits for BGT are indeed for a proposal for a future resort hotel project. Nothing has been approved yet, but it should be interesting if they opt to move forward with it.
    (6/24/17) TouringCentralFlorida sent Screamscape information about another interesting permit they found filed for Busch Gardens Tampa. This one is to have work done by a "Tree Consultation" involving future expansion plans at the park. The mentioned tree work apparently is necessary when they are wanting to work in an area that includes large "grand trees" which feature a trunk diameter of 34+ inches as well as possible "protected trees". The area in question is along the Northern edge of the Serengeti section of the park's, east of Kumba and the Skyride mid-point turn station. The area in question would almost seem perfect for those rumored on-site resort hotel plans that were being talked about again, don’t you think?
    (1/26/17) Screamscape sources tell us that Busch Gardens Tampa is once again making plans to build their very own resort hotel on the property. I'm told they are hoping to open it by 2019 if the planning goes smoothly, though they have a few sites they are considering. The obvious one is to take up a large site along McKinley Drive right smack in the middle of the savannah where the railroad already curves away from McKinley which would give the resort the most room here, as well as providing some stunning views to the guests. Another site being heavily considered instead however is the corner property of the park where McKinley and Bougainvillea intersect, which is currently used as a backstage area for the park. If they go for this site, obviously whatever is back there would have to be moved to new facility elsewhere in the park, or moved off-site (if possible). In addition to those two primary sites, they have also earmarked a couple of other sites directly to the west and north of Adventure Island as possibilities as well.

 

 

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Track Record

Busch Gardens Tampa
Tampa, Florida
SeaWorld Parks & Ent.

Abbreviation: BGT
Opened: March 31, 1959
www.buschgardens.com

Tickets: as of 1/7/16
Adults (10+): $99
Child (3-9): $94
Parking: $18
Open: Year Round

Fun Facts:
- The park was previously used the subtext of calling it “The Dark Continent”
- Python was removed in the fall of 2006.

Newest Developments:
2016 - Cobra’s Curse and Rising Tide Conversation exhibit

2015 - Colossal Curl opens at Adventure Island

2014 - Falcon’s Fury

2013 - Madagascar Live

2012 - Iceploration

2011 - Cheetah Hunt, Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy, Millennium Flyer trains added to Gwazi

2010 - Sesame Street Safari Of Fun & Sesame Street 4D, Animal Connection & Walkabout Way

2008 - Jungala and
Jambo Junction

2007 - SheiKra goes Floorless

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Park Concerts & Special Shows
 

 

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