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Busch Gardens (Tampa)..first coaster?

carrie640

Roller Poster
I am a seasoned roller coaster rider and I really want my kids to get into them (literally! LOL). I was 12 when I did my first one..it was Mine Ride at Cedar Point followed by Gemini. Now, the sky is the limit for me. We are going to Busch Gardens later this month (despite the horrible reviews I've been reading...) and none of us have ever been there. We've done the POV videos on YouTube for the big rides, but I am trying to figure out if there are any coasters there that would be great for a first-time'er. I am thinking something mild like Mine Ride at CP and moving to something like Gemini or something that wouldn't completely freak my kids out! My daughter is 16....my son is 14. I thought if we started out mild, and worked up to the big ones, it would be easier. Any input/suggestions would be welcomed! Thanks in advance! OH!!!!! And, any tips for this place during covid would also be appreciated. I've read nightmare stories about lines (and even outrageous lines to even get into the parking lot) so I thought I would also ask if anyone here is familiar with this and to give any pointers.
 

ECG

East Coast(er) General
Staff member
Administrator
Yeah. From what I've heard from friends who live in Orlando - it's nuts! Park reservations are full because of the reduced capacity, but there's long lines even though not as many guests are in the parks as before the pandemic. I would recommend waiting until other parks across the nation open in a few weeks, which should reduce the amount of people traveling to the Florida parks. Capacity limits will likely also be greater by then, with more staff to keep the lines moving.
As far as coasters for kids, there's Air Grover of course (a real kiddie coaster, as the name suggests, that will likely be too tame for a 14 and 16 year old). So they might want to start with Sand Serpent, a wild mouse coaster suitable for all family members. After that they can try Cobra's Curse, a family-friendly spinning coaster. Then comes the first larger/faster coaster Cheetah Hunt, which is a launched family coaster suitable for young teens. Then they might be ready to go upside down once, so I recommend Scorpion (a small Schwarzkopf single loop coaster) next.
After that they're all more extreme coasters. If they're ready though, try SheiKra (a B&M dive coaster). The park's other three coasters all have multiple inversions, but if they liked Cheetah Hunt's launches and didn't mind going upside down on Scorpion they could give Tigris (multi launch/looping coaster) a go. Montu and Kumba are the most extreme coasters, so save them for last.
 

carrie640

Roller Poster
Yeah. From what I've heard from friends who live in Orlando - it's nuts! Park reservations are full because of the reduced capacity, but there's long lines even though not as many guests are in the parks as before the pandemic. I would recommend waiting until other parks across the nation open in a few weeks, which should reduce the amount of people traveling to the Florida parks. Capacity limits will likely also be greater by then, with more staff to keep the lines moving.
As far as coasters for kids, there's Air Grover of course (a real kiddie coaster, as the name suggests, that will likely be too tame for a 14 and 16 year old). So they might want to start with Sand Serpent, a wild mouse coaster suitable for all family members. After that they can try Cobra's Curse, a family-friendly spinning coaster. Then comes the first larger/faster coaster Cheetah Hunt, which is a launched family coaster suitable for young teens. Then they might be ready to go upside down once, so I recommend Scorpion (a small Schwarzkopf single loop coaster) next.
After that they're all more extreme coasters. If they're ready though, try SheiKra (a B&M dive coaster). The park's other three coasters all have multiple inversions, but if they liked Cheetah Hunt's launches and didn't mind going upside down on Scorpion they could give Tigris (multi launch/looping coaster) a go. Montu and Kumba are the most extreme coasters, so save them for last.
We did the POV on Youtube for it and my daughter said, "Maybe". LOL MAYBE???? I should just tell her to do it or I will leave her in Florida. ;0)

I got excited to see a POV of their wooden coaster until after when I realized it doesn't EXIST anymore. I don't know how versed you are on these parks this time of year, but is it worth getting the quick queue unlimited? I've seen the "Crowd Predictors" for Busch Gardens and it says, "Quite" for the day we are going. Of course, that is what it said about Hollywood Studios for the same day and reservations aren't even available anymore for it. I am so used to going to Cedar Point that I know in "normal" times, May is the perfect time to go. Rarely any large waits, but with Covid, who knows what it will be like this year...everyone dying to get out of the house!
 

gavin

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I'd switch up ECG's coaster order to leave Sheikra until last. It's absolutely not as intense as Kumba and, especially, Montu, but it's a lot more intimidating to look at, so it may need a bit more of a build-up psychologically than those other two.

Sent from my Redmi Note 7 using Tapatalk
 

Edward M

Strata Poster
I can't express how nice it is to see a new member not mentioning an online gambling site or a Batman clone in Kuwait.

I think ECG and Gavin have it absolutely right in terms of order. I may start with Cobra's Curse as it is a better coaster and very well placed right at the front of the park, but the order following they gave is spot on, including a finish on SheiKra. Do keep in mind though that Cheetah Hunt has a single inversion, but I still think it would be the ideal coaster for someone's first time going upside down, mostly for its over the shoulder restraints. The experience of one's first inversion with only a lap bar, such as on Scorpion, can be a bit intimidating.

As for whether or not to get a quick queue, I think it would be worthwhile. I have not been to a park in the COVID age yet, but I've seen and heard many stories of how absolutely packed these Florida parks have been this year. You could purchase them only to realize they weren't needed, but I think that experience is preferable to the inverse: waiting in hour plus lines in Florida heat. If you think that the family will only be riding most of these once, you could also get the regular quick queue. But, looking at Busch Gardens' site, there's only a $10 per person difference between the regular and unlimited, and the unlimited could make for a much more fun day. Remembering my first day riding "big" coasters around that age, I can tell you there's nothing a budding enthusiast loves more than a load of rerides!
 

carrie640

Roller Poster
We went. My 14yo had only been on Mine ride, but he made a deal with his dad (who won't ride). My son owes us money...to the tune of $100. My husband told him that we would forgive the $100 debt if he rode coasters with me. LOLOL So, he said, "OK". We did Cheetah Hunt first. It just happened to be the first area we wandered to not realizing where were were going. When I saw it, I KNEW this one was going to be a great ride as queue times I've seen online always show this one to be the longest in lines. We got right on. So, I haven't been on a coaster in 20 years (that's another thread coming) , but when that sucker darted out, I was like, "HOLY CRAP!" So, either these rides have seriously sped up over the years or my perception, being older, is way more sensitive!! The restraints truly hindered my "HANDS UP ALL THE WAY" rule, but I did it, anyway, the best I could! ;0) Speed didn't impact me. At the end of the ride while pulling back into the pavilion, I was really nervous Trevor (my son) was going to be completely freaked out. But, he looked at me and said, "THAT WAS AWESOME!" Easiest debt he's ever had to repay and I have a ridding buddy. My daughter (the reference in the initial post) is 16 and I know there was NO WAY she could handle this one...nor Cobra's Curse. Mine Ride at CP I think she could if she did it again, but nothing at Busch Gardens. Oh wait. I stand corrected. She loved Air Grover. LOL She has a sensory issue with herself in space and it's hypersensitive. She couldn't deal. OH...and I was NOT a Tigris fan. When I got on, they told me to take my glasses off. That was a deal breaker for me. Everything is completely fuzzy without them and I had to hold ONTO them during this ride..which I was very worried about. So, between not being able to see crap on the ride, I was pre-occupied with my glasses grip. Sheikra..... I thought I made a mistake going on it. That hang intimidated me. I can ride nearly anything (provided it doesn't spin nor requires my glasses OFF my face). But something about the hang..... but, I was COMPLETELY obligated to go on it because...well, that will be in the other thread I start. Trevor wouldn't ride it. All the way up that climb, I was doing "hail Mary"s and saying "Kali Ma" over and over (From Indiana Jones Temple of Doom). I had my eyes closed until a few seconds into the hang and then we dropped. And O M G in heaven! Was that the SMOOTHEST ride EVER!!!! That's a favorite for me....... as Gemini always will be (CP) and Magnum (CP). Now to my next post. Hoping someone can help me! :) Thanks for everything.
 
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