Saturday Central Florida was on the wrong end of a polar blast. It was colder here than it was in Alaska….no lie! We also get that wet cold that the rest of you don’t know too much about….ah the Florida Humidity. So it was no surprise that Busch Gardens Tampa was almost a ghost town. But we were there. We were able to check out this year’s rendition of “Let’s Dance” the new show running until April at Busch Gardens Tampa in the Dessert Grill. This new show features Ballroom Dancing type dance numbers done by some of the worlds best dancers, Burn The Floor.
To say it was cold is an understatement. We started off the morning with 33, and it dropped to 31 by the time we got to Tampa. The high? A whopping 37 degrees. Surprisingly the only thing closed was Sheikra, even after the insistence that “B&M’s dont run below 40″. Gwazi’s Lion side was closed for retracking, but thats something else. The park was winterized with all the lush plants and flowers covered up to save them from the cold winters….that we dont usually get. Even the animals were out and about in force, some kind of slowly dazed (could have sworn we saw the flamingos shivering) the others running crazy because they flat out love the cold. While others like the Alligators hunkered down in the water doing their best to stay warm. It’s a completely different experience seeing a Florida animal park in the cold. A lot of plants and animals were taken indoors to keep them from succumbing to the elements as well.
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Construction was moving along at Sesame with a lot more of the area completely shut down and boarded up. The beams are really the only things that can be seen from the path while work on Grover continues. I have a funny feeling this isn’t going to be a clone of the coaster at BGW. A nice little spot reveals that a portion of the coaster is going below ground level….not that it’s going to go underground..but just below ground level. Also, construction on the stage in Gwazi park is almost done, as the concert series starts off really soon. This should make for some great shots in the coming weeks of Grover and Sesame, although I wouldn’t be surprised if they wall it up to avoid prying eyes. Gwazi Lion was down which made for Tiger having the longest…and only…line in the park. Tiger, is as smooth as it’s ever been with the new track, and if my sources are correct….it’s going to get smoother. Sadly the clydesdales are gone. And there is no sign of replacement as there has been at SWO and BGW. In fact, I’ve heard the new project is going to use those areas instead of bringing back any kinds of animal attractions. Could be wrong…but we’ll see soon.
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Two cool things were spotted as well, one kind of sad. The Anheuser Busch products are being blown out of the park at huge discount prices, in the area where DeathRow Vengeance was at HOS this past haunt season. Some of the items were reasonable…the other were…well..it is a theme park shop still, isnt it?
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The other huge surprise is that Coaster Dynamix is now selling the complete Sheikra model in the park! A working model of the parks signature dive coaster is now find in the gift shop at the front of the park, as well as right by the coaster itself. It’s surprisingly inexpensive and fairly accurate in comparison to some of the other layouts of the coaster models I’ve seen.
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But the real reason to draw us out was “Lets Dance: Featuring Burn the Floor”. So this show was here last year, but it was new to me. It uses the dance troupe “Burn the Floor” who represents 10 world championships in Dance. The dancers were also featured on Dancing with the Stars on ABC. The show was fast paced, energetic, and had a large variety of dances including traditional Ball Room, and Swing. The dancers are the stars. It doesnt matter what they’re dancing, they are always on. They don’t hold back with anything, and I was actually surprised to see the sexuality of the show being thrown right out to the front. Normally theme park shows tend to mask the sexuality with a cutesy story, but still leaving it in view just enough for everyone to still see hints. This show, forget it. It goes sexy without being the least bit vulgar, however, and shows the dancers for what they are…very skilled athletic performers. Choreography is top notch and the costume changes are amazing, as they seem to be happening every few seconds.
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Overall this is a great show, and a great way to keep warm in the weeks ahead. We were told this was just a dress rehearsal, and if that’s the case audiences are in for a real treat when the full blown show breaks. For fans of Dancing with the stars, this will be an amazing time for you to see up close and personal some of your favorite moves. For those who aren’t fans, maybe next season you’ll have something new to watch.