It must have been fate. The weather is warm, we were without kids and it wasn’t raining, so we decided to take a nice little jaunt over to Busch Gardens Tampa. As we entered the park the phone rang and a friend told us “Screamscape has pictures of Millennium Flyer trains on Gwazi!”. We enter the park take a ride on Gwazi, and yep…there they are! Right in the transfer station in plain sight, for everyone to see as you go up the lift and as you exit the ride.
Seems employees were rather miffed about the pictures ending up online, because we were rushed off the ramp as we took pictures…from a public area. We were told by a rather informative young man working the area that “these trains arent staying, they’re only temporary” as he wooshed us off, confirming the rumors that have been circulating on Screamscape and other sites that these trains are borrowed. Thanks black hat guy.
[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157626585955438″]
It got me to thinking, if these trains were borrowed, what coaster did they come from? Lets use some logic here. Would a park honestly let a competitive park like Busch Gardens use their train? It could happen. A lot of parks here in Florida preach friendly competition with the stress on FRIEND when it comes to haunt events. VIPS from rival parks tour the events on opening nights. I’ve seen Brian Morrow from Sea World at HHN and Mike Aiello from Universal Orlando at HOS. That does happen. But to let another park use your coaster train so that they may decide to buy one themselves? Thats a little more than friendly. In the ever moving world of theme parks, it doesn’t seem to be very wise. Not to mention, it’s kind of dangerous. If you have a coaster train thats being stored for winter, and you want to let a park thats not closed for season use it, you run a risk of that train being damaged in transition, or damaged once it gets to the park or even worse, getting damaged while being assembled and disassembled by techs at another park who (while they maybe perfectly capable for their park standards) arent fully aware of your parks maintenance and operation standards. So where I am going with this? The coaster in question has to be defunct. What would it hurt otherwise? If the train gets damaged or whatever may be, then it’s not really a huge loss. You can either knock a little off the price, or have it rebuilt or whatever. You don’t risk the chance of damaging one of your coasters right before season starts and have to delay it.
So now, which coaster? Ozark Wildcat from the now closed Celebration City. It is the only coaster thats closed built by GCI (according to RCDB.com). Now thats not certain, but it makes sense. It could also be another closed coaster that replaced it’s trains with Flyer Trains, after all the color scheme I’m seeing doesn’t match……but it makes some sense. Why not test a GCI train from a GCI coaster on another GCI built track? Maybe I’m thinking way too much on this…or maybe I’m just plain wrong. It’s a possibility.
I forgot to mention, remember those free parking spaces for people with strollers that were going to be in the preferred parking lot that Lauren from BGT talked about on Episode 71 of the podcast? Well they are painted, up and being used.
[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157626585966258″]
It’s crazy how fast they get filled up, and it’s also crazy how close up they are, and how they use up some of my favorite parking spots in the platinum parking area. Your platinum passholders pay for this feature, while you’re giving this away for free to people with strollers (okay they pay for regular parking but still). And what about those who pay for preferred? They get shafted out of some good spaces as well. Why not use some of the spaces in the back of the lot? It’s still closer than they were, and they still don’t have to use the tram and bang up the stroller. Just a thought.
Stanleyville Log Flume is now open, and no one wanted to ride with me. Nothing really big or new here, just basic maintenance.
[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157626585988010″]
Next up is Edge of Africa. I forgot how cool this part of the park is. You can get up close and personal with a lot of the animals, including Crocodiles, Hippos, Lions and Hyenas. While we were there, the lions were put away while the hyenas used their habitat. Why? The habitat used by the lions were under construction. Hmmmmm…….what on earth could they be doing? Nothing visible, so perhaps just general maintenance…although there are those rumors.
[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157626461373401″]
Another update from BGT will come later this week, but this time it will be a closer look at an overlooked attraction, but now…some random pictures.
[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157626461404681″]