We’ve heard the rumors coming for almost a year now, and they’ve been confirmed. Katonga is closing. The news came to most in their Spring/Summer 2010 annual passholder newsletter earlier this week, and Busch Gardens Tampa confirmed it on their Facebook page. Labor Day weekend will be the last we see of the Broadway style show that has wowed audiences in the Moroccan Palace Theater since 2004.
We spoke with Busch Gardens earlier today and they said “Katonga will be enjoying it’s final performance over Labor Day Weekend. No Announcement yet on what will be replacing it-that news will be shared later this summer!”
If you keep the tally up, this is two major announcements that are yet to be made. The first being what Project 2011 (Cheetaka) is and when it will open (Cheetaka). Then again, maybe Cheetaka is the name for the new show? Perhaps the Kangaloom and the other Australian names that we’ve heard is for an all new area and the new proposed coaster? After all, if you think about it, Kangaroos jump great distances at great speed. Perhaps the new Intamin will be just a series of hills and launches with an interactive Kangaroo section?
So what will replace Katonga? Some say the old style Ice Show will come back, others say a new ice show. I think whatever will replace it will happen at the same time that the new construction ends. If you remember the permits that were filed, it called for a large portion of that whole area to be walled up and down. It would be very congested if the area also had large crowds filing in and out of the Moroccan Palace Theater several times a day.
On the other hand, Katonga is the most African themed attraction (besides the animals) at the park. It’s the stand out show that brings you to a sense of African spirit in the park. Why not just direct new dance numbers and have new storytellers telling the tales of Africa? After all, there are several stories out in this big wide world, and African folklore is deep and rich. Shouldn’t be too hard.