Riding the Skyride today was surprised to see the demo of Rhino Rally. Here’s a video I made of it. Pretty large crew onsite that spent the day taking apart the former queue that was left abandoned for years after the ride’s shutdown.
Online you can find info about permits filed for “Project Jethro” on the near 2 acre site. Seems like this may be the place for the 2021 follow-up to Iron Gwazi. Conjecture is a “giant swing” similar to Finnegan’s Flyer in Williamsburg. Seems like a good logical follow-up after 2 expensive coasters the 2 previous years.
Flipping through a travel magazine and saw this cool spread with fun facts about Busch Gardens. 21,638 is the combined length of all the coasters in the park (to be made longer by Iron Gwazi later this year). That’s about 4 miles of track you can ride! The park having 300 animal species as well as the animals eating about 2 tons of food a day was also pretty cool. No word on how many tons of food a day the humans eat…
Halloween might be a day for monsters, but you can find monsters 365 days a year at Busch Gardens Sesame Street Safari of Fun!
So in honor of their 60th anniversary Busch Gardens is running a scavenger hunt. There’s even a prize for everyone who completes it! You can grab a game card near the entrance and then look for anniversary boards throughout the park for the answers. The boards provide great history about past attractions and the park in general. Just slide the little disc around to see the answerThe one above is located near the entrance to Tigris and talks about the Tanganyika Tidal Wave ride that used to occupy that piece of land. I also included below a pic of the blank card here as to not take the fun away by giving the answers and my prize. Happy hunting!
Kumba has a distinctive roar, but it appears that the sound is caused by something that is missing rather than something that is added. B&M has a characteristic track design seen below of a box “spine” with fins that hold the rails. This box can echo the natural vibrations of the ride and is often filled with sand to dampen it to the customer’s desired level. My guess is what makes Kumba unique is that these boxes are probably empty to maximize the “roar”, and not minimize it in any way.
On my trip last week I managed to get a great look at Rhino Rally from the Sky Ride. Rhino Rally opened in 2001 and closed for good in 2014. It was a safari truck ride made by Vekoma, the famous ride company, and was the one and only of its kind.
The story behind the ride involved the guests helping locate a missing driver named Scooter Roberts. Riders went past elephants and other animals as well as a water section where the truck drove through alligator infested waters. The water section used hidden tracks (Vekoma) to capture and help guide the cars through the water and then release them to drive away. The ride was altered in 2010 and lost the breakdown plagued water section due to construction of Cheetah Hunt before closing completely in 2014.
Here is a great video from Expedition Theme Park talking more about the history and showing some ride footage.
Sad that I never got to ride this, but hopefully like Tidal Wave became Tigris and Gwazi will become RMC 2020, this location will develop into something special in a few years.
Image Courtesy Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens welcomes a new character this weekend. Julia will be joining Elmo, Cookie, Oscar and friends in the Safari of Fun area. Julia is an autistic character and it sounds like she will be a regular in both the shows and as a walk-around character. According to the press release:
Sunday March 31, 2019 is the last day for COO and former interim CEO John T. Reilly. Mr. Reilly’s departure was announced in a March 19, 2019 SeaWorld press release:
We thank John for his contributions during his 34-year tenure at SeaWorld and wish him the best going forward…
Mr. Reilly is a Busch Gardens lifer, stating with the company as a teenager selling concessions at the park in Williamsburg to pay for college. Continue reading
Busch Gardens Tampa is part of SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. which is publicly traded under the ticker SEAS. The company operates 12 parks including 5 water parks and is the 9th largest theme park operator in the world. By buying stock in SEAS you can literally own a piece of the park! Continue reading