2019 Pics of Closed Rhino Rally at #BuschGardens

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.


New Sesame Street Friend at Safari of Fun this Weekend

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:

Continue reading

Thank You John T. Reilly!

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 a Toddler Paradise!

In my research before our first visit I read over the Busch Gardens website to see what our 2 year old son could ride.  It appeared there were a couple of rides he could do like the train, but the list seemed far from extensive.  However, the tickets were cheap enough and there were animals, so we figured there’d be enough to fill a day.  Then we got there and realized Busch Gardens Tampa is a toddler paradise.  Continue reading

Disney Ticket Price Increase Makes Busch Gardens an Even Bigger Bargain!

So Disney is raising prices again, specifically increasing prices around peak days near Christmas and other holidays. Single day single park tickets will now be up to $159/day and $219/day for “hopper” tickets allowing for admission to multiple parks in one day. Articles point to new investments in the parks (Galaxy’s Edge) and Disney’s desire to manage attendance during peak seasons as reasons.

Let’s compare and contrast a bit here. The $184 for a peak Disney single park day ($159 ticket + $25 parking) could instead get you a $180 Busch Gardens Silver Season pass (no blackouts) with free parking and a ticket to give to a friend. The $244 for a peak Disney park “hopper” day ($219 ticket + $25 parking) puts you just $44 short of a $288 Platinum pass for 1 year at 10 additional nationwide parks (SeaWorld, Sesame Place, Adventure Island, etc.) with free parking, 2 friend tickets, an annual PhotoKey and an animal encounter! All this and we haven’t even talked about 2 free beers per day for the rest of 2019!

Compared to the competition an hour down the road, Busch Gardens just became an even bigger bargain! Basically for the price of a day you can get a year of fun!

Where will ticket price inflation stop?

Ride Tigris Today! …Or at Least its Clone

Tigris should open very soon at Busch Gardens Tampa.  The track is complete and cars have arrived.  No doubt it won’t be long before test runs begin, first with sandbags, then dummies, then some brave engineers/employees and probably followed by a few sporadic and unannounced “soft” openings for guests.  However, did you know that a virtual clone of Tigris already exists, in fact several of them? Continue reading

Busch Gardens Cartersville?

As we’ve discussed already, Busch Gardens Tampa was built on the site of a Anheuser-Busch Brewery with an African theme.  This was also the case with the Williamsburg brewery’s European themed park and the Houston brewery’s Asian themed park (which closed in 1973) that were all parks built on brewery property and patterned after the Tampa park.  However, did you know there was a Busch Gardens Rumored for Cartersville, GA? Continue reading