RIP Wild Surge

It’s always sad to see a ride go, I guess the ride gods give a new flat ride (Serengeti Flyer) and then take away (Wild Surge). What closed for refurbishment on November 28th appears to be forever with it being removed from the website and park maps.

Wild Surge was essentially a generic kid’s drop tower that opened in 2008 made by Italian company Moser’s Rides. It was basically hidden in the Jungala area behind some faux rock work. The setting was pretty cool once you found it, going up and down in a canyon area, but its operation seemed sporadic even in regular times.

With the Jungala play area basically closed since 2018 (before Covid), my guess is that a high percentage of the GP might have just wandered by not even knowing it’s there. I’ve been hoping the Treetop Trails play area there would reopen as it was pretty awesome how it was integrated in the orangutans and gibbons exhibit (even though it duplicated much of what was available in Sesame Street). This probably means the writing is on the wall for Jungala as a whole, but let’s hope it’s replaced with something great.

Jungala came in 2008 as a replacement for the Python roller coaster. Part of it was cannibalized several years ago when Tanganyika Tidal Wave made way in 2016 for Tigris to open in 2019. 2018 saw the major closure with the “zip line” Jungle Flyer ride and Treetop Trails closing. If memory serves me right the Wild Surge still operated sporadically from 2018 until Covid where it was shut down. Time passes and the Bengal Bistro became a Chick-fil-A in September 2021 and Wild Surge reopened in November 2021 giving some hope the Jungala area would come back in full, but this appears not to be the case. What’s funny is the app map no longer shows Wild Surge, but the Jungle Flyer is still there???

This was a small ride from a small manufacturer that was probably relatively inexpensive. Although Moser’s Rides still appears to exist, many of these flat rides can’t last forever in a 356 day environment like Busch Gardens before the refurbishment costs may exceed the cost of a new ride. Here’s an example of that from my childhood park Bay Beach who releases a lot more info than most being publicly owned about the ride Bay Beast:

He says the Bay Beast would have cost more than $350,000 to repair. Buying a similar ride would cost between $250,000 and $600,000.

It’s possible that they got into a planned refurbishment and discovered something too costly to justify keeping it around. There’s been no official announcement from the park, but hopefully we hear something soon and news about what might replace it?

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