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Orlando Trip Report Thanksgiving 2011 Day 3

alpengeistno3

Posted:
12/9/11 at
4:55:45 AM

Busch Gardens Africa (subtitled, “Florida needs a reride policy”)

Hey guys. The kids' progress report grades are in, so I can get back to work on my trip report. I got up at 6:00 AM to make the trip back to the airport to get my rental car for the day ($30 from Alamo with my BJ’s discount, but it cost me $15 for the shuttle, so I guess I broke even compared to other companies.) Being Thanksgiving Day, the traffic was non-existent, but the tolls were killing me (I didn’t get change and a lot were correct change only.) I got to BGT just as they were opening the parking lot at 9:00 AM.

Being a former ride op at BGE, I was anxious to see how things compared between the 2 parks. Montu was parked on the lift hill, apparently still going through the morning safety check. It was nice to see it right up front to greet guests as they entered the tram area, ala Apollo’s Chariot. Much to my dismay, Kumba was listed on the ride board as rides that were not going to be operational today. OMG!! I had my hopes that things may change because it would really suck to not get a chance to ride my 2nd ever sit-down B&M coaster and the inspiration for my beloved Drachen Fire.

The park opened at 9:30. I was fumbling with my map that I picked up trying to figure out the layout (had no real idea beforehand), but I figured most everyone would go to Cheetah Hunt 1st so I just followed the herd. Needless to say, the plan worked (I would have never found the entrance on my own if I was leading the pack.) I decided to deviate from my normal trend of back seat rides and go with a front seat ride in the 2nd loading station as there were only 4 groups in front of me (and this was probably as short as it was ever going to get.) The ride was running 5 trains (full capacity from what I understand.)

The initial launch out of the dispatch area is merely a push to line the ride up for the main launch up into the tower (which is gorgeous to look at, but merely means to aim the train at the main ride course and provide the interval for the multiple train operation.) It taken at a really slow pace and not as thrilling as the vertical hills or loops used on other launch coasters. The trip out into the Serengeti was speedy, but not really forceful in any way. The 2nd half of the ride was more interesting with the trip over the water, very reminiscent of the 90’s used at the end of El Toro at Gradv, but again, fairly forceless. Overall, Cheetah Hunt is an impressive looking ride (you don’t see many mile long launched coasters), but delivered very little in the force department. Sharing the park with some of the most forceful B&M coasters ever built didn’t help make Cheetah Hunt any more impressive.

After my ride on Cheetah Hunt, I thought I might be able to get a jump on the crowd to Montu, but for some reason, I could not find the entrance to the Egypt section of the park. I followed the signs and came up with nothing. I walked around the Cheetah Hunt tower to the Nairobi train station, which appeared to be a dead end. I then walked back towards Morocco and still couldn’t find the entrance. After 2 consecutive 8 hr days of walking around Universal, plus an additional 1 hr round trip walk to the trolley stop, my feet were feeling it.

Thinking back, I wonder if BGT employs a staggered opening schedule like BGW uses for its hamlets. I remember seeing a lot of tall gates where the paths seemed to dead end, but not being familiar with the park layout at the time, I could not tell if I was on the right path or just lost. I guess I can never fault the people who claimed to not be able to find the entrance to a 150 ft tall bright blue roller coaster named Drachen Fire as I was unable to find the entrance to a similarly sized inverted coaster at BGT, lol. I gave up and decided to head toward Sheikra, which was looming menacingly in the background of the front gate I had now made it back to. Along the way, I ran into Gwazi, so decided to stop there instead.

Gwazi was running 2 trains, Lion side only (guess BGT is yet another park that has a racing/dueling coaster and does not feel the need to run both sides.) Neither Tiger train was anywhere to be seen, so it was doubtful it would ever open for the day. There was no line at this point in the morning and half of the train was roped off from the center seats, so the infamous operating procedure of checking the seatbelts then allowing the lap bars to be checked really did not affect dispatches. The ride was okay, not memorable in a good or bad way. It’s unfortunate that this was the only ride I would get as the line was getting longer by the time I got off and there didn’t seem any sign that the ops were going to open the roped off seats anytime soon, so I continued on.

The walk to Stanleyville was gorgeous with all the foliage and animal exhibits, but excruciating on my worn out feet. What I would have given for a short cut!! When I crossed the bridge from Sesame Street to Stanleyville, I was greeted by the familiar smell of smoked barbecue. What do you know? The Zambia Smokehouse is right next to Sheikra’s splash pool; almost similar to how BGE’s Trapper’s Smokehouse is coincidently near Griffon. Do dive machines and smoked food go hand in hand? I guess we will see if Gradv decides to one day tear down the Amphitheatre and build one next to Best in the West.

Sheikra was running 4 trains from both loading areas and a total walk-on. I managed to score 4 rides before any of the crowds began to show up. A reride policy would have been nice, but besides the spiral staircase back to the entrance and the 3 flights of stairs to the boarding station, it was not a very long walk around. When riding Sheikra, I felt like I could close my eyes and think I was on Griffon. The pacing of the elements felt identical despite the different layout. I did like the carousel turns over the station and back to the final brake run. I didn’t really miss the 2nd Immelmann as I felt like the turn after the 2nd drop did the exact same thing. No doubt, the location of the splash pool on Sheikra is far more interactive than Griffon’s “off in the corner” pool. Overall, I felt like the 10 across trains used on Griffon added some extra “bite” that was not present on Sheikra. Edge to big “G”, but it was a slight nudge, not a runaway knockout victory.

After riding Sheikra for 45 minutes, (and taking in that smoked goodness every time we were perched atop the 2nd drop, I had to go to the Smokehouse for lunch. Turns out BGT has the same all day meal deal that Universal has, but they include ALL of their restaurants. No brainer!! I signed right up. Turned out to maybe not have been the best decision this time as the park closed at 6:00 and temps were in the 60’s all day, so it was not blisteringly hot enough to need to take advantage of the unlimited drinks, but they didn’t require you to carry around a souvenir cup all day, so I figured I could use it to get a drink whenever I felt the need. I only used it one other time as they cut it off for almost all of the restaurants 1 hr before closing. The beef brisket was delicious, but they had what bordered on steak fries instead of the waffle cut ones that BGE uses. I prAmphitheaterefer the later. The chocolate truffle cake was also different, but delicious.

I saw Kumba running while I was on Sheikra, so after lunch, I wanted to get to Congo to check that out. I looked at my map and saw what looked like one hell of a walk through Jungala to get there, so I decided to take the waiting train, assuming it would be like BGE and make a loop right over there (it was pointed in that direction). You know what they say about ass-u-ming!  When it got near the Congo area, it branched off in an L pattern into the Serengeti and ended up back in Nairobi near Cheetah Hunt. Scratching my head over what just happened, I stayed on the train, which passed Egypt (and Montu) and went back through the back side of the Serengeti before finally arriving in Congo. At least I know where Montu is now (not that I didn’t know that, but still didn’t see how to get there.) By the way, BGT’s train still has the spieling ops on the train like BGE used to have when I was working there, who have since been replaced by automated recordings. (It was personally hilarious the deafening hush that came up when the train passed under the, at the time, recently dormant supports of Drachen Fire, as if they were told not to say anything after Busch finally made the decision to close the ride for good.) Very refreshing to hear a live person talk about the rides and animal exhibits as we saw many that it was clear a recording could adequately replace. I immediately went to Kumba and was greeted by an empty station house with 2 train operation.

Kumba, reportedly is the design the Busch handed over to Arrow Dynamics to be modified to become Drachen Fire. B&M was unable to deliver the design in ’92 and BGE didn’t want to wait with Kings Dominion just opening Anaconda the year prior. Fast forward to now, Kumba clearly has elements of Drachen Fire’s design: the operator’s panel overlooking the station track, the interaction with the ride with the bridges right through the heart of the ride area, not to mention the ride elements themselves. The tall vertical loop threaded by the lift replaces the 120 foot high corkscrew on Drachen Fire. A standard B&M camelback is used instead of the camelback hump. The interlocking corkscrews that B&M has used on virtually all of their sit down and floorless coasters were first done on Drachen Fire. As for the ride, well, that is where the comparison ends. No doubt, Kumba is the superior ride. Smooth, speedy, forceful and totally without braking on the block brake. I got 5 rides right there with next to no wait (of course, rerides were out of the question.)

After riding Kumba, I decided venture next door to the Timbuktu area. What do I see 1st, but a wild mouse coaster. Izzy lives!! The ride is now called Sand Serpent, supposedly to prevent confusion between its former name, Cheetah Chase, and the new Cheetah Hunt. I didn’t ride at this time because the line was at least 20-30 mins long (and I still haven’t rode Montu). Same for Scorpion which was only running 1 train without a 2nd train in sight. The line was extending almost to the queue railing all the way back at the entrance. I stopped by the Desert Grill, which turned out to be BGT’s smaller version of the Festhaus. Same décor (although done up for Christmas time), same menu as the German Festhaus. Who knew corned beef and turkey were so indicative of dining in Timbuktu, lol!! For Thanksgiving, they were offering Turkey platters with all of the trimmings. I passed as I don’t really do stuffing, cranberry sauce (just turkey and hot rolls) and opted for the spaghetti for my 2nd meal (and early dinner as it was 3:00 and my meal plan was up at 5:00). I did get an additional drink for the road.

Being so late, I decided it was now or never to get to Montu. I walked back to Nairobi past the train station and noticed a path leading over the back end of Cheetah Hunt’s course that had a sign pointing to Egypt. It was a nice long walk through the front end of the Serengeti the train had toured before reaching Egypt, so I figured I was on the right path this time. Long walk later; I came upon the familiar wall leading to Montu’s Immelmann (where the net was erected due to the camera that flew out of someone's hand during the ride which caused all similar inverted coasters to get their own nets.)

Montu was down when I originally walked up, as they were cycling trains empty. I took some pictures before entering the empty station and heading right for the back row. With BGE deciding they needed to shorten all the seat belts by one click on Alpengeist, I had had my concerns about being able to get on Montu, but it was not problem on the train with the yellow harnesses. The ride, well, Montu was hands down the best coaster of the trip. Every loop had some power behind it. The trim brake was off leading to the batwing, so it had some amazing G-force in the trench. The block brake was only barely touching the train, so the 2nd half of the ride was kicking butt. I don’t know what Montu normally runs like when all the brakes are active, but today, it was amazing. Sorry Alpengeist, you are not in Montu’s league!!

I went around for a total of 6 rides (again, no rerides despite the empty station). The red harnessed train was tighter than the yellow one in that I needed slight shove to get the seat belt fastened. The op admitted they had just replaced all the belts on that train, so they needed to be broken in. 2 trains were running with the third waiting in the maintenance shed and a fourth in pieces, apparently in off season rehab. Pretty cool that BGT has 4 trains when the ride can only run 3. It was now past 4:00 and I still had to ride Cheetah Hunt again as well as Scorpion and Sand Serpent.

I went to ride Cheetah Hunt in the back row. It took around 20 mins. Despite some extra speed cresting the hills, my initial impression of the ride remained unchanged. Impressive stats, mediocre ride. I caught the train back to Congo and walked over to Timbuktu to try to squeeze in Scorpion before closing. The line was only slightly shorter than before, so it took right around 25 minutes. Scorpion reminded me of Laser. Other than being bolted to the ground instead of being held up by 2x4’s and water ballasts, it was in all the WRONG ways! The loading station was identical to Laser’s, which meant they would not allow you the queue for the row of your choice. I wound up getting row 5 or 6, pretty middle of the ride. The lift felt smaller (I’ll have to look up the stats, but I am sure it was not as long to get to the top as Laser’s “KD Shockwave-slow” climb. There was only 1 loop this time and a triple loop helix instead of Laser’s 1 1/2, but other than the stats, the ride felt almost identical. And like Laser, I was not impressed. The one time I was able to get a back seat ride on Laser, it was mediocre at best. I never understand people’s fascination with Schwartzkopf’s rides. The four I have ridden (Laser, SooperDooperLooper, Mind Bender, and now Scorpion) have done little to impress me. Maybe having grown up in Virginia, the nostalgia is lost on me (as I do tend to cling to Arrows for such nostalgic reasons).

It is around 5:30, so I go over try for a walk-on ride on the former Cheetah Chase (Does this ride now challenge Voodoo for most names for a single coaster?) The line was around 10 mins long still. I wound up riding with a teenage girl who was with her friends and the ops insisted that she ride on the outside (which is my customary seat on standard mice to avoid fighting the laterals on the outside turns.) I guess it was so they could quickly add the little black pillow they have come up with for the shared lap bars to add security for smaller riders (and she was considerably smaller than me!). The ride actually ran very well, similar to how it did in its original season as Wild Izzy. No braking on the upper section, slight braking after the big drop and no braking before the brake run. This is the model that eliminated the double camelback before the final turn, so nowhere near the league of Hershey’s mouse, but better than the over braked ones.

I still had 10 mins before park closing, so I was only able to make it back to nearby Kumba for 2 more walk-on rides (including a front seat ride) before the 6:00 PM closing. My feet were on fire at this point, so there was no way I was going to walk back to the front gate from the Congo at the opposite end of the park. (By the way, did I mention that BGT's Congo does not have a Volcano, Avalanche, Alien Warehouse or Race Track as part of their theming? What gives? I thought all of that was part of the Congo for all of these years :) The train had apparently called it a night (I heard the ops saying it was the last train of the night when I was walking over to Kumba for my last rides). I saw the Skyride was nearby and still operating, so I got on it. BGT’s skyride has 3 stations in an L shaped path, but only 2 of them are board able. The 2nd station, just on the other side of Kumba appears to be large enough to have been a boarding station at one time, but is now only staffed as a relay station between the Congo and Nairobi stations. I’d love to know the history of the ride (and whether the addition of Kumba in some way affected the current operation. The skyride was a long ride across the Serengeti and interestingly, under the “small” hill of Cheetah Hunt. Too bad it was pitch black dark now, so no animals could be observed as it would have been a nice view. I touched down in Nairobi and made the walk back to the front gate to a wonderful 6 large queue railing long line to board the tram back to the main parking lot. It took an additional 15 mins to get through that and another 20 mins to get out the small gate on what appeared to be a residential street to exit the park.

Overall, I was impressed with most of BGT’s coaster collection. The Beemers were top notch. Cheetah Hunt, while not in league with the Beemers, was still an impressive sized ride, which did have some moments of just “I can’t believe I am on a roller coaster”. Gwazi was a fine ride even if nothing special and Scorpion would have been better if the line was not as long. Sand Serpent is a pretty good mouse as far as mice go. It is interesting as it seemed when they first opened, the Williamsburg park clearly got the better ride collection (Loch Ness Monster and BBW vs. Scorpion and Python), but since the Drachen Fire debacle, Tampa has managed to sneak in some winners in Kumba and Montu. I’ll be curious to see if Verbolten will be a similar experience to Cheetah Hunt, albeit shorter, or if it will be a ride to swing the favor back to BGE.

Thanks for reading, up next my last day at Universal and Sea World.

Paul

Re: Orlando Trip Report Thanksgiving 2011 Day 3 by RobLec RobLec Profile at 12/9/11 9:48:36 AM

Wow - nice report, Paul! FYI, BGT is my like my second home park... it's the first modern theme park I visited back when my kids were small, and the one that turned me into an enthusiast.

I remember the year Kumba opened, and reading the newspaper when a local girl died on the ride with a heart condition... back when (afaik) people weren't known to die on coasters. But Kumba was truly a revolutionary ride. I don't know what other parks had to offer at the time, but Kumba just blew me and everyone else away...

The ride, well, Montu was hands down the best coaster of the trip. Every loop had some power behind it. The trim brake was off leading to the batwing, so it had some amazing G-force in the trench. The block brake was only barely touching the train, so the 2nd half of the ride was kicking butt. I don’t know what Montu normally runs like when all the brakes are active, but today, it was amazing. Sorry Alpengeist, you are not in Montu’s league!!

...that is, until Montu opened fifteen years ago. It immediately became my entire family's #1 coaster, and it has remained there ever since. We only ride it about every five years or so, but it always delivers.

Overall it sounds like you had an amazing visit. I've never seen BGT with walk-on conditions such as you encountered, and so many re-rides. You've already go me planning a winter trip to BGT next year!

Thanks for your amazing reports!

Re: Orlando Trip Report Thanksgiving 2011 Day 3 by frontrow frontrow Profile at 12/9/11 10:33:35 AM

Excellent TR Paul. BG Tampa is my favorite park in Florida and I haven't been there since Sheirka or Cheetah Hunt was installed. It's a park that's really underrated. Not only is Montu my favorite invert, it's my favorite looping coaster. You described it perfectly. I really like Kumba and Gwazi also, they're both great coasters. The one thing I liked about that park that you didn't mention was the up close animal-human interaction the park provides. At one time BG Tampa was the 6th largest zoo. I'm not much of a zoo person, but BG provides a different type of zoo experience. It sounds like the crowd was manageable and you rode alot. Maybe next time you take a break from riding and enjoy the zoo part of it. I'm glad you had fun, can't wait for part 4.

Re: Orlando Trip Report Thanksgiving 2011 Day 3 by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 12/9/11 8:44:35 PM

Excellent TR Paul!

Cheetah hunt - good call on going on that first. I don't know what the ride lines are like later in the day, but it's best to get a few rides early in the day than to take a chance. It is 'just fun' as it's not as thrilling as the other coasters. So if you have low expectations about it, you won't be too disappointed with it. Honestly, I would take Rockin' roller coaster at Disney's hollywood studios over Cheetah Hunt if i had to choose b/w those two.

Now you know why I love Montu :D Neutered as it may be [trims before the batwing], the overall ride is just excellent.

Totally agreed with you about Sheikra vs Griffon. Griffon the ride is slightly better, but I still like Sheikra for the pool being 'open'.

Gwazi is hit or miss. Fortunately for me I was able to go there on 3 different days. 1 day I got the 'dueling' experience. Another day I got one trip on each side and then for some reason shut it down [they just closed it and told everyone we had to get off with no explaination]. I didn't check to see if they ran the trains again. The last day, they ran only one side and when I saw how long the line was, I just skipped it altogether given how I didn't really need to ride it and preferred to ride each side than just one.
For the ride itself, those MF trains made a big difference as far as making the ride tollerable over the ptc cars they had.

Kumba is great, I only wished I could've rode DF to compare it to Kumba, but I guess I wouldn't have missed much.

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Re: Orlando Trip Report Thanksgiving 2011 Day 3 by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 12/9/11 9:19:04 PM

Nice TR! I can't wait to ride Sheikra to compare but I'm glad Griffon has the edge since it's so much closer to me! :~)

I loved Montu too. I have to get back there b/c I really can't remember the ride experience anymore, just remember I loved it and it was my favorite in the park at the time. I like all the negative feelings for Cheetah hunt - I'll probably like it since I have such low expectations for it now.

Last time I went we did the "safari" thing and you go out on the back of a truck to the animals and feed the giraffes - it was very cool. Now that I've actually been to Africa, probably won't be as exciting but I'd still do it again. I'm a sucker for giraffes.

Glad you had a good time. Hope your feet got a nice hot soak and rejuvenated!

Jen

Re: Orlando Trip Report Thanksgiving 2011 Day 3 by alpengeistno3 at 12/9/11 10:45:33 PM

> Overall it sounds like you had an amazing visit. I've never
> seen BGT with walk-on conditions such as you encountered,
> and so many re-rides. You've already go me planning a
> winter trip to BGT next year!

> Thanks for your amazing reports!

Thank you, Rob. I heard so much "gloom and doom" over going down during Thanksgiving, I was pleasantly surprised that the conditions were not bad at all. At worst, it was like a busy weekday at a northern area park. Maybe it's the recession, maybe because the only new ride in the area was Cheetah Hunt. Whatever, I'll take it :)

Paul

Re: Orlando Trip Report Thanksgiving 2011 Day 3 by alpengeistno3 at 12/9/11 10:51:06 PM

The one thing
> I liked about that park that you didn't mention was the up
> close animal-human interaction the park provides. At one
> time BG Tampa was the 6th largest zoo. I'm not much of a
> zoo person, but BG provides a different type of zoo
> experience. It sounds like the crowd was manageable and you
> rode alot. Maybe next time you take a break from riding and
> enjoy the zoo part of it. I'm glad you had fun, can't wait
> for part 4.

I did kinda skirt over the animal stuff in my text TR, but I did take lots of up close pics of the animals as I walked the path to Stanleyville and to Nairobi and added them to my pic TR I posted on facebook (I made it seem as if I was asking them how to get to Montu, lol!) You are totally correct about how impressive the park is a zoo (and without all the iron bars of a standard zoo.)

Part 4 is being worked on. Should be up late tonight. Thanks for following the whole thing and the comments :)

Paul

Re: Orlando Trip Report Thanksgiving 2011 Day 3 by alpengeistno3 at 12/9/11 11:09:45 PM

> Excellent TR Paul!

Thanks, Phil!

> Cheetah hunt - good call on going on that first. I don't
> know what the ride lines are like later in the day, but
> it's best to get a few rides early in the day than to take
> a chance. It is 'just fun' as it's not as thrilling as the
> other coasters. So if you have low expectations about it,
> you won't be too disappointed with it. Honestly, I would
> take Rockin' roller coaster at Disney's hollywood studios
> over Cheetah Hunt if i had to choose b/w those two.

I don't know what it was throughout the day as I never made it back there until almost the end of the day, but it was around 25 minutes when I got done riding Montu at around 4:30 with a 6:00 closing. It was still running and the line was still about 10 minutes long once I touched down from my long skyride back to Nairobi after the park closed (nearly 30 mins after closing).

> Now you know why I love Montu :D Neutered as it may be
> [trims before the batwing], the overall ride is just
> excellent.

"Cool" day (by Florida standards) = no brakes. That excellent ride was absolutely god-like :) Right now, I would take Montu over any of the Mid-Atlantic hypers except Nitro and I-305.

> Totally agreed with you about Sheikra vs Griffon. Griffon
> the ride is slightly better, but I still like Sheikra for
> the pool being 'open'.

I really think if Sheikra used Griffon's larger trains, it would easily be a different story.

> Gwazi is hit or miss. Fortunately for me I was able to go
> there on 3 different days. 1 day I got the 'dueling'
> experience. Another day I got one trip on each side and
> then for some reason shut it down [they just closed it and
> told everyone we had to get off with no explaination]. I
> didn't check to see if they ran the trains again. The last
> day, they ran only one side and when I saw how long the
> line was, I just skipped it altogether given how I didn't
> really need to ride it and preferred to ride each side than
> just one.
> For the ride itself, those MF trains made a big difference
> as far as making the ride tollerable over the ptc cars they
> had.

Did you have an opinion on which side was better?

> Kumba is great, I only wished I could've rode DF to compare
> it to Kumba, but I guess I wouldn't have missed much.

The only thing Drachen Fire really had going for it was it was unique. There is no other Arrow coaster with a cobra roll (not that the one on Drachen Fire did anything special), cutback loop, or 120 foot drop out of a corkscrew. That is the only thing you missed (and the numerous rerides even on the busiest days :)

Paul

Re: Orlando Trip Report Thanksgiving 2011 Day 3 by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 12/9/11 11:34:27 PM

No breaks on Montu? Now that's a dream come true! But at least normally the break isn't too hard.

I do agree Griffon is very fun to ride on the very edges. I always try to grab the outer most seat if possible. Not sure how much a difference two extra 'columns' of seats will do, but if it is 'doable' then I would be in favor of a bigger train for Sheikra.

Honestly, I kinda liked Lion a bit more because it was slightly 'smoother'. But for some reason the Tiger side seemed to be open more times than Lion. So to me Tiger seems more 'reliable'.

Oh man if only i had a time machine. I'd have tried out DF for at least a few rides. All the insane stuff I missed out on because I was too young.

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Re: Orlando Trip Report Thanksgiving 2011 Day 3 by alpengeistno3 at 12/9/11 11:40:03 PM

> Nice TR! I can't wait to ride Sheikra to compare but I'm
> glad Griffon has the edge since it's so much closer to me!
> :~)

> I loved Montu too. I have to get back there b/c I really
> can't remember the ride experience anymore, just remember I
> loved it and it was my favorite in the park at the time. I
> like all the negative feelings for Cheetah hunt - I'll
> probably like it since I have such low expectations for it
> now.

It's not a bad ride, but if you are even expecting Kingda Ka, Jr, you need to find a way to take the training wheels off, first. :)

> Last time I went we did the "safari" thing and
> you go out on the back of a truck to the animals and feed
> the giraffes - it was very cool. Now that I've actually
> been to Africa, probably won't be as exciting but I'd still
> do it again. I'm a sucker for giraffes.

I saw safari. I initially thought it was Rhino Ralley, but train host led us to believe it was part of something they payed extra for. Being a vet by trade, did you do like the Jurassic Park gang and jump out of the truck to take care of some sick animals?

> Glad you had a good time. Hope your feet got a nice hot
> soak and rejuvenated!

All good now (I'm getting to that in the 4th and final part of the TR.)

Thanks for reading, Jen. Threw that dive machine and Gradv comment out there just for you and you didn't swing on it. What gives? :)

Paul

Re: Orlando Trip Report Thanksgiving 2011 Day 3 by alpengeistno3 at 12/9/11 11:47:49 PM

> No breaks on Montu? Now that's a dream come true! But at
> least normally the break isn't too hard.

It was. I was loving it so much, it cost me going back to the Smokehouse for a 2nd helping of brisket.

> I do agree Griffon is very fun to ride on the very edges. I
> always try to grab the outer most seat if possible. Not
> sure how much a difference two extra 'columns' of seats
> will do, but if it is 'doable' then I would be in favor of
> a bigger train for Sheikra.

I felt it. The Montu ride op, who quickly noticed my Griffon "First Rider" shirt felt the same. The extra seats gave Griffon more "bite" coming out of the Immelmanns.

> Honestly, I kinda liked Lion a bit more because it was
> slightly 'smoother'. But for some reason the Tiger side
> seemed to be open more times than Lion. So to me Tiger
> seems more 'reliable'.

I felt like Lion was a little "too smooth", so unmemorable. I wish I could have got a Tiger ride to compare.

> Oh man if only i had a time machine. I'd have tried out DF
> for at least a few rides. All the insane stuff I missed out
> on because I was too young.

But look at all the stuff you get to do while you are STILL young :)

Paul

Re: Orlando Trip Report Thanksgiving 2011 Day 3 by RobLec RobLec Profile at 12/10/11 12:15:07 AM

> I felt like Lion was a little "too smooth", so unmemorable.
> I wish I could have got a Tiger ride to compare.

Lion has longer straight stretches and wider turns; Tiger is more twisty turny and hilly... much like comparing Fire to Ice at IOA. Generally Tiger is more thrilling for enthusiasts, while Lion is more agreeable to GP (imo).

Re: Orlando Trip Report Thanksgiving 2011 Day 3 by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 12/10/11 1:18:40 AM

Lol, cheers about the youth comment Paul :) I've still got years to go. Plenty of rides to enjoy.

Rob, that is true about Tiger. I forgot the exact location [at least somewhere near where the camera is], but I know that for Tiger, I was unable to keep both hands up without having to put them both down onto the bar because of the force. Lion side, arms up the entire ride. But still, I'm loving the difference the MF trains have made over the PTC ones. The PTC ones = no chance would I have dared to do that.

If I were to reride Thunderhead now given how used to coasters I am, I would probably keep my arms up for as much of the ride as possible.

Re: Orlando Trip Report Thanksgiving 2011 Day 3 by alpengeistno3 at 12/10/11 11:36:33 AM

> Lol, cheers about the youth comment Paul :) I've still got
> years to go. Plenty of rides to enjoy.

Sure thing, Phil. It's true. We all reminisce about how it would have been great to ride the rides of the Roaring 20's like the Crystal Beach Cyclone, but no way I would trade the rides of yesterday for the hyper coasters and multi loopers of today.

Paul

Re: Orlando Trip Report Thanksgiving 2011 Day 3 by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 12/10/11 6:23:52 PM

> It's not a bad ride, but if you are even expecting Kingda
> Ka, Jr, you need to find a way to take the training wheels
> off, first. :)

When I first heard about it that's what I thought - a coaster with 3 launches?!?! AWESOME! I'm glad I got feedback before I ride it or I would have been very upset!

I saw safari. I initially thought it was Rhino Ralley, but
> train host led us to believe it was part of something they
> payed extra for. Being a vet by trade, did you do like the
> Jurassic Park gang and jump out of the truck to take care
> of some sick animals?

It was an extra charge but wasn't that much. I'd LOVE to jump out and examine the giraffes!!! Don't give me any ideas :~)

> Thanks for reading, Jen. Threw that dive machine and Gradv
> comment out there just for you and you didn't swing on it.
> What gives? :)

I smiled and chuckled when I was reading it I swear! And boy do I wish that would come true - I'd be in my own little utopia with KK and a dive machine! Now if they'd only bring back the old food at Best of the West - that place used to be SO good....

Jen

Re: Orlando Trip Report Thanksgiving 2011 Day 3 by alpengeistno3 at 12/10/11 10:11:05 PM

> It was an extra charge but wasn't that much. I'd LOVE to
> jump out and examine the giraffes!!! Don't give me any
> ideas :~)

Security would have something to say about it, but I'd think you'd be okay as most of those animals were "veggie-saurs". Now if you wanted to go play with the lions or tigers at Gradv...

> Thanks for reading, Jen. Threw that dive machine and Gradv
> comment out there just for you and you didn't swing on it.
> What gives? :)

> I smiled and chuckled when I was reading it I swear! And
> boy do I wish that would come true - I'd be in my own
> little utopia with KK and a dive machine! Now if they'd
> only bring back the old food at Best of the West - that
> place used to be SO good....

Maybe that is the only thing that is keeping it from happening. We need to get some real BBQ in Best of the West 1st!!

Paul