Busch Gardens Tampa
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(8/11/17) Howl-O-Scream 2017 Update (MORE...)
(7/25/17) Busch Gardens Tampa Confirms Another Returning Haunt For Howl-O-Scream (MORE...)
(7/24/17) Hotel and Waterpark Rumor Updates
(7/14/17) Two Mazes Confirmed For Howl-O-Scream 2017 (MORE...)
Ride Rehabs - The following information is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.
Kumba - NOW CLOSED through Sept 1
Desert Runners - Sept 11 through Sept 15
Carousel - Sept 18 through Sept 29
Wild Surge - Oct. 9 through Oct. 20
Congo River Rapids - Oct. 30 through Nov. 22
General Park News - (7/7/17) Apparently the 4th of July fireworks show at Busch Gardens Tampa had a bit of a glitch when things went off-script. Fireworks shows, while very carefully controlled, are still subject to the occasional mishaps due to the chaotic nature of the explosions and forces involved. So what happened? From what I'm told the finale portion of the fireworks show was "lit" prematurely when a "malfunctioning blue mine array" knocked into foil backstage, and shortly after a stray random ember lit off the finale much earlier than planned, leaving the show with a rather awkward and dark couple of minutes spent in the dark while the last of the music played out.
(5/31/17) Busch Gardens Tampa will turn up the volume this summer with their new Summer Nights event. Look for party zones to appear after dark in the park, special summer cuisine, thrill rides in the dark, and the premier of an all new Ice Show at the Moroccan Palace to be called, “Turn It Up!”. (Open Now)
Howl-O-Scream 2017 - (8/11/17) Just a reminder, the BGT Howl-O-Scream Summer Ticket Deal that lets you buy a ticket to Howl-O-Scream in adventure for just $29.99 will come to an end on August 15th. If you are a passholder, you can pick up a ticket for just $24.99. Follow the link for details.
Also, BGT has announced the return of Zombie Containment Unit 15: Moving Targets for HOS17.
(7/25/17) Busch Gardens Tampa has confirmed that the Voodoo Queen is back as part of the returning Death Water Bayou haunt for this year's Howl-O-Scream.
(7/14/17) Howl-O-Scream has confirmed that Unearthed will return for HOS2017 along with Motel Hell. You can relive some of Unearthed in the video the park tweeted, but you can take a detailed trip through Motel Hell by flashing back to last fall when we sent Keith to participate in the park's ScreamCam preview.
(7/7/17) Busch Gardens Tampa has posted the dates for this year’s Howl-O-Scream event as taking place over 19 nights between Sept. 22 through to Oct. 29th. While they have yet to announce the theme or any details for this year’s mazes, they have posted an offer than may be too good to refuse. If you are willing to buy a ticket to HOS 2017 in advance you can get in for just $29.99. The offer is only good online and you have to buy it before Aug. 16th, but your ticket also gets you into the park early at 5pm, instead of at 7:30pm along with the rest of the general public. For details visit the official website.
2018 - New Waterslide @ Adventure Island - Rumor - (7/24/17) While we haven't heard any updates to confirm or deny the possible addition of new trap door slides to Adventure Island next season, I'm told that the reason the one bridge pathway was closed was due to the condition of the wood in sections that had been causing some splinters to the barefooted guests and needed to be addressed.
(7/15/17) Rumor has it that Adventure Island may be planning on adding a new slide for the 2018 season. According to our source it would feature one of drop pods added onto the top of the Colossal Curls slide tower. Inside the park they also noted that the bridge that goes over the Calypso Coaster and Aruba Tube has been closed off and blocked with construction warning tape. The location is said to be near the pathway to the old Gulfstream entrance used to be, so we could see some of this removed to make way for the new slide(s) coming in 2018. Our source also noted that the park has also removed the small Hydra Tube slides from the Paradise Pool area.
2018 - Walkabout Way Expansion - Rumor - (1/26/17) I'm hearing that the park may be planning an expansion to the Australian themed Walkabout Way animal area of the park for the 2018 season.
2018? - Enclose Sand Serpent - Planning - (6/24/17) Remember how Sand Serpent sat closed for months and we had no idea why? Well... we still don't know why, but the story just got a little more interesting, as it seems Busch Gardens Tampa has some interesting new plans in store for the park's resident Mack Wild Mouse coaster. According to a posting from TouringCentralFlorida, the park applied for a very interesting permit this month... a permit that would see the Sand Serpent coaster full enclosed inside a brand new 64 foot tall building structure that would house the coaster and the queue area in air conditioned glory.
We don't know any more details beyond this, but typically when an enclosed coaster is built they either try to include some unique themeing and elements to the ride, or they simply go for a dark 'space mountain' style out of control experience in the dark, or even a mixture of both. Given that the chain is trying to push out more themed experiences with their rides when possible, I can see this happening here... that or they go with the dark concept and give riders VR headgear to wear to create a very new ride experience all together. Of course, where VR goes, the wait times increase, and that's not really the best idea on a coaster that doesn't have the best throughput already... but that's hasn't stopped anyone yet.
Stay tuned... I'm guessing this will be the big roll out for the 2018 season.
2019/2020 - Resort Hotel - Rumor - (7/24/17) While Busch Gardens Tampa is apparently looking into building their own hotel, I'm hearing that any decision on the project may be pushed back until later in the year, probably around the time the company is set to post their Q3 financial results and have a more solid idea of where they stand near the end of the 2017 season.
(6/26/17) Screamscape sources tell us that the new permits for BGT are indeed for a proposal for a future resort hotel project. Nothing has been approved yet, but it should be interesting if they opt to move forward with it.
(6/24/17) TouringCentralFlorida sent Screamscape information about another interesting permit they found filed for Busch Gardens Tampa. This one is to have work done by a "Tree Consultation" involving future expansion plans at the park. The mentioned tree work apparently is necessary when they are wanting to work in an area that includes large "grand trees" which feature a trunk diameter of 34+ inches as well as possible "protected trees". The area in question is along the Northern edge of the Serengeti section of the park's, east of Kumba and the Skyride mid-point turn station. The area in question would almost seem perfect for those rumored on-site resort hotel plans that were being talked about again, don’t you think?
(1/26/17) Screamscape sources tell us that Busch Gardens Tampa is once again making plans to build their very own resort hotel on the property. I'm told they are hoping to open it by 2019 if the planning goes smoothly, though they have a few sites they are considering. The obvious one is to take up a large site along McKinley Drive right smack in the middle of the savannah where the railroad already curves away from McKinley which would give the resort the most room here, as well as providing some stunning views to the guests. Another site being heavily considered instead however is the corner property of the park where McKinley and Bougainvillea intersect, which is currently used as a backstage area for the park. If they go for this site, obviously whatever is back there would have to be moved to new facility elsewhere in the park, or moved off-site (if possible). In addition to those two primary sites, they have also earmarked a couple of other sites directly to the west and north of Adventure Island as possibilities as well.
???? - New Coaster - Rumor - (9/9/16) Is BGT planning on adding a new coaster in the near future? Early sources tell us that the park has been in talks with B&M about adding a new coaster as early as 2018 or 2019. With so many B&M coasters already in the park (Dive Machine, Looper, Inverted) and with a B&M Flyer and Floorless coaster also nearby at SeaWorld Orlando, about the only B&M design the company has not yet built in the region would be a Wing Coaster. Personally, I'd also love to see this come out as a Launched Wing Coaster design since the park has so many standard lift coasters.