Saturday, December 31, 2005

To Busch Gardens

Posted by Dawn at Saturday, December 31, 2005
Today, we would be spending the whole day in Busch Gardens. It is a theme park concentrated with thrilling rides. But one good concept is that they have a zoo and safari in there as well.

We went first thing in the morning to start early and the place will close at 1am because it is New Year's Eve and they have fireworks celebration. So, it was more worth going today.

Our morning dose to start off the day was already the rollercoaster ride! We took this thrilling ride called "Gwazi". It is Tampa Bay's mammoth double wooden coaster. It is also the Southeast's largest and fastest double wooden roller coaster boasting more than 1.25 million board feet of lumber and over 2 million bolted connections. It is named after a fabled lion with a tiger's head and there was a seemingly continuous number of spirals. Because of the wood, the ride is very I had a headache caused bythe bumpy ride. But that really woke my morning up...better than any coffee!

Then, we went for a more mild ride called "Python". Though there were double spiraling corkscrew and intense 70-foot plunge, it was so fast that when it ended, CT and I kept laughing cos it was a joke. It ended so fast...think it was like less than one minute. Ha..

Next, we took water rides that could get you wet. Water rides are usually very mild and not exciting...But I wanted to cool off so we took that. CT did not really like the idea of getting wet so early in the morning but he played along with me. There were "Stanley Falls" and "Congo River Rapids".

"Stanley Falls" is simply a log that you are in which goes down a 40-foot drop that's sure to get you soaked.

"Congo River Rapids" is a bit more interesting and you get even more wet! You will encounter the swift-flowing white water of the Congo River Rapids. Spin through a geyser, face an ominous waterfall, and other thrilling obstacles in a 12-person raft.

After all these mild rides, my confidence grew and we went to more thrilling roller coaster rides after that. "Kumba" was our next ride which we knew was very thrilling from all the screams of the people who were going through it. The more they screamed, the more CT and I got excited. Haha..

Kumba is one of the world's best roller coasters. After the blood-curdling thrill of an initial 135 foot drop, there is a plunge from 110 feet into a diving loop, feel a full 3 seconds of absolute weightlessness while spiraling 360 degrees, and tear through one of the world's largest vertical loops. I am not faking all these information as I got this from their website.

We then passed by a 4-D theatre and decided to go in since it was 10 mins before show time. We watched "R.L. Stine's Haunted Lighthouse" which is an exciting 4-D theater attraction. The family-friendly adventure film combines state-of-the-art 3-D visual effects with multi-sensory surprises to immerse the audience in an imaginative and engaging film. Based on an original story by popular children's horror author R.L. Stine. We were wet when we came out cos water was sprayed at us during the show. I felt so cold and wet. Sobsob.hehe..

After that, we went on to more roller coaster rides to dry up a little. Went to "Scorpion" and "Cheetah Chase".

"Cheetah Chase" does not have much looks but it is quite cool when we sit in a small car (4 people) and the car would go left and right abruptly so much so that you feel like you will fall off the car as we were so high up and the angle of turn is so sharp. So at times, I feel as if I would push CT out of the roller coaster. Ha..that makes it exciting..

"Scorpion" has a 60-foot drop and 360 degree loop at incredible speeds. Quite nice..

We also went to sit a "Viking" type of ride that goes back and forth but this one is cooler. It goes 360 degrees. So, the boat will start off back and forth more and more..then it will bring you upside down as you feel your whole face getting super flushed as the blood all rushed to your face as we were hung upside down for quite a while. I felt so dependent on the safety belt as we were practically lying on it and dangling.

After that, we were queuing up for this "sandstorm" ride when I put my hands behind me on the railings and felt a sting. I quickly flick "the thing" off my finger that stung me and it felt like a wasp or some kind of hornet. I quickly told CT and I could feel my finger swelling up and feeling so numb. We quickly got off the queue and went to a First Aid center nearby and they gave me something to apply on it and the, gave me an ice pack to reduce the swelling.

After that, CT told me not to ride anymore. So, we went to the locker to get our stuff and decided to see the animals. They have like hundreds and hundreds of flamingoes, different kinds of birds like vultures, eagles etc.

We also took a train into the safari animal place where we were close to rhino, zebras, giraffes, wildebeests etc. It was fun cos I love animals. I was even just next to a hippo, seperated by a glass. It was awesome. Took lots of pictures of lions that were just 2m away from me.

CT went alone to take "Montu" rollercoaster as I was still recovering from my sting. I waited very long for him as the queue is quite long since it was late afternoon already. It is one of the tallest and longest inverted roller coasters in the world.There is the thrill of an inverse diving loop and a 60-foot vertical loop while you endure speeds of over 60 miles per hour and a G-force of 3.85 with feet dangling. I saw CT through the fence as the roller coaster was moving up but he did not see me as he was probably concentrating. Haha..

There was also this street performance by an Irish family playing celtic music. They are not only super talented with their instruments but they all looked very good. The family consists of the parents, 2 boys and 2 girls. The youngest is only 12 while the oldest is 17 years old. I was amazed. Check out the video by clicking on the play button.

After feeling much better, I wanted to sit the most thrilling roller coaster in the world. It is a new attraction in the park, called "Sheikra" which carries riders up 200 feet at 45 degrees, then hurtles them 70 mph back toward the ground at a 90-degree angle. It is the first coaster of its kind in the Americas and only the third in the world.SheiKra is the first dive coaster to incorporate an Immelmann loop, a water feature, and a second 90-degree 138-foot drop through an underground tunnel. SheiKra also includes a 360-degree climbing carousel. 3,188 feet of steel track offers a total ride time of just over three minutes.

We sat this ride in the dark as the sunsets quite early and the queue for this ride was super long. So much fun! There was a 90 degree face front drop which was awesome. After the ride, we had dinner and spent time walking to see the animals and waited for the New Year's Eve celebration to start.

We also took a cable car that goes across the whole themepark. It was quite cold as the cable car was open air. We also went in search for a good place to catch the fireworks later on. Went up this playground tower but in the end, got chased back down as they were closing up the area. It was eleven plus pm already. So, in the end, we found a spot which we could see the open sky. So, we waited till midnight. There was a huge celebration in the fields where a band was playing on stage and thousands of people were dancing and gathering in front of the stage. We def did not join in cos we hate the crowds.

However, when midnight came, there was one fireworks and no more!! cheated. Dunno what happened but the people were definitely disappointed that night. While walking out of the park, it was slow and difficult as there were many peopl leaving as well.

What a night. Waited all night for it for nothing. I told CT that at least we took roller coaster rides at night and spent a lot of time in the park enjoying the sights and rides as usually, the park closes at about 9pm. So whatever it is, we still spent longer hours than any other who comes on a normal day.

I cannot seem to put up my pictures on...hope to update soon.


Hebrew_Star on Monday, January 09, 2006 said...

Wow-whee!! You got guts la dear... ;o)

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