Busch Gardens Tampa
Tampa Bay, Florida
January 28 2013
Page One

Busch Gardens Tampa, Tampa, Florida

It sucks having a birthday in January while living in the Midwest because it's kind of hard to have a birthday party at a park when it's seven below zero and there's snow everywhere.  That kind of spoils the festivities.

  When we planned our Florida trip the idea was to be in Florida with my parents and at a park for my birthday.  As soon as Brian (aka: Waterboy on the Negative-G Forums) heard that we were doing Busch Gardens Tampa for my forty-first birthday he decided to join us for a couple of days of our trip.  Mike was already down in Florida for January so not only did I have a park for my birthday but I also had two of my closest friends making the visit to Busch Gardens even better.

I last visited Busch when I was nine years old back in 1981.  The highlight of that trip was riding Scorpion and completely falling in love with that ride.  It has taken me thirty-one years to get back down here to Busch Gardens Tampa and I was ready to go as soon as they dropped the ropes and opened the park.

The Cheetah Hunt roller coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa, Tampa, Florida

"Cats and dogs living together...mas hysteria" - Dr. Peter Venkman - Ghostbusters

No it was not the end of the world with a giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man rampaging through town that made this cat, well a cheetah and dog living happily together in one of Busch Gardens enclosures.  There's a simpler explanation.   You see it turns out that cheetahs; which are endangered, have an extremely hard time dealing with captivity.  Pairing a cheetah with a dog calms them and makes them happier.  Most of the cheetahs you see in captivity were found abandoned by their mothers and if they are paired with a puppy it helps them socialize.  So dogs aren't just man's best friend they're also cheetah's. 

The Cheetah Hunt roller coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa, Tampa, Florida

There are going to be a lot of animal photos in this update as Busch Gardens Tampa Bay as it's now called is themed to Africa and all of the various wildlife found on that continent. 

Throughout the years Busch Gardens name has changed a bit.  When the park opened in 1976 it was known as Busch Gardens: The Dark Continent.  Later it was known as Busch Gardens Africa before switching to just Busch Gardens Tampa Bay for a name a few years ago. 

The Cheetah Hunt roller coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa, Tampa, Florida

Following Mike's intense power walk we quickly found ourselves the only ones at Cheetah Hunt so we had a nice empty train for a nice little "Zen Ride" to start the day.

The Cheetah Hunt roller coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa, Tampa, Florida

Cheetah Hunt has no lift.  It is all about the launches, three of them along the rides 4,429 feet of track including one that sends you quickly out of the station through a helix to kick all the action off.


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Paul B. Drabek