BGT Tuesday, November 28

November 29, 2023, 12:03 PM

Went to BGT yesterday and overall a fantastic day to be at the park. Normally I would not do views of a park near me that I have been to a million times, but after scathing BGW in the fall I feel obligated to put up a nicer one about the company lol.
Walking in I noticed there was a new wall that was built along the side of the park between the Cheetah Hunt area and the front parking lot. It used to be an ornamental metal fence so you could see into the park, but now its a solid wall with spikes glued on top (like the things they have on top of signs in New York to keep the birds off of them). There are signs like every 10 feet saying there are spikes on top so do not climb the wall. I'm not sure if they had issues with people scaling the wall and getting into the park, but found that funny.

The park was very slow which was to be expected on a cold weekday. All the coasters were running half empty trains with one train operating (Iron Gwazi and Cheetah Hunt running two...but also had half empty trains). Pretty much everything was open except Skyride (which has been SBNO for years) and the Congo River Rapids which had a sinkhole open up next to it the day before. I was surprised to see even all the kids rides were open around the park including the play areas in Sesame and Jungala. Even with it being slow they had the Big Bird meet and greet in the normal area, and also Zoe and Grover were meeting on the stage inbetween shows.

Most of the crews were slow but it didn't matter much except for Montu where they were "OMG WTF" slow. Like sending one train every 20 minutes slow. The laziness there was off the spectrum even for a slow day.

Regarding shows they do not have the Three Kings or Christmas Fireworks going on weekdays. Obviously there is no way they are going to do the Christmas fireworks on weekdays at a park like BGT, although it was disappointing to not have Three Kings going considering its just three actors, a tech guy, and i'm assuming a costume person.
We did ride the train so we went by the Skyride station and from what I saw it looked totally abandoned and the ride vehicles were under cover at the rides turnaround totally neglected and rusted out, even though i've heard its supposed to open for this Christmas. Not sure what is going on there but I wouldn't keep my hopes up for that.

Overall BGT's Christmastown is a fantastic event and IMO of all the Florida Parks, Sea World/Busch have unquestionably the best holiday events. The lights around the park, meet and greets, ice dancing show, holiday train, and the fact that its included with admission make it a top notch holiday event.
Some would make the argument that MVMCP is better because of parade, fireworks, and Space Mountain/Speedway, but I disagree. Other than Main Street there is like no holiday decor around MK, not even lights, and the upcharge for that event is outrageous especially taking into account they do all that stuff included with admission the week of Christmas/New Years. I know BGT tried to upcharge Christmas Town the first year (as thats what BGW did at the time) but changed their mind after one year. That was a good move and it's smart to have BGT/SW events included with regular admission. I'd rank Christmas Town above Disney and Universal, though I haven't been to SDC/Dollywood in years i'd put them about on the same level.

Replies (10)

November 30, 2023, 12:22 PM

Wait ..... are you saying Falcon's Fury was actually running ?!?!

We'll be there Monday, with my grandson. Been almost 12 months since I last went.

December 1, 2023, 10:47 AM

Now that I think about it I did not hear that loud squeal all day, so it was probably closed.

December 4, 2023, 8:34 AM

BGT is a great park - rides are fantastic.

They should have built this closer to Orlando and it would be more popular.

December 4, 2023, 12:59 PM

Looks like Falcon's Fury has been closed since April:

Edited: December 4, 2023, 3:46 PM

@Brian Emery - BGT opened in 1959, many years before Disney came to Florida. It was not intended to be a full-on theme park. That came much later. Orlando at that time was a sleepy town that was home to the offices of the orange growers/packers, shipping companies, and not much else.

(Memories: In the 1960's, BGT had free admission but parking was a whopping 50 cents. The attraction offered a beautiful garden to stroll through, a trained parrot show and a self-guided brewery tour with free beer samples.)

December 4, 2023, 6:29 PM

Falcon’s Fury was running during this year’s Howl o Scream.

December 4, 2023, 8:16 PM

Falcon's Fury was running today (12/4)

Chose to try Serengeti Flyer instead. It's good, but give me a Maxair/Pandemonium any day of the week.

Busch was deserted up until around 4pm, when the Christmas celebrators appeared.

December 5, 2023, 8:21 AM

@Makorider - I'm surprised you would take a spinning pendulum over a screaming swing. I do like the larger spinning pendulums, but they have extremely long cycle times comparatively (even with an efficient crew and pre-load) and you only get maybe 1 or 2 swings (if any depending on where you're seated) with optimal forces. I'll take a screaming swing any day of the week.

December 7, 2023, 11:08 AM

For me, Serengeti was better than Finnegan's, sorry BGW, but due to the low crowds they were only utilizing 1 side .... which leads to longer wait times, comparable to the Frisbee styles.

I can't pinpoint the exact reason for my choice, but the larger ones that are at the parks these days just have something that attracts me back to ride that style more than the swings.

Weird, I know :)

I'll be back in January, so I'll try both wild and mild, and see how they differ. I rode after 1 on Monday, so supposedly it was the wild ride.

December 29, 2023, 3:22 AM

To follow up on the operations there is a social media post going around saying that during Christmas break Montu is still running one train even with a 2 hour wait, and that Iron Gwazi the employees were purposely trying to max out the dispatch clock at 299 seconds and making jokes about it.

Sea World/Busch really need to address the issues with poor operations and at the very least up their pay to come close to a market rate. The fact that you can work most any job in the area starting at $15 but SW/Busch is still paying $12 is....uhh....a problem especially when you need thousands of workers. We all know their operations have gradually been going downhill for a long time but what is going on now is just unacceptable.

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