Busch Gardens Tampa Replacing Dolphin Show

Busch Gardens is closing its 22-year-old dolphin show in exchange for a high-tech movie attraction called "R.L. Stine's Haunted Lighthouse," based on the popular "Goosebumps" series of children's horror books.

From J. Dana
Posted August 14, 2002 at 2:17 PM
The Wednesday, August 14, Tampa Tribune is reporting that Busch Gardens is closing its 22-year-old dolphin show in exchange for a high-tech movie attraction. The new 4-D attraction, called R.L. Stine's Haunted Lighthouse, will be similar to Disney's "It's Tough to Be a Bug" and Universal's "Terminator."

R.L. Stine is the author of the popular "Goosebumps" series of children's horror books.

Seems the dolphins will make their way up the road to SeaWorld Orlando. Tim O'Brien of Amusement Business magazine seems to think that these family-type attractions will enhance the experience of the park more than a rollercoaster.

Read the entire story at:

From Robert Niles
Posted August 14, 2002 at 2:20 PM
There are so many great children's chracters, stories and shows that haven't made their way into theme parks yet. It's unbelievable, really.

Busch Gardens is now doing "Goosebumps," and Universal's building "Shrek." But that still leaves the rest of William Steig's literary universe, plus Teletubbies, Arthur, Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run, Dragon Tales, Between the Lions, Harry Potter, Bob the Builder... and going a little older, The Simpsons.

Why Legoland hasn't bought up the rights to use Bob the Builder as its spokescharacter is beyond me.

From Anonymous
Posted August 14, 2002 at 8:50 PM
It looks like bsch i trying to get into the universal/disney calibur. They can definetly secure that if thy purchase univel orlando.

Posted August 15, 2002 at 12:15 AM
Sorry I haven't been posting, I have been away on vacation for the last week.
I am really glad Busch Gardens are ending The Dolphin Show, I thought it was very 'cheap' looking and basically a very bad copy of Seaworld's Dolphin show, but whenever I visited Busch it always seemed to be very busy, so this might not be a smart move.

Here in England, not many children read Goosebumps (sp?)books. They were popluar about 2/3 years ago but now all the children seem to have lost interest, so I don't know if this will be too popular with British tourists.

From Kevin Baxter
Posted August 15, 2002 at 1:25 AM
I don't think the theme of the attraction is all that important. As long as they do a great job with it, I wouldn't care what they based it on, unless it was Dana Carvey's latest movie!

I think this is a good move. BG tried to focus on a family attraction when it built Rhino Rally and most people agree that it didn't really pan out. That ride was supposed to be the thing that would put them in the Disney/Universal league. If they do a great job with this idea, then maybe the park won't be looked at by Orlando tourists as "that coaster park."

That said, they STILL need to dump that wretched Python and replace it with a REAL coaster the following year. If they can stick to their a-coaster-every-three-years plan and add a good family ride or two in between, then they could become more of a player in five years.

From Reid Loveland
Posted August 15, 2002 at 5:06 AM
And with a 4D movie in place it can be changed out for another with a minimum of fuss and time. Just change the indoor themeing and pop in the new film (basically). BGW has had a 4D film for awhile and it's gone through a few changes.

Posted August 15, 2002 at 5:11 AM
At least they are not building Pirates 4D like at Busch Gardens Williamsburg: I hated that show.

From Kevin Baxter
Posted August 16, 2002 at 4:05 AM
EXCELLENT point, Reid. I was sitting here thinking that shaping the building like a lighthouse would be cool. But then I remembered that the area is already themed to Timbuktu, so how would THAT fit in? Considering the actual author of the Goosebumps series is writing this script, changing it every few years shouldn't be a problem. He has PLENTY of stories to choose from. (Wouldn't it be nice, though, if the theme had something to do with Africa? Or animals? Maybe possessed animals!)

From Philip Curds
Posted August 18, 2002 at 3:46 AM
Disappointing Busch, why on earth do you have to build two appallingly BAD attractions at low-cost for next season, we all want B&M Speed Coaster, like Appollos Chariot at BGW.

From Kevin Baxter
Posted August 18, 2002 at 11:27 PM
How can you say this is appallingly bad? You haven't seen it yet. Just because it isn't a coaster doesn't mean it will be bad. BG needs family attractions to drag people from Orlando. Coasters won't do it anymore since they have them at IOA and SW. A coaster every three years is a good idea.

From Mike Fortier
Posted August 25, 2002 at 8:24 PM
I recently visited Busch Gardens and I thought the Doplphin show was great. The tricks they doplhins did were spectasular. It was also funnny because they had a seal that that looked like it was talking. I don't understand the comment on how the show looked cheap? How did the show look cheap, I thought it was really nice and clean. Too bad they have to move this show in order to get a new ride. Shows really add to the theme park experience. I hope they change their minds and keep the dolphin show, but still build the ride.

From Kevin Baxter
Posted August 26, 2002 at 4:42 AM
People think it looks cheap because they have been to SeaWorld. I would guess that most visitors to BGT have been to SW also. So why have an inferior product?

BTW, BGW is ALSO getting this next year. It will replace the Pirates 4-D, which is in a couple SeaWorlds.

From Bone head
Posted September 15, 2002 at 6:41 PM
It sounds like it will be a great ride. But how does it tie in with the Africa Theme???

From Anonymous
Posted January 29, 2003 at 6:59 PM
yes they will have to make it an african coast lighthouse p.s i like the posessed animal idea

From Chris Hagerman
Posted March 28, 2003 at 8:54 AM
I've just seen an soon-to-be-released trailer of the attraction. It was only about one minute of the actual film. The movie starts out with two children and a man in a boat, the old man is telling them a story. It then cuts into an action scene where they are climbing the stairs to a lighthouse and strange things are happening. As for any 3D-movie, there were many parts where odd objects (I believe I remember seeing a ghost) were put in the center of focus.

It seemed to be an attraction indended for young audiences by its general style. I'll be sure to post more information once I attend the employee preview.

From Russell Meyer
Posted March 28, 2003 at 10:16 AM
I've actually seen the movie at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. It's a very nice story with some really good effects. A modest upgrade from Pirates, but may be a little scary for the real little ones.

From Anonymous
Posted March 29, 2003 at 9:17 AM
I have seen the haunted lighthouse at Busch gardens and i as well as the majority of the audience (pass members since it was the preview day) did not seem to enjoy it. I didn't like Pirates but I think I would rather have it back than this new one.

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