Park of the Week: Islands of Adventure

Busch Gardens Tampa notes on new Cirque Dreams and Cheetah Hunt

Busch Gardens Tampa: I went to Busch Gardens Tampa this afternoon to see the new Cirque Dreams stage show and also looked over the construction progress of Cheetah Hunt.

From Tony Duda
Posted December 2, 2010 at 3:40 PM
I went to Busch Gardens Tampa this afternoon to see the passholder's premier of the new Cirque Dreams stage show and also looked over the construction progress of Cheetah Hunt. Track is being installed at the loading building area (skyride building). Here is a link for 6 new photos.

As you could see, this coaster is going to be right in the middle of everything. The track is even making a turn over the former Clydesdale barn before coming back to the unloading area. other than an area right next to the north side of the building, no other track is being installed yet.

The new Cirque Dreams show is taking over for the previous Katonga show. Most of the Katonga stage is being reused for this show, no new constuction seen, mostly just reused for new acts. The acts are classic Cirque acts: singing and dancing, juggling, acrobatic balancing, contortion, etc. It last for about 30 minutes. A lot of costuming with an animal or African motif. I can see this show being very popular and because it is a series of acts, new acts can be easily added to keep it fresh.

From Pyra-Danny V
Posted December 7, 2010 at 10:53 AM
Can you describe the new Cirque show more? I currently don't have a pass to BGT but I really, really, REALLY want to see this show. I think BGT shows are top-notch and I've always been a fan of the Cirque series in general.

How's the music? The singers? The dancers? Any jaw-dropping moments? (without giving away surprises)

From Tony Duda
Posted December 7, 2010 at 2:48 PM
I'm not sure of the correct terminology for the acts, costumes or props so excuse my weird way of describing the show. Everything is done to music and all the cast is wearing animal or African themed costumes. I may have missed something in the following since I used the photos I took throughout the show to recreate the scenes and I may not have taken photos of everything.

It starts off with some animal costumed performers walking around and doing things. It then goes to 2 mime guys in African garb who take a man and woman up on stage and makes them follow their lead for comic purposes. Could be fun to be these volunteers, especially the woman. Next is a song and dance scene where we are introduced to the central star role, a woman singer who appears throughout the rest of the show. She is quite lovely and the songs, I guess, tell a story but this was the first time I heard it and didn't catch the words. That scene ends and a ball bounce juggler act set to music is next. Quite good even though he lost control of a few balls but that didn't phase him. The woman song and dance act resumes and leads into 2 woman contortionists in lizard looking costumes who look like they used to be in the touring Chinese acrobat show of young performers. A violinist accompanies them.

The woman comes back and does a scene with one of the mime guys and faux-animal performers. This leads into what I thought was the highlight act, a man balancing on a platform act. He does various juggling and balancing moves while standing on boards and/or cylinders or stacking interlocking boards. Truly an amazing feat of balance and daring because he is about 15 feet up when he does his big show stopping maneuver.

The woman comes back out and sings while a man and woman do an acrobat rope swinging act with various performers dancing around. The waterfall along the front of the stage was on which made what he did very interesting. This act may be the second best act in my opinion.

The show then finishes up with the woman singer leading all the cast in a big finale number. Big applause and bows followed. The cast then stands along the front of the audience for pictures as everyone files out the side doors.

As I said originally, the stage is the same as KaTonga, just reused in different ways. Most of the costumes look different and made for this show. It is a good show on a par with KaTonga, it has more action but less memorable songs or story. However, as I said, the songs were new to me and I don't follow theater so they may be well know to others.

From Tony Duda
Posted December 13, 2010 at 10:58 PM
Oh well, I haven't been back to see the latest progress but the park has posted some new photos on their blog site. WOW, I can't wait!

I hope they keep posting update photos. It's really cold and I can't get motivated to drop in and see for myself.

From steve lee
Posted December 14, 2010 at 10:56 PM
The rest of the country collectively shakes their fists when someone in Florida complains about it being "really cold." Remember that when you're wearing shorts on Christmas Day (yeah, it's cold down there this week but you know that won't last)

From Hermione Potter
Posted December 15, 2010 at 8:07 AM
As a current resident of Orlando, there is no way I will be wearing shorts on christmas day. It's sooo cold here I stopped wearing shorts when it hit the high 60s! :-p

From Tony Duda
Posted January 2, 2011 at 8:21 PM
I made it back To Busch Gardens Tampa on Sunday Jan. 2 for a final day of Christmas shows and to see the progress on Cheetah Hunt construction. I uploaded 9 new photos of the coaster construction to:

The tower being built at the SW corner of the loading building is amazing and looks like a thrill and a half. I guess the magnetic launch will send the car up that thing but, wow, it is something new.

They also started putting up track in the former water area of Rhino Rally. It seems like they used a lot of the existing pathways that were used for the floating trucks.

The area between the skyride/loading building and the Rhino Rally area is much the same as last time with a little more excavation adjacent to the Nairobi Train Station.

Enjoy the photos.

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