Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Busch Gardens - The Rides, Part 1

I got all Busch Gardens photos resized, cropped, and cleaned up.I also added borders to all of them and shrank them to fit on my blog at 400px width. I think most of them came out fantastic!

All images were taken with a Kodak DC240 iZOOM Digital Camera. It's an old camera; 4 years old at least. It is only a 1.3 Megapixel, too. That explains the blurriness of many shots I took.

Well, I'm not gonna blame my shaky hand, am I?

Onto the ride pics! Each pic will have a description note if you mouse hover over it.

It'll be a long post, so grab a cup of coffee ... or an empty Big Gulp cup. ~.^

The first ride we hit was Gwazi, a wooden, dueling roller-coaster. That means it has two tracks where the coasters "race" and come with mere inches of each other at spots. No loops on this one, but a ton of banks and hills. Plus that awesome clackety-clickyness you get only with a wooden coaster.

I didn't ride it. The attendants were non-English speakers, and predominantly Asian. I don't understand why there wouldn't be clear English speaking attendants, but ... *shrug*

They didn't listen to me when I said I wanted to ride with my youngest on his very first roller-coaster ride. (He turned 10 last Sunday). He had already been seated by them while I walked to the rear where the bigger seats (for my bigger butt) were located. they just stared blankly at me and jabbered in half Asian, half pidgin English. I got frustrated and stood on the off-loading platform until the train came back around.

Tim rode with his older brother, at least. And he said he liked it, even though he was scared. They rode the Lion track. Next time they'll ride the Tiger track, and hopefully I can ride, too.

GwaziWandering a bit, looking at the animals in the Bird Gardens and other sights (coming soon to a post near you!), we found ourselves in the Land of Dragons. A whimsical place geared for the younger kids. Gentle rides, a mini-mini-roller coaster, and a huge play fort several stories high tempted little kids to enjoy themselves. Mine asked to go play on the fort. Truth be told, I would have been tempted as well, were i not physically incapable of squeezing through most it! Maybe next time I'll let them romp through it.

We did stop to take a few shots at a cute photo-op station.

The Yokes on ThemeOur intended goal, after leaving the Land of Dragons, was to catch a ride on the Serengeti Railway. The Stanelyville Train Station was directly across, almost nestled within, SheiKra, North America's only true dive coaster. Throngs of those school-trip hellions were blocking easy travel, so we ended up missing the train. The next wasn't due for 20 minutes, so we debated on riding SheiKra instead.

Tim didn't want to test his courage on the rather intimidating steel coaster. His brother Tyler, who had ridden it the previous year on a summer camp trip, claimed he didn't want to ride it alone. Mom was a definite no-brainer; if she could manage to get onto the ride (HA!) the force stresses would probably kill her. As for me, there was no way my rear end was going to fit into the ride's seats.

A demo version of the upcoming floorless ride car was on display, so I got a very clear look at the seats. Twiggy (or Kate Moss for you children of the 90's) would have been hard pressed to fit her butt into the plastic torture devices they called seats.

I would have ridden it if I could have, though. *sigh*

Instead, tired of walking, we decided ot watch SheiKra for a little bit, while Mom rested in the shade of the Stanelyville station. I walked around getting a few shots of the ride.

SheiKra has two vertical drops, the biggest being a 200 foot high, 90 degree straight drop down. There is a Himmelman loop, and some great banked curves, as well as a splash down section where passersby could get soaked. The soak area was pretty well demarked by pools of water and hordes of sopping wet, screaming teenagers.

SkeiKra's 200 Foot, 90 Degree Straight Down Drop

One of SkeiKra's Banked CurvesI wanted to get a shot of SheiKra's splash down. So I angled myself where it was only slightly damp on the ground and got the camera ready to take a shot of the ride car splashing down, and it's attendant plume of water. My kids kept edging closer, despite my warnings that they'd get soaked. Typically, they ignored my admonishments, and sidled even deeper into the wet zone. I smiled to myself and let them go. They'd learn soon enough.

Shortly a car caromed around the embankment and dove into the splash down, sending up a gigantic spray of water and inundating the area my kids thought was safe. HaHa! I was safely back, with only a gentle cooling mist of water drifting down over me as I took my shot.

SheiKra's Splash DownAfter I stopped laughing at Tim and Tyler's shocked expressions, we gathered up a chortling Mom and headed towards one of the oldest attractions in Busch Gardens ... Stanleyville Falls.

Stanely Falls Log Flume EntranceStanleyville Falls is an old-time log flume ride. Lots of splashes, several drops, and a long, long line. This was the longest line we saw all day. A true testament to the staying power of this venerable water ride.

I did ride this one as it was one of my favorite rides dating back to when I was little (25+ years ago). It was a little tricky for me to get in, and out, but it was not uncomfortable. Plus my butt could fit in the seats^.^;;

It's amazing how fast you go on the last, big drop. The splash was pretty big, but I only got my left sock wet. My shorts got wet on the right leg, but that was from an errant side splash as we sped through the twists and turns of the rapids section.

Each drop has a little employee station, and at the first drop the attendant was apparently sleeping. I yelled "Sweet Dreams" as we rode by and she snapped upright with wide eyes, knocking over her huge, plastic souvenir cup of whatever liquid it was. Serves her right.

It was approaching noontime by now, and we left Stanelyville and headed towards Timbuktu and our lunch destination.

But that part of the story is for tomorrow. This is pretty long now as it is, and I don't want to lose all my work again. ^.^;; (I wrote in notepad this time and copied over to Blogger ... I learned my lesson!)

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 143 days is:


1 comment:

Russell said...

That looks like a perfect place for Tanner!

Nice job on the notepad workaround...WordPress is another good option! :)