Friday, March 31, 2017

Roller Coaster Day At Busch Gardens, Tampa

I've always been a roller coaster fan since my first time on the big wooden roller coaster at Hunt's Pier in New Jersey. That would be in the early 1970's. My first looping roller coaster was the SooperDooperLooper when it first opened at Hershey Park in 1977. I've ridden some pretty large coasters all over the country but not for many years.

Of course I have always ridden the Disney rides and even Universal's in Orlando but I had to put a pause on the really ferocious rides for a while. A high stress life and a high G-Force roller coaster leads to seeing black spots, chest pains, fainting, and balance problems.

Now that I have gotten away from the high stress life, blood pressure under control, no more ice pick in the chest mid day job stress, I just wanted to give it a try again. It was always my dream for retirement to ride the biggest rides in the country. That ended 5 years ago on the Hulk in Orlando, A ride I've been on many times prior, made me get my blood pressure checked. 190/110 and an ER visit was the result. I was tipped off by the 3 day migraine and loss of balance. Sometimes you just need to know when to give it a rest. - Fast forward to last week.

I started my day at
Busch Gardens, Tampa very early. Took a few shots with my cell phone to start off. There is plenty to see and do
 even if you don't ride the coasters. I arrived on Food and Wine Festival day but I had no plans to eat. I was on a mission. The first coaster I walked up to - Sheikra. I watched a couple of test runs then started to regret the fact I drove to the park alone... This might have been a situation where a little prompting from a friend might have been needed. I wandered around a bit and made it to Kumba as they sent the last test car by and started loading passengers. Ummmm - Nope - Not ready - How about that train through the animal park. Sure - I'll start with that.

The nice thing about the train, you get to see all the coasters in the park. Some pretty close up. Helps with the courage thing as you watch hundreds of happy people fly by. I could have stopped at several stations but I was making my plan. That was to ride every one before days end.... starting the moment I got off the train.

First up - Kumba. I first rode this when it was new. Montu when that opened as well in 1996. That was the last new coaster I rode in Tampa so I had quite a few to catch up on. Well - it had an issue while I waited so I got out of line. By the end of the day, it was the only one I didn't ride. 

About this time, the park was starting to get crowded - Hey look! Sheikra only a 10 minute wait - I wonder why? Oh cool! Front row!! So at nearly noon, after stalling all morning..... this is how I started my day. 

Now I've been told in the past, riding with me is like riding with Glenn Close in the rollercoaster scene from Fatal Attraction. It takes a lot for me to do much more than smile a little. This one had me screaming and laughing at the top of my emotional register. Just the first drop alone had me shaking like a quadruple espresso. 

After that it was ON! I rode one right after another. Just a tip - Montu, then Cobra's Curse
Those spinning rides still get to me. All in all, best day ever. No serious medical situation, not even the slightest headache. I have several Florida coasters to check out then I'm hoping to start my quest to ride the biggest and baddest. I threw together some cell phone clips to enjoy. But better yet - go ride. Nothing gets the stress out like a scream. 

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