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So, exactly a week ago I was at Busch Gardens Tampa. My family was already going to Tampa, so I begged them to go to Busch Gardens. Specifically because I wanted to ride my first coaster. Before this trip, every time I tried to get on a coaster I would bail out. I vividly remember having a panic attack before I was about to get on Mako. Which I realize now might actually have been a good thing…that would have been a terrifying first coaster. But anyways, I convinced them! We got tickets from a Black Friday deal, and it was only like $10 more to go to SeaWorld too, and I’m definitely excited for that.

Anyways, we got to the park before it opened. I was like the 17th person in line I think. As soon as they opened the gates, my dad and I immediately ropedropped to Cheetah Hunt. The sign literally said 0 minutes. I didn’t know it could even go that low. I quickly handed my glasses and bag to my mom, and we ended up on the first train of the day! The first launch took my breath away, and I let out an involuntary scream of absolute terror. I was shocked at how fast it was. You don’t really realize how fast 60 MPH is until you’re experiencing those forces. On this ride, I was equally terrified and having a ton of fun. When I got off, I had a huge smile on my face and I excitedly let out some words I hope any children didn’t hear. 10/10, no complaints.

Next was Cobra’s Curse! This one also said a 0 minute wait. And let me tell you, that queue is stupidly dark. It was especially bad without my glasses on. I walked into too many poles than I want to admit. I get that it’s designed for you to walk through there slowly, but would it really hurt them to turn the lights on a bit brighter? Either way, this was a fun ride. Going up a lift hill, then subsequently dropping backwards was a unique experience. But the drop wasn’t big enough for it to really be scary. 7/10, very enjoyable.

We immediately went to Montu, but it was temporarily closed. Looking at it, I was intimidated. But I promised to go on it later that day, and I did not regret that promise. Anyways, after that we went up to Pantopia. My dad rode Falcon’s Fury, but I wasn’t about to ride that one. I really enjoyed the stomach drop feeling on smaller drop towers, but that one is just massive. And it leans you down?! Yikes! After that we got lunch at the Dragonfire Grill or whatever it’s called, and I got an extremely overpriced burger. My dad was really pressuring me to go on Scorpion, but it was closed. I don’t know if it ever reopened that day.

After that, we went through Congo and Jungala. My dad really regrets not riding Kumba and Tigris. He wanted to be able to say he rode all the coasters. But oh well. I half told myself I was going on SheiKra, but after seeing it in real life…yeah I ended up not going on that one. Which after riding Montu, I’m upset about. I think SheiKra would have been fine. But my dad went on it. He said it was a lot of fun. Oh well, maybe next time. I’m going to try to convince my parents to make Busch Gardens an annual tradition! We’ll see how that goes.

The only thing I was really disappointed about on my visit was the kangaroos. The whole exhibit was closed! I remember feeding them last time I went, when I was a kid. Oh well. The next coaster on the path was Iron Gwazi. I already knew this was the only one in the park I absolutely was not going on. But it had a 10 minute wait and my dad went “Why not?” So he went on it. I warned him about how intense it was, but he didn’t care. And he hated it. He said “I’ve never regretted going on a coaster before. But I almost regretted that one.” It wasn’t the intensity that got him, but the restraints. He hated the restraints.

Finally, it was time for me to go on Montu. And uh…what do I even say to this one. Wow. Genuinely one of the best things I have ever experienced in my entire life. The first time I rode it, I had my eyes closed because I was so scared after seeing the first drop. But as the ride progressed, it just felt so…fun. And hot take, this one is way less intense than Cheetah Hunt. At least it felt that way to me. All of the inversions felt so graceful. Instead of the falling out of the seat feeling I had on Cheetah Hunt, it felt like an extension of my body. 11/10, I have no words for how good this was.

However, because I closed my eyes I had a massive headache. I didn’t want to ride it again, at least not right away. So we went and saw the ice skating show Turn It Up! Remix. It was my first ice skating show, and really cool. After that, I rode Montu again. This time with my eyes open. I felt like I could have marathoned it, but it was only about an hour until close and I wanted to ride the train. And I did, which was a really interesting experience. If you have time on your visit, I think it’s worth it to be able to get up close and personal with the animals. After that, the park closed. I did make one last stop—the gift shop. And I got a Montu magnet!

Overall, I was super pleased with this visit. I got to see all of the animals (that were open, at least), ride some coasters, see a cool show, and go on the train! I’m definitely excited for my SeaWorld trip. We don’t have a concrete date for that, but sometime after spring break and before it gets too hot. I honestly feel like I could complete that park. Mako intimidates me, but completing it would be worth it.

If you got this far, thank you for reading my ramble. And have a nice day!