Share thoughts, photos, and reviews from visits to Carowinds or any other amusement park
#93173
March 22-23, 2017
For my 40th Birthday I was treated to a couple days in Tampa. During our two days we visited Lowry Park Zoo for the first time, The Florida Aquarium & Busch Gardens Tampa.

First stop: Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo

As stated above this was our first visit here. It's kind of odd considering we've been to Tampa quite a bit. It was pretty much a perfect day...weather wise. It was about 70 degrees when we arrived and the high that day was 79. There were several school groups there that day; most arriving shortly after we did. Even with all of them, the park didn't seem that crowded until later on. When we left at about 12:30 the parking lot was completely full.

My camera's battery seemed to be only partially charged even though my charger claimed it was full.. I only took a fraction of the pics I normally would have otherwise so I had to conserve what I had.
Here are some of the highlights:

Main Aviary:
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Asian Gardens:
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Primate World:
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Wallaroo Station:
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Safari Africa:
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Florida Wildlife:
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Unfortunately the Tasmanian Tiger Coaster was not operating while we were there. No whoring credit this trip for me...which was kind of a let down (it was my birthday after all). Also Expedition Africa (Safari Tram) had a 30 minute wait so we skipped it. We got the pay-for-a-day come back all year tickets so we'll be back soon.

After we left the park we went and checked-in at our hotel. Then we went to Firehouse Subs so I could get my free birthday sub. After lunch we headed over to The Florida Aquarium.

Next Stop: The Florida Aquarium

This was my second visit here. My first was around my birthday in 2013. I believe we made a wise decision in coming after lunch since it was not overly crowded as our previous visit. Since my camera battery was pretty much on life support I didn't take many pics here with it, but did get some decent ones with my phone to supplement.

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After leaving the aquarium we headed back to the hotel to rest and freshen up before dinner. For dinner we ate at Bahama Breeze off the W Courtney Campbell Causeway. It's one of our favorite chain places to eat at.

Day 2: Busch Gardens Tampa

Our final stop of the trip was at my favorite theme park. I've been a pass member for 10 years and never get tired of going. This time I was determined to get my Falcon's Fury credit and get the Cobra's Curse credit as well. Also on the agenda was seeing Opening Night Critters in the Pantopia Theater. We tried last year, but the park was slammed with guests and raining. This day was not very crowded at all and the fullest the parking lot got was right up to Tram Stop 2 (viewed from Montu about 3pm).

This visit I decided to actually not be a slave to carrying my camera and opted to phone pics only. I must say it made a difference in having to lug it all over the park (even though I made sure it properly charged the night before). The only downside was I would have liked to have gotten some pics of Cobra's Curse in operation and the Opening Night Critters show with it. My phone is ok (13MP), but not that great when needing zoom (4x...ugh). I still got some decent shots.

I was able to get my credit for Cobra's Curse. Since it was still technically new, I went to it first in case it had a longer line later in the day...or had technical difficulties. It only had a 10 minute wait...and was actually less than that both times I rode it that day. Credit # 81.
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I was pleasantly surprised at the intensity level. It wasn't mind-blowing, but it was much better than I thought it would be. This was my first spinning coaster and found that the more weight in the car, the better spin in that section. My first ride had less people & weight and did pretty good. However my 2nd ride later in the day was full with 4 adults and spun quite a bit more (I sat in the back row left seat each time). I really think this type of coaster would be great for Carowinds sometime in the future.

After Cobra's Curse I got a ride on Cheetah Hunt with a 3 train wait in the back row...not bad. Then I headed back to Montu with a 2 train wait in the back row. After that we ventured through the Edge Of Africa to see the animals on our way around the park. I was pleased that Jambo Junction was open again, however Curiosity Cavern is still closed in Nairobi.

Next up: Falcon's Fury

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This was by far the best drop tower I've ever ridden. That dropping face down was exhilarating. My partner took video on his phone. I'll try and add it later.
(Yes...that is a Fury 325 shirt I'm wearing.)

Next up we had lunch at Bengal Bistro in Jungala. He's a pescatarian (eats fish but no other animal flesh) so it's always hard to find options. They have a fish platter so that was our choice this time. This was our 3rd attempt at him getting it there and they had it. The previous attempts they were out of fish and he got a veggie burger...which he didn't much care for. He did love the fish and the portions.

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Next up we watched the 1pm showing of Opening Night Critters. This was in the Pantopia Theater, formerly the Timbuktu/4D Theater. This show took the place of Critter Castaways that was in the Bird Gardens before that theater was demolished. It was a cute show, but think the previous show was a bit better. I think I just liked the other stage better. I would have taken more pictures, but the lighting during the show wasn't optimal for taking them with my phone. The spotlights on the animals blurred the view so I didn't bother much.

After the show I went to ride Kumba...or so I thought. The line was over 30 minutes. That was a bit odd since the park was really not that busy and the other rides had pretty much a 10 minute or less wait. It may have had some technical difficulties earlier which caused the line to grow like that (confirmed on another site that it had). Anyways, I skipped it this time since I've been on it many times.

Next stop was tiger viewing in Junglala on the way to Stanleyville. It was quite odd seeing Tanganyika Tidal Wave SBNO. I hope something comes of this area sooner than later. I get to SheiKra next with a 10 minute wait listed. It was actually less than 5 once I reached the station. I really picked a great day to come to the park. The last time was spring break last year on a Saturday...big mistake, but family joined us then and was the only day they could go.

From there we rounded out the park with Lory Landing, Bird Gardens and Walkabout Way.
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I didn't get any pics, but Gwazi is just sitting there alone and rotting...what's left of it. I did hear a few people wondering why it was closed and one person saying they really miss it. Well...I'm ready for what's to come. It's just a big eyesore sitting there not running.

Before leaving the park I went back and rode Cobra's Curse and Montu once more. Overall it was a pretty good day.
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