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Hello Coasterpedians! Welcome to the second edition of my new blog series, "Coaster Wars"! After the success of my first comparison, "Six Flags Magic Mountain vs. Cedar Point", I decided to follow that up with the heavily-requested match-up, "Busch Gardens Tampa vs. Busch Gardens Williamsburg". Keep in mind that I have not had the opportunity to visit either park. However, I can assure you that I know a good deal about what makes a good roller coaster, and I've done a significant amount of research on both parks.

Let's begin!

Location (3 Points)

Busch Gardens Tampa

Located in Tampa, Florida, this theme park is in the same state as numerous other theme parks. Although it is in the northern area of the state rather the south near Orlando and Miami. Nonetheless, there is some serious roller coaster competition going on down there! The weather is very fair, but tends to be humid.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Located in the state of Virginia, this theme park has some competition of its own. The other major park in that state is the roller coaster mecca, Kings Dominion. Weather can be a bit chilly in Williamsburg with the average summer day temperature reaching 87° Fahrenheit (31° Celsius).

Winner

Busch Gardens Tampa wins this one because of its overall great weather, and its vicinity to the many tourist attractions in Florida.

Busch Gardens Tampa: 3
Busch Gardens Williamsburg: 0

Theming (3 Points)

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Plaza

A European-themed plaza in Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Busch Gardens Tampa

This Floridan theme park is themed to the vast continent of Africa. Most of the ride names are African such as SheiKra, Kumba, Montu, and Gwazi.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Busch Gardens Williamsburg has a European theme. The park is divided into eleven sections representing seven countries; England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Germany, France, and New France (Canada).

Winner

Both of these parks do a great job pulling off immense theming. Busch Gardens Williamsburg is themed to a continent that many people visit every year. Visitors to Willimsburg can experience small portions of Europe in an affordable way, just by visiting this theme park. Africa, although a very unique and diverse continent, does not have as much diversity as Europe. The theming at Busch Gardens Tampa, as a result, is more generic. Once again, both parks have amazing theming, but Williamsburg's theming has more aspects to it. The winner here is Busch Gardens Williamsburg, which ties it up.

Busch Gardens Tampa: 3
Busch Gardens Williamsburg: 3

Employees (3 Points)

Because employees from both parks are employed by the same parent company, it is probably safe to assume that there are similar standards at both parks. Reviews for the staff at both parks is great, so as a result, I can't pick just one. It is a draw!

Busch Gardens Tampa: 6
Busch Gardens Williamsburg: 6

Food (1 Point)

Busch Gardens Tampa

You won't find very much African food at this park. Maybe it is just so unique that a theme park can't replicate it here in the United States. Overall though, there seems to be a large number of choices.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg

One of the really neat things I noticed while looking through the menus at this park was that there was great variety. You could enjoy German sausages at Das Festhaus, Chicken Parmigiana at Ristorante della Piazza, or a Cæsar Salad at Grogan's Grill. Foods from all around Europe all in one park!

Winner

The food at Busch Gardens Williamsburg is very diverse and fits the theming.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg: 7
Busch Gardens Tampa: 6

Children's Areas and Attractions (2 Points)

Busch Gardens Tampa

This African-themed park has a section of the park devoted to kids named, "Sesame Street Safari of Fun". The section is home to an incredible number of twenty attractions just for kids!

Busch Gardens Williamsburg

The European equivalent to Tampa's "Safari of Fun" is "Sesame Street Forest of Fun". It has seven attractions. (In my best infomercial announcer voice) "But that's not all!" Busch Gardens Tampa also has a second children's area called "Land of the Dragons" where an additional four attractions can be found. "But there's still more!" Scattered throughout the park are eight more kids' rides bringing the grand total up to nineteen.

Winner

Unforunately for Tampa, although their number of kids rides is slightly greater than Williamsburg's, having them all in one area is slightly inconvenient for parents who can't just drop their kids off at a nearby ride while they enjoy a roller coaster. The edge in this round goes to Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg: 9
Busch Gardens Tampa: 6

Flat Rides (2 Points)

Phoenix Busch Gardens Tampa

Phoenix at Busch Gardens Tampa

Most of the flat rides at these two parks are equal to each other. There is, however, one stand-out attraction at both parks. Let's look at those in detail...

Busch Gardens Tampa

Phoenix is more than your average swinging ship. It flips passengers in complete circles, upside down. At times, the ride holds riders upside down providing some great "hangtime".

Busch Gardens Williamsburg

A 246 foot (75 meter) drop tower looms over Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Riders on Mach Tower are seated in a 30-person ring around the tower, which rotates as it makes its way to the top. Special effects include vibrating seats and on-board audio. At the top of the tower, the car drops all the way back to the ground!

Winner

This is an extremely difficult choice to make. One of the downfalls of a ride like Mach Tower is that the ride itself is very short. Poenix thrills riders for nearly its entire three minute ride. Busch Gardens Tampa wins this one!

Busch Gardens Williamsburg: 9
Busch Gardens Tampa: 8

Roller Coasters

First of all, Busch Gardens Tampa has a total of eight roller coasters compared to the six at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. The two roller coasters that will not be matched-up are Sand Serpent and Gwazi. With two extra points in the bag, this match-up is in the hands of Busch Gardens Tampa again!

Busch Gardens Tampa: 10
Busch Gardens Williamsburg: 9

Big B&Ms

Kumba vs. Apollo's Chariot

Apolloschariot1

A train descending the drop on Apollo's Chariot.

Two of the most well-known Bolliger & Mabillard creations go head-to-head in this match-up! Kumba is a very loopy attraction with seven inversions. It features a vertical loop that wraps around the lift hill, and interlocking corkscrews. Apollo's Chariot takes another approach to thrills. It lifts riders to a height of 170 feet (52 meters) and drops them 210 feet (64 meters). A total of eight camelback hills lift riders out of their seats with "airtime". Although Apollo's Chariot is a fun ride, Kumba packs more a thrilling punch.

Busch Gardens Tampa: 11
Busch Gardens Williamsburg: 9

Inverted Coasters

Montu vs. Alpengeist

One ride features Egyptian theming while the other is mountain-themed. The rides themselves are quite different. Montu tends to stay close to the ground and even dives below it at times. One of the highlights of the ride is its batwing element which dives under the ground and pulls some intense g-forces. Alpengeist is the tallest inverted coaster in the world. Its drop is a thrilling 270° turnaround which leads into an exciting immelman. By the end of the ride, riders hang close to the ground and swerve back and forth like a skier. The winner of this match-up is Alpengeist for its record-breaking status and fantastic design.

Busch Gardens Tampa: 11
Busch Gardens Williamsburg: 10

Grover's Coasters

Air Grover vs. Grover's Alpine Express

These two roller coasters are built for children to enjoy. Out of these two rides, Grover's Alpine Express has a more creative design and more than just sand under the tracks.

Busch Gardens Tampa: 11
Busch Gardens Williamsburg: 11

Launched Coasters

Cheetah Hunt vs. Verbolten

CheetahHunt

Cheetah Hunt's towering figure-eight curve.

Although Verbolten has not opened yet,and not much has been revealed about it. I will attempt to compare these two rides as best as I can. Cheetah Hunt is a thrilling launched coaster which has multiple launches. It isn't as "intense" as other Intamin launchers, but it still brings some great thrills. Of the two coasters, Cheetah Hunt is taller, faster, and longer. In addition, it features a barrel roll. Verbolten promises to have "many firsts" and an indoor launch section with many effects. It's difficult to decide, having only seen one ride in action, but Cheetah Hunt's statistics, for now, give this one to Busch Gardens Tampa.

Busch Gardens Tampa: 12
Busch Gardens Williamsburg: 11

Old Style Loopers

Scorpion vs. Loch Ness Monster

A classic Schwarzkopf looping coaster faces off against a terrain-based looping coaster built by Arrow Dynamics. Although Scorpion has a forceful loop and a clever design, Loch Ness Monster outdoes it with interlocking loops, and a very scenic ride.

Busch Gardens Tampa: 12
Busch Gardens Williamsburg: 12

Dive Machines

SheiKra vs. Griffon

This is it; The tie-breaking match-up! SheiKra and Griffon are similar in several ways. They are both over 200 feet (61 meters) tall, feature two vertical drops, and a water splash. Both rides are also floorless and carry ten passengers per car. The biggest difference, and the ultimate tie-breaker, is the extra immelman found on Griffon.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg: 13
Busch Gardens Tampa: 12

The Victor

Busch Gardens Williamsburg is the winner of this edition of Coaster Wars! To be honest, before I started, I had no idea who would win. It was a fun comparison, and I hope you enjoyed reading! Come back next week for another edition of Coaster Wars!

Want More?

This is part of a series of competitions I hope to create. You can view pevious match-ups, or suggest new ones on this page.

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