Adventures to, fro and at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

The cab arrives shortly after 10am, and the cabbie immediately started haranguing me for “not being smart enough” to choose a hotel closer park:

 

“You check right? You check for transit? I ASK YOU QUESTION, DAMN IT. YOU ASK FOR TRANSIT OR NO?”

 

All I said was “yes” and he screeched to a halt turned around and shoved his finger in my face and shouted “YOU are NOT ALLOWED to raise voice to ME” (no HYPOCRISY there). Then clenched his fist, shook it at me and continued “IF YOU have ‘problem’ with ME I give YOU problem. Make myself CLEAR, stupid asshole? It is five miles to park and you WILL WALK there in heat on highway!”

 

I know, I know: why didn’t I take him up on that offer? Because, I have walked five miles along the highway in the middle of summer with no shoulder… and no arch support either. Granted, that last time (link, link2) I was wearing a full suit, tie and dress shoes, compared to a basic T-shirt, shorts and threadbare sandals (which are almost as uncomfortable to walk in) but still not something I was willing to repeat….even if it was just hot air.

 

Now, I should probably bring up that it’s come to my attention that posts like this “aren’t healthy.” That might be true, but it is healthier to express it as a message to a hypothetical reader willing to believe me (or at least not interrupt my story like most face-to-face audiences do) which brings up another problem I face a lot “how ‘credible’ is a ‘retard’s’ word anyway” (the fact that I have an IQ of between 20-30pts above ‘retardation’ level is entirely ancillary). Hell even my own mom doesn’t believe half the stories I tell her (and trust me, if, like her, you think I “whine” enough as it is, remember: less than 20% of said stories ever make it to this blog)!

One piece of idiocy I will admit to, I failed to buy tickets online beforehand so when I got to the gate I had to pay FULL PRICE which is considerably higher than the ONLINE “Weekday price.” The latter while still high is worth it, the former is highway robbery.

Maybe I’m just used to the hub-and-spoke layout of the Magic Kingdom, but the layout of this park seems somewhat disjointed. The paths are wide enough, but they are well hidden and the signage around the part didn’t really do a good job of telling you where things were. In fact, there were some attractions I found more through sheer determination than by following their maps and signage.

I didn’t buy the “All Day Dining Pass” (which they stole from Universal which was itself copying Disney) so I cannot judge its value. I did however have a relatively nice lunch at Bengal Bistro (where my biscuit was nearly stolen by my school mascot). I saw some people on Tripadvisor complaining about “rude” and “disaffected” staff (which to be fair, can be found at any theme park – even Disney), but I found most of their employees to be friendly and helpful.

By 3pm, I was more than ready to go, but I decided stay behind for the “Iceploration” show which the map listed as playing at “4pm,” but the sign outside the theater said “5pm.” Screw this; I wasn’t waiting around to find out. I left the park and found the cab stand…to be completely empty.

At Seaworld, there were 50 cabs in a line at the park exit; Busch Gardens had none. In fact, there wasn’t even anyone on duty at either the kiosk or the “Guest Services” building so I had to wait behind a group of seven people trying to buy passes and one man who didn’t speak English very well who was trying to buy an annual pass… but wasn’t sure if he wanted to pay for it.

I finally get up to the sales counter and the woman automatically asks me how I’m paying for my annual pass. I told her I wanted her to dial a cab for me and she looked at me oddly. I told that “yes I do have a smart phone, but the battery is dead. I also tried asking at Guest Services but there was no-one there.”

“Oh well, THAT building has been closed for YEARS.”

She turns off her microphone and starts typing something on her keyboard as a department supervisor hovers over her shoulders. She eventually turns the microphone back on:

“Which cab company do you want?”

I get it, not only am I supposed to do my due diligence and ONLY book hotels across the street from the park, but I’m ALSO supposed to carefully research and evaluate every single cab\limo\shuttle company in Hillsborough County for star rating, price and my overall experience with their service… or I could look at her exasperatedly (not to mention exhaustedly) and say: “JUST PICK ONE DAMNIT!”

It took about twenty minutes for the taxi to arrive. The driver – who was far friendlier than the guy from this morning (even if he tended to cut me off mid-sentence) – said it was because “all the other drivers are at home watching the World Cup and cannot be bothered to come out and do their jobs.”

Whatever, I got back to the hotel and paid $2 less for the return trip than the original trip. I would have given said difference as a tip, but he drove off immediately after I got out. I enter the hotel, and head back to my room and when I look out the open drapes I can see its pouring rain outside.

I was originally planning on staying for their so-called “Summer Party” over at Adventure Island…but thankfully didn’t have the money for it because I forgot to buy my park tickets online AND had to save money for round trip cab fare. See, idiocy does occasionally have its uses…

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Categories: florida, South Florida, Tampa | Leave a comment

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