In this article, you can enjoy a comprehensive breakdown of every coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa, in Florida.
Named for a type of African hawk that dives straight-down to catch its prey, Sheikra is one of the most thrilling coasters at the park. The ride’s model is known as a “dive coaster,” as it features two straight-down drops. After ascending the 200-foot lift hill, the ride features a 180° panoramic turn; and you have two choices; you can enjoy the view of downtown Tampa or let the 200-foot, 90° drop scare you! The ride even features a holding brake to dangle riders over the drop for 3-4 seconds before sending the train plummeting towards the ground. After the first drop, Sheikra has a massive immelmann loop, a fast turn, and then a second 90° drop – this time into an underground tunnel. Finally, after completing two insane vertical drops, Sheikra glides over a “splashdown” element, where the train flies over a little pond causing a massive splash of water to emerge (but don’t worry, you won’t get wet on-ride). This is a must-do attraction simply for conquering the two straight-down drops!
Family coaster are often criticized for being to simple or boring compared to the tallest and fastest rides at amusement parks. Cobra’s Curse proves that a ride doesn’t need to have the biggest drops and fastest speeds to be fun for all. The ride is a family-thrill coaster, blending the line between the two. Cobra’s Curse is a spinning coaster with three distinct sections: forwards, backwards, and free-spinning. The ride begins with an elevator lift, where a lift shaft picks up a section of the track and lifts the train vertically, similar to how an elevator moves vertically. This is much more unique compared to the traditional chain lifts of most coasters. Then, Cobra’s Curse enters into a layout of quick turns, dips, and hills. Riders experience the first section of the ride forwards, the second, backwards, and the third, free-spinning. In addition to the unique and technologically advanced coaster technology, Cobra’s Curse features incredible Egyptian theming on the ride’s course itself and in the queue line. The ride has a custom soundtrack, visual effects, and a storyline. The ride elegantly combines theming, thrills, and unique coaster technology all in one ride.
Scorpion is the oldest coaster in operation at the park, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad ride. The coaster is on the milder side, featuring one vertical loop and a few helices and turns. The ride is still extremely smooth considering its age and features some high positive g-force on the loop. The ride is relatively short, and not too thrilling, but the lap-bar only trains make for an open feeling ride experience. Scorpion is a great first looping coaster for kids working their way up the bigger rides, but the ride will still satisfy thrill-seekers alike!
Featuring 3 launches; two forwards and one backwards, Tigris is known as a “shuttle coaster” since it goes backwards and forwards passing over the same track segment. The ride begins with a forwards launch, then a backwards launch, before the fastest launch on the ride sends you flying towards the highest point! At the highest point of the ride, there’s a slow heartline roll, letting riders experience “hang-time” 150 feet in the air. The ride features cool looking trains as well, as they are neon orange with tiger stripes on the sides!
Featuring 7 fierce inversions, a smooth ride experience, and a 60 mph top speed, Kumba is a signature ride at the park. The ride features a drop of 135 feet, a 143 foot height, and over 3,900 feet of track! After clearing the lift hill and plummeting down the first drop, Kumba’s ride experience consists of 7 inversions; a cobra roll (counts as 2), 2 corkscrews, a vertical loop, a dive loop, and a zero-g roll! You may also notice the ride’s loud sound—that’s one of the ride’s signature traits.
Cheetah Hunt features 3 launches, 1 inversions, and a seemingly-endless series of smooth turns and drops. While many coasters (especially ones with launches) tend to feel short, Cheetah Hunt gives a satisfyingly long ride experience. Most of the ride’s course takes place over the safari portion of the park, meaning riders pass over the sprawling savannah-like landscape and various animals. There’s even a portion where the ride weaves through a canyon, twisting left and right, making riders feel like they are a cheetah closely dodging rocks! The ride has an extremely unique, long ride experience. Although the ride does have many thrilling elements, it is still accessible for younger riders and can be a kid’s first looping coaster. Cheetah Hunt is definitely a must-do attraction when visiting Busch Gardens Tampa.
While both Montu and Kumba have 7 inversions, Montu has man key differences from Kumba. Montu features inverted-style seating (meaning you hang from under the track), causing riders’ legs to feel very free compared to other coasters. The ride features Egyptian theming in the queue line and during the ride experience. The ride dives through trenches themed with egyptian hieroglyphics and faux stone work. The ride features intense inversions, turns, and multiple weightless drops into trenches. Montu is also extremely smooth, even with its tight and intense elements. The ride’s high-quality ride experience makes it a must-do when visiting the park.
Iron Gwazi is one of the most thrilling coasters in the park! This is an intense ride! The ride features a 200+ foot height, classifying it as a “hypercoaster”, speeds of over 75 mph, and a 91° drop! But wait, there’s more… Iron Gwazi is actually a conversion of the now-defunct wooden coaster, Gwazi. That means that portion’s of the old ride’s structure and foundations were reused to construct Iron Gwazi. The new ride uses all steel track, feels like a steel coaster, but still features a mostly wooden structure with the classic lattice look. So don’t let the ride’s classic wood structure fool you, Iron Gwazi is one of the most intense coasters in the state. For those seeking the ultimate thrill at Busch Gardens, Iron Gwazi is a must do.
With only a 38″ height requirement, Air Grover is a great “first coaster” for budding thrill-seekers. With a few mild banked turns, and a very, very, small drop, Air Grover is a great starter coaster, and provides an accessible thrill level.
Sand Serpent is one of Busch’s transition coasters, serving as a great ride for families and thrill-seekers alike. The ride is broken up into two distinct sections. The first consists of repetitive hairpin turns, while the second consists of small hills and dips. Sand Serpent is not a must-do attraction, but does feature a mild thrill level and dynamic ride experience.
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