If you have never been to Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay Florida then you are definitely missing out on a great experience. I would have to say that is one of my most favorite parks in the world. There is a whole new reason for me to travel back there for a third time. Cheetah Hunt opened to the public on May 27th, 2011 and it’s another thrilling steel launched roller coaster manufactured by Intamin.
The ride was placed next to its sister exhibit “Cheetah Run” where park visitors can watch the worlds fastest land animal sprint across plains. In late January 2011, five cheetahs arrived at the park in preparation for the opening of the exhibit. Educational touch screen panels complete the exhibit!
Before Cheetah Hunt announced its opening, Busch Gardens, ran teased thrill seekers with their campaign which slowly revealed small details of the attraction across the summer 2010. Waiting a long agonizing year to see what the ride was all about. They released five teaser videos to the public featuring cut scenes from the rides front seat point of view. They finally announced that the ride was coming to Busch Gardens on October 13th, 2010 by the park president, Jim Dean. Soon after it was announced, reports of supports and tracks had been seen immediately the day after its announcement. It was exciting riders about the new ride, finally coming to the park. By mid-December, the supports for the 102-foot tall figure 8 element were complete with some pieces of track also installed.
The ride’s station is situated in the former monorail station which was decommissioned in the 1990s.Guests board one of five, 16 passenger trains.The ride begins with a 30-mile-per-hour launch out of the station and around a wide left turn followed by a gradual dip before approaching the additional launch. This launch rushes riders to their top speed of 60 miles per hour before ascending a 102-foot hill. A figure 8 element is located at the top of this hill where riders weave through a series of helixes before plummeting 130 feet into a trench. Riders then proceed over a directional changing airtime hill before completing the ride’s only inversion, a corkscrew. Upon exiting the corkscrew and its subsequent brake run (the only one on the ride), the ride remains low to the ground and goes through a series of short banked turns through a rock fixture simulating several “near misses”. This leads the ride into its third and final launch which accelerates riders to a speed of 40 miles per hour to navigate its way back to the station. During the journey back there are airtime and directional changing hills (one of which passes over the park’s Sky Ride), before entering the final brake run.
I was at Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay in January 2010, for the second time and I must say I’m quite disappointed that I never got to try the thrill of the Cheetah Hunt but I’m sure that I will be going back to the park very soon this year!
Current Coaster Name: Cheetah Hunt
Current Park Name: Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay
Previous Ride Name(s): N/A
Location: Tampa Bay, Florida, USA
Type: Steel Launched
Opened: May 27th, 2011
Features: Heartline Roll, LSM Launch, Terrain
Height: 102 feet
Max Drop: 130 feet
Max Speed: 60 mph
Length: 4429 feet