Busch Gardens, Tampa Fla. – Well, 2018 has been an exciting year at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, with the announcements of #BeerIsBack, The Beer Club and the new Bier Fest event is all great news to park guest. But there was something about hearing more info on a new attraction that had the place buzzing! Now if that wasn’t enough, it is almost what was announced inside of the announcement that’s the bigger announcement. I felt like I had a Kramer moment writing that, but you will see what I mean. If You Love Roller Coasters, You Are Gonna Wanna Read This all the way to the end.
I think Stewart Clark, park president, opened the press conference with the best opening line yet “The worst kept secret”. Sure, there has been chatter over the past months about a new coaster replacing that big empty void once know as Tanganyika Tidal Wave [Water Ride Officially Closed. April, 2016].
So now we can say “it’s official”.
As many of us anticipated, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will be getting a NEW coaster and its name Tigris. With more details on the project Andrew Schaffer would take the podium.
Schaffer is Director of Design and Engineering at Busch Gardens Tampa. Meaning more or less he is the man with the plans…..literally. He was able to give the large media crowd all the details about Florida’s Tallest Launch Coaster. He then started the video presentation below.
Are you ready to #TakeOnTigris
An innovative experience, Tigris will catapult riders through an exhilarating array of looping twists with forward and backward motion, breath-taking drops, a 150-foot skyward surge, and an inverted heartline roll, all at more than 60 miles per hour. Tigris will race riders along more than 1,800 feet of steel track designed to mimic the awe-inspiring agility of the world’s largest and most powerful cat –the tiger. One of the noted behaviors of the NEW Tigris Roller Coaster will be a launch station. This station will launch the 18 person train 3 separate times. Each time increasing in speed and height every launch.
First you will launch forward to reach about half the length of the tower at about 25 mph.
Then you come back down through the station backwards, and are then relaunch backwards at 50 mph. You will reach about 3/4 of the way up the second tower.
Then comes the big one….. the final launch forward at over 61 mph. This time you have no problems flying up the 150 foot tower. But it is not just a simple drop from here.
Before you drop 150 feet you will go through a very slow roll. This will give you time to think about that final drop down, and as Schaffer said, “make ya think about what ya had for lunch” .
Once this roll is completed, you then drop and experience the rest of the over 1800 feet of track Tigris offers, to willing riders.
The specs for the coaster enthusiast:
- Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
- Spring 2019
- MAXIMUM HEIGHT
- 150 feet
- TRACK LENGTH TRAVELLED
- Over 1,800 feet
- MAXIMUM SPEED
- 62 mph
- NUMBER OF TRAINS
- NUMBER OF VEHICLES
- 3 per train
- NUMBER OF PASSENGERS
- 6 per vehicle, 18 total per train
- MINIMUM RIDER HEIGHT
- 54 inches
- RIDE ELEMENTS
- Multiple launches, looping twists, forward and backward propulsion, inverted heartline roll
- Premier Rides Inc. Baltimore, MD
This is going to be a GREAT addition to the already amazing coasters at Busch Gardens.
But remember I said there was more
As the crowd chatted and the cameras snapped away, Andrews Voice grew loud again. “You know what…….we just didn’t wanna leave you with just that information today.” The crowd cheered…….could it be. Where we finally going to hear the news we all have been waiting for for YEARS! “We wanted to give you just a LITTLE bit something else while you’re here.” Schaffer says. I will admit, I was getting excited…. “Please, please, please, be what I think it’s gonna be” I said in my head. “We wanted to make this a little HYBRID attraction announcement.”
Here it comes…..
“Gwazi’s existence has always been a little bit of a Rocky Ride…..So, we decided we are going to revamp Gwazi into a NEW ATTRACTION.” Boom! THERE IT IS!!! Finally! The only other info Schaffer added to the news of a 2020 New Gwazi experience, is that we would be “Hanging on to our seats”.