New roller coaster announced at Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens recently announced that a new roller coaster, Cobra’s Curse, will open at the amusement park later this year.

Their website states that it is a moderate thrill ride without any water components. Patrons will have to be at least 42 inches (3 feet, 5 inches) tall to ride.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, visitors will step into a cart that will lift them 70 feet. The cart will then turn to bring it closer to an 80-foot-tall statue of the “snake king,” Venymyss, before starting its 40-mph journey down the 2,100-foot-long track. Each individual car is also equipped to spin independent of the others, adding to the thrill of the ride.

The ride will be built in the Egypt section of the park. The Tampa Bay Times reported that construction began in January 2015.

Busch Gardens currently has seven roller coasters. Its newest roller coaster installment, Falcon’s Fury, opened in August 2014. 

While known for its thrill rides, Busch Gardens has much more to offer. The zoological amusement park is split up into 10 sections, five of which are named after locations in Africa, with others including Jungala, the Bird Gardens, Sesame Street Safari of Fun, Pantopia and the Crown Colony Plaza. Each section houses animals corresponding with traditional habitats.

The park is also known for its annual events. Thousands of visitors line up each year during October for Howl-O-Scream, the park’s Halloween event, November and December for their Christmas event, Christmas Town, and select dates from June to August for their Summer Nights event.

USF graduate Jeff Hornick led the coaster’s design team. In his first Busch Gardens blog post, Hornick revealed that the new roller coaster is being built where the replica of King Tutankhamen’s tomb used to be. 

The design team did not get rid of the entire replica, as parts of the building are being used as the foundation for Cobra’s Curse’s air-conditioned waiting line.

Amanda Kelly, a senior majoring in religious studies, said the rides are not what draw her to Busch Gardens.

“I kind of like the fact that it’s got animals and the environmental stuff,” Kelly said. “I’m not big into roller coaster rides.”

Kelly had not heard of Cobra’s Curse and said that she might visit Busch Gardens to give the new attraction a chance.

Brianna Ciccotelli, a junior majoring in mass communications, said that she used to go to Busch Gardens at least once a month on an annual pass. Over time, she became bored and started frequenting Disney and Universal instead. Ciccotelli said she was excited about the prospect of a new ride at Busch Gardens.

“I haven’t heard about the new roller coaster until now,” Ciccotelli said. “It makes me want to go to Busch Gardens so I can check it out.”

There is no official completion date for the construction of Cobra’s Curse. In the mean time, eager riders will have to keep their eyes peeled for more information from the park. The public is encouraged to keep up with Cobra’s Curse’s build on Busch Gardens’ blog.