A Definitive Ranking of Busch Gardens Tampa's Roller Coasters
If you're planning a trip to Tampa and have time for a little fun, a visit to Busch Gardens is an absolute must for the itinerary. The safari-themed amusement park, which opened in 1959, boasts a variety of cutting-edge roller coasters fit for every type of guest. We've ridden them all and ranked them based on uniqueness, intensity and overall experience. Click through to see where they stand.
8. Sand Serpent
We didn't know if we were laughing because of its zippy track or the prospect of flying out of the coaster car (nervous laughter, of course), but this was not our favorite of the bunch.
7. Cobra's Curse
The good: It is adjacent to Busch Gardens' Serengeti Overlook Restaurant, which offers an all-you-can-eat buffet, fruity cocktails and views of African wildlife. The bad: You absolutely do not want to ride this spinning, backwards coaster on a full stomach. It will turn into a curse, indeed.
We know that this is one of the park's most famed and adored coasters, but we felt more like the guy in the front-right seat after our experience. Nobody wants to be that guy.
As Busch Gardens' oldest roller coaster, the nostalgia effect certainly elevates this ride in our rankings. We're also huge fans of the single loop because nothing is more terrifying than going upside down without an over-shoulder harness.
The Montu is an absolute must. It executes a perfect combination of loops, barrel rolls and high-speed drops. There's also something exciting about having your legs dangle as the forces of gravity (or lack thereof) take control of your body.
3. Cheetah Hunt
The coaster features three high-speed launches to imitate the world's fastest land animal as it hunts for prey. We still haven't figured out if we felt more like the cheetah or its prey, but we do know that we felt awesome.
If a 90 degree drop doesn't entice you, then you'll want to spend your day at Sesame Street's Safari of Fun. SheiKra is the reason why roller coasters exist. It is equal parts exhilarating, scary and fun.
1. Falcon's Fury
You may be disappointed to find that our number one pick isn't technically a roller coaster, but no other Busch Gardens attraction comes close to the terror of dropping face-first to your apparent death. The free-fall ride disguises itself as gentle and scenic at first, but then folds inward before releasing you from the 335-foot peak. Bathroom accident-inducing, but totally worth it.