A World-Class Inverted Coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa
Busch Gardens Africa’s (Tampa, FL) Montu is a world-class roller coaster that’s deservingly found on many enthusiast’s top tens. It combines some of the best theming, pacing and timing of inversions, that you’ll find anywhere.
A Terrain Loving Inverted Coaster I’m no historian when it comes to this Busch park, but it appears to me that Montu was added to the park in a flat area close to the entrance that may have been a part of the parking lot. Rather than just plop the ride on the flat terrain (see Scream! at Magic Mountain and Great American Scream Machine at Great Adventure), Busch worked with Bolliger & Mabillard to spice up the ride’s layout. Other inverted coasters, like the Batman clones and Cedar Point’s acclaimed Raptor had no interaction with the ground and plopping down a coaster on a plot of land had to be cheaper. But thankfully, Busch and B&M went the extra mile.
Montu – Another Bolliger & Mabillard Masterpiece
The immaculate Egytpian-themed area that Montu calls home is quite impressive. Inside the themed station, guests board the inverted trains (that hang below the track in a ski lift-like style) and they begin their 150′ climb. The ride starts as many B&M masterpieces do; with a swooping first drop followed by a traditional vertical loop. The ride’s speed and smoothness is a wonder. Then Montu takes its first subterranean dive as it flies through a short tunnel. Next, there’s an immelmann that’s like a u-turn inversion sending the train back the way it came. The train drops then returns to the sky for an excellent zero-g or heartline roll.
The train returns below ground as it performs a batwing inversion. It’s similar to cobra roll, just downward instead of upward. (pictured left) The train quickly passes through the trench, just long enough for you to note the Egyptian brick work. Riders can catch their breathe for a quick moment as the train passes through the brake run slowing the train down a bit.
Montu dives out of the brake run and finishes strong with an exhilirating sequence of loops while traversing the trenches. The train dives below again, just to rise up into a tighter vertical loop than the first. This one is quicker and seems to pull more g-forces. The train continues to navigate the trench like Luke Skywalker making that famous attack on the Death Star. Montu climbs out and then back down for one final corkscrew (or wingover) loop. Finally, the Egyptian god with the head of a hawk is done with you as the train hits the station brakes.
In my book, that kind of ride is a 10 out of 10. There’s not really much, if anything I would change about Montu. If you’re in the Tamap, FL area or even in Central Florida, I highly recommend you visit Busch Gardens. Kumba, SheiKra, and Montu make an unforgettable trio of roller coasters.
Check out this pov video of Montu at Busch Gardens Tampa:
Note – This video was filmed by professionals with permission from the park. For safety reasons, please DO NOT take a camera on a roller coaster.
Montu is rated ‘TH’ for Thrilling. It’s a 3 out of 5 on my Thrill Scale because it includes several loops. If you fear going upside-down, then you may want to skip this coaster.
What’s Your Take?
Have you ridden Montu? What’d you think? Leave a comment below. Images 1, 2, & 4 courtesy of CoasterImage. Image 3 courtesy of JoyRides.