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. 20 Responses DevilSheep June 19, 2009 Finally, your Montu review! As it seems, Busch Garden really has a nice collection of rides!! In addition to two amazing dive machines, The Loch Ness Monster, Big Bad Wolf, Gwazi, etc., each park has two rides you rated 10 out of ten! That's quite exceptionnal! But now I wanna ask you something: which Busch park do you prefer? Btw I thought your review was really good, but sometimes, can you just give a little more details about the experience? We already know what the ride's layout is or we're just about to find out somewhere else, so just tell us how it feels! It's a review after all. Thank you Reply The Coaster Critic June 20, 2009 DevilSheep, with regards to how it Montu feels, it's much like other B&M inverts in that it's fast and smooth. It's distinction would be those moments where you're flying through those ravines or trenches. Like I said, that feels like you're Luke Skywalker on the Death Star attack. I could go back and also add a bit about the g-forces during certain parts. Thanks for the tip! I want my reviews to be as useful as possible. It's really hard to pick between the Busch parks. BGW has a green rolling terrain with a river running through it. And BGT has a tropical atmosphere with African wildlife integrated into it. Purely on the coasters though, I'd have to lean towards BGW with Apollo's Chariot, Alpengeist, <a hfef="http://www.thecoastercritic.com/2007/07/griffon-busch-gardens-europe-roller.html rel="nofollow">Griffon, Big Bad Wolf & Loch Ness Monster. There's not a dud in the group. BGT has Gwazi which is rough and isn't always ran as a dueler like it should. Both parks are probably in my top 5 favorite parks though. Thanks for reading! Reply Trent July 5, 2011 What is your favorite park of all time? Reply JaMeS June 20, 2009 i live about two hours from BGA, and i know that it is a great park. gwazi is a great ride, but it is only rough if you sit in the second row of the blue one. i had a great experience on the red in the front with my friend. sheikra is just junk. good theming but other than that and the two drops, is crud. Kumba… all i can say is great ride. montu hmm….. best inverted ride ever. but i noticed something about montu. i dont remember what ride, but montu seems identical to one. please post a reply if you figure it out! Reply Osmary March 11, 2014 Sounds like a really good idea and slhoud make them alot of money, I know alot of people will be interested in this and I’m suprised it hasn’t been done before (correct me if it has). It slhoudn’t really slow down the running of the coasters too much and will appeal to a lot of people such as international tourists and coaster lovers. If this is a success I would expect other parks to follow suit. Reply malcolm June 21, 2009 nice review TCC montu is without a dobt one of the best themed inverts in the world. even though i haven't been to BGW i agree that have the slight egde but IMO if BGT gets a hyper then it could be a tie Reply JaMeS June 27, 2009 I was just thinking… could you possibly do a review on Gwazi? Or was it a little too rough? And by the way, the question I posted? Montu has an almost Identical layout to the Kraken. Reply Anonymous July 8, 2009 Yay! All your steel top ten is reviewed. Now let's see about what can be done about Avalanche and Lightning Racer… Reply Matthew July 8, 2009 This roller coaster is great. I loved the layout and going under and through lots of cool thiings it looks like a fairly good coaster. But Alpengeist is a whole lot better. I mean come on, Alepengeist is no doubt the best inverted coaster on the planet. But Montu sure wont let you down Reply Corey July 22, 2009 montu is awesome, and hardly ever has much of a wait. it's always right close to my locker too, so we always catch a ride or two before trecking off to kumba-land. i entered an front row picture of sheikra in a scholarship contest.. click my username to check it out and vote! Reply malcolm July 22, 2009 we can click on our usernames? Reply Matthew July 22, 2009 Only if you have a website Reply QB3 October 10, 2009 CC, in your top ten you said that miilenium force was better than montu and you gave it a 9 out of 10, above you gave montu a 10 out of 10. PS – for some reason i can click on my screen name and a white screen apears, i dont know why. Reply The Coaster Critic October 11, 2009 QB3, good observation. I may need to re-think my top ten. I'm always wavering between the "Best" coasters and my "Favorite" and somehow Montu got ranked lower. As you'll see Kumba's my favorite of all-time, but it's not in my Top Ten. But then it is for Steel. I'll probably re-evaluate my lists this Winter. PS There's no ".com" in your website link. Reply Dave November 12, 2009 James it is the other way around. Kraken has an almost Identical layout to Montu. One of the great things about Montu is that it will take you upside down more than any other inverted coaster anywhere in the world. Reply JaMeS January 16, 2010 Dave, does it really matter which one is identical to the other? Reply Frank September 20, 2010 I must have rode Montu almost a dozen times when I made it down to Busch Gardens Tampa two years ago, what a fun fun ride! I absolutly love the theming of the ride, I love how this inverted coaster constantly twists and corkscrews and dives into the ground it was like a surprise after a surprise after another surprise! Definitly at the top of my list! Reply Linaskye May 11, 2011 I know that so many people prefer Raptor and Alpengeist to Montu, and while I have only ridden raptor and montu, I can't imagine Alpengeist beating out Montu. Montu has such a great layout, it feels soooo forceful in comparison to many B & M's, and the one inversion coming out of the tunnel is so fantAstically disorienting that after five rides in a row, I still was confused as to what just happened to me after that point of the ride. Montu absolutely blew me away. Reply Daniel June 4, 2011 Because Raptor is in Cedar Point, people naturally assume that it's the world's best invert. When I rode it, I was unimpressed. It was rough in places, and apart from Patriot at WOF, it was the only Invert I've ridden that was completely unthemed. For me, there's a two inverts that top the list. 1. Nemesis – for its interaction with the enviroment and compact twisting layout. I also love how John Wardley managed to work around the Park's tree line rules by using an intelligent in-the-ground layout. 2. Montu – for its wide, open layout and long, graceful fighter-like inversions and excellent egyptian theming and near-misses. Reply Guilherme October 18, 2011 Excellent Coaster. Seven Inversions for an inverted roller coaster is a lot. Theming is just perfect! And it's nice to enter the parking lot of Busch Gardens and already see this amazing coaster! 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