New Multi-Launch Roller Coaster Cheetah Hunt Announced for 2011 | Busch Gardens Tampa
Cheetah Hunt Roller Coaster - Busch Gardens Tampa 2011After months of teasing with hints and clues, today, Busch Gardens Tampa finally released details of their 2011 roller coaster, Cheetah Hunt:

The centerpiece of the new attraction is Cheetah Hunt, a Linear Synchronous Motor (LSM) Launch Coaster that uses the force of repelling magnets to launch riders from 0 to 60 in a matter of seconds – not once, but three times.

The first launch propels the train out of its station and into the grasslands that surround the new area. Moments later, a second burst of speed accelerates riders to 60 mph and up into the ride’s signature tower element that climbs more than 10 stories above the African landscape before plunging 130 feet into a subterranean trench.  At the far end of this three-quarter-mile path, a third burst of speed rockets the train back across the plain toward the station in a thrill-ride experience unlike anything Busch Gardens’ guests have ever experienced.

Here are Cheetah Hunt’s stats:
Type — Linear Synchronous Motor (LSM) Launch Coaster
Launches — Launch 1: 30 mph … Launch 2: 60 mph … Launch 3: 40 mph
Other elements — 130-foot drop into an underground trench, over-banked turns, air time” parabolas, heartline roll inversion.
Track length — 4,429 feet — more than three quarters of a mile!
Maximum speed — 60 mph
Maximum force — 4 G
Height — 102 feet
Ride duration — 3 1/2 minutes (including loading and unloading)
Seats/Train — 5 trains, 16 passengers per train
Guest capacity — 1,370 guests per hour
Height requirement — 48″

Busch Gardens Guns for the Best Roller Coaster in Florida Title
Busch Gardens has been releasing clips from the POV video over the last four weeks or so to build buzz and I’m totally blown away by how good this looks. With several launch sections, an immersive enviroment where your traveling close to the ground, below the ground, and in the air Cheetah Hunt looks to be a thrilling ride. I hope that they’ll be able to keep that heartline roll instead of having to remove it like Cedar Point had to on Maverick.

Here’s an animated on-ride POV videp of Cheetah Hunt at Busch Gardens Tampa:

There’s incredibly stiff competition for the “Best Roller Coaster in Florida” title as I pointed out in my Top 3 States for Roller Coasters post, Florida is packed with highly-themed, world-class roller coasters. Cheetah Hunt could rank right up there with the best of them and it might even take the crown.

For more information visit:

What’s Your Take?
How do you think Cheetah Hunt looks? Are you excited about this new coaster? Leave a comment below.

About The Author

Founder of My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

33 Responses

  1. Mike M.

    I've been anticipating this ride for a while and am eagerly awaiting its opening. I was hoping for the ride to be a bit faster (70 mph launches to approximately match the top speed of a cheetah), but I am still content with the overall layout. A lot of enthusiasts are disappointed that the coaster isn't extreme, but I wasn't really expecting any extreme elements outside of the high-speed launches. Don't really care about the lack of inversions really. Inversions are overrated and between BGT, Sea World, and Islands of Adventure, Florida has plenty of them. Cheetaka (like that name better than Cheetah Hunt, which is misleading and too close to Cheetah Chase) looks to be a type of roller coaster that anyone can enjoy.

  2. OSM

    YES, I am so excited about this. Three launches, a top hat, AND a heartline roll? Amazing. I'm going to have to find a way to get to Tampa for this, and all of Busch Gardens' other amazing coasters.

  3. Frog

    Judging from the animated clip that busch gardens posted yesterday, the trains look EXACTLY like Maverick's trains! It basically is a different/better themed version of Maverick, which is great! And I think Cheetaka (as called on Screamscape) is a better name imo.

  4. Quil

    When I was on TPS, I checked theme park outsider and saw that they had a string of videos very similar. It was from the Busch Gardens webite, and you had to have the five codes to watch each. thankfully, he wrote them all down in the post the link to the site was.

  5. Surya

    Looks like mighty good fun, but some more camelbacks would have been nice 🙂 Having ridden Maverick a few times, I'd love to give this a try!

  6. Prof.BAM

    Seeing the POV, I'm not so sure about having the inversion on the ride though. Also, at the turnaround, it looked like it was running on empty. But it could be good for them. I wonder if the response from this ride will influence who creates the one over in Williamsburg in 2012.

      • Frog

        On one of the small clips I could have sworn I saw OTS's, and they would be much more secure, but I hope its lab bars too!

      • Frog

        I could have sworn i saw OTSR's on one of those small clips, and although they would be safer and more secure, lap bars are almost ALWAYS better! I hope for lap bars too!

      • Frog

        ya, it said my comment didn't post, so I tried again and it posted both, woops! 🙂

      • Quil

        I re-watched a video of this on youtube. Looks like it may be OSTRs, still hoping though.

      • Frog

        I was reading Screamscape yesterday and found out that BG said that Cheetah Hunt will for sure have OTSRs like the ones on Maverick and KK. darn! However, it will be odd because none of the rides that have those exact restraints have as low of a minimum height requirment Cheetah Hunt does (48 inches).

      • Quil

        maybe they'll be slightly altered from the original design to accomidate shorter riders, but hopefuly they'll make it more adjustable for larger riders too.

  7. MDC

    While I certainly am not a great fan of the name because it doesn't seem up to Busch's standard and could be taken the wrong way, I am certain that Busch will make sure people know it refers to a Cheetah on the hunt. That said, it looks like an awesome ride, and I can't wait to see how it turns out (Maverick is my favorite steelie).

    • Quil

      That's a good point MDC, although I origanaly never thought of poaching when I first heard the name. 🙂

  8. Kyle

    I must say, I am very disappointed.

    I was very excited when the rumors spread about a new coaster being added to Busch Gardens. It had been 5 years since their last major attraction, Sheikra (which I was also disappointed with), and it was inevitable that Busch Gardens would finally come out with something worth paying 70 dollars.

    Unfortunately, after watching that video several times, I'm not impressed.

    From what I've read, there will be three launches with a top speed of about 60mph. Don't get me wrong, the three launch idea is great; whoever decided to make those launches only 30, 60, and 40 miles per hour…not so great. And a 130 ft hill? Why even waste the money on making a hill if its going to be that puny.

    I know this all sounds pessimistic but consider this: This coaster was designed to put an emphasis on speed. It is slower than Sheikra, Kumba, and Montu. Gwazi is only 10mph behind. An actual cheetah's top speed is estimated to be a little OVER 60mph with some testimonies of witnessing speeds of 70mph. Why would you design your new, "exciting" multi-million dollar rollercoaster to go the same speed as the animal it's designed after? Why wouldn't you increase the speed to maybe, lets say, 70, 90, 80? As mentioned before, it has an emphasis on speed yet isn't the fastest coaster in the park.

    So not only is it not very fast, it's also, in my opinion, dull. It has ONE inversion and only one significant hill which is shorter than Sheikra (210ft), Montu (150ft) and Kumba (143ft).

    Just disappointing overall. I know this all sounds extremely negative, but when you ride rollercoasters like Maverick, Top Thrill Dragster, or Storm Runner, you expect more from coasters emphasized on speed. This coaster just isn't impressive.

    • Mike M.

      While I completely agree about the speed being lower than one would expect seeing how the theme is so focused on speed, I can't say I agree with your argument on the height. Cheetah Hunt is a launch coaster, so it doesn't need a high hill to get through its course run. If you looked at the video, it isn't even really a traditional hill (more like a tower) and the coaster is launched to the top of it before it dives back down into the trench run.

      Going back to your argument, take the Incredible Hulk Coaster at IOA. Its top height is only 110 ft. But surely you wouldn't say that making that "puny" hill is a waste of money (particularly when that hill is a zero-G roll). My point is that height isn't everything. It all depends on what the coaster is trying to accomplish. There are no top hats or other tall elements that Cheetah Hunt needs height for, so if they decide to keep it lower to the ground to keep as much speed as possible then I'm all for it. Again like you though I wish the top speed were a bit faster…

      • Kyle

        "Cheetah Hunt is a launch coaster, so it doesn’t need a high hill to get through its course run."

        You're right; it doesn't. Of course height isn't everything. In fact, Gwazi's 90ft hill is one of my favorite, and I would never consider that "puny." Like Cheetah Hunt, one of the main highlights on Maverick is its speed. Maverick's hill, too, is only 100ft, but its hill also creates anticipation, fear, and anxiousness for the start of the ride.

        The reason I pointed out the hill is because, as you stated, it doesn't need a hill. If you emphasis a coaster solely on speed, why add a hill? My guess would be to increase the thrill riders experience, and that's fine. I'm all for increasing thrill, and I like heights. BUT, if you're going to spend the money on making a hill, you should make sure it holds some significance. When I see that hill at only 130ft, I just don't think it's impressive or significant. It's not breaking any records, and really, its just taking some emphasis off speed.

        I guess it's better than nothing, but like I stated before, I think they really need to increase the speed. If they do that, then maybe they could even increase the hills size to be more awe-inspiring. Dropping 240ft down to the ground sounds a lot more exciting than 130. This is all just my opinion of course =)

      • Unionjack95

        I truly believe that the purpose of the 102 ft. is to provide the ride with a landmark. While staying low to the ground is optimal for speed, the tower creates a recognizable, unique landmark for guests. Just like the lift hills on Kumba, Montu, and SheiKra, Cheetah Hunt's unique tower gives the coaster a spot on the park's skyline and helps guests to find the location of the ride in the park. Take SheiKra for example: if a guest wants to ride SheiKra, but doesn't know where it is, all he/she has to do is look up and spot the coaster's iconic lift hill and drop to figure out its location. Cheetah Hunt's tower is no different.

      • owen

        this might break a record for most launches in a single ride…but on the other hand…..when bgt builds a ride…..bgw builds it bigger and better

      • Bradley

        And when BGW copies BGT, it's usually an ugly, tacky mess. Sheikra > Griffon

        I suppose it's mostly due to the fact that Busch Gardens Tampa has Disney as a neighbor, so their standards on theming is going to be higher.

      • Unionjack95

        They announced not to long ago that they increased the launch speeds to 38, 60, and 50. Plus, the top speed WILL most likely be faster. After all, it goes up 102 ft., does its little figure-eight, and it dives down 130 ft into a trench.

  9. Piedude81

    Kyle, really? Honestly, Maverick, Hulk, and all flying coasters aren't all like Kingda Ka. It's the launches that make this one great. Three launches, is that like, the record for most launches in a single roller coaster? I will agree, the launches could be better. For instance, it could have completely stopped before each launch, creating a more scary, more suspensiful, element. P.S, how long did it take you to write that? It looks like it spent 4 hours?!?!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.