Review: Tempesto


Tempesto at Busch Gardens Williamsburg is by no means unique.  It’s the second installation of the Premier Rides Skyrocket II coaster.  The same model operates at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom as Superman Ultimate Flight, at Lake Compounce as Phobia Phear and will open in 2018 as Electric Eel at Sea World San Diego.  Don’t like clones?  That could open up a whole new debate.  I have no objection to clones, as I think that they have their place at parks situated some distance from one another.  Every park has rides which are unique to that park so throwing in some duplications is no big deal.

Layout and Elements

An LSM multiple launch coaster themed after an Italian daredevil, it consists of three cars seating two across for a total capacity of 18 riders.  Interestingly, it features over the shoulder restraints whereas the installation at Lake Compounce, which I’ve also ridden, has only a lap bar.  (I prefer the latter.)  The ride begins with a forward launch out of the station, taking riders about three quarters of the way up a hill with a twist at the top.  The train is then launched backwards up a curved track at the apex of which there is an unexpected stall, before being once again launched forward up the hill with the twisty track.  From there it veers left, navigates a 154-foot high inline twist, banks right, dives down and enters a non-inverting loop.  This is followed by a left-banked curve, after which it again ascends the launch hill and rolls backward into the station.

Photo by Bobbie Butterfield

Ride Experience

I wasn’t expecting much from this coaster but it exceeded my expectations.  (If the truth be told, I first rode it because the queue for Apollo’s Chariot – in close proximity to Tempesto – was too long.  When I returned to the park the next day, however, I went out of my way to ride it.)  The multiple launches are a blast, especially as they involve seemingly impulsive changes of direction.  The backwards launch turned out to be one of the best parts of the ride because the curving track and stall came as complete surprises – and the novelty doesn’t wear off even for repeat riders.  This ride is full of surprises and that’s the primary reason that it’s as good as it is.  Other highlights include the inline twist and non-inverting loop.

Photo by Bobbie Butterfield

Final Thoughts

While hardly a blockbluster, Tempesto is a really, really fun ride.  I found it vastly entertaining and am therefore giving it a 7 on a scale of 1 to ten.

What’s your take?  Have you ridden Tempesto or one of the other Premier Rides Skyrocket II coasters and if so, what did you think of it?