As you know by now, Stu and I celebrated our anniversary without the kids. But we definitely behaved like children. It's hard to be a serious grown up when you are riding roller coasters all weekend.
In case you are thinking of following in our footsteps, I've laid out some basic descriptions of the roller coasters we rode. Here, you'll find my opinion and experiences also. Of course, I saved the best for last. I hope this helps.
Cheetah Hunt: We rode this immediately when we walked into the Park on Friday morning. I think we were the third cheetah out that day. This ride takes you to 60mph three separate times! It only goes upside down once. And it is the longest roller coaster at Busch Gardens. I think from start to finish, it's a 3-minute ride. It was AWESOME!
We only got to ride this one time. When we went back later in the day, the wait was 90 minutes. We decided to attempt it again on Saturday. Luck was not on our side... when we got to it, the weather was rolling into the area. And the lightning near BG shut down all the rides. Later that night, this ride was experiencing "extensive technical issues." Bummer for us.
Montu: This is easily my favorite roller coaster. It's an inverted one, which means the track is above your head and your feet dangle. This beast will take you on a mind-boggling 7 flips (I think I counted that right). This bad boy reaches speeds of 65mph. It is ABSOLUTELY worth the wait to get in the front row. And if you are fortunate enough to choose the seats, sit in the front left. At the top of the first major lift, the coaster tips down and to the left, so the person in this seat is literally dangling with nothing below!
This ride has been here for at least 15-20 years, so it's not busy. The longest we waited (for the front row) was 20 minutes.
Kumba: Kumba is the second oldest running roller coaster at Busch Gardens. And honestly, it feels that way. It is a LOT bumpier than the others. We rode this one several times because the lines were nearly nonexistent. The first time we did it in the back, and that was painful for this old(ish) body. It's VERY bumpy in the back rows!
We made our way up to the first and second rows. Either of those are great. And the front row, far left seat is the best.
This roller coast is the loudest in the Park. On purpose. It's name means "roar." The tracks are hollow and they make a roaring sound when the coaster is in motion.
Cobra's Curse: This is the newest roller coaster at Busch Gardens. It opened (I think) the week before we arrived. It is a "family-friendly" ride, which means it does not go upside down. It is a quick ride. After your coaster cars make their vertical lift to the top, the cars ride along the track and eventually turn backward and begin a free-spin. If you get dizzy easily, skip this ride.
Since it just opened, the lines for this one were outrageous. We waited about 40 minutes on Friday morning. Every single time we walked by it for the next two days, the wait time was 75-90 minutes! Yowzer. In my opinion, it's not worth the wait time.
Skeikra: Oh boy. I have a serious love-hate relationship with this one. This is BY FAR the scariest thing I have ever done (next to jumping out of airplanes).
Sheikra is unique from all of the other roller coasters in its style. The cars have only 3 rows, but they sit 8 people wide. And the seats are stadium seating. Meaning every single rider has a clear view of the terrifying drops.
For our first ride, we ended up in the third row. (Thank the Lord for looking out, I would have thrown up had we been in the first row.) Immediately out of the gate you are whipped around the corner and begin a horrendous climb at (at least) a 45 degree angle. You are basically laying flat on your back, staring up at heaven, listening to the clicks of the coaster making its way up the 200-foot climb. Then you straighten out and get an incredible view of downtown Tampa. Just as you are thinking, "ok, I can do this" the ride stops. And inches closer and closer to the 90 degree drop! You are tilted over the edge of that drop off. So much that (if you are in the back two rows) you lose sight of the track. Then you hang there for 5 excruciating seconds By now you begin to slide forward in your seat a little, you are praying maybe more than you ever have in your life, you are rethinking every life choice that has led you to this exact spot. Then it releases, and down you go!
If you can get past the first 30 hellishly long seconds, you'll be fine. The remainder of the ride is an absolute breeze - you won't even mind the next 90 degree drop (yep, there are 2!). The second drop is much shorter.
We rode this coaster twice. Our second trip was in the second row. Honestly, I don't think I could ever sit in the front. It's pretty terrifying.
When we came back to the Park on Saturday night, we wanted to ride it again, but it was down for lightning. Then they ran it twice with people on it, and it broke down. WITH PEOPLE ON IT! They actually had to go out onto the track, unhook the passengers and walk them back. No. Thank. You.
We live where most people vacation. Here, you'll find some things we locals enjoy.