There's no doubt that to some folks, especially during Spring Break, Florida’s a choice destination for flings that really can't be described in this space. But to amusement park enthusiasts, flings will take on a whole different meaning, thanks to news of one adrenaline-laden ride slated for construction at Busch Gardens.
On Wednesday, park officials announced that the state's tallest rollercoaster will be built and open by 2019. Plans are that this behemoth called Tigris will be an acrophobia-inducing 150 feet tall with cars careening at 60 mph on 1,800 feet of steel track. Boosters of the forthcoming attraction believe this monster of a ride could potentially fling people out into No Man's Land, which is why restraints will consist of heavily-reinforced lap and should belts. Oh, and height restrictions will be no shorter than 54 inches.
Named after the largest and most powerful species of the cat family, Tigris and its statistics might be intimidating enough. But as for a projected play-by-play of the experience, proponents say that it's certainly going to be a lunch-losing adventure for passengers.
Nothing like a little upchuck to go with those ups and downs. But as usual, the daredevil elements are in the details. Riders start out lurching from the start up the 150-foot tower. Partway up, the ride stops and reverses to the other side of the tower. Partway up again, cars switch gears and gun towards its original direction, whereupon passengers are turned upside down at the ride's full height.
Busch Gardens staff call this the heartline roll, although there's a chance that some hapless riders might become subject to the flatline roll, prompting paramedics to dash to the site with defibrillators. Busch brass is hoping that won't happen, of course, but they're already issuing disclaimers that Tigris is mean for only the bravest of roller coaster fans.
The opening of Tigris will occur on the 60 anniversary of the existence of Busch Gardens, replacing a previous ride called Tidal Wave, a boat ride that ceased operations in 2016 but was notorious for splashing its passengers until they were soaked to the skin. Tigris will be located in the park's Stanleyville area, right next to a complex called Jungala, where it's occupied by Bengal tigers.