Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s ninth and newest roller coaster, Tigris, is now officially open.
Dubbed the tallest launch coaster in Florida, Tigris includes three launches: the first propeling guests 50 feet up one side of the ride, followed by a reverse launch 80 feet up the other side, and then a final, forward launch sending guests up 150 feet and through a slow inversion called a heartline roll. In all, the ride will last about 60 seconds, reaching a top speed of 62 miles per hour.
“We are proud of the legacy we’ve built as we have welcomed millions of thrill-seekers from around the world to the Tampa Bay area,” Busch Gardens Tampa Bay president Stewart Clark said in a press release. “Tigris is the perfect addition to our unrivaled collection of adrenaline-pumping attractions.”
The coaster was manufactured by Baltimore’s Premier Rides, which also built Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios Florida.
Busch Gardens had previously stated the ride’s thrill level is somewhere between the Cobra’s Curse coaster and the 200-foot-tall SheiKra. Riders on Tigris will need to be at least 54 inches tall.
For annual passholders wanting to avoid long lines, they can take advantage of exclusive passholders ride times before the park opens for the first two weekends of May.
While Tigris helps mark Busch Gardens’ 60th anniversary, next year will bring an even bigger draw for coaster enthusiasts.
Using infrastructure from the shuttered wooden coaster Gwazi, Busch Gardens is building a new hybrid steel and wood coaster that is being promoted as the fastest and steepest of its kind in the world. The Federal Aviation Administration recently approved permits that set the coaster’s height at 210 feet — five feet taller than what is currently the tallest hybrid coaster, Steel Vengeance at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio.
Tigris won’t be the only roller coaster debuting this year in Central Florida. Universal Orlando is set to open Hagrid Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure — a Harry Potter-themed storytelling coaster through the Forbidden Forest — at Islands of Adventure on June 13.
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