Event Details

Today I had the opportunity to go to Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida to go to a tour called the Roller Coaster Experience. The tour is a behind the scene look at the 5 main roller coasters, back areas and work shops. The tour began with an 8 am check in and we were off to see how roller coasters work and how they do what they do. First up  was a look at Montu a B&M inverted roller coaster. We started off in the station area with a look at all the equipment in the station pertaining to how they load the trains and other mechanism. Then we headed out to a restricted area and a walk up the brake run steps. Then we headed into the maintenance bays where the trains are worked on. Currently there was a train being refurbished. We then got to take a ride on the roller coaster as part of the tour. After a look at Montu we then headed over to Sheikra a B&M diving roller coaster. We headed upstairs to watch them load the trains on to the tracks as they were getting ready for the days operations. Once completed we were then escorted into the service bays to get a look at a train that is under refurbishment. During our tour the parks representatives would explain how things worked, type of wheels used and general information about the rides. After a look around we then got to go up stairs to the control room where they operate the roller coaster from. It was interesting to see the computer systems and how they send out the trains. We were to get a ride on Sheikra but a rain storm had moved in so no ride on Sheikra. Next up it was time to head over to Kumba a sit down looping roller coaster made by B&M. This time we headed straight into the maintenance bay to get a look at one of the trains under refurbishment. As before the park representatives and mechanics would explain about the things we were looking at and answer any question we might have. We then got to take a ride on Kumba as the rain had stopped. Then it was time to head over to Gwazi a dueling wooden roller coaster built by GCI. Gwazi appears to be in its last few seasons of operation as we were told that the ride had a life expectancy of around 12 years due to the Florida weather and it being a wooden roller coaster. The mechanics talked with us for a while about how they replace wood in the tracks and the amounts of maintenance they do. We also got a look around at some of the trains either in storage or for refurbishment. We then headed upstairs for a ride on Gwazi. After our ride it was time for our last roller coaster of the tour. Cheetah Hunt a launched roller coaster built by IntaminGA. We headed straight into the the maintenance bay were a mechanic was changing out a wheel on the train. We then got to see the computer systems that operates the roller coaster.  After a look around and Q and A with the parks staff we then headed upstairs for a ride on Cheetah Hunt. It was an amazing tour and awesome to get a close up look at these amazing machines called roller coasters. Below are various photos from the tour of most things seen along the way.
Busch Gardens Tampa
Tampa, Florida
August 31st, 2013
Roller Coaster Experience Tour
Roller Coaster Experience Tour
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Various photos of Montu roller coaster.
Various photos of Sheikra roller coaster.
Various photos of Kumba roller coaster.
Various photos of Gwazi roller coaster.
Various photos of Cheetah Hunt roller coaster.