What could be more awesome then being able to see the roller coaster get built over the last year?
How about a behind the scenes construction tour of Cheetah Hunt.
Today I was invited to Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida for a special up close behind the scene construction tour of the parks new roller coaster Cheetah Hunt. Over the last year I have followed the construction of the new roller coaster but have not had the opportunity to see the construction up close. So today the park invited me and several other popular amusement park and roller coaster websites to get an up close look at the new roller coaster and other associated buildings for the new Cheetah exhibits. On hand for our tour was Mark Rose Vice President of Design and Engineering. Our tour started out in the Cheetah habitat area with a look at the old Clydesdale barn that has been converted to the home for the Cheetahs. As the tour continued we exited the habitat and out to the main Cheetah area. Buildings are currently being added in the area for displays and the Cheetah runs. We then headed back through the habitat and around to the bridge area where the roller coaster runs under a foot bridge. Along the way Mark Rose would speak to the group about each thing we were looking at and would answer any questions. We continued into the station house and up into where you enter the ride. A lot various electrical, plumbing, painting and other various work is happening all around the station area. We then got to go into the train storage area and out side to get a good view of the large tower section of the roller coaster. Some interesting tidbits of information from the various questions people had asked, 38 mph first launch out of the station and the tower track is 102 feet above the ground. The hill after the last launch is 60 feet high and should give a nice airtime moment as you are hitting that hill at 40 mph from the third launch. The trains will be at the park in the next week or so and they will have a cheetah head nose cone for the front car. The main track work is almost complete and is expected to be done before the end of the month. Then the process of testing the systems and operation of trains will begin. The new roller coaster is set to open at Busch Gardens on May 27th, 2011. Many thanks to Busch Gardens for the invite, it was an amazing experience to get an up close look at Cheetah Hunt.