Engineering plans for a new footpath at Busch Gardens Tampa have revealed a hidden surprise - the detailed layout of the park's proposed new rollercoaster for 2011.
The plans appear to confirm rumors that the new coaster will feature multiple launch sections and will stick close to the ground, with one of the launches taking place inside a trench. They also confirm that the water section of the Rhino Rally ride will be demolished as part of the installation of the new ride.
The construction documents, found in a public folder on a contractor's website, focus primarily on work to construct a pathway to connect the Nairobi and Edge of Africa areas of the park. However, the contractors are also tasked with building animal containment barriers and adding retaining walls to support trenches. Demolition work on Rhino Rally and a portion of the Railroad track is also included, as part of site preparation work for the coaster.
Given the proximity of the footpath to the new rollercoaster, the ride's proposed track layout is revealed in some detail. A summary of the rumors surrounding the new ride is given below:
- The ride will feature as many as 3 launched sections, and is likely to be designed by Intamin AG who have successfully won contracts for launched coasters at parks such as Alton Towers, Knott's Berry Farm and Cedar Point in recent years. (Screamscape)
- The first launch will take place inside a trench (references to which are made in the construction plans), while another will fire riders back towards the station in the Edge of Africa area. A plan of the ride layout can be seen on Screamscape and BGT Guide.
- The coaster will cover a sprawling area, including parts of the existing Edge of Africa and Nairobi areas. An overlay of the plans onto the current park map can be seen on the Orlando United forums.
- Given the focus on speed and acceleration, and the park's zoological theme, the coaster is likely to be themed around an animal with natural pace and agility - with Cheetahs being the most obvious (Screamscape). This rumor appears to be supported by references in the plans to a new interactive animal area close to the new attraction, which could be used to house an animal species related to the ride.
- As shown in TPT's Rehab Watch, the Skyride will be closed for much of the second half of 2010 to allow construction on the new ride to take place. The ride will eventually reopen, with references to required clearances distance between the coaster and the Skyride made in the construction plans.
- The Land Train will also close for a period between April 17 and May 27, which could allow it to be re-routed around the construction area.
No opening date has been revealed for Busch Gardens Tampa's latest rollercoaster but the park is likely to be targeting an opening ahead of the Memorial Day weekend at the end of May, 2011.
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