Busch Gardens Tampa is ready to reopen its popular SheiKra roller coaster following a lengthy refurbishment period, with the ride due to return to action on February 16, 2013.
The Bolliger & Mabillard Dive Machine has been closed for some weeks to enable it to be completely repainted, requiring some 600 gallons of paint. The official Busch Gardens Tampa blog recently revealed that 6,000 - 7,000 man hours were required to complete the project, with 165,000 square feet of surfaces to be covered. SheiKra has been repainted in its original red and blue colors.
Named after an African bird said to dive straight down to capture prey, the 200-foot tall vertical drop coaster features a fall through a misty ancient tower and a splashdown in a lush pool that sends two tails of water streaming skyward. It first opened in May 2005 and has proven to be a consistently popular attraction at Busch Gardens Tampa.
Annual Passholders will be able to enjoy a special preview of the refurbished SheiKra from 8-9am on February 16, with similar Exclusive Ride Time being offered every Saturday and Sunday until March 3.