Busch Gardens Tampa invited members of the media to take a construction tour around Tigris, their new triple-launch steel coaster, set to open in Spring 2019.
While everything is on schedule, they still are holding out on announcing an official grand opening date for now. Most of the construction on the coaster, from a structural standpoint, is complete. Most of the work will now focus on electrical aspects, as well as themeing the queue and surrounding areas.
Tigris will be located in the Stanleyville area of the theme park in the former home of Tidal Wave – right next to Jungala, which houses the park’s endangered Bengal tigers. In an effort to reuse and recycle, most of the parts from the old attraction, Tidal Wave, was demoed and recycled to use in the construction of Tigris and surrounding areas.
One of the troughs used in the Tidal Wave attraction will be repurposed as part of the queue experience, keeping a bit of history with the new project.
Unlike other coasters, Tigris will launch within the station each time – forward, backward, then forward again, launching at different speeds.
“You’ll launch 25 mph out of the station, 50 mph in the reverse direction, and then 62 mph all the way up through the circuit of the ride and into a dramatic heartline roll,” explains Andrew Schaffer, Director of Design and Engineering at Busch Gardens Tampa.
Due to the nature of the ride, it will have an extremely low hourly capacity – with a rough guess around 400-500 at the moment.
Once opened, Tigris – which is manufactured by Premier Rides – will be Florida’s tallest launch coaster, coming in at 150 feet tall.
“This one, we wanted to get back to thrill seekers,” says Stewart Clark, Busch Gardens park president. “We have 2 years in a row coming up of some thrills, with [Tigris] being first in 2019.”
The 2nd project, set for 2020, is the long-rumored “revamp” of Gwazi. Rumors have swirled that RMC (Rocky Mountain Construction), known for their wooden roller coasters, will be a part of the revamp. Work is already on the way for this project, as many pieces of the Gwazi track have been removed – but Busch Gardens has yet to confirm anything.
“We’ll talk more about that on March 1st, when we celebrate our 60th Anniversary,” teased Clark.