By Don Gworek
Track installation for the new Cheetah Hunt roller coaster at Busch Gardens will soon be done. This doesn’t mean the ride is ready, but the track will be in place so work on landscaping and theme elements can continue. Full ride construction won’t be complete for several more weeks, as you can tell by the state of the construction site at the Cheetah Hunt station above.
It’s been great fun to visit Busch Gardens week after week and see the coaster be assembled. Every week there’s another surprise to admire and savor. We’ve been collecting photos so you too can see the week to week changes at a glance. This article is going to move from north to south along the coaster. From the Rhino Rally area in Nairobi, back to the station area near Morocco.
Here’s that same foreground track as it dives underground. Not only is it diving underground, it’s diving under a pedestrian bridge. The pedestrian bridge is lined with a beige construction wall. Note also there is track above the pedestrian bridge.
The track has been raised and is now being positioned. Several minutes after this photo was taken, the track was no longer in view. It was behind the wall and below, to be connected with track already under the bridge.
Another teaser of where the track is going. Note the skyway tower …
Yes! Cheetah Hunt is going to leap over the skyway cables! Pretty cool, huh?
This area of track has been especially interesting to watch week after week. This is the view from Feb 13.
Same track, on its way into the Cheetah Hunt station, as seen with a zoom lens from the train pedestrian crossing.
The track overhead is returning to the station. Descending to the lower level is track for the trains to access a service area below the skyway boarding platform. Note the ovals below the track. These are electric motors attached to rubber wheels (also visible) that transport trains to and from the service area.
It’s likely they are working toward the elevated figure eight for a topping off ceremony. In roller coaster construction (and building construction in general) they often raise the final piece of structure with all of the workers present to witness the moment.