We were recently invited to take a guided hard hat tour of Busch Gardens’ newest attraction. The Cheetah Hunt roller coaster and Cheetah Run animal habitat are set to open at 9 a.m. on May 27, 2011. Let’s see how the construction is coming along.
Let’s start with the video of our tour, led by Vice President of Design and Engineering Mark Rose.
This is a look at the holding pens for the Cheetahs. Most of the cheetahs are already at the park and are temporarily located near one of the other roller coasters to help get them used to the sounds.
Assistant Curator Tim Smith gives our group an overview of Cheetah Run, the animal habitat part of the attraction. Notice the cool-looking hard hats. Unfortunately for us, we weren’t allowed to keep them. Fortunately for you, they said they’d be giving some of them away to their Facebook and Twitter followers.
Mark Rose stands in front of the most visually appealing part of the coaster track. As he said in the video, this is the part that makes guests take notice. Riders will be shot up the track you see here. The downward part of the track hasn’t been installed yet.
Not only will the coaster take riders in trenches, below bridges and over buildings, it will also go over the SkyRide buckets. This piece of track is expected to be the last added when they complete the track in the next week. Once the track is complete, one of the first things they’ll do is drag the coaster cars along the whole track.
What looks like shock absorbers is part of a retractable brake that will only activate if the train doesn’t make it up the climb seen in the last photo. These aren’t expected to be needed, but better safe than sorry.
Here’s a point-of-view ride-through rendering:
Cheeta Hunt Facts
Launches: Launch 1: 30 mph, Launch 2: 60 mph, Launch 3: 40 mph
Track Length: 4,429 feet – more than three-quarters of a mile
Maximum Speed: 60 mph
Maximum Force: 4G
Height: 102 feet
Ride Duration: Three and a half minutes with loading and unloading, about one minute and 20 seconds of ride time.
Vehicle: five trains, 16 passengers per train
Guest Capacity: 1,370 guests per hour
Height requirement: 48 inches
Manufacturer: Intaride LLC, exclusive U.S. supplier of Intamin rides