In keeping up with its reputation of being one of the country’s top thrill parks, Busch Gardens Tampa has welcomed the world’s tallest and fastest coaster of its kind - the Serengeti Flyer. Having opened at the end of February, the thrill ride has been a hit with guests, so we thought we’d revisit why it’s so great and why you need to experience it for yourself.
We’ll start by saying, the Serengeti Flyer is not a roller coaster. This might seem surprising given Busch Gardens’ reputation for coasters, however the ride certainly still falls under the thrill category. In fact, it’s a great option for those who want a bit of excitement (and some screams) without all of the twists, turns and jolts of a traditional roller coaster.
“This is something you can definitely do instead, this is not a roller coaster,” explained Andrew Schaffer, corporate director at Sea World Parks and Entertainment in an interview. “It’s a flat ride — it’s considered a spring and swing.”
So what exactly does the Serengeti Flyer do? Instead of dips, twists and hairpin turns, think more of long arms swinging back and forth at great speeds and an even greater height. The ride features two dueling gondolas that soar progressively higher reaching speeds of 68 mph and a maximum height of 135 feet at the ride’s peak. You will experience negative G’s as you head back toward the ground but what might be the most amazing part is the views from the top, if you can keep your eyes open.
Each gondola carries 20 people, so 40 people total are able to experience the thrill at the same time. This offers a quicker wait time, as more people are able to take on the thrill at once. For any friends and family who aren’t feeling like taking flying can wait at the bottom, where they too will get great views as you swing high into the sky.
The Serengeti Flyer is located in the Nairobi area of the theme park. You can see the purple structure poking through the trees. You also might have spotted it if you’ve ridden any of the other coasters in the park.
For a chance to fly 135 feet into the air and experience negative G’s and incredible views, look for discounted tickets to Busch Gardens Tampa.