Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s newest roller coaster is called Tigris and it opens on April 19, 2019 in Busch Gardens 60th anniversary year. It is located in Stanleyville (next to Jungala where you can see endangered Bengal tigers) and brings the coaster count up to nine with a tenth hybrid wood and steel coaster planned for 2020, utilising parts of the now closed Gwazi dual wooden coaster.
Tigris is currently Florida’s tallest launch coaster topping out at 150 feet (46 m). It manages to use a small footprint by keeping the loops compact and re-using sections of the track multiple times during the one minute ride. Actual track length is 863 feet (263 m) but ride track length is over 1,800 feet (549 m) because of the multiple passes on the same track.
The ride includes big drops, non-inverting loops and twists, an inverted heart-line roll, a 150 foot (46 m) climb, forward and backward motion and all at speeds of over 60 mph (97 kph). In terms of intensity it is not as intense as rides like SheiKra but more adventurous than say the family coaster, Cobra’s Curse.
The ride has a total of three launch points. The first launches you out of the station at about 25 mph (40 kph) and about half way up the first tower section where you come to a stop before running backwards back down through the station and then launching backwards at about 50 mph (80 kph) three quarters of the way up a second tower.
You stop again before being launched once more back through the station at 62 mph (100 kph) and up and over the top of the first tower before executing a slow heart-line (barrel) roll followed by a long twisting drop into a complete loop before riding back through the station and part way up the first tower before descending backwards into the station once last time.
Each car holds six passengers using shoulder and lap restraints in three groups of two abreast with three cars per train. Because of the way the track is used only one train will be able to run at any time.
The queue area focuses on the conservation of tigers and educates guests about tigers in the wild. In the Tigris gift shop, 5% of all proceeds goes to the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund to be used to protect endangered species and their habitat.
Minimum rider height is 54 inches (1.37 m).
Tigris was first announced in September 2018 and replaces Tidal Wave which was an African-themed boat ride where you got very wet. Tidal Wave used to be part of Jungala before closing in 2016.
Tigris is a steel Sky Rocket II model built by the US manufacturer, Premier Rides using the LSM Launch system. There are similar rides called Tempesto at Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Virginia and Electric Eel at SeaWorld San Diego.