In October 2010, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay announced that a launch-style roller coaster (the first for Busch Gardens) called "Cheetah Hunt" would open in late Spring 2011. It had originally been speculated that it would be called "CheeTaka". It opened on the Memorial Day weekend in late May 2011.
Cheetah Hunt has been built by Intaride LLC using Linear Synchronous Motors (LSM) with repelling magnets capable of accelerating the cars from 0 to 60 mph in a couple of seconds.
The over 3/4 mile, 4,429 foot long Cheetah Hunt features three separate launch points and riders experience up to 4g during the 1 minute 20 second ride.
The first launch is right from the starting point and launches you at 30 mph across a themed Serengeti Plains. A second launch then sends you up 100 feet in the air at speeds of 60 mph before dropping you down 130 foot into a subterranean trench. The final launch accelerates you back to the station at 40 mph.
Other features include a heart line roll inversion, over-banked turns and a mid-ride parabola which will give the riders a sense of weightlessness for three seconds.
Each train seats up to 16 passengers and there are five trains in total. Minimum height requirement is 48 inches.
In conjunction with the Cheetah Hunt ride, there is a Cheetah Run exhibit where you'll be able to observe cheetahs close-up through large observation windows. Cheetahs are the fastest land animals on earth, capable of speeds of up to 70 mph and Busch Gardens plan daily sprints with the trainers.