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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

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Cobra’s Curse strikes Busch Gardens

BGT_15_CobrasCurse_logo_BG Lockup

Busch Gardens unveiled it’s newest family friendly thrill ride, Cobra’s Curse, this week.  Before the grand opening, my daughter, Sarina, and I met with park designers, animal experts, and faced our fears as we came face to fang with snakes.  We were greeted by Busch Gardens animal ambassador Zeus, a 28 year-old female ball python, and her handler Bethany. We learned about Zeus’ diet and habitat as we gently touched her scales.

 

Busch Gardens president Jim Dean speaking with Sarina
Busch Gardens president Jim Dean speaking with Sarina

Sarina interviewed Busch Gardens Tampa park president Jim Dean about his thoughts on the new attraction.  “We’re really inspired by nature at Busch Gardens.  Cobra’s Curse is here in Egypt and we wanted to theme the ride after a serpent. We’re really pleased with it” said Dean.  They also compared the different park roller coasters and how each ride takes on characteristics of the animals they represent.

The mild vs. wild three and a half minute ride is only part of the Cobra’s Curse adventure.  The air-conditioned queue is full of interactive features designed to keep guests entertained during their wait to face the 80-foot tall Snake King.  Brian Morrow, VP Theme Park Experience Design at SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, pointed out unique 3-D mapping technology created by the Busch Gardens Tampa design team to make the Snake King come alive.  We followed the trail of hieroglyphics along the top of the walls and compared the translations to the images displayed.

400-cubic-foot snake exhibit houses five venomous snakes and four different species.
400-cubic-foot snake exhibit houses five venomous snakes and four different species.

Even though I was hesitant to come face to fang with five very much alive venomous snakes, the low light snake lair is beautifully designed.  It features a Snake King waterfall enclosure and habitat friendly enrichment elements.  The display is engaging and park personnel encourage discussions about snakes and their roles in the ecosystem.

BGTB_CobrasCurse6It was time to ride! We walked onto the moving platform and boarded our train car. Mesmerizing red-eyed snakes and the 70-foot vertical lift built up the suspense before we came face to four-foot fang with the 80-foot tall Snake King!  I looked out over the Serengeti Plain at peacefully grazing herds seconds before our train car twisted and turned through smooth drops and turns.  Then, the cars turned backwards and we wound around coils of green track independent of the car behind us.  Other park guests stared up at us as we screamed past them on the walkways below.  We later learned that physics used in the coaster design ensures that no two rides are ever alike.  For research purposes, we rode again in the other rows to see how different the ride was from the front row to the back row.  It’s true…every ride was different and we loved every moment of it!

 

Cobras TwisstAfter our rides, we sampled the new and exclusive to Busch Gardens Coca-Cola Freestyle flavor, Cobra’s Twissst at Serpent’s Snacks.  It’s a fruity mix of flavors and is also available in diet.  Visit Cobra’s Crypt to purchase snake themed souvenirs, cleverly named sweet treats, t-shirts, and more.

Guests 42″ can ride with a parent/guardian and guests 48″ and taller can ride alone. Busch Gardens Pass Members receive exclusive Cobra’s Curse ride times one hour before park opening every weekend in July.  Passes start at $14 per month. Daily admission rates start around $79.  For additional ticket and park information, please visit the Busch Gardens Facebook page or website.

Cobra's Curse merchandise at Busch Gardens Tampa
Cobra’s Curse merchandise at Busch Gardens Tampa

The Snake King is awake at Busch Gardens Tampa!  Face you fears and plan your visit today.  You might learn something, too.

Cobra's Curse is now open at Busch Gardens Tampa
Cobra’s Curse is now open at Busch Gardens Tampa

 

 

 

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