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Tampa Bay's Top 5 Thrill Rides

Roller Coasters, Area Attractions Provide Pulse-Pounding Thrill Rides


Tampa Bay's Top 5 Thrill Rides

Busch Gardens' Montu

Photo courtesy Busch Gardens

From classic wooden roller coasters to water slides and modern day inverted coasters featuring innovative designs, the Tampa Bay area is home to some breathtaking, mind-blowing thrill rides.

Cypress Gardens

1. Starliner

As an homage to roller coasters of days gone by, this list opens with Cypress Gardens' Starliner, a wooden coaster that was built in 1963 in Panama City Beach. After a prosperous run at its original home, Starliner was dismantled and relocated to Cypress Gardens in 2005-07. Its classic out-and-back design begins with a clackity-clack climb and nearly a 70-foot plunge. The ride features plenty of traditional hills and bunny hops and a hair-pin turn.

  • Height: 70 feet
  • Top speed: 70 mph
  • Ride time: 1 minute, 45 seconds

Busch Gardens

2. Montu

Found in Busch Gardens' Egypt area, Montu takes riders through seven inversions on almost 4,000 feet of track. The largest inverted roller coaster in the region, the ride reaches speeds of more than 60 miles per hour and jolts thrill-seekers with a 60-foot vertical loop.

  • Height: 150 feet
  • Ride time: 3 minutes
  • Top speed: 60 mph

3. SheiKra

Meant to evoke the power and speed of an African hawk, SheiKra features floorless cars, a 90-degree drop and an Immelmann loop. The ride's second vertical dive sweeps riders into an underground tunnel.

  • Height: 200 feet
  • Ride time: 3 minutes
  • Top speed: 70 mph

4. Kumba

Kumba has been around since 1993, but any ride that kicks off with a 135-foot drop and then subjects riders to a 110-foot plunge into a diving loop deserves a nod as one of the area's top gut-wrenchers. While speeding through 360-degree spirals, riders experience of three seconds of absolute weightlessness.

  • Height: 143 feet
  • Ride time: Just under 3 minutes
  • Top speed: 60 mph

Adventure Island

5. Gulf Scream

Not exactly your average thrill ride, Gulf Scream at Adventure Island tempts visitors to speed down a 210-foot body slide before splashing into the pool traveling at around 25 miles per hour. As the name implies, even the most courageous guests will find themselves howling as they hurtle earthward toward a jarring splashdown.

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