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Opening date set for new coaster at Busch Gardens

Dewayne Bevil

Sentinel Staff Writer

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An opening date has been set for the newest roller coaster at Busch Gardens in Tampa. Cheetah Hunt will be running as of May 27, the Friday of the busy Memorial Day weekend, according to published reports.

The steel coaster will be different from the theme park's other coasters in that it will be propelled magnetically and have three distinct launch points. There is no lift hill. It will top out at 60 mph.

The ride will have a companion attraction called Cheetah Run, a habitat featuring a dozen or so cheetahs. They will have a 250-foot straightaway for running, and there will be observation windows for closer views of the animals.

The coaster's 4,000-foot-plus track will wind through other animal areas and twist around the park's Skyride, steam train and walkways.

The coaster trains will seat 16 passengers apiece. Cheetah Hunt will have a height requirement of 48 inches.