The mysterious project that has half of the park ripped apart for what’s been dubbed “Project 2011” at Busch Gardens Tampa took a turn towards the light today when they posted a teaser page that tells you in the Spring of 2011 you will “Feel The Spirit. Feel The Speed.”
According to theme park news site Behind The Thrills, we could be seeing an announcement or more any day now. The sign comes on the day that the whole world is watching another park. Crowds were at maximum capacity all day in Orlando at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, leaving most other theme parks in the area with little to no crowds. The park celebrated the grand opening of the “Wizarding World of Harry Potter.”
While that attraction has opened to rave reviews, this project is being closely watched due to rumors that this new alleged high speed coaster will boast an immersive environment which may include an expansive animal habitat. The first of this type of coaster was first brought to life at Busch Gardens sister park in Orlando, Sea World with Manta, Floridas first flying coaster. Manta created an environment that non riders could take part in that put guests in the underwater world of the stingray. If this consistency holds true, this coaster could be as immersive as Manta.
But what animals will we have a chance to get a look at? The answers really right in front of you. For months it seems as if BGT has been leaking clues all around the area, and with the teaser sign it pretty much continues that tradition. First clue, a topiary in the shape of a cheetah in front of the now closed Clydesdale Hamlet. Second clue, Creative Director Scott Swenson says on his personal Facebook page to the effect that he was at a zoo in another city and learned so much about cheetahs from that zoos cheetah habitat. Third clue, trademarks were filed using the term “Cheetaka” which has an “African” sound to it. Busch Gardens Tampa fansite BGT Guide even found a supposed layout of the coaster (click here for that layout) which describes three launches, which is actually the fourth clue. Cheetahs are known for their great speed, which is allegedly the basis of this coaster. Fifth clue, the gift shop in the Nairobi area cleared out the section in front of the store showing off “Katonga” merchandise and video clips and replaced them with…you guessed it, cheetah merchandise and film clips. The final clue is in the teaser. If you look past the yellow streaks you will see brown spots. In certain eyes and angles this looks as if there was a cheetah running past very fast, as you can see a faint blur of a head and tail. So with all these clues, the immersive habitat and coaster will be themed after- you guessed it! Wildebeasts! (kidding of course!)
Of course this is all just speculation at this point, and nothing has been confirmed by Busch Gardens except that there will be a new attraction in 2011. For more information on “Project 2011” visit Behind The Thrills.
For more information about Busch Gardens Tampa, visit the parks official site.
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