Review: Serengeti Flyer at Busch Gardens Tampa
Busch Gardens Tampa has always been one of my favorite regional parks, and has one of the best and most well-rounded coaster lineups out there. Now, their thrilling flat ride collection is growing as well, with their newly opened Screamin’ Swing called Serengeti Flyer.
Serengeti Flyer is the tallest and fastest ride of its type in the world, and it goes great with Falcon’s Fury as an extremely thrilling version of a standard flat ride. The location of Serengeti Flyer is perfect, it’s directly in the middle of the large savanna area, with elephants, giraffes and other African animals in clear view on the ride. The ride entrance is also right next to the back half of Cheetah Hunt, offering brand new views of the coaster.
Serengeti Flyer does something I haven’t seen before in a ride, they offer a “milder” version of the ride until 1PM, and then turn it up to “wilder” mode after that. The ride is extremely intimidating, you can see the beyond-90° swings cresting the top of the structure from far away. As we were walking up to the ride, one of my friends told me he had never seen me nervous to ride anything before. This is because Serengeti Flyer touches on my only real theme park fear, being suspended upside down. I’m fine with any coaster inversion thrown my way, but I will almost never ride a Super Loop or a Top Spin, because the feeling of long-term hangtime really gets to me. However, Serengeti Flyer offers just enough of this sensation to thrill me without becoming a problem.
To put the angle into perspective, the structure is 105 feet tall, but the tallest point riders reach on the swing is 135 feet, so you are suspended at an angle 30 feet above the top of the tower. It’s extremely thrilling, and swinging face down towards the ground at nearly 70 miles per hour is a ton of fun. I was expecting the ride to feel like something like to the Zamperla Giant Discovery models, and it’s a similar sensation, without the spinning of course. I would say the Giant Discovery rides are more intense and scary because of that added spin, but Serengeti Flyer is just as thrilling, and more accessible to guests who don’t like spinning attractions.
The ride vehicle itself is very comfortable, and features a much smaller lap restraint than I would’ve imagined. It’s extremely freeing, and adds an element of fear to the ride due to riders being so exposed.
Overall, the location and rides area partnered with the thrilling yet accessible ride experience make this a perfect fit for Busch Gardens Tampa, and adds another great addition to the park’s world class lineup.
What do you think about this brand new addition to Busch Gardens Tampa? Let us know in the comments section below!