Theme Park Central

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New Rides For Busch Gardens and Discovery Cove

Busch Gardens in Tampa and Discovery Cove in Orlando both announced new attractions Wednesday. Cheetah Hunt, a new thrill ride, is scheduled to open at Busch Gardens in spring of 2011. The Grand Reef, an 875,000-gallon artificial lagoon in which guests can swim among tropical fish, is scheduled to open next June at Discovery Cove.

Cheetah Hunt, a “launch coaster,” will use the force of repelling magnets to shoot riders in sudden bursts at up to 60 mph at three different points along the 4,429-foot track, Busch Gardens said in a press release.

Concept art for Cheetah Run

On one section, riders will race along near ground level to give a sense of a cheetah running across the African plains. Cheetah Hunt will be Busch Gardens’ first new thrill ride since Sheikra in 2005. In conjunction with the new ride, Busch Gardens also announced plans for a nearby exhibit, Cheetah Run, that will offer close-up views of live cheetahs through clear plastic windows. Trainers will coax the cheetahs into daily sprinting displays, according to a press release.

The Grand Reef, the forthcoming attraction at Discovery Cove, will simulate the sights of a natural reef, the park said in a press release. The massive tank will have waters of varying depths for snorkelers and swimmers to explore. The artificial reef will be filled with real fish, Discovery Cove said, from colorful wrasses to large, spotted eagle rays. Venomous lionfish and sharp-toothed reef sharks will swim behind glass in the exhibit. The waters will be surrounded by white-sand beaches outfitted with hammocks.

Concept art of the upcoming The Grand Reef


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