Video of wild new coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa

I don’t usually write about theme parks (I usually leave that to thisfloridalife.com), but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to talk about a cool new ride at Busch Gardens in Tampa.Busch Gardens Tampa

Cheetah Hunt, the newest in a park full of coasters, opened in the middle of last year (OK, not really new new, but new enough) and is a an interesting change of pace from the other coasters in the park.  Unlike the nauseating Montu or the rumbling Gwazi, Cheetah Hunt feels more like riding in a sports car than flying with the Blue Angels.

It has a top speed of 60 mph and you get to it straight out of the gate.  There are a few loops and twists and a really quick up and down section (like driving down the edge of a lasagna noodle).  And, unusual as it is, some long straight-ish sections that take you far into the park.  The coaster is designed to fit into the cheetah theme of that section of the park, but it feels like a cheetah too – particularly when it sprints out into the mock Serengeti.

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Photo Friday – Busch Gardens in Tampa, Fla.

This Friday’s photo is a quick iPhone pic from a family trip to Busch Gardens in Tampa.  I know, naturalists and nature-lovers often have adverse opinions of zoos and the like, and I must admit, my feelings are conflicted as well.  But believing that awareness is the first step in conservation, I’ve often defended zoos and nature parks as a primary reason that people care about these animals in the first place.  (This is starting to feel like an entirely separate post, and maybe it should be.)

Anyway, three things about this photo.  1) It was taken on an open air truck out in the faux-serenghetti.  That costs a little extra, but you go up-close with the giraffes and to “behind-the-scenes” parts of the park, and you get to hear a lot about their conservation efforts.  2) Sometimes I’m surprised by how nice iPhone photos come out.  3) This giraffe has attitude.