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Cobra's Curse spinning coaster slithers into Busch Gardens Tampa

A snake-themed roller coaster with an elevator lift hill and spinning cars coming to Busch Gardens Tampa this summer will take riders on an archeological trek in search of the legendary temple of a serpent king.

The Cobra’s Curse spinning coaster by Germany’s Mack Rides will be built in the Egypt section of the Florida theme park on the site of the former King Tut’s Tomb walk-through attraction.

Tut’s tomb will be transformed into the recently excavated temple of Venymyss and the space converted into a queue for the new ride. The queue will include exhibits with four kinds of snakes: Jameson’s mambas, Angolan pythons and rhinoceros and gaboon vipers.

Theme Park Review’s Robb Alvey calls Cobra’s Curse a cross between Sierra Sidewinder at Knott’s Berry Farm and Europa Park’s Euro-Mir, both earlier-generation Mack spinning coasters.

“I have not seen a ride like Cobra’s Curse ever,” Alvey said. “I really think this ride will end up being the bar that is set for many other family coasters and most certainly spinning coasters in the future.”

Cobra’s Curse begins with a unique 70-foot-tall vertical elevator lift that drops riders into a face-to-face showdown with an 80-foot-tall statue of the fang-bearing snake king. An outward-banked turn tilts riders into the jaws of Venymyss as the train passes.

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The first half of the 40 mph ride is spent in non-spinning mode, with the trains locked in a forward-facing position. At the midpoint of the ride, a close encounter causes the cars to rotate 180 degrees before ascending backward up a second lift hill. At the crest, the trains begin spinning freely for the remainder of the 3 1/2-minute ride through turns, trenches and tunnels.

While most Mack spinning coasters feature outward facing seats, the Cobra’s Curse cars have forward-facing seats that look similar to Mack’s Wild Mouse cars, according to Screamscape. The tandem cars have the ability to face forward, backward or spin randomly based on the weight distribution of the riders. 

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