Giant snake signals new coaster nearing completion

- A giant snake took over the Tampa skyline this week, signaling Busch Gardens is nearing completion of its reptile-themed coaster, Cobra's Curse.

The coaster features a 30,000 lb., 80-foot tall snake king icon and a 70-foot vertical lift that will take riders within inches of its 4-ft. fangs. The three-and-a-half-minute ride will also feature a second inclined lift that sets up a free-spin finale. The trek will cover more than 2,100 feet of track at 40 mph.

The grand opening for Cobra's Curse is scheduled for summer. Busch Gardens said the family spin coaster is the only one of its kind in the world.

Additionally, guests will be just inches away from the 400-cubic-foot snake exhibit which will include Jameson’s mambas, Angolan pythons and rhinoceros and Gaboon vipers. Busch Gardens said the multi-level exhibit also features several animal husbandry and enrichment components, including naturalistic design elements, controlled heat sources and humidity control.

Dozens of artists came together to design, engineer, fabricate and paint the giant snake - the centerpiece for Cobra’s Curse. It was constructed of nine stackable pieces with an internal steel spine and an outer carved foam and fiberglass shell.

More information is available at

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