Kumba (roller coaster)

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Kumba
Kumba logo.png
Kumbas vertical loop 3.jpg
Kumba was the first Bolliger and Mabillard coaster to feature interlocking corkscrews, and is one of only three in the world to feature a vertical loop around the lift hill.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Park section Congo
Coordinates 28°02′23″N 82°25′23″W / 28.03972°N 82.42306°W / 28.03972; -82.42306Coordinates: 28°02′23″N 82°25′23″W / 28.03972°N 82.42306°W / 28.03972; -82.42306
Status Operating
Opening date April 20, 1993 (1993-04-20)
General statistics
Type Steel
Manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard
Designer Werner Stengel
Model Sitting Coaster
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height 143 ft (44 m)
Drop 135 ft (41 m)
Length 3,978 ft (1,212 m)
Speed 60 mph (97 km/h)
Inversions 7
Duration 2:54
Capacity 1,700 riders per hour
G-force 3.8
Height restriction 54 in (137 cm)
Trains 4(3 max. in use) trains with 8 cars. Riders are arranged 4 across in a single row for a total of 32 riders per train.
Quick Queue available
Kumba at RCDB
Pictures of Kumba at RCDB

Kumba is a Bolliger & Mabillard sit down roller coaster located at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, in Tampa, Florida. Opened in 1993, it stands 143 feet (44 m) tall and has a top speed of 60 miles per hour (97 km/h).[1] Kumba features a total of seven inversions across the 3-minute ride.

History[edit]

Kumba was officially announced in November 1992 as a record-breaking Bolliger & Mabillard roller coaster set to become the park's signature attraction.[2] The ride officially opened to the public on April 20, 1993.[3] When Kumba opened, it featured the world's tallest vertical loop,[2] and was also the tallest, fastest and longest roller coaster in Florida.[4][5][6] In 1995, Kumba conceded the title of ride with the world's tallest vertical loop to Dragon Khan at PortAventura which features a 118-foot-tall (36 m) vertical loop.[7] In 1996, it conceded Florida's titles of tallest and longest roller coaster to Montu, a Bolliger & Mabillard roller coaster in the Egypt section of the park.[4][6] In 1999, it conceded the fastest title to Islands of Adventure's The Incredible Hulk, yet another Bolliger & Mabillard roller coaster.[5]

Characteristics[edit]

One of Kumba's trains exiting the second corkscrew

The 3,978-foot-long (1,212 m) Kumba stands 143 feet (44 m) tall. With a top speed of 60 miles per hour (97 km/h), the ride features seven inversions including a 114-foot-tall (35 m) vertical loop, a dive loop, a zero-g roll, a cobra roll and two interlocking corkscrews.[3] The vertical loop featured on Kumba wraps around the lift hill; Riddler's Revenge at Six Flags Magic Mountain and Banshee at Kings Island are the only other roller coasters in the world to feature a loop of this kind. Kumba was the first ride in the world to feature a number of now-common roller coaster elements, including interlocking corkscrews and a dive loop.[8][9] Riders of Kumba experience up to 3.8 times the force of gravity on the 3 minute ride.[3]

Kumba features four steel and fiberglass trains, each containing eight cars. Each car seats four riders in a single row for a total of 32 riders per train. The block sections only allow for three trains to be on the track at any one time, meaning the ride can still operate at full capacity when one train is receiving maintenance. Under three train operation, the ride caters for 1,700 riders per hour.[3]

The name Kumba was derived from the translation of "Roar" in the African Kongo Language.[1]

Ride experience[edit]

The zero-g roll, where riders experience a feeling of weightlessness

The ride begins with a right-hand, 90-degree turn out of the station which leads into the 143-foot-tall (44 m) chain lift hill. After reaching the peak, a small pre-drop leads into a 135-foot (41 m) drop to the left. A 108-foot-tall (33 m) vertical loop which wraps around the lift hill follows. After leaving the vertical loop, the ride inclines into a dive loop, followed by a zero-g roll, where riders experience a feeling of weightlessness. A straight section of track and a small hill leads to a Cobra roll, inverting riders twice. After exiting the cobra roll, the trains rise up into the mid-course brake run. The exit from the brake run leads into a pair of interlocking corkscrews, a tunnel, and an upward helix. The train then enters the final brake run, before making a right hand turn and returning to the station.[3][10]

Reception[edit]

Kumba has generally been well received. Robb Alvey of Theme Park Review stated Kumba was his favourite ride in the Florida area, describing it as "an old-school, intense ride" that he has been on hundreds of times.[11] Dewayne Bevil of the Orlando Sentinel gives Kumba ratings of 4 out of 5 for both thrill and theming.[12][13] Keith Kohn, also of the Sentinel, described the ride as "an amazing experience".[14]

The opening of Kumba had a significant impact on park attendance figures. In its debut year, park attendance increased approximately 15% to an estimated 3.8 million visitors.[15][16] The park expected that trend to continue into 1994.[16] In 1995, Joe Fincher, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay's general manager, described Kumba as a "superstar roller coaster" that "has been terrific for us".[17]

In Amusement Today's annual Golden Ticket Awards, Kumba has consistently ranked highly. It is also one of only seven roller coasters to appear in the top 50 every year since the award's inception in 1998. It debuted at position 4 in 1998,[18] before dropping to a low of 31 in 2011, and rising to 23 the following year.[19][20]

Golden Ticket Awards: Top steel Roller Coasters
Year 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Ranking 4[18] 5[21] 7[22] 13[23] 19[24] 22[25] 22[26] 22[27] 21[28] 21[29] 27[30] 27[31] 24 (tie)[32] 31[19] 23[20] 27[33]

In Mitch Hawker's worldwide Best Roller Coaster Poll, Kumba entered at position 7 in 1999, before dropping to a low of 39 in 2004. The ride's ranking in subsequent polls is shown in the table below.[34]

Mitch Hawker's Best Roller Coaster Poll: Best Steel-Tracked Roller Coaster[34]
Year 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Ranking
7
[nb 1]
21
27
26
39
24
21
18
24
28
34
[nb 2]
33

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ No steel roller coaster poll was held in 2000.
  2. ^ No steel roller coaster poll was held in 2011.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Strengle, Bernice (November 11, 1992). "Thrill of 'Kumba' to roar into park". St. Petersburg Times (Times Publishing Company). Retrieved July 21, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Vaughan, Vicki (November 16, 1992). "Kumba Coasting To Busch Gardens". Orlando Sentinel (Tribune Company). Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Marden, Duane. "Kumba  (Busch Gardens Tampa Bay)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved July 5, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Marden, Duane. "Record Holders  (Tallest roller coasters in Florida)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Marden, Duane. "Record Holders  (Fastest roller coasters in Florida)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Marden, Duane. "Record Holders  (Longest roller coasters in Florida)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  7. ^ Marden, Duane. "Dragon Khan  (PortAventura)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  8. ^ Marden, Duane. "Roller Coaster Search Results  (Interlocking Corkscrews)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  9. ^ Marden, Duane. "Roller Coaster Search Results  (Dive Loop)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  10. ^ Alvey, Robb (November 10, 2011). "Kumba Roller Coaster POV Front Seat Amazing 1080p HD Footage Busch Gardens Tampa FL". Theme Park Review. YouTube. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  11. ^ Boedeker, Hal (June 6, 2013). "Orlando expert travels world in 'Coaster Wars'". Orlando Sentinel (Tribune Company). Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  12. ^ Bevil, Dewayne (May 31, 2013). "Central Florida Roller Coaster Guide". Orlando Sentinel (Tribune Company). Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  13. ^ Bevil, Dewayne. "Kumba, Busch Gardens". Orlando Sentinel (Tribune Company). Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  14. ^ Kohn, Keith W. (June 17, 2004). "Fans Eager To Loop And Twist At Gardens". Orlando Sentinel (Tribune Company). Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  15. ^ Cronan, Carl (August 2, 1996). "Busch Gardens coasts into summer with Egypt". Ocala Star-Banner. Halifax Media Group. Retrieved July 4, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b O'Brien, Tim (February 1994). "Kumba's marketing momentum to carry Busch Gardens Tampa into '94 season". Amusement Business 106 (8): 18. 
  17. ^ Doolittle, Leslie (May 11, 1995). "New Roller Coaster Planned In 1996 As Busch Gardens Goes Egyptian". Orlando Sentinel (Tribune Company). Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  18. ^ a b "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. August 1998. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  19. ^ a b "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 15 (6.2): 38–39. September 2011. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  20. ^ a b "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 16 (6.2): 36–37. September 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. August 1999. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. August 2000. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. August 2001. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. September 2002. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 14–15B. September 2003. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 18–19B. September 2004. Archived from the original on April 3, 2007. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 26–27B. September 2005. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 26–27B. September 2006. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 11 (6.2): 36–37. September 2007. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 12 (6.2): 36–37. September 2008. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 13 (6.2): 32–33. September 2009. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 14 (6.2): 34–35. September 2010. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  33. ^ "2013 Top 50 steel Roller Coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 17 (6.2): 34–35. September 2013. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  34. ^ a b Hawker, Mitch. "Steel Roller Coaster Poll 12 Year Results Table (1999 - 2012)". Best Roller Coaster Poll. Retrieved June 27, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
unknown
World's Tallest Vertical Loop
April 1993–May 1995
Succeeded by
Dragon Khan