Montu (roller coaster)

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Montu
Montu logo.png
Montu (Busch Gardens Africa) 01.jpg
An overview of Montu at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Park section Egypt
Coordinates 28°02′05″N 82°25′03″W / 28.03472°N 82.41750°W / 28.03472; -82.41750Coordinates: 28°02′05″N 82°25′03″W / 28.03472°N 82.41750°W / 28.03472; -82.41750
Status Operating
Opening date May 16, 1996 (1996-05-16)
General statistics
Type Steel – Inverted
Manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard
Designer Werner Stengel
Model Inverted Coaster – Custom
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height 150 ft (46 m)
Drop 128 ft (39 m)
Length 3,983 ft (1,214 m)
Speed 65 mph (105 km/h)
Inversions 7
Duration 3 minutes
Max vertical angle 50°
Capacity 1,710 riders per hour
G-force 3.8
Height restriction 54 in (137 cm)
Trains 3 trains with 8 cars. Riders are arranged 4 across in a single row for a total of 32 riders per train.
Quick Queue available
Montu at RCDB
Pictures of Montu at RCDB

Montu is an inverted roller coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in Tampa, Florida. Built by Bolliger & Mabillard, it is the park's second roller coaster designed by the Swiss company following the success of Kumba which opened 3 years prior.[1][2] When the ride opened on May 16, 1996, it was the world's tallest and fastest inverted roller coaster, a title it has since conceded to Alpengeist at sister park Busch Gardens Williamsburg. The ride stands 150 feet (46 m) tall and reaches speeds of 65 miles per hour (105 km/h).

History[edit]

The concept of an inverted roller coaster with inversions was developed by Jim Wintrode, the general manager of Six Flags Great America, in the early 1990s.[3][4] To develop the idea, Wintrode worked with Walter Bolliger and Claude Mabillard – from Swiss roller coaster manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard – and engineer Robert Mampe to develop Batman: The Ride which opened in May 1992.[3][5]

In early 1995, planning began for Montu, fourteen months prior to the ride opening to the public.[1] The owners of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Busch Entertainment (since renamed SeaWorld Entertainment), entered into an agreement with Bolliger and Mabillard which would see them add Montu to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in 1996, followed in 1997 by the additions of Alpengeist at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and The Great White at SeaWorld San Antonio.[6] On May 16, 1996, Montu officially opened to the public.[7] At the time of its opening to the public, the ride was the tallest and fastest inverted roller coaster in the world.[8][9]

Characteristics[edit]

One of Montu's trains exiting the Immelmann loop

The 3,983-foot-long (1,214 m) Montu stands 150 feet (46 m) tall. With a top speed of 65 miles per hour (105 km/h), the ride features seven inversions including two vertical loops measuring 104 and 60 feet (32 and 18 m), respectively, an Immelmann loop, a zero-g roll, a batwing and a corkscrew. Riders experience up to 3.8 times the force of gravity on the 3 minute ride. Montu operates with three 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.[7]

Montu was launched alongside Busch Gardens Tampa Bay's Egypt section of the park, which reportedly cost approximately US$20 million.[1][10] With an overall theme around Egyptian mythology, the ride is named after the god of war Montu, a man depicted with the head of a hawk.[7] When the ride was first launched, a Nile crocodile exhibit was located underneath the first section of the ride.[7] These animals were later relocated to the park's main animal habitat.[7]

Ride experience[edit]

The ride begins with a small dip and turnaround out of the station tracking towards the 150-foot-tall (46 m) chain lift hill. Once at the top, riders twist down 128 feet (39 m) and into a 104-foot-tall (32 m) vertical loop, reaching speeds of up to 65 miles per hour (105 km/h). Following the vertical loop, an Immelmann loop comes next, and provides a footchopper element with the pylon. After completing the Immelmann, the train goes through a zero-g roll, where riders experience a feeling of weightlessness. Following the zero-G roll, riders are then inverted twice during the batwing element which leads into the mid-course brake run. A twisting dive to the right immediately follows the brake run and leads into a 60-foot-tall (18 m) vertical loop. A series of corners and a corkscrew lead the train to the final brake run and back into the station.[7][11]

Reception[edit]

One of Montu's trains entering the zero-g roll

Montu has generally been well received. Tom Buckingham of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune commended the ride, giving kudos to the park "for designing its monster rides so that wait times put Disney to shame". He stated "you'll generally be on the ride and screaming" before riders get a chance to change their mind.[12] Sabrina Rojas Weiss of the Lakeland Ledger stated "the way this ride twisted my body upside-down and sideways seriously confused my senses".[13] The Los Angeles Times put the ride on their "high rollers" list of new roller coasters for 1996.[14] In 2012, Montu was featured on the Travel Channel TV series Insane Coaster Wars in the "Hang 'em High" category. Although the ride lost out to Aftershock at Silverwood Theme Park, Theme Park Review's Robb Alvey believed Montu would beat the competition which also included SeaWorld Orlando's Manta and Busch Gardens Williamsburg's Alpengeist.[15]

In Amusement Today's annual Golden Ticket Awards, Montu has consistently ranked highly. Montu is also one of only seven roller coasters to appear in the top 50 for all 15 years. It debuted at position 3 in 1998,[16] before rising to position 2 the following year.[17] Montu has remained at position 14 for 2011 and 2012.[18][19]

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 3[16] 2[17] 4[20] 5[21] 9[22] 12[23] 9[24] 10[25] 8[26] 10[27] 10[28] 11[29] 12[30] 14[18] 14[19] 18[31]

In Mitch Hawker's worldwide Best Roller Coaster Poll, Montu entered at position 2 in 1999, before dropping to a low of 20 in 2010. The ride's ranking in subsequent polls is shown in the table below.[32]

Mitch Hawker's Best Roller Coaster Poll: Best steel-Tracked Roller Coaster[33]
Year 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Ranking 2 No poll 9 18 15 10 8 13 15 18 18 20 No poll 17

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Cronan, Carl (August 2, 1996). "Busch Gardens coasts into summer with Egypt". Ocala Star-Banner. Halifax Media Group. Retrieved July 4, 2013. 
  2. ^ Marden, Duane. "Kumba  (Busch Gardens Tampa Bay)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved July 4, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Coaster Landmark Award - Batman: The Ride". American Coaster Enthusiasts. June 20, 2005. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  4. ^ O'Brien, Tim (March 24, 2003). "In my office: Jim Wintrode". Amusement Business 115 (12). 
  5. ^ Marden, Duane. "Batman The Ride  (Six Flags Great America)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  6. ^ Marden, Duane. "Roller Coaster Search Results  (Inverted Coasters)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f Marden, Duane. "Montu  (Busch Gardens Tampa Bay)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  8. ^ Marden, Duane. "Record Holders  (Statistic: Height, Type: Steel, Design: Inverted)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  9. ^ Marden, Duane. "Record Holders  (Statistic: Speed, Type: Steel, Design: Inverted)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Montu Inverted Roller Coaster". Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Retrieved July 4, 2013. 
  11. ^ Alvey, Robb (November 21, 2011). "Montu Roller Coaster Front Seat POV Busch Gardens Tampa Florida Awesome 1080p HD Video Footage B&M". Theme Park Review. YouTube. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  12. ^ Buckingham, Tom (June 25, 1996). "Montu turns Tampa upside down". Sarasota Herald-Tribune (Halifax Media Group). Retrieved July 4, 2013. 
  13. ^ Weiss, Sabrina Rojas (July 5, 1996). "Six coasters reign supreme in Central Florida... or do they?". Lakeland Ledger (Halifax Media Group). Retrieved July 4, 2013. 
  14. ^ "High Rollers". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). June 16, 1996. Retrieved July 4, 2013. 
  15. ^ MacDonald, Brady (June 26, 2012). "Top thrill rides compete in Travel Channel's 'Insane Coaster Wars'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. August 1998. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  17. ^ a b "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. August 1999. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  18. ^ a b "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 15 (6.2): 38–39. September 2011. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  19. ^ a b "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 16 (6.2): 36–37. September 2012. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today. August 2000. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. August 2001. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Top 25 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 7B. September 2002. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 14–15B. September 2003. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 18–19B. September 2004. Archived from the original on April 3, 2007. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 26–27B. September 2005. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today: 26–27B. September 2006. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 11 (6.2): 36–37. September 2007. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 12 (6.2): 36–37. September 2008. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 13 (6.2): 32–33. September 2009. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Top 50 steel roller coasters" (PDF). Amusement Today 14 (6.2): 34–35. September 2010. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  31. ^ "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 5, 2013. 
  32. ^ Hawker, Mitch. "Steel Roller Coaster Poll 12 Year Results Table (1999 - 2012)". Best Roller Coaster Poll. Retrieved June 27, 2013. 
  33. ^ Hawker, Mitch. "Steel Roller Coaster Poll 13 Year Results Table (1999–2013)". Best Roller Coaster Poll. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Raptor
World's tallest inverted roller coaster
May 1996–March 1997
Succeeded by
Alpengeist
Preceded by
Raptor
World's fastest inverted roller coaster
May 1996–March 1997
Succeeded by
Alpengeist
Preceded by
Raptor
World's longest inverted roller coaster
May 1996– 1997
Succeeded by
Pyrenees