It is time to ride Tigris, Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay's newest roller coaster, which recently opened.

Tigris, Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay’s newest roller coaster, opened in April to rave reviews from roller coaster aficionados. It is Florida’s tallest launch coaster; racing along more than 1,800 ft. of steel track designed to mimic the awe-inspiring agility of the world’s largest and most powerful cat—the tiger.

I never say no to an opportunity to try a new roller coaster, and at the time, sitting buckled in the front row of the 18-seat car, all I could see was a track ahead of me going straight up. I could see nothing beyond. As I stared into the ‘eye of the Tigris’ and contemplated what was to come, the coaster quickly bolted out of the station and I didn’t have any more time to think about it. Adrenaline took over and I could barely hear myself screaming (in delight).

Tigris is quite different from the traditional roller coaster experience. For one, there is no time to think about the ascent as you do on traditional coasters. Its launch is immediate and quick up to almost the top of the first part of the track—and then it stops—just before it hurtles back through the boarding station and up another hill in the other direction. It then falls back, going through the boarding station once again before setting off on its wild journey, twisting through its inverted heartline roll; roaring to heights of 150 ft. As it reaches the top, the coaster actually slows down as it goes through the twists, giving you a great view of the park below and then of the sky above you – right before careening down another hill with looping twists and at great speed.

The coaster reaches a top speed of 62 miles per hour. Although it is not the fastest roller coaster in the world, while you are riding, you feel that it might well be.

If you are a coaster enthusiast, this is a must-try because of its unique components.

Tigris is the ninth coaster in the park’s collection, solidifying Busch Gardens Tampa Bay as Florida’s thrill By Michelle Colesanti ride leader.

It joins a top-rated list of favorites for coaster enthusiasts, including Cheetah Hunt, the park’s longest coaster; SheiKra, a 200 ft. tall floorless dive coaster; Falcon’s Fury, a 335 ft. freestanding drop tower; Montu, an inverted coaster; Kumba; and Cobra’s Curse, to name a few.

The best way to experience Tigris and all of the attractions at Busch Gardens as well as more than a dozen seasonal events throughout the year is with an Annual Pass. Guests can choose from four unique passes for the benefits and value they want most. Pass Members will also enjoy exclusive ride time on Tigris for the first two weekends in May before the ride opens for the day to general guests.

Would I ride it again? Absolutely!

To learn more and to be the first to know about new attractions, events and future announcements, fans can follow the park’s blog at or join the social conversation using #TakeOnTigris on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.