Discovery Cove – Sea World’s upscale park that offers close-up encounters with sea life – announced a new exploration section, The Grand Reef. Meanwhile, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay unveiled yet another high-profile ride: a new coaster called Cheetah Run.
The Grand Reef opens in June 2011 if plans go smoothly, and will offer more than one level for guests to explore, according to the park. Visitors in shallow water will find a below-surface world teeming with sea life; visitors with snorkels can go deeper to swim with exotic fish and stingrays. Farther out, divers can pretend they’re swimming with dangerous creatures, such as the lionfish and reef sharks. (The “swim with” part is real, but the dangerous animals are behind sorta-hidden glass.) Too tame for you? For an additional fee, Discovery Cove will offer an underwater walking tour using dive helmets.
For more information, go to DiscoveryCove.com or call (877) 434-7268
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Cheetah Hunt, a Linear Synchronous Motor Launch Coaster (I’m not sure what that means either), uses repelling magnets to launch riders from 0 to 60 in seconds – and it does so three times. The first launch propels the train out of the station and into the grasslands; a second burst of speed accelerates riders up the ride’s 10-story tower; a third burst speeds the train back across the plain. Cheetah Hunt covers 4,429 feet of track, making it Busch Garden’s longest coaster.
The new area also includes Cheetah Run, a zoo-type attraction housed in an area that was once home to the Budweiser Clydesdales.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is about a two-hour drive from Orlando. For more information, visit their website at: http://buschgardens.com/Bgt