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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)
Cost US$20,000,000
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 60 mph (97 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 in Tampa, Florida. Built by Swiss manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard, it is the park's second roller coaster designed by that company following the success of Kumba, which opened 3 years prior. 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 60 miles per hour (97 km/h).

History

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. 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.

In early 1995, planning began for Montu, fourteen months prior to the ride opening to the public. 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.

On August 23, 1995, Busch Gardens Tampa announced that they would be getting a new Egypt section. The area would cover 7 acres (2.8 ha) of land and feature a few attractions, including Tut's Tomb and the centerpiece attraction being a new Bolliger & Mabillard inverted roller coaster. It would be the first inverted roller coaster to feature seven inversions, as well as being the first roller coaster to feature an Immelmann loop. Besides this, the ride would be the first Bolliger & Mabillard coaster to feature a boomerang element, which debuted on Orient Express at Worlds of Fun in 1980. The Egypt section would be the largest and most expensive investment in Busch Gardens Tampa's history. On October 30, the park announced that they would be naming their new coaster Montu. On May 16, 1996, Montu officially opened to the public. At the time of its opening to the public, the ride was the tallest and fastest inverted roller coaster in the world.

Characteristics

Montu at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay 2
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 60 miles per hour (97 km/h), the ride features seven inversions including two vertical loops measuring 104 and 60 feet (32 and 18 m), respectively, a 90-foot (27 m) 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 sitting 4 riders in per row for a total of 32 riders per train.

Montu was launched alongside Busch Gardens Tampa Bay's Egypt section of the park, which reportedly cost approximately US$20 million. 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. When the ride was first launched, a Nile crocodile exhibit was located underneath the first turn out of the station. These animals were later relocated to the park's main animal habitat.

Ride experience

Queue

Guests enter an Egyptian temple, where the queue takes place. The queue begins with a large area with multiple pathways and a viewing area of the ride. Following this, guests navigate through a corridor. They enter another area containing Egyptian paintings on the walls. Guests then enter the station where they board the ride.

Layout

The ride begins with the floor retracting which leads to the front gate opening. The trains leaves the station 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 a 128-foot-tall (39 m) left-handed drop and into a 104-foot-tall (32 m) vertical loop, reaching speeds of up to 60 miles per hour (97 km/h). Following the vertical loop, the track passes through a tunnel and zooms into a 90-foot-tall (27 m) tall Immelmann loop, providing 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, the track hits a batwing, entering a trench at the valley between the two inversions. Leaving the batwing, the track rises up in to the mid-course brake run. Following the second brake run, the track makes a dive to the right into a trench where it hits a 60-foot-tall (18 m) vertical loop. The track then exits the trench, making a three-quarter clockwise turn. After passing under the zero-g roll, the track makes a left hand turn over the first vertical loop's exit and dives into another trench to hit a corkscrew, before making another right turn onto the final brake run.

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