SheiKra [ ʃi krə ː ] in Busch Gardens Tampa (Tampa, Florida ) is a steel roller coaster from the model dive coaster manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard, opened on 21 May 2005. The roller coaster was designed by Mark Rose, Vice President of Design and Engineering of the park, along with the manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard. Sheikra has a top speed of 113 km / h, 61 meters high and has a total length of 972 meters. The railway opened in 2005, was awarded on June 16, 2007, new trains without soil, so it was also converted to a floorless coaster.

SheiKra was the first dive coaster, which was manufactured in North America. It was after the first two Dive Coastern Oblivion at Alton Towers (UK) and Diving Machine G5 in Janfusun Fancyworld (Taiwan) the first roller coaster of its type, which was equipped with an inversion. SheiKra was until the opening of Griffon at sister park Busch Gardens Williamsburg ( Virginia, USA) and dive coaster in Chime-Long Paradise (Guangzhou, China) is the longest, tallest and fastest dive coaster in the world. The name SheiKra can be derived from the word shikra, the name of an African hawk (Accipiter badius ), which is known to take down prey in a vertical dive.

With Diving Coaster, which on August 16, 2009 in Happy Valley ( Songjiang, Shanghai, China) was opened, there is an identical plant.

  • 3.1 rail
  • 3.2 trains



The Vice President of Design and Engineering of the park, Mark Rose, originally planned a roller coaster, which should be only 49 feet tall. However, the general manager of Busch Gardens rejected the proposal because it was not interesting enough. Therefore, Rose changed his concept by enlarging the web from 49 meters to 61 meters, adding more elements to his proposal. This plan was approved. Peckham Guyton Albers & Company Inc Viets ( PGAV ) was involved in the planning of the roller coaster.

After a fan had received a positive response to an e -mail to the park if a new roller coaster at Busch Gardens should be built quickly spread rumors. They said that the roller coaster would be a dive coaster by Bolliger & Mabillard with a Splashdown and an inversion. This combination was an innovation. Towards the end of the theme park season began, the park, to prepare to remove a portion of the rails of the Serengeti Express. On 26 April 2004, the building permit was known to the public. This showed that the roller coaster, a restaurant and a small shop should be built.

More details such as height, speed and number of trains were announced in May 2004. A month later, Tiki masks were attached with sayings as decoration on the fences, the instructions stated on the attraction. The assumption that a roller coaster would be built, was encouraged that first rail and support parts were delivered.

Construction, testing and opening

On 20 October 2004 reported SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, the owner of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, the name SheiKra as a brand name on. A week later, Busch Gardens announced, as part of a collaboration with Bolliger & Mabillard, SheiKra officially, of North America's first dive coaster should be. At the time of the official announcement had already poured more than half of the foundations. The company Superior Rigging & Erection erected the pillars and the track. On 28 January 2005, the highest part of the track was already built.

The tests began in late April 2005 after the track had been completed. After the test drives took place on May 19, 2005 a press day to make the web known to the public. Two days later, on 21 May 2005 the railway was finally opened. During the first opening year there were constant problems with the system control. This led several times to emergency shutdowns and evacuations of the web.

Bolliger & Mabillard needed about six months to develop the design of SheiKra, and four years to complete the entire project. After Busch Gardens SheiKra had presented a contract with Bolliger & Mabillard was concluded that the layout and design of SheiKra for several years should not be used for other projects. After the contract had expired, the park Happy Valley Shanghai built a copy of SheiKra named Diving Coaster.


In 2006 there were rumors that Busch Gardens could replace the original features with new floorless trains. On 31 January 2007, the park confirmed these rumors in a press conference that was broadcast on the Internet. End of April 2007, a month before the conversion began first promotions in various local newspapers for the renewed attraction. Along Interstate 275 billboards were erected.

On 24 April 2007, during the High School Journalism Day, Busch Gardens unveiled the new trains for SheiKra. For the renovation work of the station SheiKra was closed from 28 May 2007. The station had to be rebuilt because of the new bottomless trains had to be installed for the entry and exit hydraulic platforms. Two weeks before the scheduled re-opening, there were already first tests with the new trains.

On 16 June 2007, the railway was reopened. In the first half of the day there was a soft opening with 100 roller coaster fans, 40 television crews and radio reporters 37. From 7 January to 26 February 2013, the railway was closed again for a new coat of paint.


SheiKra has two different access options. One for normal visitors with corresponding waiting times and access for Quick Queue Customers who bought a pass to skip the regular queues of the attractions of the park.

After the hydraulic platforms and fences have been worked out for boarding aside, the train leaves the station into a 180 -degree right-hander, the first leads slightly downhill, to then regain height. This is followed by the 45 ° steep mountain lift which will carry the train to its maximum height of 61 meters. After another right turn the train passes into a holding brake, which slowly leads him on the first drop, about three seconds stops in the slope and eventually leaves free. At the end of the 90 ° first drop the train reaches its maximum speed of about 113 km / h The route then leads him into a 44 -meter-high Immelmann, who with a load of 3.5 G ends in a block brake after a further upward curve to the left. The strongly slowed by train then drives from a height of 42 meters, another 90 -degree drop, which leads into a tunnel under the water basin for the Splash Down. After a right turn in conjunction with a hill the train pulls into said Splashdown, causing at about 1.9 -second passage two about 18 meters high lateral fountains. After a driveway from the Splashdown on a park path across and subsequent downward bend to the right of the train pulls into the final brakes, which leads directly to the station.



The railway line made ​​of steel is 972 meters long and the lift hill is about 61 meters high. The rails are red and the supports have a blue color. The web has parallel to lift an eight persons in an evacuation lift that people can carry the ground, if a train stops on the lift hill. The rails were formed in Italy and further processed by the company Clermont Steel Fabricators, the producer of B & M, in Batavia (Ohio ). SheiKras rail is larger than the standard rails by Bolliger & Mabillard designed only for trains with four seats in a row due to the heavier trains. In the dark, the track is lit with white lights.

SheiKra has three identical, made ​​of steel and fiberglass trains that are three times as wide as the rail itself They were manufactured in Switzerland and transported to Florida. Each seat has a shoulder-strap as a retaining system. The rear seat row have in comparison to the respective front for a better view of the seat position, an increase of approximately 30 centimeters. The coatings have polyurethane nylon wheels, in order to minimize the friction on the rails. Among the features there is also a roll-back protection, designed to prevent the emergency, the rolling back of the train in the event of a continued fraction of the chain lift. In addition, there are among the trains nor a device for the holding brake and the rear part of baffles for the fountains of Splashdowns. Each train has three individual cars, each with eight seats, which have a capacity of 24 people per train comes about.


As SheiKra opened in 2005, owned the track for a dive coaster two new elements. When Splashdown of the train with the fins attached to the rear part is immersed in the water tank and hurls by water. Another new element was the Immelmann, wherein the carriage first passes through a half loop, which is followed by a half roll. So the train is going to this element opposite to the direction from which he came. The Immelmann was also the first inversion of a Dive Coasters. All built after SheiKra dive coaster had at least one Splashdown and an Immelmann.

SheiKra was also the first dive coaster, which had a true 90 -degree drop. 2005 although there were already two other dive coaster, but they only had a 87 ° - 87.5 ° and -drop. As Sheikra was opened, it was the largest, fastest and longest dive coaster and the first in North America. 2007 but lost the track the speed and altitude record of Griffon. 2008 SheiKra lost the record length with the opening of the railway dive coaster.


SheiKra was well received by public and critics. Arthur Levine, author of the website, SheiKra gave an overall rating of four and a half out of five stars and a thrill rating of eight and a half out of ten stars: "It is a no-compromise ride, love the roller coaster enthusiasts about everything and roller coaster will avoid cowards. " Joel Bullock of Coaster Critic SheiKra gave an overall rating of seven and a half out of ten stars and a thrill rating of four out of five stars. Jeremy Thompson of Roller Coaster Philosophy evaluated the web with a B ( German grading scale: 2): "In spite of the 113 km / h, it is quite friendly to the human body, although it is in the last row slightly the price of the most airtime in state Florida wins " Eric Michael of the newspaper Orlando Sentinel wrote:". the 61 -meter monsters, Florida's largest, wins my choice for the best drop ".

2007 SheiKra was featured in an issue of the documentary series Build It Bigger Discovery Channel.

Importance for the park

SheiKra is currently one of eight roller coasters the park Busch Gardens. There are in addition to the children's roller coaster Air Grover with Cheetah Hunt just another built by SheiKra roller coaster. It is the highest and fastest track of the entire park and thus even after several years a popular public attraction. After converting to a bottomless trains visitors numbers increased in 2007 compared to the previous year by 1 % to 4.4 million visitors per year including through the associated advertising effect.