Let’s Relive the Slithery Trek of Busch Garden’s Python Roller Coaster

“Are you ready to challenge the Python and live?”

Part of the infamous, somewhat truthful tagline for Busch Garden’s forgotten roller coaster, Python, brewed from the mysterious death of a 39 year old who died shortly after experiencing this reptilian attraction.

Python Entrance in Congo Section of Busch Gardens Photo: Theme Park Review
Python Entrance in Congo Section of Busch Gardens
Photo: Theme Park Review

History of Busch Garden’s Python Roller Coaster

Python was Busch Garden’s first roller coaster built by the Arrow Development Company. This ride opened on July 1st 1976, making it one of the earlier pioneers for the corkscrew thrill ride feature of its time.

Python Roller Coaster Photo: TampaPix.com
Python Roller Coaster
Photo: TampaPix.com

Its claim to fame was being known as the stomach-churning, double-corkscrew coaster made of steel with a chain lifting hill.

This was an incredible feat at the time this attraction was built. Especially since the amusement park culture was starting to take over in America.

Python was located in the old Congo section of the African-inspired theme park in 1976. The deep foliage that covered Python was fitting to the Dark Continent theme that Busch Gardens was once famously known for.

Busch Gardens Dark Continent Classic Logo in front of Park Gate
Busch Gardens Dark Continent Classic Logo in front of Park Gate Photo Cred: Florida Memory

Congo Area Attractions Opened During the Life of the Ride

Busch Gardens Congo River Rapids
One Brave soul riding through icey cold waters on a January day.

This area of Busch Gardens Tampa housed some of the most popular rides of the park at that time such as:

  • Congo River Rapids
  • Ubanga Banga Bumper Cars
  • Congo Train Station
  • Kumba
  • Python
Busch Gardens Tiger Sanctuary
Tiger Area in Congo. Photo Cred: Florida Memory

Closure of Python Roller Coaster

In 2003 the slithering roller coaster was repainted to bring it back to life and to restore the once feared roller coaster to its former glory.

However, it would later be closed on Halloween of 2006, giving it one last time to paralyze its victims through the iconic corkscrews.

Python Arrow Corkscrew Roller Coaster POV Onride Busch Gardens Tampa Ron Toomer

During November of 2006 the area in which Python roller coaster was located was soon destroyed to make room for the vibrant Jungala section residing there today.

Python Roller Coaster Busch Gardens 1976
Python Roller Coaster Busch Gardens 1976 Photo Cred: Florida Memory

Busch Gardens Tampa Python Roller Coaster Stats and Facts

  • Type: Steel
  • Location: Busch Gardens Tampa, Florida
  • Manufacturer: Arrow Development
  • Height/Drop: 70 ft.
  • Height Restriction: 4’0”
  • Max Speed: 50 mph
  • Length: 1250 ft.
  • Number of Inversions: 2
  • Max Riders Per Hour: 480
  • Duration of Ride: 1:10
  • Number of Trains: 2 trains with 6 cars per train
  • Color Scheme: Yellow and Black
  • Opened in 1976 and closed in 2006

Final Thoughts

Python will always be a very special thrill ride to me. After all, it was where I was initiated into the crazy world of roller coasters and where my passion to try the fastest, most terrifying rides began.

Python Roller Coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Yellow Arrow Development
Python Roller Coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Overlooking Tiger Area Photo Cred: Florida Memory

It would launch my thirst for anything exhilarating and dangerous during my youthful theme park years.

Python was not only my first experience of a roller coaster, but also the first of many Florida theme park enthusiasts.

Busch Gardens Map: Florida Life and Leisure
Busch Gardens Map: Florida Life and Leisure

I hope we all will remember this great ride which lived during the golden years of the Florida amusement park boom.

Did you ever ride this roller coaster? If so, what was your favorite part of the ride? Let me know in the comments section below.

You can go ahead and read the top Busch Gardens Tampa Must Do’s here or if you’re more of a podcast person, then you can listen here.

Book your next trip at Busch Gardens Home2 Suites by Hilton here!

busch gardens python history
Pin for Later!

If you enjoyed this article, then you’ll love these:

Until next time, happy park hopping Hipsters!

NikkyJ

Share this article!

Leave a Comment

shares