Ride Cobra’s Curse Roller Coaster at Busch Gardens and Be Afraid!

Your first thought when you look at Cobra’s Curse in Busch Gardens will be “WHOA!”

I know this because I was in your shoes a few weeks ago, alongside a few other awe-struck roller coaster enthusiasts!

As if the 80 feet tall, vicious-looking, giant cobra was not enough to scare the bejeezus out of you, they also decided to have a nice little backstory to make the experience seem unnervingly real.

Busch Gardens Tampa Cobra's Curse Entrance

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What’s the Story Behind Cobra’s Curse at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay?

You see, long, long ago there was a Serpent King who grew neglectful of his people.

Coaster Coffee Co. Cobra's Curse roller coaster replica at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

The people then smashed up the Serpent King’s palace, his statues and a bunch of other stuff.

Cobra's Curse in Busch Gardens Tampa Gift Shop Exit

As if extreme juvenile vandalism was not enough, they also cursed the king and the place.

Cobra's Curse in Busch Gardens Tampa Queue

Now, the archeologists could have just respected the Serpent Kings tomb, maybe put a few flowers on it and moved along. But they dig up the whole site.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Cobras Curse Roller Coaster Queue

Now the curse has been unleashed once again and you are caught in the middle.

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As it is my duty to teach you how to evade this curse and come out of this ride alive (cue the evil laughter) I shall do so immediately.

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History of Cobra’s Curse Roller Coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has one of the biggest glow-up stories I have heard.

Did you know that this very park was previously just an extension of a brewery?

View showing gondola skyride at the Busch Gardens amusement park in Tampa Florida next to Anheuser Busch
View showing gondola skyride at the Busch Gardens amusement park in Tampa Florida next to Anheuser Busch. Photo Credit: Florida Memory

It did not have any identity of its own and was simply advertising material for the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. Today it is the top roller coaster theme park Florida!

Busch Gardens has over 15 different rides and attractions and has been the front-runner in new roller coaster trends.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Cobras Curse Roller Coaster Queue

Cobra’s Curse, however, takes the prize for being one of the most well-planned roller coasters the park has.

It not only has a bone-chilling backstory but is also designed to immerse the rider in the experience completely.

Busch Gardens Tampa Cobra's Curse Entrance and Montu Roller Coaster

When did Cobra’s Curse open at Busch Gardens Tampa?

It was opened on June 17, 2016 amidst much excitement and speculation.

Cobra’s Curse at Busch Gardens was one of the few spin roller coasters in the world and also had a 70-feet vertical lift (not to mention an 80-foot scary monster idol, King Venymyss).

Cobra's Curse Busch Gardens Lift Hill

Its unique storyline has had tourists all around the globe coming in for have a chance to fight the curse.

Cobra's Curse Roller Coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

The ride also has really cool architecture (Egyptian-style of course) with hieroglyphic-inscribed walls and TV screens showing the Serpent King’s story, complete with eerie narration.

Busch Gardens Tampa Cobra's Curse train
Cobra’s Curse Roller Coaster

The cherry on top?

It is considered completely family-friendly! Go figure!

Queue Layout of Cobra’s Curse Roller Coaster

Cobra’s Curse at Busch Gardens is one of those roller coasters which has a lot more going on for it than just being a roller coaster.

Cobra's Curse in Busch Gardens Tampa Loading Zone
Loading Zone

When you enter the queue for the ride, you enter an underground maze that not only takes you to the ride but also through the Serpent King’s tragic (well, sort of) story.

Busch Gardens Tampa Cobra's Curse Shop and Montu

They take you through an excavation site where the archaeologists unsuspectingly dug up the Serpent King’s tomb and unleashed the Cobra’s Curse on all those who dare step on his land.

Recommended: 25 Fun and Free Things to Do in Tampa, Florida TODAY!

Full Ride Experience of Cobra’s Curse at Busch Gardens Tampa

After a very visual and vivid experience in the queue, you will have finally reached a cavern where you can step into the train and strap yourself in to voluntarily experience the Cobra’s Curse (we humans do crazy things).

Busch Gardens Tampa Cobra's Curse Roller Coaster

As the train moves forward, you finally see the sunlight, just long enough to regret getting on the ride in the first place.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Cobras Curse Roller Coaster Queue

You see, the 2,100 feet of twisting and turning track can make you want to scream before the train has even picked up speed.

How fast does Cobra’s Curse go?

Cobra’s Curse at Busch Gardens can reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour!

The train slowly rises up 70 feet until you are face to face with the ginormous idol of the Serpent King.

Busch Gardens Tampa Cobra's Curse drop
Cobra’s Curse Roller Coaster

The dramatic music playing in the background fades away to the sound of your screams as you hurtle past the idol.

How long does Cobra’s Curse last?

You’ll be happy to know that Cobra’s Curse lasts for 3 minutes and 30 seconds. A good time for a roller coaster.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Cobras Curse Roller Coaster Queue

You are taken on a wild journey along the serpentine tracks. Throughout your adventure, you will not ask anyone why Cobra’s Curse at Busch Gardens Tampa is called a spin roller coaster anymore.

The train slows down and spins you to a side. You think this is it, the curse has lifted. Oh, how wrong you would be!

Cobra's Curse in Busch Gardens Tampa Roll on Curve

I’m sorry, the dramatic music is still playing in my head (Dun-Dun-Dun).

Anyways, at this point you will be thinking that you should have not eaten that last French fry, because you’re immediately pushed backwards.

You can tell me how scary it is when you cannot see where you are going and the train keeps spinning around at odd moments.

Cobra's Curse Roller Coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

As mentioned earlier, the entire ride takes about three and a half minutes but when you finally glide to a stop, you could have sworn it took forever.

Read: Incredible Groupon Busch Gardens Travel Deals You Must Get

Train Design and Ride Layout of Cobra’s Curse at Busch Gardens

Cobra’s Curse is one of the most unique roller coasters in the world. And yes, this is the moment where I am going to breakdown the whole spin roller coaster deal.

Cobra's Curse in Busch Gardens Tampa Lift

It is quite exhilarating to be propelled across 2,100 feet of twists and turns at a speed of 40 miles per hour. But that is a little tame for Busch Gardens isn’t it?

So, Busch Gardens decided to spin its passengers around while they were still on the ride about 70 feet up in the air.

Cobra's Curse Roller Coaster queue at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

The screams coming from the ride were confirmation that this was a great family addition to the roller coaster lineup.

Egypt Area at Busch Gardens Tampa during Christmas with Montu in the Background

For this particular ride, Busch Gardens employed the legendary Mack Rides Company. It has a total of 8 trains.

In each train, there are two cars which can accommodate four people.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Cobras Curse Roller Coaster Queue

Of course, the cars are spaced out so there is absolutely no danger of hitting another car while spinning around on the track.

The Cobra’s Curse also has a different take on how it expects passengers to ride it.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Cobras Curse Roller Coaster Queue

And by that, I mean that halfway through the ride they switch it up for the passengers getting bored (aka no one) and make you zoom up and down hills backwards… while still spinning.

At this point, I may have scared you away for good.

But just remember that 40 miles per hour for a roller coaster really isn’t much. You will survive!

Read: Sheikra- The Mother of Dive Roller Coasters

Cobra’s Curse Roller Coaster Stats and Fun Facts

  1. The entire ride takes about 3 minutes and 30 seconds
  2. You need to be at least 42 inches tall to get on the ride with someone 14-year-old or older or 48 inches tall to ride alone
  3. Cobra’s Curse is the only ride at Busch Gardens which has an air-conditioned queue when it opened
  4. King Tut’s tomb was used as inspiration to create the cool architecture you will see when standing in the queue
  5. The legend of the Serpent King has roots in Egyptian myths of the same (except the Serpent King was actually human)
  6. If you think that the spinning is controlled by a computer or a person, you are completely and utterly wrong! The car spins randomly based on the weight distribution in the car.
  7. In mid-march 2015, the area where the ride now stands was closed down, was previously King Tut’s attraction exhibit. Cobra’s Curse was announced later in 2016 as a surprise!

Top 3 Tips for Riding Cobra’s Curse at Busch Gardens

Now that you know what to expect on Cobra’s Curse, let’s go through a few tips to make the most of your visit.

Busch Gardens Tampa Montu and Cobra's Curse
Cobra’s Curse and Montu Roller Coaster

1. Arrive at the Park Early

A frequent complaint among riders is that the queue is too long. And it is. You may be thinking of a whole heap of other things you could be doing rather than just standing.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Cobras Curse Roller Coaster Queue

For this reason, I would advise you to be at the park nice and early so you can skip the long wait.

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2. Take Precautions if You Get Motion Sickness

Do not get on this ride if you get dizzy easily or have issues with vertigo.

Busch Gardens Tampa Montu Egyptian Birds

The spinning portions of the ride may bother your motion sickness and can affect the rest of your day at the park.

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3. Sit Back and Enjoy the Ride

Lastly, don’t forget to put your phone away and just enjoy the ride. Don’t worry about taking that roller coaster selfie for the Gram.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Cobras Curse Roller Coaster Queue

You can do it later. Enjoy each and every second of those two and a half minutes.

Hipster Power Tip: This is one of the only few rides in Busch Gardens with an indoor waiting queue.

My Final Thoughts On Cobra’s Curse at Busch Gardens

Going solo to Busch Gardens takes a lot of courage and I respect the fact that you are even trying.

Busch Gardens Tampa Old Egyptian Akbar ride

It is nothing to be ashamed of or self-conscious about. Sometimes you are all the company you need and that is perfectly normal.

Is Cobra's Curse at Busch Gardens Scary
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I really hope you enjoyed reading about the Cobra’s Curse as much I enjoyed writing it. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is totally worth the hype and you should go check it out as soon as you can!

That is all for now! Have a blast when you go visit the Serpent King!

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!

Hoop Dee Doo Revue NikkyJ Dinner Show Disney World. Author bio of theme park expert Nikida Metellus.

About the Author

My name is Nikky. I’m a wife, a mother, a pharmacist turned theme park blogger, USA Today 10Best Contributor, and a writer who loves ALL things amusement park related!

Traveling alone to the parks has changed my life and I want to show how you can create your own solo theme park memories.

Connect with me on Instagram!

(Original Article Date: February 20, 2020/Updated on February 15, 2024)

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