Ultimate Guide to Kumba Roller Coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa: From Zero to Adrenaline Rush!

Are you ready to find out if Busch Gardens Kumba really roars?

Riders love to tell the tale of hearing Kumba roar after they’ve conquered the legendary and classic Florida roller coaster.

This beast is far from tame!

But no need to fear, it delivers just the right amount of thrills and intensity that you will feel your spirits soaring.

So, hold on tight, as we dive into the ultimate guide to Kumba Busch Gardens Tampa and uncover what makes it king of the jungle.   

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay beautiful Kumba roller coaster
Kumba Roller Coaster

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What is Kumba at Busch Gardens Tampa?

Kumba is one of those classic steel roller coasters that you never grow tired of. It’s located in the Congo area of the park and is still one of the most scenic and fun rides.

Kumba Roller Coaster Busch Gardens Tampa

You can ride it over and over again and still feel the thrills and excitement of it all.

And don’t get confused, when I say classic, it does not mean boring. You can expect to scream your way through:

  • 7 inversions
  • A 114-foot-tall vertical loop
  • Zero-g roll of weightlessness
  • Dive loop
  • Cobra roll
  • 2 interlocking corkscrews

Fun Fact: Kumba means “Roar” in the African Congo language.

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History of Kumba at Busch Gardens Tampa

When Kumba was first announced in November 1992 it created quite a rumble amongst roller coaster fanatics.

Kumba roller coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa

B & M (Bolliger & Mabillard) was about to bring a record-breaking and fierce coaster to Florida’s Busch Gardens in Tampa.

And that they did!

Kumba at Busch Gardens Tampa became an iconic high-speed coaster, setting thrilling records when it first opened on April 20, 1993.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Kumba Roller Coaster
Kumba Roller Coaster

This B & M roller coaster set itself apart from the others of its kind, with the first heart-pounding dive loop and interlocking corkscrews.

Taking the title at the time of having the world’s tallest vertical loop, Kumba at Busch Gardens Tampa not only became the king of the jungle but of the coasters as well.

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What to Expect on Kumba Roller Coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa

Now that I have you on the edge of your seat, let’s go through the ride layout for Busch Gardens Tampa Kumba.

Kumba Roller Coaster Busch Gardens Tampa
  • Riders are securely strapped in for the wild ride they are about to fall prey to
  • A right-hand turn takes you 90 degrees for your climb up the chain lift, reaching spine-tingling heights of 143 feet tall
  • A pre-drop makes your heart skip a beat, getting you ready for the big pounce
  • The 135-foot drop then plummets you down into a whopping 114-foot-tall vertical loop and your first inversion
  • Swooping you into a dive loop, it leads you to the famous zero-g roll and swirls you into a cobra roll
  • You can catch your breath for a moment on the mid-course brake run but not for too long because you are then headed into some interlocking corkscrews
  • Racing into a tunnel and hurdling upwards into a clockwise helix, you can then try to get your bearings as the final brake run takes you back to where it all began

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Public Review of Kumba Through the Years

Nothing will ever compare to Busch Gardens Tampa Kumba. It’s iconic and one of our favorite roller coasters here at ThemeParkHipster!

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Kumba Roller Coaster over Bridge

From the anticipation of its roaring release in 1992, riders wanted to find out if the legend of Kumba sounded true.

With the spine track being left hollow, the square-shaped track created the haunting sound that riders keep coming back to hear.

Kumba Roller Coaster Busch Gardens Tampa

But some of us like to believe that it is the lion roaring after us as we are being chased out of its territory.

Because it’s the powerful sound of this coaster that stays with you, even after you’ve left Busch Gardens.

Kumba Busch Gardens Roller Coaster

We all love this roller coaster but due to its age, it can be extremely bumpy.

This is sad because it’s such a wonderful ride. We just wished Busch Gardens would give it some love and redo the track.

Kumba Roller Coaster Stats

Part of winning the battle is knowing who you are going up against! So let me fill you in on a few stats before you take on the beast of Kumba.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Kumba Roller Coaster

How fast is Kumba at Busch Gardens?

Kumba reaches roaring speeds faster than that of a lion out in the wild. At 60 mph (miles per hour), Kumba Busch Gardens Tampa hurdles riders into an experience of weightlessness.

But this is Busch Gardens Kumba style!

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Kumba Roller Coaster
Kumba Roller Coaster

So it’s not just any old 3 seconds of feeling weightless, Kumba has you spiraling 360 degrees in a euphoric zero–g roll.

And what makes it so crazy and special is how long it actually feels when you are in the zero–G roll.

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How Tall is Kumba at Busch Gardens?

Standing tall at 143 feet, riders are plummeted from almost the peak of Kumba.

But first a nerve-wracking ascent up the chain lift hill. Kumba, gives you a bit of a tease with a pre-drop, just enough to keep you on edge before the big attack.

Kumba Roller Coaster Busch Gardens Tampa

You don’t need to be just as mighty and tall as Kumba to show your bravery. The height restriction for riders is 54 inches.

Kumba Busch Gardens Tampa Roller Coaster Stats

  • Height of Kumba: 143 ft
  • Drop: 135 ft
  • Track Length: 3987 ft
  • Speed: 60 mph
  • Time: 2 minutes and 54 seconds
  • Kumba Height Requirement: 54 inches

Is Kumba at Busch Gardens Tampa closing?

Legends are meant to live on, so don’t worry, Kumba isn’t going anywhere just yet.

Kumba Roller Coaster Busch Gardens Tampa

Amidst rumors and speculation, Busch Gardens Tampa tried to put Kumba’s fans to rest posting on March 16, 2022, “Hear this roar? It’s not going anywhere.”

But not without leaving a bit of suspense, still reminding riders it’s not going anywhere….but suggesting fans buckle in for a ride ASAP.

That has us wondering if will we be seeing an upgrade in the near future.

I just hope that our much-loved Kumba still keeps its classic and legendary feel!

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Top 5 Tips for Visiting Busch Gardens Tampa

Now that you know what to expect on the Kumba roller coaster, let’s go through a few tips to make your day EPIC at Busch Gardens Tampa!

1. Arrive Early

They say the early bird catches the worm and in the case of visiting Busch Gardens Tampa, it is indeed correct!

I recommend arriving 45 minutes early, so you don’t miss a single minute of your wild adventure.

2. Dress for the Day

We all love a cute selfie and want to have some awesome photo memories of our day at Busch Gardens Tampa. But today’s not the day for that fab scarf or long chain.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Iron Gwazi Entrance

Loose items of clothing are very dangerous and can get tangled and caught in many different parts of the ride’s machinery.

3. Look Up Busch Gardens Tampa Discounted Tickets

You can find Busch Gardens Tampa’s special deals and discounted tickets on several sites online.

Tampa Bay CityPASS is one of the best deals when visiting Tampa or even invest in an Annual Pass starting at $15 a month.

Plus, wouldn’t you rather use that savings and put it into one of the amazing Busch Gardens Tampa tours or animal encounters?

4. Download the Busch Garden’s App

You don’t need to be tech-savvy to use the Busch Gardens App, it has been designed to be very straightforward and easy to use.

Busch Gardens Tampa Food and Wine Festival mojo pork taco

And it’s FREE!

You can spend some time mapping out your day ahead of time and where all your must-ride coasters are located.

Busch Gardens Tampa Travel Planner and Itinerary Guide

And when you’re in the park, you can keep an eye on live queue times and avoid peak times, so you don’t miss a minute of fun.

5. Don’t Forget Your Water Bottle

Take advantage of Busch Gardens Tampa water bottle allowance. It can be a bottle of water or one that is refillable.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Stanley Flume Water Ride

There are fountains within the park where you can refill your water.

It’s great for saving money on drinks in the park and with being outside in the Florida weather, it is a MUST!

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My Final Thoughts on Kumba

Busch Gardens Tampa roller coaster, Kumba, is a classic masterpiece that still reigns supreme for roller coaster lovers.

Kumba Roller Coaster Busch Gardens Tampa

Generations continue to tell the tale of Kumba and surviving the beast that was so close that you swear you could almost feel it breathing down your neck.

Kumba Roller Coaster at Busch Gardens
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Now, would you ride this amazing roller coaster at Busch Gardens? Let us know in the comments section below.

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!

Sarah Jordan Theme Park Writer and Florida Travel Expert Writer

About the Author

Sarah Jordan is a solo traveler enthusiast, professional travel writer, and proud mama to her rescue dog Coconut.

With a love for destinations across the globe, she made Epcot her first theme park and still treasures her EPCOT World Showcase passport to this day.

After finally following her inner wanderlust, she discovered the freedom and empowerment that solo travel brings. 

Get started on Your Tampa Bay Travel Plans here!

(Original Article Date: August 11, 2023/Updated by Editor on February 14, 2024)

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