Wow. This ride left me speechless. Honestly, SheiKra is the most intimidating coaster Ive ever seen. I found myself standing in front of it wondering whether or not I should go through with riding. The trains fly down the menacing drop still dripping with water from their last ride. Screams echo from the ride no matter where you are in the park. Theres no escaping SheiKra. So I got in line feeling two emotions: excitement and fear for my life. This coaster plays with your mind before you even get on it. As I got closer and cloaser to the front, I became more frightened and more excited. Finally, I was directed to the front row by the ride attendant after only 15 minutes of waiting.
I was in the front row of the second train to dispatch from the station. We pulled forward and stopped as the train in front of us turned and started climbing the lift. After only a few moments, it was our turn. With one graceful movement you swoop down only to be swept up onto the lift hill. The ride doesnt start with the drop, climbing the hill is scary enough. One lays on their back as the sky gets closer and the ground get farther away. It feels as if the train is going to fall backwards down the hill at any second. Then the ride jerks, sending screams among petrified riders. We crested the hill and slowly began to inch forward.
The top of the hill is like the calm before a storm. The train moves so slowly as SheiKra gives riders a birds eye view of the park. Everything is distant and isolated. As you come out of the menacing turn the train hits the holding brake. The train tilted forward slowly and then stopped. I found myself looking straight down, horrified at the thought of dropping.
Then it hit. SheiKra delivered the single greatest moment of airtime I have ever experienced. Better than any first drop Ive been on, including Apollos Chariot. The intensity of this drop cannot be described. When the idea of Buschs dive machine was being thrown around last year, people were whining about OTSRs. Why cant a dive machine have lapbars? Easy answer: YOU WOULD DIE. The first drop on this coaster is second to none in terms of intensity.
What happens next isnt a letdown. You are thrown into a giant inversion and thrusted into an intense turn. SheiKra then gracefully glides into the MCBR, almost stopping. This is where it got interesting. Was the second half of the ride going to be a waste? I threw my hands up into the air and plummeted into the misty tunnel before me. The train shoots up and over the smokehouse. Then came the water splash. In the front seat it looks like you are gliding over a calm pool of water. In the back seat, water sprays up in the space between the cars, misting you. Then comes a simple hill followed by a surprisingly intense turn into the brakes.
Wow, what a rush. The ride was far from a letdown. You arent left feeling like you got ripped off, but you crave more. The first instinct of a SheiKra rider is to get back in line. This ride was amazing and definatly made a great addition to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay for 2005. With SheiKra, 200 feet has never seemed so tall.