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 Review of SheiKra @ Busch Gardens Tampa
6 Rating Posted by: Swimace on 6/6/2005 10:24:00 PM
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.

Review Comments

fergusonat on 6/7/2005 8:04:12 AM said:
Great review there Swimace, I was really interested in hearing how you liked it! Im glad you werent disappointed. So Apollos airtime was beat on that first drop, eh? I gotta ride it to believe it, lol
CoastrGlxy on 6/7/2005 11:58:27 AM said:
Good review. For some reason when I rode it the first drop just didnt feel big enough and definitely not like a freefall like it looks it would be. And Im not comparing it to a Giga or Strata coaster, the tallest thing Ive been on is Nitro. Maybe the drops better in the back of the train.
Swimace on 6/7/2005 12:07:35 PM said:
The right side of the train is definatly the best because you get this weird kind of airtime on the Immelman. Since the train is so wide, the forces are very different depending on where you sit. You get great airtime no matter where you sit, but the drop does feel longer and more powerful in the back, mostly because you get pulled over the crest of the hill. I rode it three times yesterday, twice in the front and once in the back (seating is assigned, so I got pretty lucky). I rode in the front seat on the left and right and the back seat on the right. My favorite ride was the back right, but the person with me preffered the front right, it all depends on your taste.
fergusonat on 6/7/2005 1:06:13 PM said:
Why is the seating assigned? That has to be the dumbest thing Ive ever heard...If I pay to go to a park, I want to at least pick where I want to sit
Hercules on 6/7/2005 1:32:17 PM said:
I would think it is kind of hard with the loading considering there are only two rows. Look at it like a Top Spin. Think about how they load. You get what you get.
fergusonat on 6/7/2005 2:23:56 PM said:
I guess that does make sense, but they should at least split up the line for front and back seats...and SheiKra has 3 rows, so it wouldnt be too hard. I mean, its obvious that you wouldnt be able to pick the exact seat, but if you want the front row, you shouldnt be forced to sit in the middle after a long wait
Swimace on 6/7/2005 7:45:45 PM said:
If the line isnt too long, theyll let you pick, especially if its towards the end of the day when the line just keeps getting shorter. The third time I went on it was at about 6:00 and they let us pick our rows.
Animan1 on 6/13/2005 2:08:21 PM said:
Wow, thats a great review, right there. ^ Excellent, much like your TR for you trip. Im glad that BGT has added yet another great coaster to their lineup.
Swimace on 6/13/2005 2:59:41 PM said:
Thanks a lot. SheiKra definatly does not dissapoint as Floridas newest coaster.
darkridrMD on 6/17/2005 9:41:59 AM said:
Great review, Swimace. I felt like I was right there with you. I look forward to riding this some time. I miss being intimidated by rides. It doesnt happen often anymore.
Swimace on 6/21/2005 12:10:15 PM said:
I know how you feel. It is a rare occassion that I will be second guessing myself before entering the line. I was scared to death to get in line. SheiKra managed to bring out the intense anticipation of my first major roller coaster ride or my first drop tower. I had to continually remind myself that I was riding a B&M and that I would be perfectly safe.
darkridrMD on 6/22/2005 2:32:33 PM said:
The only time Ive been a bit scared lately was going on X-Scream in Vegas. That was a bit freaky.
Swimace on 6/30/2005 11:38:08 AM said:
That ride would scare me to death because I am petrified by heights. I want to ride it pretty badly.
tacoking on 6/30/2005 3:07:47 PM said:
The only coaster that had me second guessing was Dragster at CP. You dont know how big that thing is until you are right there standing next to it. Same thing with SheiKra...only 220ft smaller.
Swimace on 7/4/2005 10:17:16 PM said:
Yeah, Id imagine that TTD would be pretty intimidating too. Apollos Chariot made me nervous on my first ride because it was my first hyper coaster and I wasnt sure what to expect.
BobFunland on 10/15/2005 9:00:37 PM said:
"With SheiKra, 200 feet has never seemed so tall."
Hm, I was thinking "That is 200 feet?"
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