Specific Type: Steel, Looping
The year was 1981, the coaster craze of that time were looping coasters. Busch Gardens: The Dark Continent (better known now as Busch Gardens Africa) developed a new themed section for the growing park, Timbuktu. Busch, being in big competition with Disney and Boardwalk and Baseball at the time, needed rides for the new section. Aside from a HUSS Troika, a custom Intamin Looping Starship, a few kiddie rides, and a dolphin show arena (now R.L. Stines Haunted Lighthouse 4D). Busch contacted Anton Schwarzkopf to design a one of a kind looping coaster, Scorpion. Scorpion is one of two rare Silver Arrow models from Schwarzkopf. The other model resides at Londoun Castle in Britain. Like all Schwarzkopf looping coasters, they were tight and intense. Though Scorpion only boasted one loop while another coaster at the park, Python, boasted 2, Scorpion was a hit with guests and new coaster enthusiasts to this day.
Riders board the Schwarzkopf trains and secure the lap bar, you heard right, lapbar, not over the shoulder restraints. Anyway, riders board the trains and head out of the station and up a 65-ft lift toward the twisting drop down to the loop. The train crests the top of the lift and the ride is on. The train barrels down the drop and into the only vertical loop on this ride. The loop pulls some nice G-Forces on your head. Upon exiting the very forceful loop, you hit a pretzel-knot curve. This twisting curve sends the train into a series of tight helixes, which are the finale of this small but impressive ride. Following that, the train plunges into the brakes and comes to a complete stop. The brakes are released and the train slowly heads back to the station. At this point, riders know that they have survived the sting of The Scorpion. Once the train is safely back in the station, the lapbars are released and riders can enter the line to brave The Scorpion once again.
After more than 20 years at the park, Scorpion provides a great thrill for beginners and enthusiasts alike. In 2004, Scorpion got a much-needed repaint into the orange and blue paint that dominates around Timbuktu’s rides and atmosphere.
Whenever you head to Busch Gardens Africa, experience the sting of The Scorpion!
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