Busch Gardens lets the 'Griffon' out of the bag

VA hyper-coaster to join Tampa counterpart in 2007

August 23, 2006 - Devin Olson

Busch Gardens Europe, Williamsburg, VA, USA -

© Busch Entertainment
A Secret No Longer: Busch Gardens Europe has announced [/i]Griffon, the world's first floorless Dive Machine model from Bolliger and Mabillard.
Busch Gardens Europe has finally let the cat out of the bag... Or rather, the mythical beast, in this case.

The park has confirmed Griffon, a Dive Machine hyper-coaster from Swiss company Bolliger and Mabillard taking riders over the edge for the first time towards the end of next spring. The ride will strongly resemble SheiKra of sister park Busch Gardens Tampa, only feature a larger course and more unique trains. Riders will sit ten-abreast in floorless trains, making this coaster the first ride like it in the world.

After climbing to a height of 205' diagonally, riders will slowly round a curve, then dive at 71 mph into one of two Immelman inversions. 3,108 feet of steel track will guide trains through the park's France section as riders encounter a splashdown, airtime hop, carousel curve, and second vertical drop of 130 feet plunging down a hillside.

In comparison to the 2005 sister ride, Griffon will feature a slightly shorter track length, but a ride edging just beyond SheiKra's statistics in all other aspects.

Griffon will join 1978's Loch Ness Monster, 1984's Big Bad Wolf, 1997's Alpengeist, and 1999's Apollo's Chariot, giving the park a quintet of major coasters for the first time in its history. Both of the latter two coasters were manufactured by Bolliger and Mabillard as well.

Construction began on July 6 immediately after the closing of the Le Mans Raceway antique car ride.

Look for an extensive preview of the 2007 coaster right here in COASTER-net's Ride Gallery!

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