August 23, 2006
Williamsburg, VA -- Thrill seekers will have a new reason to visit Busch Gardens Europe next year when the park unveils their new roller coaster, Griffon. Teased since early July by park billboards touting "Like Nothing Else in the World," Busch Gardens today unveiled its plans to build the world's tallest, steepest and only floorless diving roller coaster.
Busch Gardens says it will be the first dive coaster to include two Immelmann inversions.
The splash down finale on this roller coaster will send a trail of water high into the air.
"With its adrenalin-pumping vertical drops, high speed, a mid-air pause, multiple coaster elements and overall experience, Griffon is certain to fulfill thrill seekers' expectations," said Donnie Mills, executive vice-president and general manager for Busch Gardens Europe and Water Country USA.
Busch Gardens' first new roller coaster since Apollo's Chariot, Griffon is being touted as the world's tallest and steepest dive coaster. Riders will rise up 205-feet and then drop down the same at 90-degrees.
A second 130-foot vertical dive drop will follow later in the ride after riders encounter another first, two Immelmann loops. Described as a simultaneous loop and roll inversion, the name for this inverting element was derived from the World War I German flying ace who invented the tactical maneuver.
Near the finale of the more than half mile of steel track the roller coaster will splash down into a water feature, sending a trail of water high into the air.
Each train will accommodate 30 passengers in three single row cars, seating ten per row. The trains are being called the first floorless vehicles on a diving roller coaster and will have no floor between the riders feet and the steel track below. A platform built into the station floor will be moved in place for loading and unloading the trains.
"The view will be spectacular and every seat on Griffon will offer an excellent ride," added Mills.
The roller coaster is being constructed by Bolliger & Mabillard of Monthey, Switzerland on the former LeMans Raceway site in the French section of the Williamsburg theme park. Griffon is the fifth member of the park's family of renowned roller coasters.
Under construction since July 6, 2006, Griffon is slated to debut at Busch Gardens late spring 2007.
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Griffon artwork courtesy of Busch Gardens Europe. All rights reserved.
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