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Last day to ride Python at Busch Gardens Africa

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Published: October 31, 2006 at 11:30 AM

The first "upside-down" roller coaster I ever rode is closing for good today.

Busch Gardens Africa, in Tampa, Fla., has declared that Halloween will be the final day of operation for Python, an Arrow corkscrew coaster that long ago deteriorated into an object of derision for TPI's roller coaster fans.

But if you want one more twirl, for old time's sake, you need to get on today. BGA is tearing down the coaster to make room for a planned (but as yet unannounced) African-themed village and animal exhibit, which should open in 2008.

Readers' Opinions

From Franki Brock on October 31, 2006 at 5:44 PM
they shouldn't close down that ride! i realize that i have no vote in this but python was my first up-side down roller coaster as well and it will be sad to see it torn down!
From steve lee on October 31, 2006 at 5:13 PM
I gave it one last ride on Saturday. Believe it or not, it was the longest wait all day (yes, longer than even Rhino Rally). It's always a shame to see a coaster go, but if it's for the greater good of the park, I guess it's for the best.
From Mike CP on October 31, 2006 at 5:14 PM
I rode Python last week at Hall O' Scream. I believe they are making a good decision in removing it. Although the ride has history, that is about all it currently has. The area of the park needs to be updated, and Busch will do a fantastic job with it.
From Justin Trinh on October 31, 2006 at 10:10 PM
So sad to see Python go.. even though it was short and can't compare to many of today's coasters, it was a great starter for many who are afraid of roller coasters. Python too was my first upside-down coaster and it was what got me started in loving roller coasters. I also use this coaster on several occasions to help friends who are afraid of coasters, used it as a starter because it was short and went upside-down. Python for me, many of my friends, and countless others was the one that got us into enjoying the thrills of roller coasters. Python will surely be missed.
From Adrienne McDonald on October 31, 2006 at 10:21 PM
I wished I wudda known earlier, I cudda rode this one. :(
From scott sorensen on October 31, 2006 at 10:26 PM
Python will not be missed. I understand that when it first openned, Python probably was cutting edge technology, however it's time passed long ago. We rode Python last April and had the misfortune of waiting 40 minutes in line for a ride that lasted 60 seconds. What a waste! Even a mini-donut stand would be an improvement over Python.
From Erik Yates on November 1, 2006 at 2:52 PM
Python will be missed for a lot of nostaligic reasons. This was the first coaster for a lot of folks, more specifically the first upside coaster. My son had his first ride on it not all that long ago. He was visibly upset by the news that it was closing, but he shared in everyone elses opinion "That thing hurt my head....maybe they'll get something new"
And thats what we have to hope. We remember the passing of a coaster that was good in its time, and hopefully usher in something else that is amazing.
From Robert OGrosky on November 1, 2006 at 3:49 PM
If was a very nice ride, and it would be good if the park could be improved without removing it. But since it isnt possible then you have to remove it as the ride isnt a "classic" ride that needs to be preserved.
Sadly not every coaster can alst forever.

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