Fans petition Busch Gardens Tampa to change Cheetah Hunt's name back to Cheetaka
Published: October 13, 2010 at 11:58 AM
The Florida theme park had fans online convinced that its new launch roller coaster would be called Cheetaka. The park's parent, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, had applied for a trademark for that name, sparking the rumors. And Busch Gardens did little to diminish the speculation, with the name Cheetaka showing up in concept art and even the document title for the pre-announcement press release that the park e-mailed yesterday.
Many of us even joked about what we thought yet another poorly-kept theme park industry secret. I tweeted yesterday, in response to the e-mail, that this was the "Worst-kept secret since, well, the last attempt by a theme park to keep a name secret. :^)"
The joke's on us, instead. This morning, Busch Gardens announced that the name of the ride would be… Cheetah Hunt.
Concept art of Cheetah Hunt, provided by Busch Gardens
Was it all a ruse? A distraction to finally score a win over the theme park rumor detectives online? Or was Cheetaka a development name that the park jettisoned at the last moment?
No matter what the answer, something interesting happened along the way. Many Busch Gardens fans feel in love with the name "Cheetaka." (Which always reminded me of a really awful Kurt Thomas gymnastics movie, but I might be the only person alive who remembers that bomb.)
Some fans now have started an online petition to urge Busch Gardens to bring back the Cheetaka name. They're citing as inspiration the recent social media campaign that convinced clothing retailed The Gap to dump its proposed new logo in favor of keeping its existing one. And they've focused on the confusion over the Cheetah Hunt name, which led some people - including me - to think it references a hunt of cheetahs, rather than a hunt by cheetahs.
What do you think about the ride's name? Will you be signing the petition?