Fans petition Busch Gardens Tampa to change Cheetah Hunt's name back to Cheetaka
Yeah, Busch Gardens Tampa tricked us.
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?
I will have to agree that I like the original name better. Robert you are not the only one who remembers the movie Gymkata. I actually liked the movie back then even though it was a little cheesy.
Yep Cheetaka has a little more ring to it, that plain old Cheetah Hunt. (Regardless of the Cheetah doing the hunting or being the hunt-E! Lol!) But what if Busch Gardens has already set this name into production, or flyers, signs, or ads of some sort. I'll be harder to change it then.Who knows how much importance the petition will carry over at Seaworld Parks. But I agree Robert is interesting.
I'm in total agreement that Cheetah Hunt kinda makes it unclear... are the Cheetah being hunted, or are they doing the hunting? Cheetaka sounds so much better anyway.
What an exaggeration. It's not like the roller coaster is going to be named "kill the cheetah"
Only if Chester Cheetah is involved.
I like that most of the other coasters in the park have such cool African-sounding names... Kumba, Sheikra, Montu, Gwazi. Cheetaka just sounds like it belongs in that group; Cheetah Hunt is lame by comparison.
As an Zoologist at another zoo I find the name Cheetah HUNT to be offensive. It goes against everything that we work for is zoos. Shame on Busch Gardens for this poor choice of a title for an attraction- I am totally signing that petition and getting everyone I know to do it as well!
Please change it back 2 Cheetaka. Cheetah Hunt sounds like a kid's coaster anyway.
I wonder if it had anything to do with Cheetaka sounding too much like Sheikra? I'm Deaf, and I realize the two names sound different, but do they sound significantly different? BG brass may have felt otherwise.
Cheetah Hunt sounds very bad for an animal park. Hunting?
I wonder if this is another cultural thing... I've noticed that in the US folks seem much more likely to jump to conclusions about a name or an implication... (Bet I'll be shot down in flames for that comment!).
If the park wanted to avoid confusion they could have simply added a 's after the word Cheetah--- making the name Cheetah's Hunt. In the English language we use ' to show possession-- that would have made their intention clear.
@ David Brown - While I do agree that there are definitely cultural differences in different countries, or even regions in a country, I'm not sure that's why people have a problem with the name. It's more of the choice of words.
Because of the name of this ride, I am soooo going to Africa to hunt Cheetah's now. Busch Gardens, what have you done?
How about calling it "Cheetah's Prey", with the riders being the prey and the cheetah is chasing them. All you do is change the focus from the cheetah's point of view, to the view of the animal the cheetah's chasing. And if the coaster's wicked enough, "the prey (riders) might pray" to get off the coaster. Can you see the PR for that concept?
So here is Busch Gardens - famously known the world over for its animal conservation work, a terrific reputation for fostering understanding of animals and the very last people in the world who would encourage anything bad towards an animal- and the first thing that you think of when they announce their new coaster is that they are encouraging you to hunt down an animal? Where does that come from???? It's the very last interpretation I would ever put on this name and the internet reaction to the name just staggers me.
My thing is I don't care about people's opinions about the name suggesting we should hunt animals. What theme park guest even thinks to do that? Most people who ride coasters care very little for theming. I just think Cheetaka is just a better name. Cheetah Hunt does not sound as good.
Does anyone realize that there is another roller coaster in Busch Gardens called Cheetah Chase??
Let's see...... Kumba, montu, shiekra, gwazi..........cheetah hunt? Oh good grief - Busch gardens is a place of wonder and adventure and while being one of the top five zoological attractions in the states it also offers us the hope of escaping reality for a few hours. And that aspect is more important than ever with things the way they are in the world. Cheetah hunt doesn't get us there.....this is not a six flags where they clear a parking lot throw some grass seed and throw a ride up more quickly than u can say spinal protocol. Come on blackstone of the concrete jungle...jeez u have the name of one of the greatest magicians of all time - so put the magic back into Busch gardens and tell the "suit" to tuck cheetah hunt back in his pocket...yes his pocket As no woman would lack the sense to call a ride in a nature preserve cheetah hunt. 5 to 1 it changes back.
@ David- Cultural? Yes. Maybe a little overboard on the protests? Yes. Do I agree with the 99% of the people responding on this thread? Yes!
I'm not saying that the park is encouraging us to hunt an animal. It's just that I can see where the confusion would be coming from, especially when they changed the name from Cheetaka to Cheetah Hunt. Just like "Manta", why not just call it "Cheetah"? And like others have said, it doesn't fit in the theme of the rest of the rides at Busch.
And this could all be a publicity stunt to keep the news in the foreground. Think of all the publicity GAP has gotten...
Now that may be nearer the truth! As a name 'Cheetah Hunt' is pretty lame for a Coaster, especially set against the other great names they have - (I actually cant' think of another park where teh names of the coasters imbue such character to teh rides even before you step aboard them - Montu, Kumba, Gwazi, Shiekra all sound like ancient Gods or mythical beings and as such build the tremendous sense of anticipation before you ride. 'Cheetah Hunt' really doesn't come close to doing the same). It's factual and describes what will happen but I have to agree I think they have it wrong, (even though that wasn't my point). But it sure gets the internet going and they do say all publicity is good publicity... :)
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