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Opening set for Cobra’s Curse, coaster that will send you spinning

Cobra's Curse to open at Busch Gardens in Tampa

The new spinning roller coaster Cobra's Curse is expected to open at Busch Gardens in Tampa in Summer 2016.
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The new spinning roller coaster Cobra's Curse is expected to open at Busch Gardens in Tampa in Summer 2016.

Cobra’s Curse, Busch Gardens’ new snake-themed spin coaster, will open June 17, the park announced Friday.

The “family” roller coaster, which has a top speed of only 40 miles an hours and no inversions, offers a different kind of thrill: The cars spin.

The 3 1/2-minute ride starts out with a 70-foot lift that brings riders up to the jaws of the Snake King, whose statue looms over the track. Riders face forward at the outset, but soon after passing close to the cobra’s fangs, the cars turn and suddenly, guests are riding backwards. Soon after, each car’s locking mechanism releases and the cars spin freely.

The park also released detailed photos of the ride’s queue, which tell the story of the Snake King and the giant statue that was uncovered in an archeological dig, unleashing the curse of the Snake King.

The ride is one of many rides and attractions opening this month at Florida’s theme parks: Mako, a 200-foot hyper coaster, opened Friday at SeaWorld; Soarin’ Around the World, a remake of the original California Soarin’, will open June 17 at Epcot; Frozen Ever After will open June 21 at Epcot; and two new Disney shows open June 17 — Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire at Magic Kingdom and the new Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks show at Hollywood Studios. Universal’s Islands of Adventure hasn’t announced an opening date for Skull Island: Reign of Kong, but is currently in “technical rehearsal” as it gets its finishing touches and is open to guests on a limited and unscheduled basis.

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