Roaring through the Congo section of Busch Gardens, Kumba is a steel roller coaster that opened in 1993. The 143-foot tall coaster features a 135 foot first drop, seven inversions, and speeds up to 60 miles per hour.

Fast Facts:

Official Open Date: April 21, 1993
Location: Congo
Height: 143 ft
Length: 3,978 ft
Max Speed: 60 mph
Duration: 2:54
Inversions: 7




History

The official opening date was April 21, 1993, with a preview for media and some 200 members of American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) held the day prior.

The name Kumba in an African language (often cited as Swahili or Kikongo) means roar. The track was left hollow which allows for the roaring sound.

Postcard of Kumba – 1993

At its opening, Kumba had the world’s tallest vertical loop. It was also the tallest, fastest, and longest roller coaster in Florida at that point. The park has stated it hits an average G-force of 3.8.

Kumba was scheduled for its annual refurbishment from May 4 through 27, 2010. During that downtime, the coaster was repainted.

In early March 2016, the existing coin-operated lockers behind the Kumba photo location were replaced with new ones. With self-service electronic kiosks for renting and paying, it cost $1 for up to two hours of time and $2 for each additional hour. By May 2016, a new option allowed guests to move their locker rental between attractions for up to two hours at a cost of $5 per day.

Kumba’s annual maintenance in 2016 was originally scheduled from September 12 through 22, but it would end up reopening on September 25.

In 2017, the annual maintenance period was scheduled for August 7 through September 1. Along with the normal work on the various coaster components, sections of several supports along the guest pathway received a fresh coat of paint.

During its annual maintenance in the Spring of 2019, Kumba received a complete repaint, refreshing its trademark color scheme. The park released an on-ride POV video through their Twitter account:

 

Additional details and images on Kumba will be added in the future.



Sources:

Coasters by the Numbers” Fact Sheet, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay 8/16/2016
Kumba | Busch Gardens Tampa – accessed 9/4/2016
St. Petersburg Times | April 22, 1993 – accessed 1/14/2017
BGTNation | May 2010 – accessed 9/26/2017
Busch Gardens Tampa | Aug 11 2015 – accessed 7/21/2018
Twitter – @MyBuschGardens | May 4 2010 – accessed 12/6/2018
Twitter – @BuschGardens | May 16 2011 – accessed 12/15/2018
Twitter – @BuschGardens | Aug 19 2011 – accessed 12/17/2018
Twitter – @BuschGardens | Jun 22 2014 – accessed 6/13/2019
Twitter – @BuschGardens | Sep 25 2016 – accessed 7/6/2019
Twitter – @BuschGardens | Mar 30 2019 – accessed 12/11/2019
Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg Times) | Apr 24 1993 – accessed 4/21/2020
Twitter – @androckb | Mar 9 2016 & 2, 3 – accessed 11/2/2020
Pixels At The Parks | May 8 2016 – accessed 6/2/2016
Pixels At The Parks | Sep 3 2016 – accessed 10/11/2016
Touring Central Florida | Aug 12 2017 – accessed 8/16/2017

 

Last update: December 17, 2020