Busch Gardens Tampa looking to upgrade Sand Serpent coaster with new building!


According to permits filed with the City of Tampa Busch Gardens Tampa is looking to make huge improvements to one the parks family coasters, Sand Serpent. The coaster is a wild mouse ride, which provides sharp turns, quick drops and a really family friendly, fun ride. So how do you improve on it? You put it in the dark.

According to a post originating at “Touring Central Florida”, the plans are to encase Dand Serpent in a building. This will allegedly be the new project for 2018, which makes us wonder just what else is in store for the coaster.

The permits call it a “3-Phased Project”, with what pretty obviously seems like it starts with the new building. From there the next phases will most likely be air conditioning/electrical and new elements. But what new elements?

SeaWorld Parks are definitely looking to create new worlds with VR. After the huge success of Kraken VR at SeaWorld Orlando, the park is likely planning more VR enhancements on coasters. Busch Gardens Williamsburg is taking the attraction that used to be Europe in the Air, and Corkscrew Hill and turning it into the first VR simulator theater. With that in mind, it would make sense that Busch Gardens Tampa would also get a new VR enhancement…but would it make sense to make it Sand Serpent?

Sand Serpent is a smaller coaster that is very short, with a fairly quick load time. Would it make sense to strap on the VR helmet for such a short experience? Also, if you’re going to push VR into the building, why enclose it? It’s kind of counter intuitive. A better coaster for the VR experience would be something like Kumba.

So, if it’s not VR, then what is it?

We have no idea. The only thing we can think is that the coaster will get a new story element, some thematic lighting and will be a welcomed bit of air conditioning. We would love to see the coaster get new life with a new dark ride element as well, but that might be hoping for too much. Still, coasters in total darkness are amazing, and the insanity of a wild mouse coaster, with the sharp turns and dips mean that it’s going to take a wild ride and make it even more intense.


The permit labels it as a 2018 project, so we’re pretty certain we’ll either hear more about it, or see more happening very soon.

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