TAMPA — Roller coaster lovers, rejoice. Cheetah Hunt is back in business.
Busch Gardens' long-awaited and much-hyped coaster attraction did not open Friday morning as planned, frustrating hundreds lined up to be the first to ride it. The ride had some technical problems but was fixed and ready to roll by mid-afternoon Friday, said Busch Gardens spokeswoman Jill Revelle.
"This is not uncommon," Revelle said. "It's a brand new ride with new equipment and new sensors, and the sensors are tripping."
Revelle said ride operators wanted to make sure Cheetah Hunt is running consistently before they put people on it. She said the same thing happened when SheiKra opened several years ago.
Several Busch Gardens visitors expressed their frustration on the park's Facebook page Friday morning.
"I will be demanding a full refund of my admission today and canceling my annual pass because of the failed attempt of the so called opening of cheetah hunt!" posted Antonio De La Garza. "We waited in line after line just to be turned away!"
"I'm pretty (peeved) too," wrote Don Lamb.
Others defended Busch Gardens. "The park doesn't owe any of you anything,'' Steve Nuss wrote. "It's a new ride, things happen."
Busch Gardens posted the following statement on its Facebook page: "High performance coasters and thrill machines rely on sophisticated, finely tuned parts. Sometimes mechanical delays are a fact of opening day. The safety and comfort of our guests is always our primary concern. We thank our guests for understanding as we work to get the ride running as soon as possible. We promise the wait is worth it.''