Sunday, June 13, 2010

Python! Busch Gardens, Tampa - July 1979

I used to have one really excellent vintage slide showing Knott's Berry Farm's classic "Corkscrew" roller coaster - the first roller coaster in the world to turn you upside-down. Twice! Well, somehow I lost that photo, I've looked and looked and concluded that it is gone forever.

However, I just found these two slides of the "Python"! It was located at Busch Gardens Africa in Tampa, Florida and was an identical twin of the Corkscrew (except for the paint scheme). The Knott's coaster debuted in the summer of 1975, and Python opened about a year later. The whole ride lasted less than two minutes! Doesn't it look great?

You can still ride the Corkscrew, which was moved to Silverwood amusement park in Athol, Idaho. Unfortunately, Python was demolished in 2006.


Nancy said...

there is also a Corkscrew at Cedar Point which opened in the mid 1970s. what a great coaster it is to ride, tho i havent been there since the 80s. need to take a road trip, im thinking.

my daughter Rachel and her friends went there for a summer senior trip before college in 2007..they wouldnt take me with them!

great pictures today!

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Those two minutes aged me two years in 1976! Great slides, commercial quality....

p.s. I've "misplaced" things in my collection too, I know I "had" it! Must be hanging out with the missing socks somewhere!

TokyoMagic! said...

I was able to ride Python in early 2006. It was great reliving a childhood "Knott's" moment.

Python was also Busch Gardens very first rollercoaster and Florida's first looping coaster.

Chiana_Chat said...

wow I'm so glad the Corkscrew is still around! I rode it many times at knotts in the early-mid 1980s it was in the "Roaring 20's" section behind the Calico Mine Ride. Fabulous ride. It seemed very high, fast and exciting to me. Smooth too.

I remember being fascinated with its chain lift mechanism, part of it would sway when a car hit the lift, helped to balance and keep it smooth or something. I rode its replacement, built on the same spot, and was not as excited about it.

Chuck said...

The Python - my first looping roller coaster - May, 1979! I was petrified to ride this thing. My parents actually had the BRIBE me to ride it. And then I was hooked - and the payments promptly stopped.

I remember it was late in the day, the crowds were thin, and they let us just stay in the car and ride again if we wanted. I rode it twelve times, four of them in a row without getting off.

Sorry to hear that it's gone. Glad to hear the corkscrew is still standing at Cedar Point; I'll be there next week - in line to ride it.

Thanks for posting!

Major Pepperidge said...

The Corkscrew was my first looping coaster, and a great experience. I recently heard of a new coaster that has something like 5 corkscrew inversions in a row!

Chiana, you are way more observant about coasters than I ever was! TokyoMagic!, you are lucky that you got to ride the Python before it was gone."

VDT, I know you aren't a coaster nut! And Nancy and Chuck, I hope to go to Cedar Point some day, and if I do I will definitely ride their Corkscrew coaster.

Andrew said...

Hehe, you said... Athol.