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November 11, 2012

In 2005 Busch Gardens Tampa opened a B&M Dive Coaster named SheiKra. The ride was so successful that, two years later, they opened up another version at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Dive coasters are famous for their 90 degree drops. Griffon is not only taller than SheiKra, it features two inversions instead of one. There is a huge debate over which ride is better, I was exited to see which ride would be the best.

Griffon is 205 feet tall. All the way up the lift you can see the vertical drop, sitting there, waiting for you. At the top the track turns slowly to the right. The drop is so steep that from the front seat it seems as if the track just disappears down the drop. The screams start as the train reaches the edge…

The ride stops.

Griffon leaves you hanging off the edge of the cliff for what may be the longest five seconds of your life. Then, you drop. The airtime on the drop is nice and there is even a head-chopper at the bottom when the ride dives underneath a bridge. The first Immelmann is nice, then the train rises up to the trim brake run.

Waiting for you is another vertical drop, this leads into yet another Immelmann over a river. There is a small bunny hop that provides decent airtime before the splashdown. This feature, as with SheiKra, is mostly for non-riders. The rides circles around onto the final brake run. Have I mentioned that Griffon is floorless?

Thanks to Ultimate Roller Coaster for both pictures!

Griffon was a fun ride. The drops were intense and the Immelmanns were fun, it was a bit short though. I am giving it an 8 out of 10.

So how does Griffon compare to SheiKra? Well, you’ll have to either read my SheiKra review to find its rating or wait for my coaster competition to find out!

Have you ridden Griffon? What do you think? Please comment. Thanks for reading! 🙂



From → Reviews

  1. Matt P permalink

    I love Griffon. It is my 5th favorite roller coaster and I gave it a 9 out of 10. The drops are awesome and have great airtime, the immelmans are fun and the splashdown is cool. For the awesome drops alone I would give the ride an 8 rating. But with the immelmans and splashdown I say 9. It is a bit short I admit, but in this shortness it delivers awesome thrills.

  2. Marcia permalink

    Griffon is tied with Apollo’s Chariot for my #2 spot.
    I’ve ridden once in the middle of the middle row, and once in the left outside seat in the back row.
    My thoughts: First, the line moves fairly quickly, but no way am I waiting 3 times as long for the front row as anywhere else. That’s why I haven’t done the front yet. Maybe try doing Griffon first thing when you arrive. If you can, get an outside seat. It’s fun to hang over that drop a ways from the track. And, I think there’s a LITTLE more airtime in the back than the middle, but not much. You’ll get those not-touching-anything-at-all moments in both places on both drops. The immelmans are fun (I happen to like going upside down).;) The splashdown is cool, but it’s much more interesting off-ride than when you’re riding. You don’t get wet; just MAYBE a little misty in the back row.
    My quibble is that it seems so short.

    My rating: 9.5/10 (Docked ’cause it’s a little short)

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