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Griffon
Griffonswoosh
Park Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Park section Aquitaine (France)
Opening date May 25, 2007
Closing date Unknown
Height 205ft
Drop 205ft
Speed 71mph
Replaced The LeMans Raceway
Replaced by Unknown
Griffon is a floorless dive coaster in the Aquitaine (aka France) area of Busch Gardens Williamsburg. The coaster is similar to SheiKra, which is located in Busch Gardens's Tampa park.

Ride historyEdit

Shortly after the 2006 season, the park's beloved LeMans Raceway was closed and demolished. Busch Gardens announced Griffon on August 23, 2006. Over the next few months, pieces of construction arrived at the site and the track was starting to form. Finally, the coaster was completed around March-April 2007. From May 1-3, 2007, employees were able to be the first riders ever on Griffon. Almost two weeks later, on May 16, media sources arrived for the coaster's media event. A VIP event occured the following day. Griffon officially soft opened on May 13, 2007, with operation hours being all day, with little to no stops. Griffon then opened again on May 18 for a preview week until the ride's official public opening. A week later, on the morning of Friday, May 25, 2007, after a grand ceremony, Griffon officially opened to the general public. Lines for single-riders only took an hour, but the stand-by line was an outstanding five hours. The five-hour wait was mostly caused by mechanical problems due to the many operations and test runs of the ride weeks before. During most of the media events, lines went up to about an hour and a half (90 minutes).

Ride synopsisEdit

After riders are loaded into the train and given a final safety check, the floor drops beneath the riders as a voice recording says, "Now, prepare to enjoy the power and speed of the mythical Griffon!" The train then turns right and ascends up the 205-foot lift hill. The train then makes yet another right turn and then stalls for six heartpounding seconds at the holding brake. The train then descends down the drop and soars into the 146-foot massive Immelmann loop. Then, the ride makes a sweeping upward turn and into the first block brake. The vehicle then drops 130 feet towards the park's manmade Rhine River, where riders can catch a glimpse at Verbolten on the other side of the river. Finally, riders enter a bunny hop and the famous splashdown before going into yet another small dip and into the ride's final block brake. 

TriviaEdit

RecordsEdit

  • Griffon is the fourth diving machine coaster in the world.
  • It is also the second in the USA, after Busch Gardens Tampa's SheiKra.
  • The ride is the world's fastest diving coaster, at 71mph.
  • It is the only diving coaster to have more than one inversion.
  • It is the world's first floorless diving coaster. 
  • It is also the world's first diving coaster with two Immelmann loops.

StatisticsEdit

  • The ride was technically opened by a kid. A child that shares his name with the coaster cut the ride's ribbon during the grand opening ceremony.
  • The coaster has been on television twice. It was featured on Discovery Channel's Build it Bigger while on construction of the second Immelmann. In April 2011, it was featured on Bert the Conqueror, along with the Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia.
  • The trail of water that follows the train after the splashdown can be as tall as 45 feet (about the height of two two-story houses).

AwardsEdit

Golden Ticket Awards: Best New Ride for 2007Edit

  • Griffon was nominated at the Golden Ticket Awards for 2007's Best New Ride. The attraction eventually placed in third, losing out to Dollywood's Mystery Mine and Cedar Point's Maverick.

Golden Ticket AwardsEdit

Year 2008 2010 2011 2012
Ranking 20 19 (tie) 20 26 (tie)

Coaster of the WeekEdit

  • The coaster was the Wiki's seventh Coaster of the Week. The coaster won from the week of April 28, 2013 - May 4, 2013.

Photo GalleryEdit

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