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Griffon Water Splash - France - Roller Coaster - 2014
Griffon Water Splash - France - Roller Coaster - 2014

Beyond the Ride: Griffon


You are perched above a 90 degree drop, suspended for 5 seconds.  You count them off in your head, but you always count to fast because of the anticipation.  As you reach 5, you wonder why you haven’t dropped yet, only to start hurdling down from 205 feet in the air, reaching 71 mph, before the thought can be fully realized.

Griffin, Busch Gardens’ 205 ft steel drop coaster, is a spectacle to be seen.  Perhaps the most watched coaster in the park, spectators enjoy watching riders scream as the hang over the vertical dive, ever since it opened in 2007.

The story behind the name of this steel beast is that of legend.  It is a creature of Greek mythology that, from the shoulders back, is lion and the head, shoulders and forelegs are that of an eagle.

Griffin’s are known for being protectors of treasure.  They are seen throughout many mythologies.  In Christendom, the griffin is used as a symbol against remarriage because they were believed to mate for life and when one died, the other remained alone until it’s death.

The hippogriff is said to be the offspring of a griffin and a mare, thus being a mix of an terrestrial animal and one of Earth, so you will see a hippogriff as a representation of Jesus Christ as sculpted in some churches.

In heraldry, it is often used to represent the boldness and courage that is represented by the eagle and lion respectively.  It is also a symbol of military courage and leadership.


The griffin is used today as a symbol in many company logos.  The College of William and Mary adopted the griffin as a logo in 2010.

Through the years the legend of the griffin has stayed constant and strong.  This symbol of courage is fitting for a coaster of this intensity.  Do you have what it takes to soar on the wings of Griffon?