Years in the hot Florida sun are not kind to paint and especially when it carries high speed objects with all the vibrations and movement involved. From time to time a coaster needs a fresh coat of paint to keep corrosion at bay and the ride looking sharp.
Busch Gardens recently repainted Cheetah Hunt in November/December 2021 and now it’s Montu’s turn for a refresh. The bad news for fans is that it means these rides are down for a few weeks as you don’t want painters dodging 60+ mph cars speeding down the tracks. However, when they come back looking great, hopefully the downtime is quickly forgiven. This work is most commonly done during slower times of the year and not during the summer high season or over holidays.
CNBC recently did a great piece about the career of being a rollercoaster painter. The piece talks about Baynum Painting who does work nationwide for the amusement industry and who did the Cheetah Hunt work based on their portfolio (assume they’re probably is doing Montu as well). It also appears they did Kumba a couple years ago. Painting Cheetah Hunt or Montu in the Florida winter is probably pretty pleasant job, but I imagine the same gig in Virginia or the Midwest might not be as pleasant. I’d also imagine that a fear of heights and this job wouldn’t mix well
Sometimes the colors are practically identical, but in the case of Montu it can be a chance to change the color scheme a bit. Although, if you’ve ever opened the hood of an old car and looked at the original paint it can be pretty amazing how some UV can bleach a color over time. It would be interesting to know if the color on Montu is truly “new” or just restoring it to the original.
In many ways it’s good to see a coaster get a refresh as this type of investment usually means the park plans to keep it around for a while. I remember being personally thrilled when Scorpion got a repaint a couple years ago as this ride is a favorite of my 5 year old son and was his first looping rollercoaster (note that I’m not sure if Baynum Painting did this job).
Well the official site has it down until February 18th. I have a trip planned for the previous weekend, so I look forward to seeing it all cleaned up and maybe I get lucky and they finish a few days early. For all we know, Jason Prather of Baynum (and subject of the CNBC video) may be actively working on Montu in Tampa right now!