Busch Gardens Tampa
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(12/19/14) BREAKING - Gwazi To Close Forever Very Soon (Updated)
(12/3/14) Critter Castaway Removal
(11/26/14) Wild Friday Sale Specials (MORE...)
(11/6/14) The Fun Card Is Back, and Get The Rest of 2014 Free (MORE...)
Ride Rehabs - The following information is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.
Count’s Rally - Jan. 5 through Jan 9, 2015
Elmo’s Safari-Go-Round - Jan 12 through Jan 16
Phoenix - Jan. 26 through Feb. 13
Wild Surge - Feb 16 through Feb 27
Tidal Wave - Feb. 18 through May 1
Snuffy’s Romp - Mar 2 through Mar 6
Note: Gwazi only runs ONE SIDE ONLY until FURTHER NOTICE
General Park News - (12/19/14) BREAKING - (12/19/14 / UPDATED) Screamscape sources tell us that GWAZI will be the latest item cut from the company budget. I’m told that the last day for guests to ride GWAZI will be Sunday, February 1st, 2015. After that it will silently close, but don’t look for it to be demolished anytime soon... as that will cost money that the park doesn’t have. Instead Gwazi will sit as a silent sleeping giant until the park is ready to redevelop the site for a new future attraction. I have reached out to the park for an official comment on this, but so far have heard nothing back to officially confirm this. So for now, it is a rumor, but you’ve got a few weeks left to get your last rides in before GWAZI goes extinct.
UPDATE - Screamscape has confirmed with Busch Gardens Tampa that they do plan on closing GWAZI on or around February 1st, 2015. The exact date may change between now and then however, but the park does plan to make an official announcement with a confirmed final date near the start of the new year.
(12/3/14) A reader sent in a picture showing off the site of the former Critter Castaway show site, which has now been leveled it seems.
(11/26/14) Busch Gardens Tampa will hold a special Wild Friday sale this week on Nov. 28th that will include special online ticket offers, merchandise discounts, deals of special park experiences and more. Details will be sent out in email from the park, and you can sign up here, or keep and eye on the park’s official Blog, Facebook and Twitter pages for more information.
(11/6/14) Busch Gardens Tampa is offering Fun Cards once again, which will get you unlimited admission into the park now through 2015 all for the price of a single-day’s admission. You read that right… if you buy your 2015 Fun Card now, you also get the rest of 2014 as well, including access to Christmas Town on select dates between Nov. 28 and Dec. 31, 2014.
Other fun special events scheduled for 2015 include the Real Music concert series (Jan-Mar), a NEW Food & Wine Festival event on the weekends in March and April, Wild Days with Jack Hanna (April 18-19), Summer Nights (June 27-Aug 16) and more.
(11/4/14) The latest construction report from Busch Gardens Tampa can be found at BGTFans this week showing off the latest changes to the park’s entrance courtyard, the demolition of the Critter Castaway theater and more.
(11/3/14) Christmas Town will return to Busch Gardens Tampa on select dates in the evening from Nov. 28 through to Dec. 31. Even better, admission to Christmas Town is now included with annual passes, Fun Cards or general admission into the park that day, as the park is transformed into a winter wonderland full of all things Christmas and huge displays of Christmas lights! Egypt will also be transformed into Bethlehem as the story of the Three Kings unfolds. You can climb abord the Christmas Town Express train ride to sing songs, visit Santa’s House or enjoy Mrs. Claus’ Family Feast, as well as enjoy your favorite coaster rides.
2014 - Falcon’s Fury / Pantopia - (9/9/14) I’m told that the reason the park is giving for the Falcon’s Fury closure since last Friday is that the tower was struck by lightning. While this might be a rare event elsewhere in the world, the central Florida area is pretty much the lightning capital of the world and they knew going into this that the tower would serve as a lightning rod for the entire park in much the same way that the Skytower does over at their sister park, SeaWorld Orlando. So considering that Falcon’s Fury should have been designed to handle getting hit by lightning on a semi-regular basis, I’m still concerned about the lengthy delay to reopen it. Hopefully they are just being extra cautious with the systems and re-inspection, and that nothing was damaged too badly… otherwise this may become an expensive problem for them going forward, as I can see the tower taking a hit or two annually.
(9/8/14) While Busch Gardens announced that their much delayed new drop tower ride was finally open to the public last week, reports sent in to Screamscape over the weekend claimed that the ride was closed for much of that time. Perhaps this was mearly a fluke... or perhaps the ride is still having some issues that were not fully worked out. Just something to keep an eye one when planning a visit.
(9/3/14) While Falcon’s Fury has been open to guests for the past couple of weeks, I’m told that the ride is now “officially” open, though it looks like they opted to not reschedule the official media event that was canceled previously this year. With media coming anyway within the next month for Howl-O-Scream, I guess they can promote both the event and ride at the same time.
(8/17/14) As I predicted, Falcon’s Fury has soft opened to guests. One of our readers was able to take an early ride and sent in a short review and comments on the experience as a whole.
The Queue “seems to be a good balance between area constraints and queue line. Peeps flow around to the appropriate gate in the circle” but may need some more “team member help to get the peeps in order.” You are put in groups of four riders per gate, as there are 4 seats in each section, and there are four shelves for the storage of non-allowed items. (You really don’t want to take anything with you on a ride like this...).
As with any ride like this, the labor budget for staffing will effect the throughput speed, as they go around the check the restraints of every rider. Expect to be “stapled” in during this process... the park isn’t taking any chances with loose restraints and is making sure everyone is locked in tight.
THE LIFT! Once thumbed-up there is a slight tilt inward to the tower then rising at smooth rate. Views are incredible. Kumba, Montu, etc look like toys. Nearing top, the seats turn inward to face-down.
THE HANG! This will be discussed most. 2 to 5 second random hang feels like minutes. Face down. Weight on the restraint. Just a view of the ground. A definite Holy Crap moment.
THE DROP! After random hang, well... its gravity... face down makes it another Holy Crap scene. The seats go vertical right around where the graphics on the tower end. Smooth in transition and braking.
OVERALL: I had my doubts about this ride but after the first ride I was convinced. Guests will walk away with lasting visuals and, hopefully, a good guest experience.
(7/21/14) The latest update to Pixels at the Parks shows that crews appears to have already replaced the huge lift cables on the Falcon’s Fury drop tower this week. An interesting procedure to see happen on a new ride that hasn’t even opened yet.
(5/29/14) Busch Gardens Tampa has released an official statement regarding the continuing delay of Falcon’s Fury… which now apparently wont be ready to open until sometime later this summer. Read on:
Busch Gardens’ new thrill ride Falcon’s Fury includes first-of-its kind design elements, systems and parts. Due to a delay in the fabrication of key component parts, neither the manufacturer nor Busch Gardens are able to complete the lengthy testing processes needed to open the ride to the public. The safety of our guests and team members remains Busch Gardens’ top priority and none of these delays involve safety systems. The ride has been safely operated in the initial stages of the testing process, and all other elements of the park’s newest re-imagined land Pantopia are now open to guests. Busch Gardens will provide updates on the ride opening as events warrant. We are committed to delivering world-class thrills and the best possible ride experience, and we look forward to the launch of Falcon’s Fury, North America’s tallest freestanding drop tower, later this summer.
(5/3/14) Falcon’s Fury is apparently still having issues with those silver arms breaking away. Check out this video to see another more clear angle of the problem. (Thanks to JourneyThroughCoasters.com for the video clip!)
(6/12/13) The long rumored drop tower ride project was confirmed at Busch Gardens Tampa a few hours ago... and it may be the most frightening freefall ride on the planet when it opens. Falcon’s Fury will stand 335 feet tall, hoist riders slowly to the top peak where the seats will then tilt 90º forward, essentially laying you flat, face-down staring at the ground far far below you. After a brief pause, you’ll be released and accellerate to 60mph before coming to a sudden and smooth stop inches above the ground, thanks to a set of magnetic brakes.
This sounds utterly terrifying to the point where they want want to sell Depends undergarments in the queue before you ride, or offer a clean pair of underwear at the exit when you are peeled out of your seat. For those who like to check under the hood... this new tower ride creation is an Intamin product.
2015 - Colossal Curl at Adventure Island - (10/17/14) Adventure Island has confirmed that the park will add Colossal Curl to the waterpark for 2015. The new slide shares the same name as the slide that opened at the sister park in Williamsburg in 2014, and the slide experience will be mostly the same, just with slight modifications to fit it into the Tampa site.
Guests will board a 4-passenger raft at the top of a nearly 70 foot tower before heading down the 560 foot long slides twists, turns and drop into a huge half-pipe style element. Look for Colossal Curl to go up nex tto Mango Joe’s Café and take the place of the Gulf Scream slide.
(10/15/14) It looks like a new slide attraction is on the way to Adventure Island in 2015, as the park has posted a teaser video showing off the existing attractions and ends with the question… “What’s Next?”
2016 - New Attraction - Planning - (10/4/14) Busch Gardens Tampa has filed paperwork for a new attraction they have planned for 2016. According to the post on OrlandoUnited the project is labled as being for 2016 and taking over the Tut’s Tomb area of Egypt. This isn’t a very large site at the moment, but given that this is for 2016 and not 2015, the overall size and scope of the project could be far larger than Tut’s Tomb as the open spaces available for future development in this section of the park are quite large if they venture out into the area habitat region.
???? - Gwazi Status Updates - (9/3/13) According to the latest crazy rumors about Gwazi, I've heard that they only expect to keep Gwazi up and running (or rather the half that is still running) for another couple of seasons before they give up and demolish it. I'm guessing this means that they have a long-term plan in place to build some kind of replacement attraction on or near the site, which means we may not see a new coaster in the park until 2016.
Of course if this means that Gwazi is officially on "life support" until they are ready to replace it, if anything very costly were to come up in the form of maintenance over the next couple of years, we could see the park opt to simply close it down early. So get your last rides in while you can.