Busch Gardens Tampa
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(1/12/19) Work Begins on Gwazi and Tirgis Construction Update
(1/8/19) Busch Gardens Tampa To Offer Free Beer All Year in 2019 (MORE...)
(1/4/19) Busch Gardens Tampa - More Tigris Track Arrives (MORE...)
(12/23/18) Rocky Mountain Construction Involvement Now Confirmed (MORE...)
Ride Rehabs - The following information is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.
Phoenix - NOW CLOSED “Until further notice”
SheiKra - NOW CLOSED through Jan. 18
Sand Serpent - Jan. 21 through Jan. 25
Kumba - Jan. 28 through Feb. 22
Falcon’s Fury - Feb. 25 through Mar. 1
General Park News - (1/8/19) Beer fans can celebrate in 2019, because “free beer” is coming back to Busch Gardens Tampa for 2019. According to the park the offer of free beer will continue for the whole year, where each guest of age can receive two 7 ounce samples of beer from a rotating selection of brews. Visit the Serengeti Overlook Pub and Garden Gate Cafe to get your samples while visiting the park.
(12/7/18) Busch Gardens Tampa has announced that they are extending the run of this year’s Christmas Town seasonal event through to January 6th.
(12/5/18) According to OrlandoParkNews.com, the “Opening Night Critters” animal show at Busch Gardens Tampa will close after New Years Eve in order to bring an all new yet-to-be announced live show to the park’s Pantopia Theater in early 2019.
2018 - Vanish Point / New Waterslide @ Adventure Island - Confirmed - (3/6/18) Adventure Island has posted a fun little video showing off the three different POV views you'll get from the three new slides being added to the Vanish Point tower. Check it out below.
(10/18/17) According to a source the freshly announced Vanish Point slides coming to Adventure Island maybe very similar to the "Brain Drain" slides added to Rapids Waterpark just north of West Palm Beach, FL. If so the pair of drop-pods will launch riders into a pair of high-speed helix spirals before hitting the splashdown below.
(10/11/17) Busch Gardens has confirmed that a pair of new drop-pod slides will open at Adventure Island in March 2018 called Vanish Point. "Inspired by the point on a wave where water and gravity form a perfect partnership, the crest of this 70-foot tower challenges you with two 425 ft. wave paths. Step into one of two skyboxes, and face your fears as the floor disappears beneath you. Or, get horizontal on a 455-foot long slide ending with a high speed finale." They also confirm that the new slides will be installed next to the Colossal Curl attraction.
2019 - Tigris - (1/12/19) A few new construction pictures showing off the progress being made on Tigris can be found at TouringCentralFlorida this week as more track and support pieces are being installed.
(1/4/19) More Tigris track was spotted being unloaded at Busch Gardens Tampa this week, and posted by TouringCentralFlorida. One item of interest worth noting is that the track is being unloaded from a shipping container rather than the usual flatbed method of transportation we are used to seeing here in the US.
I’m told there is a reason for this, as the Premier Rides coaster track being produced this year is actually being manufactured by a plant somewhere in Europe, possibly Italy, rather than coming from their usual domestic supplier from past years, which was Intermountain Lift in Utah. It should be interesting to compare how Tigris rides compared to the other Sky Rocket II style coasters built previously.
(12/10/18) Good news for Busch Gardens Tampa as the first track sections of Tigris have now been bolted into place. New photos of the track, site and support structure being installed can be found in the latest report posted to TouringCentralFlorida.
(9/27/18) According to Busch Gardens Tampa the first pieces to Tigris have arrived on site.
(9/15/18) With the news about Tigris being official, the latest Premier Rides SkyRocket II coaster coming to Busch Gardens Tampa, a reader got me thinking about something this morning. According to what we k now Tigris will be the 9th SkyRocket II built in the world when it opens in 2019... but there is one of these that is different than all the rest... Zombie Ride at Bosque Magico.
The main difference is something that I'm really stumped as to why the SeaWorld parks did not opt for this variant for Tigris. They get a pass on Tempesto, since Zombie Ride opened 3 months after Tempesto, and Electric Eel isn't going to need this option as much, but Zombie Ride has 2 trains that use a dual-side loading station with a sliding transfer track. This allows for one train to unload and load while the other is running the course, and as soon as it comes back and slides out of the way, the second train is ready to slide into place and launch. Those who are familiar with Premier's work on the Mr Freeze coasters for Six Flags will recognize this same concept that increases throughput was put to use way back in 1998. Another important difference with Zombie Ride is that unlike the other SkyRocker II coasters, riders here get two full speed launches around the entire course instead of just one, increasing the length of the ride experience while allowing for time to prep the second train.
So I'm just kind of stumped as to why Busch Gardens Tampa didn't opt for this version of the ride that would allow for increased throughput and a longer ride experience, especially when there is plenty of room to build the bigger station on the former Tidal Wave site.
To their credit, the SeaWorld Entertainment chain did opt for two modifications of their own for their versions that set them apart. Tempesto, Electric Eel and Tigris all have 18 passenger trains while the other SkyRocket II coasters only hold 12 riders, though on the downer side, they also opted for over the shoulder restraint belts as well, while the others all only use a simple lap bar. In the end, safety is always the primary factor behind all this, so you can't complain too loudly about that.
(9/13/18) Busch Gardens Tampa has confirmed Tigris is coming in Spring 2019, a new Premier Rides SkyRocket II coaster that will also serve as Florida's tallest launch coaster when it opens in 2019. This will be a copy of the same coaster experience that opened previously at Busch Gardens Williamsburg as Tempesto and at SeaWorld San Diego as Electric Eel. (see second video below for Electric Eel footage)
(6/26/18) A reader sent in a couple of new photos from Busch Gardens Tampa showing off the demolition of the former Tidal Wave ride.
(6/13/18) Some plans for Busch Gardens Tampa's next project (codenamed: Project Teel) have been posted to Coaster-Nation and show off how the compact project will reuse part of the old Tidal Wave attraction site. Again, this looks very much like it could be for that rumored Premier Rides Skyrocket II coaster system, as you can see what seems to be a small coaster station building along with what looks like a queue pathway that meanders along the site on the east side.
(4/25/18) According to a post from TouringCentralFlorida, Busch Gardens Tampa has filed official demolition permits with the City of Tampa to remove the remains of the closed Tanganyika Tidal Wave ride. Looks like we may have our location locked in for the park's 2019 location... rumored to be a new coaster.
(4/6/18) TouringCentralFlorida.com has done a bit of digging to try and figure out just what could be in the works for Busch Gardens Tampa in 2019. As they reported, the last major new attraction to open was Cobra's Curse way back in 2016, so they are due for something spectacular. Worth noting is the fact that SeaWorld Parks just filed trademark paperwork for three new attraction name ideas, all with a Tiger theme: Twisted Tiger, Uproar and Tigris.
While I know many fans out there are still waiting for Busch Gardens Tampa to finally build a Hypercoaster / Giga Coaster style ride after all these years... after all the Williamsburg park built Apollo's Chariot and SeaWorld Texas built Steel Eel way back in 1999 but for some reason it took until 2016 to build Mako at SeaWorld Orlando... meanwhile Tampa's guests have been waiting patiently for almost 20 years now. Unfortunately, if the rumors are true... the next coaster that could come to Tampa may just be another Premier Rides' clone of Tempesto... which is what SeaWorld San Diego is adding this year as Electric Eel.
The likely locations would be on the former Tidal Wave or Gwazi sites... both where long closed former thrill ride husks are still standing... offering a constant reminder to guests of their demise without being replaced. Plus the odd fact that the chain has cut the budget to the point where they no longer seem to want to even spend the funds needed to remove them... or at least not until they are good and ready with a replacement. (Quick check... the Jungala area rides are still closed right? Yep... still closed...)
2020 - Gwazi RMC Conversion - Planned - (1/12/19) According to the latest update posted to TouringCentralFlorida workers have begun cutting apart a section of Gwazi behind the Lion side lift hill this week. A crane is on site and is said to be lifting out the sections of the support structure that are being cut away. Given the twisted interwoven structure of Gwazi, I wouldn’t be surprised if they are cutting away sections to create an access path for a crane and other heavy machinery to get in closer to the center of the structure, allowing for easier access to begin the conversion of Gwazi into a new RMC hybrid coaster creation.
(12/23/18) The conversion of Gwazi by RMC into a new beast of a coaster was both teased by the park and leaked out from presentation graphics back in September, but now we have something official. According to several reports the official work permit filed with the city for the Gwazi project that included the demolition of “selected portions” of an existing structure and buildings has now been updated and clearly lists Rocky Mountain Construction as the company doing the work. So there you have it, confirmed at last… and you can make the jump here to see a screen capture of the permit itself.
As for Busch Gardens Tampa itself… I wouldn't count on them being willing to talk about it until after they get Tigris open in 2019.
(9/25/18) For awhile now we've heard that just before the big announcement about Tigris at Busch Gardens Tampa on September 12th, the chain's marketing peeps had a little meeting where they revealed that major rides were on the way to the parks in 2019 and 2020. Fortunately a source was kind enough to send these in to Screamscape.
This one reconfirms what we've all been hearing... that Gwazi is expected to become a new RMC Hybrid coaster for the 2020 season.
(9/12/18) Serious hints were dropped at the announcement for Tigris to confirm that the park is already working on plans to open a huge new attraction for 2020. In fact... the new attraction may look a bit familiar... yet somehow different... as the hints seem to indicate that they have hired Rocky Mountain Construction to transform the former Gwazi dueling wooden coaster into a new RMC Hybrid coaster creation using their iBox track technology. According to the rumor, SeaWorld Parks made a journey or two out west to Six Flags Magic Mountain and just loved what RMC did with that park's Twisted Colossus and wanted to see what they could do with the former Gwazi coasters.
???? - Resort Hotel - In Limbo - (7/24/17) While Busch Gardens Tampa is apparently looking into building their own hotel, I'm hearing that any decision on the project may be pushed back until later in the year, probably around the time the company is set to post their Q3 financial results and have a more solid idea of where they stand near the end of the 2017 season.
(6/26/17) Screamscape sources tell us that the new permits for BGT are indeed for a proposal for a future resort hotel project. Nothing has been approved yet, but it should be interesting if they opt to move forward with it.
(6/24/17) TouringCentralFlorida sent Screamscape information about another interesting permit they found filed for Busch Gardens Tampa. This one is to have work done by a "Tree Consultation" involving future expansion plans at the park. The mentioned tree work apparently is necessary when they are wanting to work in an area that includes large "grand trees" which feature a trunk diameter of 34+ inches as well as possible "protected trees". The area in question is along the Northern edge of the Serengeti section of the park's, east of Kumba and the Skyride mid-point turn station. The area in question would almost seem perfect for those rumored on-site resort hotel plans that were being talked about again, don’t you think?
(1/26/17) Screamscape sources tell us that Busch Gardens Tampa is once again making plans to build their very own resort hotel on the property. I'm told they are hoping to open it by 2019 if the planning goes smoothly, though they have a few sites they are considering. The obvious one is to take up a large site along McKinley Drive right smack in the middle of the savannah where the railroad already curves away from McKinley which would give the resort the most room here, as well as providing some stunning views to the guests. Another site being heavily considered instead however is the corner property of the park where McKinley and Bougainvillea intersect, which is currently used as a backstage area for the park. If they go for this site, obviously whatever is back there would have to be moved to new facility elsewhere in the park, or moved off-site (if possible). In addition to those two primary sites, they have also earmarked a couple of other sites directly to the west and north of Adventure Island as possibilities as well.