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News & Rumors


Busch Gardens Tampa
Tampa, FL
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment



----    THE LATEST BUZZ    ----
    (1/27/2023) Busch Gardens Tampa To Reopen Falcon's Fury This Spring (MORE...)
    (1/8/2023) 2023 Special Events Schedule and Fun Card Offer (MORE...)
    (12/29/2022) Busch Gardens Tampa opens Springs Taproom (MORE...)
    (12/20/2022) Serengeti Flyer Update (MORE...)
    (12/17/2022) Busch Gardens Tampa Removing Phoenix (MORE...)

Ride Rehabs - The following information is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate, refurbishments are subject to change.
Stanley Falls Flume - NOW CLOSED through Mar. 10
Falcon’s Fury - NOW CLOSED through Spring 2023
Skyride - NOW CLOSED through TBD
Wild Surge - NOW CLOSED through TBD
The Count’s Cars - Feb. 6 through Feb. 17
Desert Runners - Feb. 20 through Feb 24
Elmo’s Safari - Mar. 6 through Mar. 10
Scorpion - Mar. 20 through Mar. 24
Bush Flyuers - Mar. 27 through Mar. 31


icon_STOPGeneral Park News - (1/27/2023) While there are a few details off in the article, the Tampa Bay Times has confirmed with a spokesperson from Busch Gardens Tampa that the closed Falcon’s Fury drop tower ride is on track to reopen to guests sometime this Spring. For the most part Falcon’s Fury has been closed do to supply chain issues that have prevented necessary parts from being sent to the park with any speed. It is worth noting that while Falcon’s Fury has been closed for most of the past year, it was able to open here and there as repairs were made, only to be forced into closure again as other repairs became necessary.
    Now, while this is all well and good... what ever happens to the planned reopening of the Skyride last year? So far the park has not reported a new opening date for the Skyride, or have they given any kind of updated statement about when it might reopen.
    (1/8/2023) Busch Gardens Tampa has announced a line-up of special events coming to the park in 2023, along with a great offer on the 2023 Fun Cards.  For a limited time guests who buy a Fun Card for Busch Gardens Tampa will also get a Adventure Island Fun Card for free, giving you unlimited admission to both parks for the rest of 2023 and plenty of time to enjoy all different special events coming to the park like:
    Real Music Series - Concerts on select dates from Jan. 17 through Feb 26
    Sesame Street Kids Weekends - Jan. 27 to April 28
    Food & Wine Festival - Mar 10 - May 21 (food & concerts!)
    Cinco de Mayo - May 5-7
    Viva la Musica - May 5 - 21
    Summer Nights - May 26 to Aug. 6
    4th of July Celebration - June 30 - July 4
    Bier Fest - July 21 - Sept. 4
    Spooktacular - Sept. 8 to Oct. 31
    Christmas Town - Nov. 13 to Jan, 7, 2024
2022_1229_SpringsTaproom    (12/29/2022) Busch Gardens Tampa reports that they have opened the new “Springs Taproom”, a new casual and laidback lounge area that will serve a variety of cocktails, frozen beverages, small bites and more. You can find Springs Taproom located in the Bird Gardens area of the park, with a pond and nice landscaping nearby making it a great place to sit and relax for a bit. The new Taproom replaces the old Garden Gate Cafe, which was an evolution of the park’s former Hospitality House structure from when the park first opened under Anheuser-Busch.

    (12/17/2022) Guests have been watching and waiting for years to see what Busch Gardens Tampa would do with their old Phoenix ride, an Intamin Looping Starship, that originally went into service back in 1984. After sitting quiet and dormant for the past several years, work crews arrived on site this week to begin demolition of the ride.

    (10/30/22) Christmas Town is returning to Busch Gardens Tampa to celebrate a decade of holiday cheers with all new shows and interactive experiences. Look for Christmas Town to take place daily from Nov. 14 through to Jan. 9, 2023. Highlights of this year’s event will be a reimagined version of the ‘Holiday in the Sky’ night show that will feature added dancing fountains, a new soundtrack and the “the largest fireworks display”, but note that this will only take place on select nights.
    Other features this year will be the “Christmas with the Celts” show at the Stanleyville Theater, Land of Sweets, a new 32 foot tall Christmas Tree, Santa’s North Pole Experience, Christmas on Ice, Elmo’s Christmas Wish, the Holly Jolly Express and more.
    (10/20/22) While nothing has been mentioned by Busch Gardens Tampa yet, after missing the planned re-opening of the Skyride over the Summer, Screamscape is hearing that they may be on track to try and opening the Skyride at last this December. Of course, I’d take that with a grain of salt until we see some kind of activity in any of the ride’s stations as a show of some kind of progress once again.
    (8/31/22) While we’ve been talking a bit about what Busch Gardens Tampa is doing for Howl-O-Scream, today we found out what the daytime plans are for the fall season. On Saturdays and Sundays from Sept. 10 through to Oct 30th, from Noon to 4pm look for the park to host Busch Gardens Spooktacular. Spooky stories, a costume parade and in-park trick-or-treating are all on the schedule for young guests visiting the park.
    (8/28/22) Earlier in the week we heard stories from Busch Gardens Williamsburg claiming that upper management was pondering the future of that park’s drop tower ride, Mach Tower. While Mach Tower is running, it has not proven to be popular with the guests. I bring this up because in Tampa we know the park has been having ongoing mechanical issues with their own Falcon’s Fury drop tower attraction that has kept it closed for a long time.
    Add in the horrible death that took place earlier this year over in Orlando on a stand-alone freefall tower on I-Drive at the Icon giant wheel complex and it would be safe to say that a number of guests simply not be ready to ride this kind of attraction at the moment even if Busch Gardens Tampa were to reopen it.
    So with all things in mind, I wasn’t surprised to learn that management may also be pondering exactly what they want to do with Falcon’s Fury going forwards: keep it, sell it, or scrap it. No choice has been made, but if they are looking at their options for it, that alone is telling.
    (8/23/22) Busch Gardens Tampa has announced that they began selling the 2023 Fun Card earlier today, which includes unlimited admission (with blackout dates however) for all of 2023 as well as the rest of 2022.
    (7/1/22) Remember when the park said that they would reopen the Skyride sometime in Summer 2022? Unfortunately something has gone amiss and the park has apparently confirmed that the Summer 2022 is now no longer the plan. From what I’m told the delay may have something to do with supply chain issues, causing the park to be unable to finish their current long-term refurbishment project. Hopefully they will be able to reopen it before too long, so stay tuned!


Howl-O-Scream 2022 - (8/5/22) Howl-O-Scream Tampa has announced the return of yet another haunt for the 2022 season: “Death Water Bayou: Blood Moon - The Final Phase”. It’s Werewolves meet Death Water Bayou time, so check out the preview video below.

    (7/26/22) Busch Gardens Tampa has announced that The Residence haunt will return, but with an all new “holiday overlay” called :The Residence: Home for Holidays.

    (7/20/22) A second haunt has been confirmed for Howl-O-Scream Tampa this week, with the return of “Witch of the Woods”.

    (7/16/22) Busch Gardens Tampa has begun to leak information about this year’s Howl-O-Scream event, starting with a video showcasing the return of a popular haunt to this year’s event: The Forgotten. The vampires are back, but with an all new master. Howl-O-Scream Tampa will take place on select nights from Sept. 9 through Oct. 31st, 2022.










icon_STOP2023 - Serengeti Flyer - (12/20/2022) Busch Gardens Tampa shared an awesome picture of their new 2023 attraction looking very large and imposing on social media. Massive and crazy looking are what most guests who have never seen an S&S Screamin’ Swing ride before are sure to think upon first glance. Just wait until  you see it move! At that point, most memories of the former Phoenix ride will soon be forgotten... and the Serengeti Flyer is a more comfortable ride to sit in as well.
    Check it out below! Nice to see this ride go up quickly, so hopefully they’ll be ready to open it in early 2023.

    (10/14/22) Busch Gardens Tampa has confirmed that their new S&S Screamin’ Swing ride, now under construction for 2023, will be called the Serengeti Flyer. They describe the Serengeti Flyer has being the “world’s tallest and fastest” ride of its kind, swinging riders at speeds up to 68mph, up to 135 feet at the peak of the swing.
    Editor Note: The jury is still out regarding those claims of tallest and fastest, as the stats listed are exactly the same as the Tidal Surge ride that opened at sister park, SeaWorld San Antonio, earlier this year. Though as a clone of Tidal Surge, then I suppose both rides could claim to be the two tallest and fastest ride of this type in the world.

    (10/7/22) A reader sent in an updated photo of the new Screamin’ Swing ride being installed at Busch Gardens Tampa recently. We’ve also been sent an invitation to “swing by” the park on October 11th for an important official announcement about the new 2023 attraction, so it wont be long until we know all about this new ride.
    (9/24/22) Progress on the new S&S Screamin’ Swing ride at Busch Gardens Tampa has been moving quick, with the entire swing-set structure now in place, along with the green mounts to attach the swing-seats sections to the main tower. With two of the SeaWorld parks set to announce details about their new rides next week, I can only imagine that Busch Gardens will also join in to reveal the name of this new ride as well.
    (9/11/22) A great new picture showing off the rise of the support legs for the new S&S Screamin’ Swing at Busch Gardens Tampa was posted on Twitter on Friday.

    (8/27/22) Several new pictures of the new S&S Screamin’ Swing at Busch Gardens Tampa for the 2023 season have been sent in. Word crews have been busy over the past week putting up new leg pieces and we can even see a pink air-tank in place on site.
    (8/24/22) A reader sent in a picture of more pieces seen in Utah on at the property of Intermountain Lift that appear to be for the new S&S Screamin’ Swing going up at Busch Gardens Tampa.
    (8/14/22) Screamscape was sent an interesting picture from Busch Gardens Tampa where some newly added steel pieces were discovered near the elephants area, essentially on part of what used to be the start of the Rhino Rally attraction. As we’ve been saying for awhile, this area was reported to be used as the site for a new S&S Screamin’ Swing attraction and now it looks like the installation work has now begun. If you look carefully in the background through the bushes, it looks like progress on the second leg has also started.
    (3/4/20) I’m told that construction work has started at Busch Gardens Tampa on the former Rhino Rally load/unload site. According to the report sent in, much of the site has been dug up and demolished, with trenches dug in the area presumably to install new underground utilities. From the look of things, they may be working on water lines here, as I’ve been told that the old water reservoir under the section of Cheetah Hunt here has been dry for over a year or more, so perhaps they are working to establish some kind of new water feature here to service the new rumored attraction (S&S Screamin’ Swing) in development as well as get the water flowing under Cheetah Hunt again. The same contractor doing work here was also spotted scouting out some sites to the north of the Rhino Rally area in the Serengeti, again possibly for underground utilities and water supply line work.
    (1/14/20) Early plans for what Busch Gardens Tampa is planning for 2021 are being rumored, along with the leaked location pulled from documents filed with the city. What what I’m seeing the park’s 2021 attraction will be installed in the general area where the former Rhino Rally loading station was located.
    All we know so far about the new ride is that it wont be a coaster and is expected to be some kind of new flat ride able to toss riders about in the air to make up for the closure of the Phoenix which has never reopened. Making an educated assumption, based on projects installed at other parks in the chain, Busch Gardens Williamsburg actually just installed a ride that perfectly fits the bill last year called Finnegan’s Flyer, an S&S Screamin’ Swing ride. These are typically quick to reload and have a decent capacity when installed with two swinging arms that run at the same time, and is generally a well liked ride by most. The Screamin’ Swing takes the concept of what it feels like to be a small child ahead, and getting pushed higher and higher on a swing set in a playground… except this swing set stands about 100 feet tall and you get pushed back and forth at up to 45mph in each direction. Click here to check out the S&S stat sheet on the Screamin’ Swing if you’ve never seen one in real life.
    Now, other than the location, this is just speculation and rumor… so take it with a grain of salt until we learn a little more, because 2021 is still many months away and the park will be busy finishing up Iron Gwazi for 2020 before they begin any serious work on this new project.


icon_STOP2024 / 2025 - New Coaster - Speculation & Rumor - (9/11/22) After finally getting Iron Gwazi open in 2022 and finally starting to build the long-delayed S&S Screamin’ Swing project, you might be wondering just what the park may be planning next for 2024 or 2025? The way things have been going at the other park’s in the chain, we’ve been seeing a series of new roller coasters being added one after the other, which is somewhat unusual for the SEAS parks.
    For example, SeaWorld California just opened Emperor, their B&M Dive Machine, and already had coaster track on site over the summer for the delayed arctic themed family launched coaster project that is expected for 2023.
    In similar fashion, Busch Gardens Williamsburg just opened the delayed Pantheon coaster, has just announced DarKoaster, their own family launched coaster, and is already getting permits in place for another large coaster for 2024.
    SeaWorld Orlando opened their Ice Breaker coaster this summer and has been hard at work for months for their new B&M “High Surf” coaster project for 2023.
    SeaWorld San Antonio opened Tidal Surge (S&S Screamin’ Swing) this summer and plans for some kind of new flume ride have already been leaked that could be coming in 2023 or possibly 2024.
    So not to be left out, you know Busch Gardens Tampa has got to be working on “SOMETHING” for the future. Usually in cases like this, one can look to see what the other parks in the chain have been working on to see if there is a trend that BGT has yet to join. For example, it is easy to see that the new S&S Screamin’ Swing ride currently going up in Tampa for 2023 has been something they have slowly been adding to a number of their parks, starting with Finnegan’s Flyer at BGW, and Tampa was meant to be next until the project was delayed, but then followed up by Tidal Surge in Texas.
    As the first park with an RMC hybrid coaster, Tampa has been at the forefront there, but in doing so they’ve converted the more family friendly thriller, Gwazi, into an absolute monster in the form of Iron Gwazi. Meanwhile just prior to the pandemic the chain had been starting adding a series of new wooden coaster experiences. This started with the family friendly InvadR from GCI in Williamsburg in 2017, standing a mere 74 feet tall, and using a very compact terrain layout that weaves in and out of itself along with a great tunnel at the top of the first drop that goes down into a trench.
    Next up was a true family coaster, Oscar’s Wacky Taxi from The Gravity Group in 2018 that opened at Sesame Place PA. Standing just 43 feet tall, the coaster has been popular not just with the kids, but has been reported as being a short but sweet guilty-pleasure for coaster enthusiasts as well, featuring cute themed trains from GravityKraft and a nice big tunnel at the far turn-around.
    Next up was the Texas Stingray at SeaWorld San Antonio, which managed to open just ahead of the 2020 COVID-shutdown of theme parks across the nation. For this latest GCI creation, SEAS went big again, standing 96 feet tall and offering a 100 foot drop, a 100 foot long tunnel, and a ride experience that has been given all thumbs-up from everyone I know who has ridden it.
    At this point you probably see where I’m going with this long tale…
    Nothing has been confirmed, so this is only a long-term rumor at this point, barely a whisper on the wind, but we are hearing that Tampa is looking to add their own wooden coaster experience once again to the park. Based on the positive guest-response from the previous three coasters, word is they are looking into getting something that would fit somewhere between Texas Stingray and InvadR in size. Ideally they are looking for another mid-range coaster experience to serve as a stepping stone between the family coasters and the giant thrillers in the park… which is essentially what they were shooting for when they built Cobra’s Curse in 2016. The rumored location is said to be near the Jungala area of the park, and if memory serves there is a big empty spot behind Jungala and Tigris where the back-half of the old Tanganyika Tidal Wave flume used to reside.
    Again… this is just a very VERY quiet rumor… but it does fit in with the direction the company was headed prior to the pandemic, and with the current push towards adding more roller coasters to all the parks. Directions can always change, and other projects jump to the forefront as needed.





Track Record

Busch Gardens Tampa
Tampa, Florida
SeaWorld Parks & Ent.

Abbreviation: BGT
Opened: March 31, 1959

Fun Facts:
- The park was previously used the subtext of calling it “The Dark Continent”
- Python was removed in the fall of 2006.

Newest Developments:
2022 - Iron Gwazi

2019 - Tigris

2018 - Vanish Point & Adventure Island

2016 - Cobra’s Curse and Rising Tide Conversation exhibit

2015 - Colossal Curl opens at Adventure Island

2014 - Falcon’s Fury

2013 - Madagascar Live

2012 - Iceploration

2011 - Cheetah Hunt, Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy, Millennium Flyer trains added to Gwazi



Copyright © 1996 - 2023 by Lance Hart &  All rights reserved.