When most people think of Florida theme parks, they naturally think of life-sized cartoon characters, famous movie sets, and night-time terrors such as Halloween Horror Nights. People rarely think of fearsome roller coasters that churn your stomach and chill your spine.
But as from 2020, things look set to change
Busch Gardens Tampa has its sights set on taking over, and becoming the top roller coaster destination in the world. As from spring 2020, the world’s fastest and steepest hybrid coaster will be open to visitors at Busch Gardens.
It goes by the name of Iron Gwazi, and is a Rocky Mountain Construction revamp of the former Gwazi coaster, which opened in 1999 but subsequently closed in 2015. “Iron Gwazi is the evolution of a classic wooden coaster into a modern icon. From the bones of the original Gwazi, a new legend rises, reaching taller heights and faster speeds, delivering the next-level thrills that our coaster fans crave and expect”, says Stewart Clark, park president of Bush Gardens Tampa.
Busch Gardens have not yet released the full concept, but the new ride will feature elements of the old Gwazi integrated into it, which should please fans of the former wooden coaster.
So what do we know about Iron Gwazi?
Well, it will be the fastest and steepest coaster in the world, taking thrills to new heights and plunging riders from a 206-foot-tall peak into a 91-degree drop. If that’s not enough, Iron Gwazi will include three inversions, a dozen airtime moments and reach top speeds of 76 mph. All of this on a 4,075 feet track.
Rocky Mountain Construction have recently unveiled the ride vehicle for Iron Gwazi, which takes inspiration from a crocodile, with a sneering smile and both light and dark green carriages that seat two riders. There is a minimum height requirement of 48 inches, so be aware that younger and smaller riders won’t be able to ride.
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