New Fireworks Display “Spark” Starts This Weekend at Busch Gardens!

Spark Logo from https://buschgardens.com/tampa/events/summer-nights/

This weekend there’s a new fireworks spectacular on weekend evenings at Busch Gardens as part of Summer Nights. The park website describes it as:

For an epic finale to a coaster-filled day of adventure, guests will be drawn to the vibrant energy radiating from a unique new production on the Festival Field. As the most stunning show ever to light the park’s sky, “Spark!” will feature an explosive array of fireworks and exciting effects from dazzling lasers to graceful water elements and dramatic pyrotechnics.

https://buschgardens.com/tampa/events/summer-nights

Love that the show even has its own logo and super excited to see what “water elements” means. A fireworks show is a great way to end a day at a theme park. Look forward to checking this out personally in June!

Cirque Electric Starts May 28th at Busch Gardens!

A new show is coming to Busch Gardens this year called Cirque Electric. It will take place in the Stanleyville Theater and starts May 28th. It’s great to see live entertainment returning at the park and the fact that it doesn’t appear to be replacing any other shows and is just a new addition is even better. Although details are still a bit light, it’s now on the park’s website and described as:

From the daring airborne aerialist to stunning displays of balance and strength and a fascinating act on wheels that cannot be missed, guests will be dazzled by world-class performers in this all-new acrobatic stunt show located at the Stanleyville Theater.

https://buschgardens.com/tampa/shows/

There has been a show of the same name at some Sea World Parks (video above), so we’ll assume at least parts of these shows will be borrowed. Some cirque style entertainment with feats of balance and strength should be a great fit to the parks entertainment lineup. I’m headed to the park in early June and can’t wait to see it! Now we just need to get the animal show back in Pantopia to make my 4 year old son happy 🙂

Happy Birthday to Scorpion at Busch Gardens!

Our friends at BGT History had a great reminder that May 16th was the birthday of Scorpion. Scorpion is 41 years old and the second coaster built at the park and now its oldest after Python closed in 2006. The coaster fits in a small footprint, but still packs a punch for its 90 second ride. This coaster will always hold a special place for me as this spring it was my 4 year old son’s first real coaster (non Air Grover) when he reached 42 inches.

Review of Giraffe Bar at Busch Gardens

I had a chance to visit the new Giraffe Bar at Busch Gardens in Tampa the week after Easter and it was a great experience. The bar is in the Sarengeti Overlook with great indoor and outdoor spaces all with spectacular views of the animals and rides. The bartenders have cute giraffe headbands and the look is both fun and classy at the same time. Here’s a great promo video from the park to give you a taste of the vibe. I was a little worried being it was brand new and the park was decently busy (food lines were often longer than ride lines), but the line at the Giraffe Bar was surprisingly short and moved quickly.

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Ride Iron Gwazi Today? According to @ThemeParkMedia it was already built and opened years ago.

So you may have seen the unfortunate news that Iron Gwazi will now be opening in 2021:

People have been curious of the similarities between Iron Gwazi and another RMC coaster, Zadra, in Poland. They are practically identical. The video interestingly points out how peculiar this is given that Iron Gwazi is a “retrofit” (using the footers of the the old Gwazi coaster) and Zadra was a completely new build with no such restrictions. Basically the theory goes that Iron Gwazi was designed first years ago as “Twisted Tiger” to replace Gwazi, but Busch Gardens didn’t have the money for it. Energylandia contacted RMC wanting a new coaster and they basically built the already finished design (Zadra) originally intended for Busch Gardens. When Busch Gardens was finally ready to move forward they basically got the same slightly tweaked coaster due to the limitations with the retrofit site. With the layout similarities, the timelines and the name/trademark filings, the theory really seems to make sense.

So if you find yourself in Poland, go ahead and ride Iron Gwazi, I mean Twisted Tiger, I mean Zadra and experience Busch Gardens new ride well before the now 2021 opening date!

Past Due Construction Bills on Busch Gardens New Iron Gwazi Coaster?

Sea World (parent company of Busch Gardens) may be feeling the financial impact of coronavirus more than initially thought as it appears to have fallen behind on some bills. Specifically several of its partners such as Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) have filed liens over unpaid bills over many of the company’s new 2020 rides.

Rocky Mountain Construction, the builder of Iron Gwazi, filed in Hillsborough County late last month a lien for $3.5 million out of $9 million it said it was owed.

Orlando Sentinel article

Although the parks are now reopening, the company essentially went without income for 3 months, so some cash flow issues could be expected. Let’s hope that the park is being overly paranoid in conserving cash and deferring payment on a few invoices with minimal short/long term ramifications. Hopefully these will be settled soon so that great companies like RMC will continue to partner with Busch Gardens to bring us spectacular new rides like Iron Gwazi.