In a day many thought would never come, Iron Gwazi is officially opening to the public today! The key word here is “officially” as the soft opening for members has been ongoing for about a month. The park seems pumped and even the city of Tampa is getting into the act.
If you want to know more about the history of this ride I highly recommend this video by Expedition Theme Park. If you want the “Cliffs Notes” version, “There once was a dueling wooden coaster called Gwazi. It got rough, ridership dropped and it was expensive to maintain. After only 16 years it closed and stood SBNO (Standing But Not Operating) for several years until RMC worked their magic”. In a great interview Andrew Schaffer, Director of Design and Engineering at Busch Gardens Tampa and Project Manager for Iron Gwazi, talked about the fact that this was a true conversion:
“It’s definitely not an exact number, but we’ve been telling people about 25% of the original wooden structure has been re-utilized, and 75% of the foundations.”Andrew Schaffer, Director of Design and Engineering at Busch Gardens Tampa and Project Manager for Iron Gwazi (https://www.coaster101.com/2019/12/26/inside-iron-gwazi-with-project-manager-andrew-schaffer)
This is a great day for the park and for rollercoaster fans. The initial reviews have been great and we wish it a long, reliable and safe life!
“I’ve been waiting for over ten years for Gwazi to get the RMC treatment. You better believe it lives up to the hype! Busch Gardens Tampa continues to deliver as the coaster capital of Florida.”https://www.coaster101.com/2022/02/11/iron-gwazi-our-review-and-reactions/