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.Continue reading
It’s time for a party. Since most official festivities in New Orleans are cancelled, this could be one of the best things going on 2021. Head to the official site for more info.
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!
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.
Well hopefully this makes you smile, even though guests may not be riding roller coasters in most theme parks yet, at least some stuffed animals are having fun.
Busch Gardens might be closed due to the pandemic, but the park is doing a great job communicating with fans and providing educational resources. Just because the park is closed doesn’t mean it’s empty, there are hundreds of animals to care for including two cheetah cubs. Continue reading
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This Easter isn’t broken, it’s just different. Enjoy this special weekend!
This paint job on Scorpion (the park’s oldest coaster opened in 1980) looks amazing! When it opened almost 40 years ago its original paint scheme featured orange track and black supports, but this changed to red track with blue supports in a 2004 repaint. Continue reading
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You may not be aware that Sea World (parent company of Busch Gardens) has a program where military and their family can get in for a day for free! You can find all the details on their website, but the basics are below. Great to see the park doing something to honor our troops and their families! Continue reading