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.