TAMPA, Fla. — After delaying its newest ride because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has finally set a date for Iron Gwazi.

What You Need To Know

  • Iron Gwazi to open at Busch Gardens in March 2022

  • The coaster is the 10th at the theme park

  • The 76 mph coaster is one of the tallest in the U.S. at 206 feet

  • The ride features a plunge from over 200 feet into a 91-degree drop

The wooden/steel hybrid coaster, manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction, will open at the theme park in March 2022, Busch Gardens revealed Monday.

Iron Gwazi, built using part of the existing wooden structure from the park's old Gwazi coaster, will offer new thrills. For one, it will be the fastest and steepest coaster of its kind in the world, reaching a top speed of 76 mph and sending riders plunging from over 200 feet into a 91-degree drop. At 206 feet, it's also one of the tallest in the U.S.

That's not all. The coaster will feature a dozen airtime moments and three inversions.

Iron Gwazi joins Busch Gardens' already robust lineup of coasters, becoming the park's 10th.

Anticipation has been building for the ride since it was first announced. It was originally scheduled to open in spring 2020 but those plans were put on hold when SeaWorld Entertainment temporarily shuttered its parks—including Busch Gardens—in response to the pandemic. As a result of the closure, construction on the projects was paused. A couple of months after the parks reopened in June, SeaWorld revealed it would push its unopened attractions to 2021.

“Iron Gwazi has been highly anticipated by roller coaster enthusiasts around the world since we first announced this new legend,” Busch Gardens president Neal Thurman said in a statement. “Due to the unprecedented challenges over the last two years, Iron Gwazi was delayed, and we recognize the delay has disappointed our fans.  We appreciate the patience our guests have shown.” 

SeaWorld's Orlando park also has a new coaster that has yet to open — Ice Breaker. The Arctic-themed multi-launch coaster features a 93-foot-tall beyond virtual 100-degree spike. The ride will open in February 2022, SeaWorld announced Monday. 


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