Nearly two years after Busch Gardens first announced an epic new roller coaster, Iron Gwazi finally has an opening month—March 2022.
The coaster is billed as North America’s tallest hybrid and the world’s fastest and steepest hybrid, which means it has a steel track and a wooden support structure. Making Iron Gwazi more unique is that it was built from some of the remnants of the infamous Gwazi dual wooden coaster, which guaranteed a bumpy, thrilling, headache-inducing ride and closed in 2015.
Busch Gardens boasted Iron Gwazi’s 206-foot-tall peak with a 91-degree drop along with surging at speeds of up to 76 miles per hour. The park said the coaster with gnarly ride cars also includes a dozen moments of airtime and three inversions along the more than 4,075 feet of purple track.
“Iron Gwazi has been highly anticipated by roller coaster enthusiasts around the world since we first announced this new legend,” Busch Gardens Tampa Bay President Neal Thurman said in a release. “We’re finally able to confirm that we will be delivering on the next-level thrills that our coaster fans crave and expect from Busch Gardens, when we open this incredible coaster this spring.”
While Iron Gwazi, along with the Ice Breaker coaster at SeaWorld, was announced back in September 2019 and its opening was delayed to 2021 and now 2022. Thurman noted his appreciation for guests’ patience as Busch Gardens and the theme park industry navigated “unprecedented challenges” over the last two years.
One of the biggest challenges has been the COVID-19 pandemic, which rocked the theme park and hospitality industry, including Busch Gardens and other SeaWorld Entertainment-owned parks. That meant slowing down and even pausing new construction on attractions such as Iron Gwazi, which was originally planned to open in spring 2020.
Despite the delay, Busch Gardens has shared updates over the last two years of building Iron Gwazi, including a thrilling ride POV video showing just how intense the coaster will be for riders.
Iron Gwazi is the 10th coaster to join Busch Gardens’ repertoire, further cementing the Tampa theme park as Florida’s coaster king.
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