Busch Gardens Tampa to give Gwazi the Rocky Mountain Construction treatment for 2020

Posted Saturday, March 2, 2019 9:09 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Construction has already begun on what will be a wood and steel hybrid coaster, featuring a maximum height of more than 200 feet tall. The ride, manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction, will feature restored elements of Gwazi, the park announced. When it opens in 2020, it will be North America’s tallest hybrid, and also the fastest and steepest hybrid coaster in the world.

Read more from The Tampa Bay Times.

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Saturday, March 2, 2019 1:15 PM

Just from the initial description it appears this will be one coaster, and not a dueling coaster. The original, of course, featured a "Tiger" and a "Lion" side, before the Tiger side closed in 2012.

I remember at the media day for Steel Vengeance I struck up a conversation with Alan Schilke during some downtime, and saw him drawing some sort of cryptic sketch in a notebook. I was able to snap a quick pic before he tucked it away, and now it's all starting to make sense...

Last edited by OhioStater, Saturday, March 2, 2019 1:17 PM
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Saturday, March 2, 2019 3:09 PM

I wonder if it will be similar to what was done to SFMM Colossus, making it one continuous track.

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Saturday, March 2, 2019 3:50 PM

hahaha, Busch Gardens is going to receive the Liger. It's pretty much my favorite animal. It's like a lion and a tiger mixed... bred for its skills in magic.

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Saturday, March 2, 2019 7:29 PM

I like tiglons, myself.

The best part of this news is listening to the CP fanboys whining and moaning that Steel Vengeance will no longer hold certain records. Seriously, it’s like someone stabbed them in the heart or something.

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Saturday, March 2, 2019 8:13 PM

Did yous guys know there are actually both Ligers and Tiglons? Depends on whether the tiger or lion was the male or female when they were bred...

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Saturday, March 2, 2019 8:14 PM

Also... What’s gonna be the tallest hybrid in the WORLD? Odd that they are so specific to say this will be the tallest in North America. It the other records are worldwide. What else does RMC have up their sleeve?

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Saturday, March 2, 2019 10:54 PM

Zadra!

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Sunday, March 3, 2019 12:40 AM

Central FL is really starting to be a hotbed, not just for rides in general, but for coasters again. With Mako, Hagrid’s, Tron, GotG, and now Gwazi (and I still haven’t done the Fun spots) it’s definitely solidly near the top on my list of places I need to go...and I just got back 2 months ago.

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Sunday, March 3, 2019 7:28 AM

ShaneDenmark said:

Did yous guys know there are actually both Ligers and Tiglons? Depends on whether the tiger or lion was the male or female when they were bred...

It was Jungle Larry and Safari Jane who noticed one of their tigers taking an interest in one of their lionesses. After an introduction they became pen mates at their home in Naples Fl. Then in 1969 Tiglons were born, triplets, and they became celebrities with national media coverage. I remember Jungle Larry’s Safari at Cedar Point featuring at least one Tiglon in the cat show, and it was a big draw. They were pretty creatures with features of a lion and stripes of a tiger.

It would be fun and certainly fitting if BGT would name the new hybrid either Liger or Tiglon, but lord knows what unspellable name they have cooked up, lol.

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Sunday, March 3, 2019 9:58 AM

Hopefully they don’t go the Six Flags route and call it New Gwazi or Iron Gwazi Coaster...

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Monday, March 4, 2019 3:42 PM

Dueling Gwazi will always be one of those coasters I wish I had gotten to experience. I got to ride it after one side closed, but it was very rough by then. IMO the dueling of the other train was at least 1/2 of the total experience like a racing coaster. The original coaster without a doubt was totally unique.

Last edited by super7*, Tuesday, March 5, 2019 6:30 PM
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Monday, March 4, 2019 4:40 PM

It was a little unique riding it dueling, but honestly it didn't add a whole lot to the ride. You saw the other train a split second at three points of the ride if I remember correctly. If anything, it was more visually interesting off the ride, rather than on the ride.

Kind of the same thing with Dueling Dragons.

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Monday, March 4, 2019 5:20 PM

It wasn't like Lightning Racer, and it wasn't remotely as fun. It was so rough.

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Monday, March 4, 2019 7:08 PM

I never, ever rode it when it was operating both sides, so I can't say if the dueling aspect was effective. Yet despite widespread complaints of Gwazi being rough, that was never my opinion. I always enjoyed it, and miss it. Definitely not Lightning Racer but very fun nonetheless.

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Tuesday, March 5, 2019 12:51 AM

HeyIsntThatRob? said:

It was a little unique riding it dueling, but honestly it didn't add a whole lot to the ride. You saw the other train a split second at three points of the ride if I remember correctly. If anything, it was more visually interesting off the ride, rather than on the ride.

Can confirm.

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Tuesday, March 5, 2019 1:41 PM

I thought Gwazi was rougher than the worst days of Mean Streak. I rode it once and never considered riding it again.

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Tuesday, March 5, 2019 3:12 PM

The first year it was open I had a chance to ride it when it was actually dueling. It wasn't awful then, but it wasn't great either. I also think it won an award for slowest dispatch ever. Well, at least until VR on coasters became a thing.

I am really hoping between this and Tigris the overall vibe at Busch Gardens Tampa will be back on the upswing. I always feel like this is a park I *should* really enjoy visiting, but my visits are never all that great.

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Tuesday, March 5, 2019 3:34 PM

I only rode Gwazi once during its second year of operation. It was dueling, but I also experienced the same slow ops as Brett did and there was no real attempt to dispatch both sides at the same time. I thought it was a solid coaster, not too rough...but it was barely a year old then.

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Thursday, March 7, 2019 7:48 PM

HeyIsntThatRob? said:

Kind of the same thing with Dueling Dragons.

I thought DD's dueling was much more interesting than Gwazi's. Maybe only if you sat in front?

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