Leaked presentation slide suggests hybrid treatment in 2020 for Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

An image on Twitter, apparently from a slide deck, states that a high-thrill hybrid wooden coaster will open in April 2020 at Busch Gardens Tampa. SeaWorld confirmed that the images are legitimate.

Read more from Tampa Bay Business Journal.

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Cedar Fair has done the best job with these conversions. They have kept the original ride layout and not shortened the coasters like Six Flags did on almost all of theirs. It would be amazing if Gwazi kept its original layout and dueling aspect. But the way Busch operates these days with budget cuts and closing attractions, I wouldn't expect them to that.

Jeff's avatar

You mean SeaWorld Entertainment. Also, what attractions are closing? They just announced Tigris, Infinity Falls is opening in Orlando, and they're adding an entirely new Sesame Street area.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

My experience is mainly at Williamsburg.

They closed DarKastle at the end of last year at Williamsburg with no replacement. It's just an event building now. The year before it was "Europe in the Air" that sat idle for a year, although they did open that back up this year with VR.

They open the park in phases and you cannot get through the entire park until a about an hour after park opening. Some of the transportation rides do not open with the park and close early.

There are food locations that remain closed the entire day during peak summer schedule because of projected attendance. Now all parks might do that but at BGW its very noticeable when they do because of the limited number of food locations in the park.

And then there was Gwazi. First it was one side, completely closed for years before they closed the entire ride. Why would they close one side of a coaster that was designed to duel and take that away from the guest experience? Budget is the most logical answer.

Based on some the budget-based decisions I have seen at the parks. I would expect a Gwazi conversion not to be the 2 spectacular tracks that it was originally designed with. I am hope that I am wrong!

Last edited by super7*,
eightdotthree's avatar

Busch Gardens Williamsburg has always opened in stages.

Jeff's avatar

I seem to recall that back in 2001 even.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

...and given the way that park is laid out, it makes sense.

For what it's worth, I had been to Busch Gardens at least ten times when Gwazi operated, and not once did it operate both tracks. It was always one or the other. Which doesn't justify anything... Just saying.

I was under the impression that Gwazi was in such terrible shape that it couldn't be converted, but glad to see it's not! I'm stoked to see what they come up with and how much of the original structure they'll use.

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

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