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News & Rumors


Busch Gardens Tampa
Tampa, FL
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment



----    THE LATEST BUZZ    ----
    (5/26/2023) Busch Gardens Tampa Offering Free Beer This Summer (MORE...)
    (5/8/2023) Howl-O-Scream 2023 Update (MORE...)
    (4/30/2023) Falcon's Fury Is Closed Again (MORE...)
    (4/13/2023) Busch Gardens Tampa Reopens Falcon's Fury (MORE...)
    (4/11/2023) Falcon's Fury May Reopen Very Soon (MORE...)

Ride Rehabs - The following information is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate, refurbishments are subject to change.
Skyride - NOW CLOSED through TBD
Falcon’s Fury - NOW CLOSED through TBD
Cobra’s Curse - NOW CLOSED through TBD


icon_STOPGeneral Park News - (5/26/2023) Busch Gardens Tampa and Williamsburg will be offering their guests “free beer” at both parks over the summer season as part of a special thank you promotion. According to Marc Swanson, CEO of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, “This summer will be better than ever at our parks with new rides in both Busch Gardens locations, Serengeti Flyer, the world’s tallest and fastest of its kind in Tampa and DarKoaster North America's first all-indoor straddle coaster in Williamsburg. We’re introducing new shows, amazing special events and unique experiences at our parks, and an ice-cold beer is the best way for adults to take a break, cool down and select Busch Gardens as their destination of choice this summer.”
    For a limited time, guests 21+ can say “cheers” to summer with the return of free beer at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. From May 22 through July 20, Pass Members can enjoy two free seven-ounce beers per visit to the park, and all other guests can enjoy one free seven-ounce beer per visit to the park. The complimentary drafts will pour out at Twisted Tails Pretzels, located in the Pantopia area of the park from 10:30 a.m. to one hour prior to park closure.
    (5/8/2023) Based on the teaser sent out, it looks like we’re going to get a Howl-O-Scream announcement of some kind today for Busch Gardens Tampa.
   Stay tuned!

    (4/30/2023) I’m not sure when it closed, but apparently the freshly reopened Falcon’s Fury at Busch Gardens Tampa has closed once again. According the tweet below it is listed on the park’s refurbishment schedule as staying closed from now through to May 7th.

    (4/13/2023) Good news, as of Wednesday afternoon, Falcon’s Fury has finally reopened and been removed from the park’s refurbishment list.
    (4/11/2023) According to the latest rumors, the walls around Falcon’s Fury have come down at Busch Gardens Tampa and employees have been seen taking rides on the tower. From what I understand the ride is under-going all the needed test runs needed to get the final post-rehab check out, and is expected to reopen to guests very soon. If you are visiting the park this week, keep your eyes open.
    (4/4/23) An interesting rumor has surfaced for Busch Gardens Tampa this week. I’ve no way to know how true this is, or what the timeline will be, but while Wild Surge is being retired… it may not be leaving forever. I’m assuming that the park will have the ride refurbished somehow, but the rumor we’re hearing is that it could resurface in a new area, with a new name of course. If the rumor holds true, keep an eye on the area behind Jungala and Tigris, as this is rumored to be the area where the park will be adding a major new attraction in the future, and where the Wild Surge ride will likely resurface. On the opposite side of things... we know the ride did suffer from an electrical fire a few months ago, so I’m sure these rumors all hinge on how repairable Wild Surge is at the moment.
    In other news, I’m hearing that things are slowly progressing with the Skyride as well, and that several gondolas were seen in the main station by Cheetah Hunt not long ago.
    (3/26/23) According to a post on Twitter, the Wild Surge ride at Busch Gardens Tampa has apparently been officially retired. The Moser creation was installed in 2008 as part of the “Jungala” area, but suffered more than expected amounts of technical issues and downtime over the years that followed, so it does make sense to finally retire it.

    (3/19/2023) Screamscape was invited to come try out some of the food at the latest Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival in Tampa. Our pal Marty was willing to take on the challenge and sent in some feedback about what he was able to try, as well as a great evening POV ride on the new Serengeti Flyer which looks like a blast!
    Highlights of the tastings includes:
    Vegetable Samosa - “Tomato sauce was unique with a very spicy and sweet flavor that was well balanced.”
    Berbere Spiced Chicken - “Pita bread was very soft and the chicken was juicy and tender. The flavors were very well balanced. I would get this again.”
    Lamb Lollipop - “Lamb was tender, good portions but the sauce lacked flavor.”
    Chocolate & Port Bar - “The cake was moist and the chocolate was perfectly balanced in flavor.”
    Philly Steak & Cheese Eggroll - “Very crunchy and nicely filled with steak, cheese and peppers. This was the top item for us and had the biggest line of the night.”

Berbere spiced Chicken Batbout

Chocolate and Port Bar

Lamb Lollipop with a mint demi glaze

Philly Cheese Steak Egg Role

Vegetable Somosa with Pappadew Tomato Chutney

    (3/18/2023) Screamscape has been sent some more rumors about what’s going on with the Skyride at Busch Gardens. In addition to the new haul rope being installed, the park has also been refurbishing the equipment atop all of the towers. Even better, the rumors say that all of the cabins are being rotated through the shops for repainting and refurbishment ahead of an expanded late Spring to Early Summer reopening timetable. It will be fantastic to see this aerial gondola ride reopen once again.    
    (3/17/2023) According to an update posted to the Von Roll VR 101 fansite on Facebook, Busch Gardens Tampa appears to be working on their long closed Skyride once again. According to the report the main ride cable (Haul rope) has been properly re-hung up on “Tower 4”. After delays caused the Skyride not to reopen last year, hopefully we’ll see it reopen this season.
    (1/27/2023) While there are a few details off in the article, the Tampa Bay Times has confirmed with a spokesperson from Busch Gardens Tampa that the closed Falcon’s Fury drop tower ride is on track to reopen to guests sometime this Spring. For the most part Falcon’s Fury has been closed do to supply chain issues that have prevented necessary parts from being sent to the park with any speed. It is worth noting that while Falcon’s Fury has been closed for most of the past year, it was able to open here and there as repairs were made, only to be forced into closure again as other repairs became necessary.
    Now, while this is all well and good... what ever happens to the planned reopening of the Skyride last year? So far the park has not reported a new opening date for the Skyride, or have they given any kind of updated statement about when it might reopen.
    (1/8/2023) Busch Gardens Tampa has announced a line-up of special events coming to the park in 2023, along with a great offer on the 2023 Fun Cards.  For a limited time guests who buy a Fun Card for Busch Gardens Tampa will also get a Adventure Island Fun Card for free, giving you unlimited admission to both parks for the rest of 2023 and plenty of time to enjoy all different special events coming to the park like:
    Real Music Series - Concerts on select dates from Jan. 17 through Feb 26
    Sesame Street Kids Weekends - Jan. 27 to April 28
    Food & Wine Festival - Mar 10 - May 21 (food & concerts!)
    Cinco de Mayo - May 5-7
    Viva la Musica - May 5 - 21
    Summer Nights - May 26 to Aug. 6
    4th of July Celebration - June 30 - July 4
    Bier Fest - July 21 - Sept. 4
    Spooktacular - Sept. 8 to Oct. 31
    Christmas Town - Nov. 13 to Jan, 7, 2024
    (12/17/2022) Guests have been watching and waiting for years to see what Busch Gardens Tampa would do with their old Phoenix ride, an Intamin Looping Starship, that originally went into service back in 1984. After sitting quiet and dormant for the past several years, work crews arrived on site this week to begin demolition of the ride.



icon_STOP2023 - Serengeti Flyer - (3/19/2023) Screamscape was invited to come try out some of the food at the latest Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival in Tampa and while there, he was willing to take on the challenge of the park’s new Serengeti Flyer thrill ride. It looks like a blast! If you’ve never tried one of these rides before, this is the first one in Florida, so you’re in for a special treat!

    (2/9/2023) Busch Gardens Tampa has announced that their new Serengeti Flyer ride will open to general guests on Feb. 27th, but annual passholders will begin to have preview ride sessions starting on Feb. 24th.










    (12/20/2022) Busch Gardens Tampa shared an awesome picture of their new 2023 attraction looking very large and imposing on social media. Massive and crazy looking are what most guests who have never seen an S&S Screamin’ Swing ride before are sure to think upon first glance. Just wait until  you see it move! At that point, most memories of the former Phoenix ride will soon be forgotten... and the Serengeti Flyer is a more comfortable ride to sit in as well.
    Check it out below! Nice to see this ride go up quickly, so hopefully they’ll be ready to open it in early 2023.

    (10/14/22) Busch Gardens Tampa has confirmed that their new S&S Screamin’ Swing ride, now under construction for 2023, will be called the Serengeti Flyer. They describe the Serengeti Flyer has being the “world’s tallest and fastest” ride of its kind, swinging riders at speeds up to 68mph, up to 135 feet at the peak of the swing.
    Editor Note: The jury is still out regarding those claims of tallest and fastest, as the stats listed are exactly the same as the Tidal Surge ride that opened at sister park, SeaWorld San Antonio, earlier this year. Though as a clone of Tidal Surge, then I suppose both rides could claim to be the two tallest and fastest ride of this type in the world.

    (10/7/22) A reader sent in an updated photo of the new Screamin’ Swing ride being installed at Busch Gardens Tampa recently. We’ve also been sent an invitation to “swing by” the park on October 11th for an important official announcement about the new 2023 attraction, so it wont be long until we know all about this new ride.
    (9/24/22) Progress on the new S&S Screamin’ Swing ride at Busch Gardens Tampa has been moving quick, with the entire swing-set structure now in place, along with the green mounts to attach the swing-seats sections to the main tower. With two of the SeaWorld parks set to announce details about their new rides next week, I can only imagine that Busch Gardens will also join in to reveal the name of this new ride as well.
    (9/11/22) A great new picture showing off the rise of the support legs for the new S&S Screamin’ Swing at Busch Gardens Tampa was posted on Twitter on Friday.

    (8/27/22) Several new pictures of the new S&S Screamin’ Swing at Busch Gardens Tampa for the 2023 season have been sent in. Word crews have been busy over the past week putting up new leg pieces and we can even see a pink air-tank in place on site.
    (8/24/22) A reader sent in a picture of more pieces seen in Utah on at the property of Intermountain Lift that appear to be for the new S&S Screamin’ Swing going up at Busch Gardens Tampa.
    (8/14/22) Screamscape was sent an interesting picture from Busch Gardens Tampa where some newly added steel pieces were discovered near the elephants area, essentially on part of what used to be the start of the Rhino Rally attraction. As we’ve been saying for awhile, this area was reported to be used as the site for a new S&S Screamin’ Swing attraction and now it looks like the installation work has now begun. If you look carefully in the background through the bushes, it looks like progress on the second leg has also started.
    (3/4/20) I’m told that construction work has started at Busch Gardens Tampa on the former Rhino Rally load/unload site. According to the report sent in, much of the site has been dug up and demolished, with trenches dug in the area presumably to install new underground utilities. From the look of things, they may be working on water lines here, as I’ve been told that the old water reservoir under the section of Cheetah Hunt here has been dry for over a year or more, so perhaps they are working to establish some kind of new water feature here to service the new rumored attraction (S&S Screamin’ Swing) in development as well as get the water flowing under Cheetah Hunt again. The same contractor doing work here was also spotted scouting out some sites to the north of the Rhino Rally area in the Serengeti, again possibly for underground utilities and water supply line work.
    (1/14/20) Early plans for what Busch Gardens Tampa is planning for 2021 are being rumored, along with the leaked location pulled from documents filed with the city. What what I’m seeing the park’s 2021 attraction will be installed in the general area where the former Rhino Rally loading station was located.
    All we know so far about the new ride is that it wont be a coaster and is expected to be some kind of new flat ride able to toss riders about in the air to make up for the closure of the Phoenix which has never reopened. Making an educated assumption, based on projects installed at other parks in the chain, Busch Gardens Williamsburg actually just installed a ride that perfectly fits the bill last year called Finnegan’s Flyer, an S&S Screamin’ Swing ride. These are typically quick to reload and have a decent capacity when installed with two swinging arms that run at the same time, and is generally a well liked ride by most. The Screamin’ Swing takes the concept of what it feels like to be a small child ahead, and getting pushed higher and higher on a swing set in a playground… except this swing set stands about 100 feet tall and you get pushed back and forth at up to 45mph in each direction. Click here to check out the S&S stat sheet on the Screamin’ Swing if you’ve never seen one in real life.
    Now, other than the location, this is just speculation and rumor… so take it with a grain of salt until we learn a little more, because 2021 is still many months away and the park will be busy finishing up Iron Gwazi for 2020 before they begin any serious work on this new project.


icon_STOP2024 / 2025 - New Coaster - Speculation & Rumor - (9/11/22) After finally getting Iron Gwazi open in 2022 and finally starting to build the long-delayed S&S Screamin’ Swing project, you might be wondering just what the park may be planning next for 2024 or 2025? The way things have been going at the other park’s in the chain, we’ve been seeing a series of new roller coasters being added one after the other, which is somewhat unusual for the SEAS parks.
    For example, SeaWorld California just opened Emperor, their B&M Dive Machine, and already had coaster track on site over the summer for the delayed arctic themed family launched coaster project that is expected for 2023.
    In similar fashion, Busch Gardens Williamsburg just opened the delayed Pantheon coaster, has just announced DarKoaster, their own family launched coaster, and is already getting permits in place for another large coaster for 2024.
    SeaWorld Orlando opened their Ice Breaker coaster this summer and has been hard at work for months for their new B&M “High Surf” coaster project for 2023.
    SeaWorld San Antonio opened Tidal Surge (S&S Screamin’ Swing) this summer and plans for some kind of new flume ride have already been leaked that could be coming in 2023 or possibly 2024.
    So not to be left out, you know Busch Gardens Tampa has got to be working on “SOMETHING” for the future. Usually in cases like this, one can look to see what the other parks in the chain have been working on to see if there is a trend that BGT has yet to join. For example, it is easy to see that the new S&S Screamin’ Swing ride currently going up in Tampa for 2023 has been something they have slowly been adding to a number of their parks, starting with Finnegan’s Flyer at BGW, and Tampa was meant to be next until the project was delayed, but then followed up by Tidal Surge in Texas.
    As the first park with an RMC hybrid coaster, Tampa has been at the forefront there, but in doing so they’ve converted the more family friendly thriller, Gwazi, into an absolute monster in the form of Iron Gwazi. Meanwhile just prior to the pandemic the chain had been starting adding a series of new wooden coaster experiences. This started with the family friendly InvadR from GCI in Williamsburg in 2017, standing a mere 74 feet tall, and using a very compact terrain layout that weaves in and out of itself along with a great tunnel at the top of the first drop that goes down into a trench.
    Next up was a true family coaster, Oscar’s Wacky Taxi from The Gravity Group in 2018 that opened at Sesame Place PA. Standing just 43 feet tall, the coaster has been popular not just with the kids, but has been reported as being a short but sweet guilty-pleasure for coaster enthusiasts as well, featuring cute themed trains from GravityKraft and a nice big tunnel at the far turn-around.
    Next up was the Texas Stingray at SeaWorld San Antonio, which managed to open just ahead of the 2020 COVID-shutdown of theme parks across the nation. For this latest GCI creation, SEAS went big again, standing 96 feet tall and offering a 100 foot drop, a 100 foot long tunnel, and a ride experience that has been given all thumbs-up from everyone I know who has ridden it.
    At this point you probably see where I’m going with this long tale…
    Nothing has been confirmed, so this is only a long-term rumor at this point, barely a whisper on the wind, but we are hearing that Tampa is looking to add their own wooden coaster experience once again to the park. Based on the positive guest-response from the previous three coasters, word is they are looking into getting something that would fit somewhere between Texas Stingray and InvadR in size. Ideally they are looking for another mid-range coaster experience to serve as a stepping stone between the family coasters and the giant thrillers in the park… which is essentially what they were shooting for when they built Cobra’s Curse in 2016. The rumored location is said to be near the Jungala area of the park, and if memory serves there is a big empty spot behind Jungala and Tigris where the back-half of the old Tanganyika Tidal Wave flume used to reside.
    Again… this is just a very VERY quiet rumor… but it does fit in with the direction the company was headed prior to the pandemic, and with the current push towards adding more roller coasters to all the parks. Directions can always change, and other projects jump to the forefront as needed.





Track Record

Busch Gardens Tampa
Tampa, Florida
SeaWorld Parks & Ent.

Abbreviation: BGT
Opened: March 31, 1959

Fun Facts:
- The park was previously used the subtext of calling it “The Dark Continent”
- Python was removed in the fall of 2006.

Newest Developments:
2022 - Iron Gwazi

2019 - Tigris

2018 - Vanish Point & Adventure Island

2016 - Cobra’s Curse and Rising Tide Conversation exhibit

2015 - Colossal Curl opens at Adventure Island

2014 - Falcon’s Fury

2013 - Madagascar Live

2012 - Iceploration

2011 - Cheetah Hunt, Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy, Millennium Flyer trains added to Gwazi



Copyright © 1996 - 2023 by Lance Hart &  All rights reserved.