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This is what it’s like to ride the most intense coaster in Florida


Iron Gwazi has been a long time coming.

After originally being revealed by SeaWorld in September 2019 for a debut sometime in the spring of 2020, the roller coaster went dark alongside Busch Gardens Tampa, its mother park, when it closed on March 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic. And the timing couldn’t have been worse – the hyper hybrid coaster had just started testing on March 9 and was, of course, forced to stop when the theme park did (“testing,” in this case, meaning that empty ride vehicles were cycled through the track as trial runs). After spending some time deliberating on what to do, Busch Gardens management eventually opted to push the grand opening back by a full year, to spring ’21, when they hoped a (more or less) normal vacation season would be gearing back up.

(Busch Gardens Tampa, unfortunately, wasn’t the only location in SeaWorld Entertainment’s theme-park portfolio to have its headlining attraction for that year be delayed – Ice Breaker at SeaWorld Orlando, Pantheon at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and Emperor at SeaWorld San Diego were also bumped to ‘21.)

All of which leads us to today. After recommencing testing on the formidable Iron Gwazi’s track back in August, fans have today been gifted something far bigger and far more exciting: the first-ever point-of-view video of the entire ride experience – and it really is something to be seen.

Just as a reminder – and just in case that POV wasn’t clear enough – Iron Gwazi will be, when it opens in the spring, the tallest hybrid coaster on the continent and the fastest and steepest both in the entire world. (Need a refresher on the terms “hyper” and “hybrid,” as well? No problem – hyper refers to the fact that it will be over 200 feet tall [a rarity in Florida], while hybrid means that it’ll be constituted of both wooden and steel components. Hybrids are something of a new trend in the coaster industry, and they’re certainly one of the most fun.)

Iron Gwazi debuts at Busch Gardens Tampa in spring 2021.

Are you excited to hop on Florida’s most intense coaster? Share your enthusiasm with 150,000+ other Central Florida die-hard fans in our Orlando Informer Community on Facebook.

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About Marc N. Kleinhenz

Marc N. Kleinhenz is the former editor of Orlando Informer.