Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Busch Gardens Tampa Announces Tigris Coaster for 2019 + Exciting 2020 Plan Hints

A new thrill coaster is set to open at Busch Gardens Tampa in 2019, named Tigris.  The ride will be one of Premier Rides' popular Sky Rocket II models, which can be found in two other SeaWorld Entertainment Parks: Tempesto at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Electric Eel at SeaWorld San Diego.

Tigris will be built in the Stanleyville section of Busch Gardens Tampa, taking up a portion of the space once occupied by the Tanganyika Tidal Wave shoot-the-chutes ride.

© Busch Gardens Tampa
Tigris is a high speed, triple launch coaster that will be the tallest launching roller coaster in the state of Florida when it opens in 2019.  The ride's train will first launch forward, then backward through the station, then forward once more to a top speed of more than 60 miles per hour.  The trains will climb up to the top of the structure, around 150 feet above the park below.

© Busch Gardens Tampa
A thrilling heartline roll awaits the train at the top of the ride, slowly inverting passengers 150 in the air.  A brief pause leads to a steep plunge down toward a non-inverting loop before the ride comes to an end.

"Tigris will be a strong addition to our family of world-class thrill rides. With three intensely exciting launch points, this ride is unlike anything we have in our coaster collection," said Stewart Clark, president and general manager of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. "This new attraction is a testament to our continuing investment in the park, and bringing new and innovative experiences to our guests."

© Busch Gardens Tampa
Tigris will feature bright orange track and black supports, naturally to match the theme of tigers throughout the attraction.  The trains are depicted above, which also feature a tiger theme through color choice and other details.

The Stanleyville themed section is right next to Jungala, where the park's Bengal Tigers live.  As part of the park's mission of conservation, the ride's queue will contain "educational content about the plight of tigers in the wild and what conservationists – including the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund – are doing to help save them.  In addition, the purchase of any merchandise in the Tigris gift shop will help make a difference, with 5% of the sales price donated to the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund to protect tigers and their habitat."

© Google Maps
Just as exciting as the news that a new coaster is coming to the park in 2019, today's announcement also revealed that Busch Gardens Tampa will open a major thrill attraction in 2020 as well.

Details are scarce, but the park did 100% confirm that "Gwazi's existence has always been a bit of a rocky ride, so we decided to go ahead and revamp Gwazi into a new attraction" for 2020.  The park also said that their news on Gwazi was "a little bit of a hybrid attraction announcement" since it was for both 2019 and 2020 projects.

Obviously, there are two big hints in those quotes - the words hybrid and rocky.  Many have speculated that Gwazi would get the Rocky Mountain Construction treatment at some point since it was left standing, and to me this all but confirms that is the plan.  More details on that in a few months the park said, so stay tuned!