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|Manufacturer||Great Coasters International|
|Type||Wooden - Twin|
|Hourly capacity||2880[nb 1]|
|Propulsion||Chain lift hill|
|Manufacturer||Great Coasters International (2011-2015) |
Philadelphia Toboggan Company (1999-2010)
|Riders per train||24|
Gwazi was a twin wooden roller coaster located at Busch Gardens Tampa in Tampa, Florida, USA. The name Gwazi originated from a fabled creature with the head of a tiger and the body of a lion. Accordingly, the two sides were named "Lion" and "Tiger". The roller coaster opened in 1999, a few months after Florida's other twin roller coaster, Dueling Dragons (later known as Dragon Challenge) opened. The ride was one of 3 twin GCIs, the other 2 being Lightning Racer at Hersheypark and Joris en de Draak at Efteling.
A media day was held on Wednesday June 16, 1999. The following day, season ticket holders had the opportunity to ride, with Gwazi opening to the public on Friday.
Despite continued maintenance, Gwazi developed a reputation for delivering a rough ride. The Lion side of the ride was retracked in 2009 followed by the Tiger side in 2010. The final component of the overhaul was the installation of four new 12-car GCI designed Millennium Flyer trains to replace the ride's original rolling stock in 2011.
Even with the retracking and new trains, Gwazi remained difficult to maintain and ridership continued to decrease. At the end of the 2012 season, the Tiger side of Gwazi closed. Soon after the closing of the Tiger side, a bridge was built across the Tiger side's loading platform and one of the Tiger's trains was relocated onto the Lion side's track.
Some of Gwazi's trains were reused on Busch Gardens Williamsburg's 2017 wooden coaster InvadR. However, GCI CEO Clair Hain stated in an interview that the frames were the only part of the trains that were reused. Some of the ride's trains were also later reused on Texas Stingray, a 2020 wooden coaster at SeaWorld San Antonio.
In April 2018, beige markings were sighted on parts of the coaster's support structure, indicating that some sort of demolition work was due to take place soon.
Busch Gardens Tampa later confirmed at the announcement of Tigris on September 12, 2018 that a new thrill ride would take the place of Gwazi in 2020. A construction permit filed in late 2018 confirmed that Rocky Mountain Construction would be manufacturing the ride's replacement, which was later revealed to be an I-Box Track named Iron Gwazi.
In early 2019, track removal finally began from the ride.
4 trains with 12 cars per train. Riders are arranged 2 across in a single row for a total of 24 riders per train.
- This is the former capacity with both tracks operating.
- Busch Gardens Tampa to Unveil Gwazi to the Media - Ultimate Rollercoaster
- "Gwazi to reopen with Millennium Flyer trains". Coaster101. January 13, 2011. https://www.coaster101.com/2011/01/13/gwazi-to-reopen-with-millennium-flyer-trains/. Retrieved January 19, 2022.
- "Goodbye, Gwazi! Busch Gardens to close dueling wooden roller coaster". https://www.tampabay.com/news/business/tourism/goodbye-gwazi-busch-gardens-to-close-wooden-coaster/2211242/.
- "Busch Gardens Tampa To Close Gwazi Coaster In February". https://citysurfingorlando.com/2015/01/busch-gardens-tampa-to-close-gwazi-coaster-in-february/.
- on the Roller Coaster DataBase.
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