Iron Gwazi

Roller coaster in the United States
Watch the on-ride POV
Iron Gwazi
Iron Gwazi during its opening year
Busch Gardens Tampa
Location Tampa, Florida, USA
Coordinates 28°02′02″N 82°25′23″W / 28.033987091°N 82.42308910°W / 28.033987091; -82.42308910
Status Operating since March 11, 2022
Rider height 48 inch minimum
Replaced Gwazi
Manufacturer Rocky Mountain Construction
Product I-Box Track
Designer / calculations Alan Schilke
Type Steel - Hyper - Hybrid
Riders per train 24
Propulsion Chain lift hill
Height 206 feet
Drop 206 feet
Top speed 76 mph
Length 4075 feet
Inversions 2
Drop angle 91°
Duration 1:50

Iron Gwazi is a steel hybrid roller coaster located at Busch Gardens Tampa in Tampa, Florida, USA. It is a Rocky Mountain Construction I-Box conversion of the former Gwazi wooden roller coaster. With a drop at an angle of 91 degrees, it is the first hybrid roller coaster with a beyond vertical drop.


The front car from one of the trains on display at IAAPA

On September 12, 2018, when Tigris was announced, Busch Gardens Tampa confirmed that a new thrill ride would take Gwazi's place for 2020.[1] Gwazi remained standing but not operating after closing in February 2015.[2] Later that year, a permit filed with the City of Tampa revealed that Rocky Mountain Construction would be completing the project.[3]

In early 2019, track removal from the Gwazi structure began.[4]

On March 1, 2019, Busch Gardens officially confirmed that the ride would be North America's tallest, and the world's fastest and steepest hybrid coaster and that it would be over 200 feet tall. They also confirmed Rocky Mountain Construction's involvement.[5] Later that month, an FAA permit was filed confirming that the ride would be 210 feet tall and in April, track began arriving onsite.

The ride was officially announced on September 12, 2019. The front car from one of the trains was revealed at IAAPA 2019.[6]

The lift hill was topped off in December 2019.[7]

Trackwork was finished on March 7, 2020. Two days later, Iron Gwazi had its first test run.[8][9] The attraction was slated for a spring debut, but the park closed on March 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic. SeaWorld finally stated that Iron Gwazi would open sometime in 2021.[10] Testing resumed in August 2020, and the attraction had been regularly tested since.[11]

In August 2021, SeaWorld announced that Iron Gwazi would open in March 2022.[12] In January 2022, it was announced that the exact date would be March 11, 2022.[13]

After the ride opened for passholder previews, two beams were removed from the ride after a rider reported striking their hand on a beam while riding the coaster.[14]

The ride held its private opening ceremony on March 10 and opened to the public on March 11.[15]



Iron Gwazi is a Rocky Mountain Construction I-Box Track roller coaster that replaced Gwazi, a Great Coasters International twin wooden coaster that operated from 1999 to 2015. It uses approximately 40% of the structure and track layout of the original ride.[16] Unlike its predecessor, it isn't a twin roller coaster, but is almost double the height of both sides at 206 feet tall. It is a hybrid, like Zadra, and is also tied for the tallest hybrid with it. It is the world's fastest and steepest hybrid and features the tallest beyond-vertical drop on a coaster at 206 feet, three feet taller than Cannibal's drop.


2 trains with 6 cars per train. In each car, riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows, for a total of 24 riders per train.



  1. "Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Announces New Multi-Launch Thrill Coaster "Tigris"". PR Newswire.
  2. "Busch Gardens Tampa To Close Gwazi Coaster In February".
  3. "RMC Gwazi Confirmed for Busch Gardens Tampa!". Coaster Kings.
  4. "Gwazi Construction Update 1-31-2019 - Touring Central Florida".
  5. "New Details Emerge for Busch Gardens Tampa's Massive 2020 Rocky Mountain Coaster". NewsPlusNotes.
  6. "Busch Gardens and SeaWorld parks reveal new coaster cars". Theme Park Insider.
  7. "Busch Gardens Tampa Tops Off Iron Gwazi With Dizzying New Photo". NewsPlusNotes.
  8. "Iron Gwazi begins test runs at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay". Orlando Rising.
  9. Stilwell, Andrew (March 10, 2020). "Iron Gwazi, Emperor Begin Testing". Coaster101. Retrieved February 17, 2022.
  10. "SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Parks Postponing 2020 projects to 2021". Coaster101.
  11. Derrick, Peyton E. (2021-06-11). "When Will Iron Gwazi Finally Open?". Theme Park Tourist. Retrieved 2021-06-14.
  12. "SeaWorld Entertainment Announces 2022 Opening Dates for New Coasters". NewsPlusNotes. 2021-08-26. Retrieved 2021-08-27.
  13. "Busch Gardens' Iron Gwazi opening March 11 as country's tallest hybrid coaster".
  14. Carter, Ashley (2022-03-05). "Busch Gardens removes beams from Iron Gwazi after guest hits hand". Spectrum News 9. Retrieved 2022-03-05.
  15. Carter, Ashley (March 10th, 2022). "Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has welcomed its 10th roller coaster, Iron Gwazi". Ashley Carter. Retrieved March 11th, 2022. {{cite web}}: Check date values in: |accessdate= and |date= (help)
  16. Fake, David (March 2022). "Wait is over - RMC, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay awaken Iron Gwazi". Amusement Today. No. Vol. 25 Issue 12. Retrieved 2022-03-14.

External links

Articles on Busch Gardens Tampa