Following last week’s reveals about coming attractions to the three SeaWorld-branded parks, the SeaWorld Entertainment chain’s two Busch Gardens parks are announcing a new coaster and a timeline for refurbishing a classic attraction.
The new coaster will be coming to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Dubbed Phoenix Rising, the ride will be an inverted coaster aimed at families with a 42-inch height requirement. It’s being built by Bollinger and Mabillard, the same Swiss coaster firm behind the inverted thrill coaster Montu in the Tampa park.
“Phoenix Rising will be an extraordinary journey for our seasoned coaster enthusiasts and younger thrill-seekers alike,” said park president Stewart Clark said in a statement. “Joining a comprehensive coaster collection, this new attraction reinforces our commitment to provide guests with new, immersive and one-of-a-kind, experiences.”
The new coaster will be the park’s 10th overall and will be opening in spring 2024 in the Pantopia section, which recently lost another coaster when Sand Serpent closed down.
At 1,831 feet in length and sporting a top speed of 44 mph, Phoenix Rising will be longer and faster than B&M’s other two family inverts. In a first for Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, the coaster will also feature onboard audio.
The other Busch Gardens park in Williamsburg, Virginia, didn’t have an entirely new ride to announce, but did clarify the timeline and other details for its overhaul of the Loch Ness Monster coaster.
The 1978 Arrow Dynamics classic will keep its famous interlocking loops, but a new “storytelling element,” as Busch Gardens put it, will be added to the first drop with a “glimpse of something monstrous lurking under the water.” 900 feet of the ride’s track will be replaced, along with an updated queue, new music added to the lift hill and an overhaul of the ride’s enclosed helix, which will now see riders “coming face-to-face with the monster in a shadowy cave lair.”
The current version of Loch Ness Monster will close to the public on Oct. 31. Busch Gardens members will get exclusive ride time on Nov. 4 and 5. No debut date for reimagined ride has been set.