A new filing with the Federal Aviation Administration has revealed just how tall Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s recently announced hybrid coaster will be when it opens in 2020.
Promoted as the fastest and steepest hybrid coaster in the world, and the tallest of its kind in North America, the filing says the structure will be 210 feet tall. This would beat out the height of Steel Vengeance at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio — currently the tallest hybrid coaster in the world — by just five feet. Both Steel Vengeance and the new Busch Gardens ride are projects from Idaho-based Rocky Mountain Construction.
According to Coaster101.com, it’s possible a hybrid coaster currently under construction in Poland may claim the title of world’s tallest before the Busch Gardens attraction opens.
The coaster will be replacing Gwazi, the dueling wooden coaster that has sat idle in the park since 2015. Busch Gardens said the new ride would “feature all-new thrill elements, as well as restored elements of Gwazi,” hinting at using the existing infrastructure in some fashion.
That kind of conversion work is a specialty of Rocky Mountain Construction. By placing a steel track on top of the wooden supports, the reworked coaster could include more pronounced banked turns and elements like inversions. Steel Vengeance was one of those projects, using much of the support structure left behind by Cedar Point’s Mean Streak coaster.
Before the Gwazi replacement opens, Busch Gardens will give coaster fans another reason to visit this park this year for its 60th anniversary. Tigris, which is being called Florida’s tallest launch coaster, is set to open sometime this spring. The 150-foot-tall coaster will include three launches and hit a maximum speed of 62 miles per hour across 1,800 feet of track.