Falcon’s Fury, the newest thrill ride at Busch Gardens® Tampa, will open in spring 2014 as the tallest freestanding drop tower in North America. Rising an amazing 335 feet, Falcon’s Fury will provide riders a bird’s eye view of Busch Gardens Tampa, pivot them 90 degrees in midair to a face-down dive position and then soar them straight down at 60 miles per hour!
Construction began in the summer of 2013 on the 335-foot-tall drop tower (originally named Desert Dive), which was designed to mimic the speed of a falcon in its hunting dive. Falcons have been known to dive at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour, making them the Earth’s fastest-moving creatures. Falcon’s Fury will open on the site formerly occupied by the Sandstorm orbiter ride, which closed in 2013. The drop tower is comprised of nine sections, each up to 20 feet in diameter and weighing 90 tons. Falcon’s Fury will hold 32 riders at a time (eight sides each seating four riders) with the ability to accommodate 800 riders per hour. The slow ride to the top of the tower will take approximately one minute, while the ride to the bottom will take about five seconds. Approximately halfway through the ride, the seats will begin to rotate back to a horizontal position. The minimum height requirement for Falcon’s Fury is 54 inches.
Falcon’s Fury will serve as the centerpiece of Pantopia™, Busch Gardens Tampa’s fully remodeled land (originally opened in 1980 as Timbuktu), which also features thrill rides and attractions such as Scorpion roller coaster, Phoenix swinging ship, Sand Serpent wild mouse coaster and Grand Caravan Carousel, as well as the Timbuktu Theater. Dining options within Pantopia include Pantopia Grill, Dragon Fire, Lynx Frozen Treats, Twisted Tails Pretzels and Kettle Corn. In addition, Pantopia boasts the Painted Camel Bazaar, the second-largest gift store at Busch Gardens Tampa.
In April 2014, Busch Gardens Tampa launched a two sweepstakes contests called “Falcon’s Fury First-to-Ride Party.” Random winners from each contest will be among the first riders on Falcon’s Fury. Busch Garden Tampa’s sister theme park, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, opened a similar ride, Mach Tower, in 2011. Although Mach Tower is the highest ride at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, it only rises to a height of 240 feet. Falcon’s Fury joins a growing list of classic thrill rides at Busch Gardens Tampa that includes Kumba (top speeds of 60 miles per hour), SheiKra (first dive roller coaster in the United States), Montu (one of the world’s tallest and longest inverted roller coasters), Cheetah Hunt (triple launch roller coaster and theme park’s longest thrill ride attraction at 4,400 feet) and Gwazi (twister-style wooden roller coaster). Both Busch
Gardens Tampa and Busch Gardens Williamsburg are owned by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™. First opened in 1959, Busch Gardens Tampa encompasses 335 acres and features the themed areas of Morocco, Bird Gardens, Sesame Street Safari of Fun, Stanleyville, Congo, Jungala, Pantopia (at nearly 6 acres, the largest of the themed areas), Nairobi, Crown Colony Plaza and Egypt.