Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Announces Iron Gwazi for 2020

Back in March,  Busch Gardens Tampa Bay announced that Gwazi, the park’s pair of former racing wooden coasters would be converted and become the World’s fastest and steepest hybrid coaster. With the coaster currently under the Rocky Mountain Construction knife, we now have a name for what Gwazi will become: Iron Gwazi. 

Standing at 206 feet tall, with a 91-degree drop and top speed of 76 MPH, Iron Gwazi will be North America’s tallest hybrid coaster, and the World’s fastest and steepest. It will also be the tallest and fastest coaster in Florida. (Also announced today, the 100-degree spike on Ice Breaker at SeaWorld Orlando will be the Steepest.)

“Iron Gwazi is going to be the best roller coaster in Florida,” bragged Jonathan Smith, director of rides and engineering for SeaWorld Parks, to Arthur Levine in an article for USA Today. “We’re building what could be one of the best coasters in the entire world.”

Photo: Busch Gardens Tampa Facebook

The coaster will feature 4,075 of track, including 3 inversions and 12 moments of airtime. In all, the coaster will be a quick one, lasting just one minute and fifty seconds. It will be Busch Gardens Tampa’s 10th roller coaster, and according to Rocky Mountain Construction Owner and CEO Fred Grubb (via Levine), it is estimated that RMC will retain about 40% of the original wooden structure from the original Gwazi, which closed in 2015.


Under the Gwazi moniker, the racing wooden coaster, featured two sides, a lion and a tiger. Iron Gwazi will draw its inspiration from a crocodile, and the new ride logo and train reflect this.

Iron Gwazi is scheduled to open Spring 2020. For more information, be sure to visit the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay website, and follow the park on twitter and Facebook.