Updates on Openings for Iron Gwazi, Ice Breaker, and Pantheon

When SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment announced five new roller coasters across the chain in 2019, Iron Gwazi, Ice Breaker, Pantheon, Emperor, and Texas Stingray, set to open in 2020, thrill seekers across the country were, for lack of a better term, thrilled. Unfortunately, due to a variety of factors, including COVID-19, only one of these roller coasters, Texas Stingray at SeaWorld San Antonio, was able to open as scheduled.

As the parks have slowly reopened at “full strength” as the world returns to normal, coaster enthusiasts have been taunted by completely built roller coasters at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and SeaWorld San Diego, sitting mostly dormant. While the occasional test runs have been made, setting social media ablaze, there was no real word as to when guests would be able to take their first rides.

Across the chain, opening dates of “2021” became “Anticipated Opening 2021,” and today, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, SeaWorld Orlando, and Busch Gardens Williamsburg all provided status updates for Iron Gwazi, Ice Breaker, and Pantheon.

Iron Gwazi

Arguably the most anticipated roller coaster to open in 2020, and then 2021, Iron Gwazi will officially open at Busch Gardens Tampa in March of 2022. 

In a statement, Busch Gardens Tampa Park President Neal Thurman noted that he appreciated the patience of the fans while waiting for Iron Gwazi to open.

“Iron Gwazi has been highly anticipated by roller coaster enthusiasts around the world since we first announced this new legend. Due to the unprecdented challenges over the last two years, Iron Gwazi was delayed and we recognize the delay has disappointed our fans. We appreciate the patience our guests have shown,” he said. “We’re finally able to confirm that we will be delivering on the next-level thrills that our coaster fans crave and expect from Busch Gardens, when we open this incredible coaster this spring.”

Just in time for spring break, Iron Gwazi, North America’s tallest hybrid coaster and the fastest and steepest hybrid coaster in the world, will open in March 2022. Iron Gwazi takes thrills to new heights, plunging riders from a 206 foot-tall peak into a 91-degree drop and reaching top speeds of 76 miles per hour. Riders on Iron Gwazi will experience a dozen airtime moments, including three inversions, as they sink their teeth into crocodile-inspired thrills

Manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction, the newest addition at Busch Gardens will be a wood and steel hybrid coaster design, featuring a maximum height of more than 200 feet tall. The ride will feature all-new thrill elements, as well as restored elements of Gwazi. Coaster enthusiasts can follow the progress of Iron Gwazi through the park’s social media channels and using #IronGwazi.

Active Pass Members will be invited to enjoy exclusive ride time on Iron Gwazi when it opens in March 2022.

Busch Gardens is also offering guests who purchased a Fun Card or an Annual Pass on or after Sept. 6, 2019 that will no longer be valid in March 2022 the chance to ride. They can click here to register for a special opportunity to ride Iron Gwazi when it opens. Responses must be received by Sept. 30, 2021.

Ice Breaker

Central Florida’s other delayed roller coaster, Ice Breaker at SeaWorld Orlando, will open in February 2022.

Park President Kyle Miller had a similar statement to Thurman, thanking the guests for their patience.

“We recognize there was a lot of anticipation and excitement for this new ride, and then due to the unprecedented challenges of the last two years, the opening was delayed,” he said. “We apologize for this delay and thank our fans for their patience. We know that they are going to love this one-of-a-kind thrill ride which complements our existing exhilarating ride portfolio perfectly. We are excited to finally be able to confirm Ice Breaker opening in February 2022.”

Named after the icy Arctic summits, Ice Breaker will feature four airtime filled launches, both backwards and forwards, culminating in a reverse launch into the steepest beyond vertical drop in Florida – a 93 feet tall spike with 100 degree angle. The thrills continue as riders fly over a near vertical tophat maneuver into a series of exciting twists, turns, and airtime hills. The brand-new coaster will be located across from Wild Arctic and opens February 2022.


While an official announcement for opening date was not made today, Busch Gardens Williamsburg noted that more information will be released soon.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s website still notes an “Anticipated 2021 Opening” for Pantheon.

Pantheon, one of the most anticipated roller coasters of 2021 by USA Today, will be the World’s Fastest Multi-Launch coaster. Pantheon features a staggering 2 inversions, 4 launches, 5 air-time hills, a 95° drop, a height of 180 feet, and a record-breaking top speed of 73 mph. The all-new coaster incorporates five mighty gods including Pluto, Mercury, Jupiter, Minerva, and Neptune, with an aspect of the track reflecting their respective powers. In this one-of-a-kind multi-launch experience fit for the gods, Pantheon is sure to delight even the most daring mortal thrill-seekers.

No new information was provided for Emperor at SeaWorld San Diego.

For more information, visit the websites of the individual parks. We’ll continue to stay updated on these opening dates!