Gwazi to close at Busch Gardens?  Fact or Rumour?

Important Update Jan 9th 2014
Busch confirms that the Gwazi will permanently close after its last ever day of operation on Feb 1st 2015

Important Update Dec 23rd 2014
Today, Busch Gardens confirmed to us today that the Gwazi will indeed be closing early 2015.  Much in line with Screamscape’s earlier note, the Busch Gardens spokesperson stated that a precise date had not been announced, and that no plans for the ride, or the Gwazi area of the park are currently available.

We can confirm that the Gwazi coaster is closing early next year. We have not announced an official date, but as soon as we have one, we will make an announcement so anyone who wants to come and ride it one last time can do so. Additionally, we have not finalized or announced any future plans for the ride or that area of the park.

 

Important Update Dec 20th 2014
Screamscape reports that the Gwazi will indeed take its last ‘rickety rackety’ tour around Busch Gardens Tampa on Feb 1st 2015!
Although unconfirmed, we ourselves are taking this as reliable advice to fans that desperately want to take one more high speed trip on this super fast wooden roller coaster!

 

IMG_8749Perhaps Central Florida’s most charismatic roller coaster is soon destined to make the headlines.
If rumors are true, this bone shaking ‘woodie’ (wooden structure design) is about to be turned into matchsticks any year soon.
While it is only rumors, and nothing yet confirmed by Busch Gardens, the Gwazi is only down to one train.
The Tiger train and track appears to be permanently closed now, leaving only the Lion side open to guests as a cost cutting exercise most likely.

So what is the likely future of Gwazi?

Luxury Orlando Vacation HomesFurther rumours reported on the Screamscape website in April of 2013 point to Gwazi giving over to a brand new ‘speed coaster’ some time in 2015 or beyond and that the recently purchased Gwazi trains (one of which, the Tiger is reported to be loaded onton transportation sleds) may be headed to Busch Gardens Williamsburg as the ride gear for a new wooden attraction over there.

A new investment at Busch Gardens is a distinct possibility, on the back of the recently introduced and popular Cheetah Hunt long and ‘mild but wild’ coaster.
A hefty investment would also reflect an ongoing commitment to the region’s tourism industry by Blackstone, the owners of SeaWorld.  There’s no lack of investment going on there, and rightly so if SeaWorld and Busch aim to stay in the limelight amidst huge developments already in the pipeline at the neighboring Universal and Disney parks.

In reality, Busch has its work cut out. An additional one million visitors would lift Busch from the bottom of the Orlando area theme park attendance list and elevate it above SeaWorld (2011 figures).
Not an easy task with so much activity at the Ocean based theme park!

Which side of Gwazi is open?

The ‘Yellow’ Lion side is the only remaining track that is open.  The Tiger ‘Blue’ side closed towards the end of summer in 2012 and so far, has not re-opened.

Get Gwazi while you can!

In our opinion, this rumour has legs.  No sense in taking a train, crating it up and shutting down 50% of a giant beast of a ride that sprawls across a vast portion of a park’s real estate.  Yes, our personal opinion is that Gwazi will click and clack around this monstrous and adorable wooden track for the last time in 2013.

Although this Rickety Rackity ‘old’ wooden roller coaster looks destined to run the rails no more, be assured that Busch Gardens will put a fair amount of effort into grabbing those headlines, and of course extra gate entrance dollars!

Goodbye Old Friend!