First Look: The Official POV Video for Iron Gwazi

November 12, 2020, 9:01 AM · The pandemic delayed the opening of Busch Gardens Tampa's record-setting Iron Gwazi until next year. But the Florida park is giving fans a first look at the ride on this new Rocky Mountain Construction project with today's release of the official POV video.

Ready to take on the world's fastest and steepest hybrid coaster? Hit play and enjoy.

The rebuild of the former Gwazi wooden coasters has created one super-sized, 4,075-foot track with a height of 206 feet, a 91-degree drop and a top speed of 76 miles per hour. It will open to visitors next spring.

In the meantime, for tickets to Busch Gardens Tampa, please visit our travel partner's Busch Gardens Tampa tickets page.

Update: I had to do it. Here's a side-by-side comparison of the official Iron Gwazi and Steel Vengeance POVs, so we can stoke the debate over which will be the better coaster.

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Replies (12)

November 12, 2020 at 9:42 AM

Other than the first drop this looks like one of the weaker RMCs, way too many inward banked turns and no airtime hills. My favorite RMC I have ridden is Twisted Timbers that thing is an airtime hill machine, with my second favorite being Twisted Cyclone and third is Steel Vengeance.

November 12, 2020 at 10:31 AM

I think your mileage with it will vary on what you prefer in a coaster. If you're an airtime junkie this probably won't be the ride for you but if you're a speed and intensity enthusiast then this looks fantastic. Personally my least favorite RMCs are the small twister ones with a bunch of little airtime hills. Those just kill the speed and thrill for me, almost like the cheap jump scare of the coaster industry. The likes of Storm Chaser, Twisted Cyclone, etc are definitely elite coasters and are fun but it's why I still rank New Texas Giant in my top 5 RMCs. I want to feel the engineering and raw speed and power and I just don't get that from those tighter, smaller coasters. It's kind of like the B&M inverts. Yeah the Batman clones are raucous and fun as hell but they just can't compete with the likes of Montu and Banshee where you feel like you've had an experience more than just a ride.

I predict the line of demarcation between those who love it and those who are disappointed will match up closely with the division between those who prefer Intamin (me!) and those who prefer B&M, lol


That said it's not going to live up to Steel Vengeance and I think it's unfair to ask it to. The footprint and length of that coaster just gave RMC so much to work with that virtually no other coaster, and in particular no other wooden coaster, could manage, 5700 feet of track puts it in rarified length territory and you can't ask a much shorter coaster to do what SV does.

Side note: Can we also now have RMC come back and tweak some of its older creations? Texas Giant has always had an elite layout, I'd love to see RMC come remodel NTG with some of their newer tricks and elements. I think it would compete favorably once again with the best of the best out there. And then they could fix that still terrible top-of-the-quarry section of Iron Rattler next. That section was godawful when it was a wooden coaster, RMC did what they could but it's still bad and nothing but filler until the drop off the quarry. They could come back and re-profile sections of it to make it actually into the coaster that too many enthusiasts pretend it is.

November 12, 2020 at 11:57 AM

While some portions don't look as airtime filled as other RMCs, I don't think we should start basing big judgements off of a youtube video. It *looks* to be a fun ride and a good addition to the BGT coaster collection.

I do hope that the wooden supports don't get damaged by the moisture. I'd hate for BGT to have to spend money in 8-10 years to repair the supports.

November 12, 2020 at 12:55 PM

This looks like a hybrid version of Intimidator 305 but shorter of course =)

November 12, 2020 at 1:58 PM

I think it's so difficult to evaluate a roller coaster based solely on a POV. The intensity of the forces are very difficult to discern, but you can usually get a feel for the pacing. The pacing on Iron Gwazi looks stupendous with a layout that has has good variability and constantly changing of directions through the final brake run.

For me, I think the highlight will be the outward-banked element at the top of the second hill (just after the upward overbank). The similar element on Steel Vengeance is the best part of that coaster, yet doesn't occur until that coaster's 3rd hill, though it hold the outward bank a lot longer than Iron Gwazi does. Let's just hope that the coaster can open next spring and the park can host capacity crowds later next year.

November 12, 2020 at 2:27 PM

Gwazi appears noticably faster on the video, but a little bare. The tunnel of headchoppers on Steel Vengeance puts it ahead for me.

November 12, 2020 at 2:33 PM

I've watched the POV a few times now, and as Russell mentioned it's difficult to assess a coaster just on a video, but the pacing does seem to continue thru most of the ride. (Hence Fury is my #1) No 'false' air time bunny hills either, so that's good (for me anyway), just one of the reasons SV never made my #1.

All in all, a superb addition to the ever growing number of coasters we have here in Florida ......

Now, who's going to build me that local giga coaster :)

November 12, 2020 at 2:41 PM

@yeowser, that's what I was thinking too! Those transitions and speed through the elements reminded me a lot of I305! That happens to be my favorite coaster so definitely explains why Iron Gwazi looks great to me

November 12, 2020 at 3:02 PM

After seeing the POV, Iron Gwazi does look better than I thought it would be from seeing it in person last month. It's a long ride with larger elements rather than spamming bunny hops for half the ride like Steel Vengeance, which is something I personally prefer. I don't know that it will dethrone Lightning Rod as my favorite RMC or Twisted Colossus as my favorite IBox, but it does look like a top ten steel candidate and I look forward to riding it at some point next year.

November 12, 2020 at 7:40 PM

@the__man Twisted Timbers is your favorite RMC? Considering KD is just a heartbeat away from me, I've definitely road TT more than any other RMC, but of the 5, that would have to be my worst. IG looks like a solid coaster, even if its just as good as SV, I'll be happy

November 12, 2020 at 9:31 PM

Last row please.

November 14, 2020 at 12:23 AM

Twisted Timbers and Wicked Cyclone are about as close to perfect as it gets for me. Steel Vengeance was on that line of too much...15 years ago or so it probably would have been my favorite but, well your body changes over time i'll leave it at that haha.

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