Iron Gwazi, Ice Breaker to Open Next Year

August 23, 2021, 10:42 AM · The long-delayed Iron Gwazi and Ice Breaker roller coasters will open early next year, their parks announced this morning.

Iron Gwazi will open in March 2022, Busch Gardens Tampa announced. The Rocky Mountain Construction rebuild of the former Gwazi wooden roller coasters will feature a 206-foot drop, two inversions and top speed of 76 mph on its 4,075 feet of track. I took a late-stage construction tour of Iron Gwazi in January 2020 and the park released an official POV video late last year.

"Iron Gwazi has been highly anticipated by roller coaster enthusiasts around the world since we first announced this new legend. Due to the unprecedented 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," Park President Neal Thurman 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."

Over at SeaWorld Orlando, Ice Breaker will open one month earlier, in February 2022. This Premier Rides Sky Rocket climbs 93 feet and reaches 52 mph on its 1,900 feet of track. Here is our behind the scenes construction tour report from January 2020.

"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," Park President Kyle Miller 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."

Here is SeaWorld's virtual POV for Ice Breaker:

For discounted tickets to these Florida parks, please visit our authorized travel partner's Busch Gardens Tampa Bay tickets and SeaWorld Orlando tickets pages.

We still are awaiting word on SeaWorld Entertainment's other delayed 2020 coasters, Pantheon at Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Virginia and Emperor at SeaWorld San Diego. Busch Gardens is promising a Pantheon update "within the next few weeks."

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Replies (2)

August 23, 2021 at 11:27 AM

Well, finally. I just got an email to that effect from BGT. When I last went to that park in December of 2019 Iron Gwazi appeared to be near completion and I know that a lot of testing was done in subsequent months. Sure, the pandemic slowed down a lot of things but new attractions opened nevertheless so I was wondering when BGT would get around to this one.

August 24, 2021 at 10:08 AM

Let's not forget that Sea World made virtually ZERO revenue through much of 2020, and is still running in the red to pay back passholders who were kept away from the parks for months because of "make good" initiatives. With restricted revenue (and capacities in some parks) that continued through this summer, it makes complete sense for the company to kick the can down to 2022, and stretch those debts to the manufacturers until the parks can get a decent bump/return for these pricey new rides. While Iron Gwazi is highly anticipated, there's absolutely no reason for BGT to try to open it during Howl-O-Scream or compete with the first half of WDW50, and the same goes for Ice Breaker.

It's likely that SWE is still trying to analyze the best timing to open Emperor and Pantheon, but almost certainly those 2 will similarly push their debuts until early next year. For Pantheon, BGW was giving Members free Quick Queue passes through the fall and winter of 2019/20 before the pandemic struck, and while they have stated that they will still honor those when the coaster does open, they've stipulated that in order to use them you must still be a Member in good standing (i.e. paid up). That indicates to me that these new coasters will be leveraged to market and sell park Memberships and season passes, which will almost certainly be executed over a months' long campaign.

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