Serengeti Flyer Opens at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

February 27, 2023, 3:42 PM · Busch Gardens Tampa Bay today officially opened its new thrill ride, Serengeti Flyer.

This S&S Screamin' Swing matches the record-setting specs of Tidal Surge at sister park SeaWorld San Antonio, flinging riders up to 135 feet in the air at speeds approaching 68 miles per hour. It's located at the old Rhino Rally load station site in the park, so riders can enjoy views of the park's Serengeti Plain as they ride... assuming they can keep their eyes open, of course.

Here's a POV video of Serengeti Flyer, provided by the park.

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Replies (3)

February 28, 2023 at 6:03 AM

I have to admit, I went in kind of 'meh' on this one. I am surprised to say it was a very fun ride, and actually a bit longer of a ride than expected. I would say it is more of a WHEE! type of experience. Night rides when the stars and moon are out are pretty insane.

Not so great - it was 7 minutes between unload/load/ride. That's less than 300 riders/hour. Granted, I'm sure it will get faster over time. But for now, over 30 min wait, and it will be a pass until next visit for me.

February 28, 2023 at 6:29 AM

I love the one at BGW, so I'm sure I'll like this one too. I'd rather have seen a Frisbee type swing, but BGT needed a solid flat ride, and this should do the trick.

Now, all I ask for is to see Falcon's Fury back up and running. Rumor has it, it has been testing :)

February 28, 2023 at 8:05 AM

These attractions are surprisingly good, but are becoming a bit ubiquitous across the theme park landscape. I will say that the bigger ones are definitely impressive in terms of speed and force, but the visuals can be just as important. For instance, Skyhawk at Cedar Point was one of the biggest in the world, but its location on a flat plot in the middle of Frontiertown doesn't really add much visual thrill other than looking at guests walking around below. Sea World San Antonio's version (Tidal Surge) is just a tad bit larger, but with a swing radius that takes riders over the lake makes it far more thrilling, while Finnegan's Flier at BGW which is considerably smaller has a lot going for it as the swing takes guests over a stream-carved ravine.

From looking at the POV, it appears that they flattened quite a bit of the topography from Rhino Rally, so it doesn't seem like it has the same amount of visual appeal to match what you get on Tidal Surge.

FWIW, I recall long cycle times on Finnegan's Flier when it first opened because ride programming would not allow restraints to unlock until both carriages were completely stopped (the newer versions of these rides have magnets to slow the swinging more rapidly - Skyhawk takes forever to stop without the magnets), but the tolerance was eventually reduced to allow slight movements in the carriage while unlocking restraints.

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