Florida's Busch Gardens plans new family coaster for 2024

October 2, 2023, 12:26 PM · Busch Gardens in Tampa is getting a new family inverted coaster for next year.

The Bolliger & Mabillard thrill ride will be the park's 10th roller coaster and go in to the Pantopia land of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. And, as we uncovered last week, the new attraction will called Phoenix Rising - a namecheck of one of the park's former attractions.

Phoenix Rising
Concept image courtesy Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

"Phoenix Rising will be an extraordinary journey for our seasoned coaster enthusiasts and younger thrill-seekers alike," Park President Stewart Clark said. "Joining a comprehensive coaster collection, this new attraction reinforces our commitment to provide guests with new, immersive and one-of-a-kind experiences."

In other news, Stewart Clark is back as president of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, quietly replacing former Six Flags Magic Mountain President Neal Thurman over the summer. Okay, now back to the coaster.

Phoenix Rising will reach a top speed of 44 mph on 1,831 feet of track. The height requirement will be 42 inches. It also will be the park's first roller coaster to feature on-board audio, with what Busch Gardens promises to be "a one-of-a-kind soundtrack."

Phoenix Rising will open in spring 2024.

For discounts on theme park admission and packages, please visit our partner's Busch Gardens Tampa Bay tickets page.

Replies (6)

October 2, 2023 at 12:37 PM

i like this choice...however, since it's a B&M and not Vekoma, really hope they have 2 trains as opposed to one like Dragonflier at Dollywood. i really enjoyed that ride but definitely not worth the wait.

October 2, 2023 at 1:31 PM

B&M is an interesting choice here, because Vekoma has done such an excellent with family coasters over the past 5+ years, particularly their family inverts. I'm sure B&M will do an excellent job creating an exciting, yet accessible coaster, but this is a bit outside their wheelhouse. I'm interested to see what the layout looks like and if the trains use the newer OTSR restraints that have proven to be very comfortable and accommodating on Mandrill Mayhem at Chessington.

October 2, 2023 at 1:55 PM

As an enthusiast this is a head scratcher as there are several B&M family inverts operating out there and they don't look as fun as the newer Vekoma family inverts, but Sea World Parks seems pretty happy with B&M so the fact that they offer this I guess Sea World/Busch Gardens being the parks that buy them is not a surprise.

BGT was in desperate need of a family coaster that isn't nauseating like Cobra's Curse, so I think this helps a gap in their lineup, but with Rhino Rally and now Cheetah Chase being removed they could still use another major family ride.

In regards to their next big coaster I am on the bandwagon of removing Kumba for a B&M giga. Kumba was an awesome coaster for a long time but its been rough for 15 years now and rarely ever gets a line.

October 2, 2023 at 3:59 PM

SWE are obviously getting good deals from B&M for basically being their guinea pig/showroom.

If, and it's a big if, but if they do decide to remove Kumba, then the only dangly carrot they can possibly offer would be a Giga.

I don't think the diehards would accept anything less ??

October 2, 2023 at 11:42 PM

While not a bad choice for the park, it is one I'd consider a bit of an odd option given all the possibilities out there for a family coaster. My best guess is that both Penguin Trek and Phoenix Rising may have been purchased as a package and at a discount to show off a new B&M family coaster division, as both are designed with a 42" height restriction in mind (something B&M has never done before) and seem to be targeting a similar audience. While not a ride that's going to get a special trip out of me, if SeaWorld wants to get in on the surge to Florida once Epic Universe opens, it's rides like these that are going to help their case with out of town tourists rather than the giant thrill coasters.

October 3, 2023 at 12:19 AM

I think at this point the main draw of Sea World in the Orlando market is the value proposition compared to Disney and Universal. For tourists they have a package that includes Discovery Cove (with dolphin swim) + SWO, Aquatica, and BGT for 14 days for only $240. And for locals the SWO/BGT fun cards and annual passes are a lot more affordable than Disney or Universal.

There was a period where SWO tried to compete pound for pound with Disney and UO and have the same ticket pricing. It was around the time they built Manta and its extremely expensive queue, after that they also spent a ton of money on Antartica (which was a massive flop). They believed they were the same quality so should have the same prices (and I know this because I knew their GM at the time and he would tell me that every time I told him he needed to lower his ticket prices lol).

Oddly enough Manta and Mako did nothing to push the needle for SWO's attendance, it was pretty much flat for both additions. Once they brought back the fun card and started pushing more affordable APs their attendance finally went back up.

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