TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – 8 On Your Side got a behind-the-scenes look at the construction of Busch Garden’s roller coaster Iron Gwazi on Thursday.
Upon its completion, Iron Gwazi will be North America’s tallest and the world’s fastest and steepest hybrid coaster.
Iron Gwazi will plunge riders from a 206 foot-tall peak into a 91-degree drop.
The coaster will reach a top speed of 76 mph.
According to engineer Andrew Schaffer, the attraction will feature 12 airtime moments and three inversions.
8 On Your Side digital reporter Daisy Ruth asked Schaffer how the roller coaster will stack up against one of the park’s other impressive rides with a steep drop… SheiKra.
“So we’re a little bit taller than SheiKra. It’s going to be a lot faster than SheiKra. The actual track length is very similar to SheiKra though, but the experience on this attraction is very much different,” Schaffer explained.
“So there’s a lot more airtime moments, faster speed, a 91-degree drop instead of 90.”
He explained Iron Gwazi is very different than other attractions at the park, and even in the world.
“I mean it’s very different because this is a custom ride. We had to utilize the footprint that was already here from the original attraction and kind of piece it all together so it all made sense,” Schaffer said.
That means the original Gwazi is still part of the coming attraction.
“We had to put in a little bit of new foundations for the new support structure for the Florida Building Code and stuff like that. We were able to utilize all the existing foundations plus some and some of the structure that was there originally,” Schaffer explained.
Iron Gwazi will open in 2020. The official date has not yet been announced.