Gwazi

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Gwazi
Gwazi (Busch Gardens Africa) 02.jpg
A view of Gwazi's entrance and the Lion lift hill.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Park section Morocco
Coordinates 28°02′02″N 82°25′23″W / 28.03389°N 82.42306°W / 28.03389; -82.42306Coordinates: 28°02′02″N 82°25′23″W / 28.03389°N 82.42306°W / 28.03389; -82.42306
Status Operating (Lion)
SBNO (Tiger)
Opening date June 18, 1999
Cost $10,000,000 USD
General Statistics
Type Wood – Dueling
Manufacturer Great Coasters International
Lift/launch system Chainlift
Tiger (Blue) Lion (Yellow)
Height 105.4 ft (32.1 m) 105.4 ft (32.1 m)
Drop 91.8 ft (28.0 m) 91.8 ft (28.0 m)
Length 3,508 ft (1,069.2 m) 3,508 ft (1,069.2 m)
Speed 51 mph (82.1 km/h) 51 mph (82.1 km/h)
Inversions 0 0
Duration 2:30 2:30
Max vertical angle 50° 50°
G-force 3.5 3.5
Capacity 2880 riders per hour
Height restriction 48 in (122 cm)
Trains 4 trains with 12 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in a single row for a total of 24 riders per train.
Quick Queue available
Gwazi at RCDB
Pictures of Gwazi at RCDB

Gwazi is a dueling wooden roller coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in Florida. The name Gwazi originates from a fabled creature with the head of a tiger and the body of a lion. Accordingly, the two sides are named "Lion" and "Tiger". Often, the two tracks are called "yellow" and "blue", (yellow being the primary color of the Lion trains, blue being the primary color of the Tiger trains). It includes almost 7,016 feet of combined track and reaches speeds of 51 m.p.h. Both tracks have similar but nonidentical track layouts.

The roller coaster opened in 1999, a few months after Florida's only other dueling roller coaster, the Dueling Dragons at Universal Studios' Islands of Adventure. Gwazi holds the record for most fly-bys on a dueling roller coaster, with six. A fly-by is where the two roller coasters pass each other in opposite directions at high speeds, giving the psychological impression that the two will collide. It is the largest and fastest double wooden roller coaster in the Southeastern U.S.

Due in part to the Philadelphia Toboggan Company designed trains, which have been known to deliver rough rides on GCI designed coasters, Gwazi was known for giving rough (and at some points, painful) rides, similar to ROAR! at Six Flags America. At the beginning of the 2010 season, Gwazi was spotted with what appeared to be Millennium Flyer trains on the track, with water dummies on board.[1] Starting in 2011, the ride has run with the new cars, making the ride marginally smoother.[2]

In 2006, a 52-year-old Palm Springs resident collapsed and died shortly after riding Gwazi. It was determined that the ride (which was functioning properly) had aggravated an existing condition of high blood pressure. See Incidents at SeaWorld parks for more info.

At the end of the 2012 Summer season, the Tiger side of Gwazi closed for budget purposes.[3] As of April 13, 2014, Gwazi Tiger is still closed,and that there is speculation that the trains of Gwazi will be sent to Busch Gardens Williamsburg for a possible new attraction and that Gwazi is expected to close within the next couple of years to make way for a new coaster opening in 2015 or 2016, according to a park employee.[4]

A view of Gwazi from the Skyride. Only the Lion side is operating in this photo.

Awards[edit]

Full Roller Coaster
Golden Ticket Awards: Top Wooden Roller Coasters[5][6][7]
Year 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Ranking
-
-
-
-
-
38
43
46
40
DNC
Tiger
Mitch Hawker's Best Roller Coaster Poll: Best Wooden-Tracked Roller Coaster
Year 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Ranking
30
33
37
40
44
50
51
64
77
Lion
Mitch Hawker's Internet Poll: Best Wooden-Tracked Roller Coaster
Year 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Ranking
32
42
41
41
50
51
53
71
79

References[edit]