*Stay up to date on coronavirus closures and re-openings by visiting buschgardens.com
At Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island, this spring is shaping up to the biggest one yet with TWO new family attractions opening this year: Solar Vortex, America’s first dual tailspin water slide, and Iron Gwazi, North America’s tallest hybrid coaster and the fastest and steepest hybrid coaster in the world.
Rising temperatures call for the perfect place to cool off, and Adventure Island has 30 acres of water-drenched fun with chills and thrills for all ages. Located right across the street from Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, the waterpark is celebrating its 40th Anniversary with the addition of America’s first dual-tailspin water slide, Solar Vortex. The family raft slide combines high-banking rotations and rapid descents, sending sliders on a swirling journey through two open tailspin features. Solar Vortex will also include three dynamic AquaLucent™ elements – harnessing the power of the Florida sun into colorful patterns that shine through the slide as riders reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour. Solar Vortex joins an unrivaled blend of slides, corkscrews, waterfalls, a wave pool, children’s water playground and other family attractions that make Adventure Island a spring and summer staple each year for Tampa Bay families.
Thrills will reach record-breaking heights at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay with the evolution of Iron Gwazi, North America’s tallest hybrid coaster and the fastest and steepest hybrid coaster in the world. Iron Gwazi plunges riders from a 206-foot peak into a 91-degree drop, reaching top speeds of 76 miles per hour. Riders on Iron Gwazi will experience a dozen airtime moments, including three inversions, as they sink their teeth into crocodile-inspired thrills.
Food & Wine Festival
Spring at Busch Gardens also means the return of the fan-favorite Food & Wine Festival, back for its sixth year and bursting with more flavors than ever! Bite into hand-carved espresso-rubbed beef tenderloin, one of the 25 new food items on the menu this year, or indulge in a returning fan-favorite for dessert: the griddled cheesecake handheld. Among more than 80 wines, beers and other grown-up beverages are new coaster cocktails, each themed to Busch Gardens’ best thrill rides. The Iron Gwazi gimlet inspired by the highly anticipated hybrid coaster is the perfect pairing with the world-class concert acts featured on the Festival Stage each Saturday and Sunday in April.
The Food & Wine Festival is just one of the amazing special events included in park admission to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. From the upcoming Sesame Street Safari of Fun Kids’ Weekends to Summer Nights, Bier Fest and the fan-favorite Christmas Town, there’s always something exciting to explore. For amazing family memories all year, a Busch Gardens and Adventure Island Annual Pass includes 12 months of unlimited visits and wow-worthy perks like free parking, a free Serengeti Safari, merchandise and dining discounts and special limited-time offers throughout the year. The best part? Pass Members enjoy exclusive ride time on Solar Vortex and Iron Gwazi this spring, so be sure to “spring” to it and get your Annual Pass today.
*All photos courtesy of Busch Gardens
Originally published in our April 2020 issue.