First rumoured in 2011, the new drop tower ride at Busch Gardens Tampa is now a reality.
In early June 2013 Busch Gardens Tampa Bay announced a brand new ride called Falcon’s Fury that was meant to debut in the spring of 2014 but manufacturing delays meant it did not open until September 2014.
It was built by Intamin on the site of the former Sandstorm ride in the Timbuktu village area of the park.
Falcon’s Fury is a drop tower style ride and at 335 feet tall it is the tallest drop tower in Florida, twice the height of Doctor Doom’s Freefall at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. It is also significantly taller than the indoor 199 foot Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
The view from the top is amazing but not for long! Falcon’s Fury has a unique twist.
Before free falling 300 feet for nearly five seconds at speeds of up to 60 mph, the riders are rotated into a face-down position so you get to see the ground rushing up towards you, as you descend sky-diver style. As you hurtle towards the ground, magnetic brakes bring you to a stop and you are then rotated back into a normal seating position.
The ride can take 32 guests at a time sat in groups of four, around the central tower and riders can expect to experience up to 3.5g during the descent. Riders need to be at least 54 inches (137 cms) tall to ride.
There is a similar ride at Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Virginia. Called the Mach Tower, it is 246 feet tall and was built by Moser’s Rides but does not feature the face-down riding position. Instead riders are rotated around the tower for a 360 degree view of the park as they ascend to the top.