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Zachary

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Sep 23, 2009
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If you haven't been following Gwazi, here are the recent updates from Screamscape:

(11/12/12) I had first heard about this back in September, but I thought I’d give it time to work itself out… but apparently this is not been the case. For whatever reason Gwazi Tiger is said to be closed indefinitely, and we know it has been closed since the end of the busy summer season. Only the Lion side is up and running, and the park is running both Lion and Tiger themed trains on the Lion side of the track.

What isn’t known is if Tiger is closed for a rehab of some kind (are they actually doing any work to it?) or did the park close it down for budget reasons after the summer was over? Anyone out there who can fill us in a bit more on what is going on with Gwazi? I know early in 2012 I did hear a rumor about possibly wanting to test out some Topper Track on Gwazi, but so far the reports seem to indicate that Tiger is just closed and no signs of a major overhaul.

(11/13/12) According to a Screamscape source, Gwazi Tiger was shut down primarily for budget purposes only.

(1/8/13) Interesting news from a reader who visited Busch Gardens Tampa late last week. [...] Gwazi is still only running with just the Lion side, and according to sources, it may be quite some time until Tiger runs again… if it EVER runs again. I’m told that the sign showing off the wait time for the Tiger side of the queue has now been removed, and the Tiger side is now used as the Quick Queue entrance, with the aid of a bridge that has been construction to allow them to pass over the Tiger track in the station to get over to the Lion side.

According to rumors spreading through the staff, Gwazi’s maintenance budget has been slashed to the point that it can not run both side any longer. Two of Gwazi’s trains have also been reportedly cannibalized for spare parts to keep the other two running. As before, Gwazi is only running one Lion themed train and one Tiger themed train, with the other Tiger train visible and stripped down on the old Tiger maintenance track. So sad…

I can't imaging this can last for all that much longer. Something has to happen. Rocky Mountain Coasters? Complete reprofiling from GCI? Torn down completely?
 

netdvn

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Last time I rode this, it was running pretty poorly. I personally wouldn't shed a tear if it was taken out completely for another new coaster or given the Rocky Mountain/Intamin treatment. Didn't the ride get completely retracked when it got new trains?

If someone from Tampa could look around the Tiger side for a born on date, we might be able to figure out whether or not the ride will be taken down.
 

Shane

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netdvn said:
If someone from Tampa could look around the Tiger side for a born on date, we might be able to figure out whether or not the ride will be taken down.
What do you mean?




I personally have my fingers crossed for an RMC Iron Horse or even better complete Re-Topper Tracking of it to keep that woodies feel.
 

netdvn

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Before BBW and Python were removed, the park spray painted a date on a visible support column (I believe) close to the station. I believe the date was the date the coaster opened.

Then again I've read that all the coasters have something like that.
 
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I wonder if it has something to do with low ridership numbers? I mean is Gwazi a big draw? People love the steel coasters. Could they just get rid of this and put in a dueling steel coaster? Every time I've gone there the ride is almost a walk on, while I had to wait for all the other coasters.

Please don't kill me woodie lovers. It's all about getting the peeps in the park.
 

Zachary

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The question is, why does it have low ridership? Answer? Because it's an awful, vicious, unenjoyable ride experience. I think they could fix it if they're willing to pay for it but I don't know that they are. The chain isn't really known for putting much into their aging rides. Then, lets say they did put the money into it. Is that really marketable? I don't even know if a full New Texas Giant/Rattler-style makeover is marketable- especially in an environment like Florida.
 
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Shane

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ScreamScape said:
(1/9/13) After doing a little more checking with some people more ‘in the know’, I’m told that Gwazi Tiger is still down due to some much needed trackwork. No one seems to know why this has not been completed yet, nor how much longer it will take until it is done. There was a rumor floating about several months ago indicating that the park might have been wanting to install some Topper Track to try and smooth out some troublesome sections of the ride. I suppose it is possible that they could be waiting on this… but no one seems to know just what the hold up is, only that they expect it to reopen this year

This sounds like good news, I would like to see the whole thing get topper track though, the whole ride is a "rough spot."
 

Zachary

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Topper track is cheap and easy to get. I'd be willing to bet this is bigger than just topper track. At the very least, they're weighing their options.
 

b.mac

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Bumping this topic because I've heard no work has been done on the closed side of Gwazi at all. Still wondering what might be happening to this thing.
 

b.mac

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Shane said:
From what I am hearing, they are waiting on a specific company to become avaliable to do some work on it.

Heh I figured they were waiting for someone, and judging from the insanity of their projects I can understand why.
 
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I'll be highly, highly disappointed if Gwazi is taken out. The rough, shake-your-joints-apart feeling is why I love it so much. If it gets replaced with anything but a wooden roller coaster, I believe the park would lose something really special. Gwazi is a monster, one just needs to appreciate it.
 
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For what it's worth, the rumors I've been hearing both in park and elsewhere online are usually one of the following two:

Major work on the coaster, likely including a redo of the track in some manner.

OR

Torn down, to be replaced with a major coaster (giga coaster gets thrown around alot).




My own opinion, not based on any solid evidence, is that if no major work starts or is announced by the end of Summer 2014, then it's likely gonna get scrapped. With Falcon's Fury opening in the Spring of 2014, I can see them keeping the one side of Gwazi open through the summer to help with capacity in the park, then closing up shop at the end of the summer season to either do major work or start the tear down process.

Again, just an educated guess based on personal feeling.
 
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