RMC Gwazi Construction Update 1-11-2019

Demolition work has begun on Gwazi, the former dueling roller coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. The wooden roller coaster has been standing but not operating (SNBO) for nearly four years.

This past September, the park held an event to officially announce Tigris, a new roller coaster currently being built in the Stanleyville section of the park scheduled to open Spring 2019. During that event, park officials also teased that something would be happening with Gwazi for 2020. The announcement used words like “hybrid” and “rocky” which led most coaster enthusiasts to believe it would be revamped by Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC).

While the park has still not confirmed anything, the publicly filed permit for demolition that was originally filed in October was updated just before Christmas to show RMC would indeed be involved with the project.

Site prep work had been ongoing throughout the end of 2018. This week, demolition work began on the Gwazi structure itself. A crane has been spotted working around the site.

Today, crews were busy sawing apart pieces of Gwazi behind the Lion side lift hill, in the train shed and just outside of it (see area circled in red on Google Maps image below).

We saw several sections of what appeared to be wooden supports lifted up by the crane after being cut apart by crews on the ground.

One of the crew members we spotted was wearing a rather interesting shirt.

Exactly how much of the existing structure on Gwazi will be saved is unknown at this point. We’ll of course be following the demolition and eventual construction progress on RMC Gwazi, so be sure to stay tuned to the site and our social media feeds (linked below) for all the latest on the project!


Join in the conversation online with #BGTProject2020 and #RMCGwazi. For the latest on Busch Gardens Tampa and other theme parks, attractions and more across the region, be sure to follow Touring Central Florida on twitter @TourCentralFL@androckb@Emmet_TCF, @JacobTouringCe1, and give our facebook page a like.

7 thoughts on “RMC Gwazi Construction Update 1-11-2019”

  1. I absolutely hate what they are doing to Gwazi. Leave it as a wooden coaster. The bumpy rickety feeling is what I like the most and you don’t get that with ANY rides by RMC.

    1. I love wooden coasters, grew up in PA so was a bit spoiled in that department. I rode Gwazi once before it closed, and I can say I have no love lost for it being converted. Whether it wasn’t well maintained or the Florida weather just took its toll, I don’t know. But it was just about the worst wooden coaster I’ve been on, in my opinion.

      Most other guests seemed to be thinking the same thing – ridership was very low, and it was the lowest rated attraction in terms of guest satisfaction.

      I’m excited to see what they do with it – and hopefully it helps the park (and the chain) bounce back so they can keep investing in the park!

      1. I agree. I have ridden it in when it was fairly new in 2000 and one last time in 2012.

        Even with a refurbishment and new trains it was just as terrible as I remembered it when I first rode it.

      2. Same here, Bill. When you’re fortunate enough to call Kennywood your home park and Knoebel’s your home away from home, you know you’re spoiled when it comes to wooden coasters. Even when Conneaut’s Blue Streak was in a state of disrepair, it was still a fun ride. Gwazi was just disappointing to me. With a little more speed and a smoother track, I could have seen it being a fantastic ride, but I considered it almost as disappointing as Cedar Point’s Mean Streak. Thankfully, both those rides will no longer be a waste as they will have both been reimagined by 2020. I’m all for preserving the good wooden coasters that are out there (I’m looking at you Six Flags.), but some just aren’t worth keeping around.

  2. I’m happy to see Gwazi finally getting the RMC treatment. Yes, it means that it won’t be a wooden coaster anymore, but that’s not such a big deal given that there are plenty of far better woodies out there.

    We may be watching the birth of BGT’s greatest coaster.

  3. I’m so excited! I’ve been waiting for this for years ever since I rode Iron Rattler and the closing of the original Gwazi was announced.

  4. Loved Qwazi, but it did get very rough at the end. RMC will hold up much better in the Florida weather. Really excited and looking forward to it. Thanks for keeping us up to date!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *