The demolition work on Gwazi is continuing at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, and the pace has quickened in the last few weeks as crews work towards the new hybrid roller coaster opening next year. The yet unnamed coaster is being built by Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC), whose crew has been on site since late in 2018 dismantling sections of the former wooden beast.
Since out last update, work has begun on deconstructing the former lion side lift hill and first drop. On Friday, March 15 crews had already begun removing the track from the bottom of the lion side first drop, and several supports from the lift hill.
In the setting sun that evening, the progress made around the site was visible from Gwazi Park during a VIP Media event for the 2019 Food & Wine Festival.
By the time the park opened on Saturday, March 16, much of the track on the lion side first drop has already been removed. RMC workers could be seen throughout the day cutting and removing support sections from the base of the drop.
We also saw crews scaling through the support structure of the lift hill and drop in preparation of further work.
Here’s a look at the remaining structure from Gwazi Field as of the afternoon of March 16. Click to view in greater detail.
In the week since that image was taken, the track over the top of the lift hill and about halfway back down towards the station area has been removed. We saw crews working to remove several sections of lift hill track on the afternoon of Friday, March 22.
By Saturday afternoon when the Food & Wine Festival opened again, we could see much of the first drop support structure had been removed during the week.
Several views from the pathways around the coaster show the progress made removing the track on the lift hill.
This past week, work also expanded in scope with the addition of a second crane on site. On Friday March 22, we saw the crane towards the center of the work side removing large sections of supports. Both cranes could be seen from Gwazi Field over the weekend.
Also on Friday, we could hear a third crew working somewhere out of site around the station area. It sounded like they were using a jackhammer or similar tool, and we could feel the ground vibrating a bit out on the main pathway. We also could see one of the structures in the queue area had been completely removed; the last image in the gallery below shows it without its roof as it looked in our last update earlier this month.
As work continues on Project 2020 at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, be sure to check back on our site and follow along on our social media feeds (linked below) for the latest news. As always, all images for this update were taken from guest areas.
Join in the conversation online with #2020Rising, #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.