TAMPA, Fla. — After more than a year, Busch Gardens has reopened its popular Falcon’s Fury attraction.
The massive drop-tower ride was closed shortly after a free-fall ride accident at a different attraction in Orlando that killed a teenager.
Busch Gardens said it closed the ride out of an abundance of caution, but that wasn’t the only thing that kept Falcon’s Fury grounded for more than a year.
Regardless, ride enthusiasts are glad to see the return of Falcon’s Fury.
“I can’t wait. I’m ecstatic,” Kelvin Speights said. “I’m definitely going there as soon as possible.”
Busch Gardens’ freestanding drop tower -- all 355 feet of it -- sends riders plunging straight down at speeds of up to 60 miles an hour.
“I like the way it makes my stomach feel when I’m dropping,” Jasmin Jones, who visited the park this past week, said. “It makes me feel like a kid again.”
In March of last year, Busch Gardens took Falcon’s Fury offline following the horrific death of 14-year-old Tyree Sampson at Icon Park.
Sampson fell to his death from the Icon Park Freefall ride -- a completely different attraction with a different manufacturer.
So, then why was Falcon’s Fury grounded for more than a year?
The theme park says when it closed the ride for maintenance, there was a problem getting parts and supply chain issues created a longer than expected delay.
But this week, Busch Gardens took to Twitter posting a point-of-view video and the message, “Look who decided to drop on by."
That alerted Falcon’s Fury fans that the ride is back up and dropping.
“I like to watch other people get on it first and then I get on it. A couple of test rides,” Jones said laughing. “That means it’s good enough for me to get on it.”
“I’m gonna stand in line for maybe 30 minutes first and then I’m going to go up,” Speights said. “I can’t wait.”
To learn more about the ride, click here.