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RIP Gwazi (1999-2015)

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cwgator

Member
May 8, 2010
660
Gainesville, FL
Not that this is a big surprise but Screamscape is reporting yet another rumor that Gwazi will be closing. They state the last day will be February 1, 2015.

Screamscape BGT Gwazi Closure

(12/19/14) BREAKING - (12/19/14) Screamscape sources tell us that GWAZI will be the latest item cut from the company budget. I’m told that the last day for guests to ride GWAZI will be Sunday, February 1st, 2015. After that it will silently close, but don’t look for it to be demolished anytime soon... as that will cost money that the park doesn’t have. Instead Gwazi will sit as a silent sleeping giant until the park is ready to redevelop the site for a new future attraction. I have reached out to the park for an official comment on this, but so far have heard nothing back to officially confirm this. So for now, it is a rumor, but you’ve got a few weeks left to get your last rides in before GWAZI goes extinct.
 
Jul 27, 2014
480
Hulk's Queue
I've looked on all their (Busch Gardens)social media sites and they haven't said anything about it. But I guess it's confirmed. Guess this means Son Of Beast Part 2! R.I.P. Gwazi
 

cwgator

Member
May 8, 2010
660
Gainesville, FL
Update from Screamscape:

UPDATE - Screamscape has confirmed with Busch Gardens Tampa that they do plan on closing GWAZI on or around February 1st, 2015. The exact date may change between now and then however, but the park does plan to make an official announcement with a confirmed final date near the start of the new year.
 

AK-Jake

Premium Member
Mar 25, 2013
444
Alaska
I won't miss Gwazi, and as much as I want to see them build a new super-coaster, I realize they just don't have the money for it right now. All I want to see them do is stay afloat and get back on their feet. Screamscape also mentioned that they're accelerating their stock buyback program. Wonder if that means they're trying to buy all of their stock so they can sell off to someone? Or are they simply trying to boost their value again?

With all the layoffs that just occurred, the one I'm most troubled by is Scott Swenson, the "man behind Howl-O-Scream" at BGT. I worry about the future of the event now that they just canned the Creative Director.
 

shiekra38

Legendary Member
Dec 13, 2009
13,867
Florida
I won't miss Gwazi, and as much as I want to see them build a new super-coaster, I realize they just don't have the money for it right now. All I want to see them do is stay afloat and get back on their feet. Screamscape also mentioned that they're accelerating their stock buyback program. Wonder if that means they're trying to buy all of their stock so they can sell off to someone? Or are they simply trying to boost their value again?

With all the layoffs that just occurred, the one I'm most troubled by is Scott Swenson, the "man behind Howl-O-Scream" at BGT. I worry about the future of the event now that they just canned the Creative Director.
Prepare for a relative copy of last year..with a new theme...

As for Gwazi, the ride is half working at the moment and is a waste of funds the the park needs right now..I wouldn't expect a new attraction for a few years unfortunately...this is sad to see as some shows have been cut at Sea World as well..
 

Cole

Veteran Member
Apr 6, 2014
4,224
Rushmore Academy
This announcement broke my heart just like gwazi broke all of our spines. Having the park 10 minutes away from my house, on slow days I rode this baby atleast 40 times in a row. So much so the ride attendants knew my name!!!! Tons of memories and love put into this ride, while it is rough you can't help but appreciate the craftsmanship put into it, it's an art form. Whatever happens happens but I'll miss this ride and you bet your ass I'll be there feburary 1st for a final ride marathon, anybody wants to join me hit me the hell up!!!!
 

johde

Newcomer
Feb 12, 2014
30
I'm going to the park early January and will need to take a spin or 2 on the twin. It's been several years since I've been go Busch Gardens but I never thought Gwazi was that bad of a coaster. It must have gone down hill. But I'm from Ohio and have ridden Son of Beast and Mean Streak. With only about a month and a half of life left, it would be nice if they'd open both sides and duel them again. Or if they won't do that, open Lion in the morning and Tiger in the afternoon. Although after Tiger being SBNO for 2 years that's not likely.
 

highkite

Newcomer
Jun 28, 2013
86
ST. Petersburg
I believe there is (was) a big plan for this whole area of the park. I myself really enjoy the bird gardens, gwazi area. From a business point of view it's like a hole you just throw money into.
This park needs an owner with some capitol, to keep it alive
 

anihilnation

Veteran Member
Oct 13, 2013
3,474
Orlando
Screamscape also mentioned that they're accelerating their stock buyback program. Wonder if that means they're trying to buy all of their stock so they can sell off to someone? Or are they simply trying to boost their value again?
I have been pondering the possibility of there being something like a preliminary agreement to sell the parks to someone else. I will definitely miss Gwazi, but if they plan to replace it in a year or two then it makes sense, since apparently its maintenance cost is rather high.
 

Tobias

Veteran Member
Feb 25, 2014
1,565
I will definitely miss Gwazi, but if they plan to replace it in a year or two then it makes sense, since apparently its maintenance cost is rather high.
I wouldn't expect Gwazi to be replaced in a year or two, infact I'd say it's going to be a lawn ornament for a while. What's supposed to replace Gwazi is a hyper/giga coaster, as HTF mentioned that's been pushed back and what's coming in 2016 instead is what sounds like a family spinning coaster in Egypt.

It also sounds like the budget is so tight at the moment, they won't be demolishing Gwazi until the hyper/giga coaster is going in. So once again, Gwazi's probably gonna' be a lawn ornament.
 

shiekra38

Legendary Member
Dec 13, 2009
13,867
Florida
This reminds me of the "I'm sure Fear Factor and Twister will be replaced soon" talks I heard when Universal was in its dark times and made them seasonal...

Gosh I hate Blackstone
 

UNIrd

Premium Member
Jul 18, 2008
6,409
I don't find Gwazi much more rough than every other wooden coaster I've ever been on. Has anyone been on a "smooth" wooden rollercoaster? Isn't that kind of an oxymoron?
 

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,257
Pittsburgh area
I don't find Gwazi much more rough than every other wooden coaster I've ever been on. Has anyone been on a "smooth" wooden rollercoaster? Isn't that kind of an oxymoron?
You're right. That's why I prefer wooden coasters over metal. You can feel the ride. Our local park, Kennywood, has three excellent olde tyme wooden coasters. Very enjoyable & no hint of motion sickness. Never been to B.G Tampa though. Tried to once, many years ago. Thought it would be like our northern parks and open late in the evening. We pulled up at 5:00 and the sign said closes at 6:00. Never been in the Tampa area since and never felt like taking the drive from Orlando while on vacation. One of the main reasons we love Universal is that when we stay on site, once we park our car, we never have to use it again. After the long drive down from Pa., we don't really feel like driving anywhere.
 

OrlandoGuy

Member
Sep 29, 2014
679
Chicago
I don't find Gwazi much more rough than every other wooden coaster I've ever been on. Has anyone been on a "smooth" wooden rollercoaster? Isn't that kind of an oxymoron?
El Toro, Six Flags Great Adventure; Outlaw Run, Silver Dollar City; not to mention most roller coasters made by Gwazi's manufacturer. They can be smooth and comfortable so long as they're maintained well. Busch's inexperience with wooden maintenance, its relatively older design and poor vehicle design, and Florida humidity were a recipe for disaster. It is rougher than most wooden roller coasters, but I still love the thing and don't think it's *that* bad.
 

shiekra38

Legendary Member
Dec 13, 2009
13,867
Florida
I don't find Gwazi much more rough than every other wooden coaster I've ever been on. Has anyone been on a "smooth" wooden rollercoaster? Isn't that kind of an oxymoron?
There are two kinds of rough for me...the rattling train kind and the rattling brain kind...when the train is vibrating and rattling that is the sign of a good woody...with Gwazi this is not true the rattle is a bit more severe...to me...
 

AK-Jake

Premium Member
Mar 25, 2013
444
Alaska
Yes, with proper track gauging and replacing bad sections of wooden track (often at the bottom of the hills), you can keep a wooden coaster running pretty smooth. Wooden coasters AREN'T supposed to be painful. A little roughness is part of what makes a woodie a woodie, but PAIN is the sign of a poorly maintained coaster. And let's face it, it costs a lot of money to maintain them, so many parks don't like they should. Gwazi ran pretty good after its retracking work and Millennium Flyers train upgrade, but shortly afterward, it went right back to being a rough, painful ride again because Busch stopped doing regular maintenance on it and the wood started to warp and wear.

If you want to know what a properly maintained woodie feels like, go to Holiday World early in the season. Their 3 woodies run like BUTTER. By the end of the season, they beat you up pretty bad...and that's why HW spends all winter going over the track from station-to-station. The Lightning Racer at HersheyPark, Blue Streak at Cedar Point and The Phoenix at Knoebel's are good examples of wooden coasters that run great, with some roughness, but no pain.

Gwazi is one coaster I'd like to see replaced with either an Intamin Pre-fab woodie (like El Toro or Bakken), or get the RMC Iron Horse treatment. I doubt either will happen and I also suspect it'll be a lawn ornament for some time.
 

natespf

--Classified--
Premium Member
Apr 1, 2013
1,670
Florida is not the easiest place to maintain a woody too, that sun and humidity eat the wood right up.
 

Octobers Fade

DEAD inside
Premium Member
Jul 10, 2010
6,081
NoRemorse Cemetery
Florida is not the easiest place to maintain a woody too, that sun and humidity eat the wood right up.
Add a park that is 365.

People were complaining about Thunderhead, at Dollywood, also before it got some TLC. Kings Islands The Beast is a great woody, but not so much first thing in the morning when it hasn't warmed up yet.


I will ride one more time before it goes, but I won't miss it when its gone.
 

AK-Jake

Premium Member
Mar 25, 2013
444
Alaska
Florida is not the easiest place to maintain a woody too, that sun and humidity eat the wood right up.
Add a park that is 365.
Makes sense. I suspect that's part of the problem with Ghostrider at Knott's too. It's a once-great coaster that I flat-out refuse to ride anymore...it'll crush your spine before you even get down the first hill. Ouch! While I haven't ridden the "Apocalypse" wooden coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain, I fear it may too suffer the same problems as Gwazi.
 
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