Skip to main content
  1. Travel
  2. Local Getaways

Things are looking up at Busch Gardens Tampa

See also

There must be something in the water in Central Florida, as it seems like new and exciting projects are springing up out of the ground in the area's many themed attractions. As the original theme park and zoological preserve, the creative team at Busch Gardens has to balance not only the dreams of thrill seeking guests, but also the needs of their permanent residents; the animals.

More Photos

To find their most recent project, all you have to do is look up! At more than 300 feet tall, Falcon's Fury will be one of the tallest drop towers on Earth when it opens later this summer. Starting on Wednesday, Jan. 22, hundreds of lead blocks are being loaded plate by plate, 150 pounds at a time to create a counterweight.

Once fully constructed, the counterweight will total 68 tons and be loaded inside Falcon’s Fury. This unit will counterbalance the ride vehicle, similar to how an elevator operates, to create the force to pull riders nearly 300 feet up Falcon’s Fury. From there, gravity takes over!

For lovers of the thrill rides that have helped to put the park on the map, this will be a must do. For some of the coaster chickens out there, and you know who you are, this will be yet another ride to gaze at in amazement and scream "I don't think so!!"

Of course, the primary focus of Busch Gardens is the animals. On Jan. 25-26, Busch Gardens® Tampa’s cheetahs took part in one of the Tampa Bay area’s oldest traditions, Gasparilla, with a cheetah twist. A few of the park’s cheetahs celebrated the first ever “Catsparilla,” complete with a pirate ship.

Made of a plastic tub, cardboard boxes, a bamboo mast, hay and other enrichment items, the Catsparilla pirate ship included spices to entice the cheetahs to “board the ship,” and even paper Mache animals for the cheetahs to pounce on.

So, if you want to experience some high speed thrills, and also enjoy some of the most majestic and amazing animals on Earth, perhaps you should plan a trip to Busch Gardens Tampa this year. I know I am!

Be sure to subscribe to this column, travel to some of the greatest local getaways around, all from the comfort of your desktop (or laptop, or PDA, or smartphone!) If you have a favorite local attraction you'd like to see profiled, please let me know. Also, be sure to follow me on twitter, and read my articles about motorsports, HOAs, elections, and restaurants.


Today's top buzz...

  • Amazon Prime
    Amazon Prime: Share the gift of expedited shipping with up to four freeloaders
    Tech Tips
  • Celebrity couples
    Take a look at the most powerful celebrity couples in Hollywood
    20 Photos
  • Deviled eggs
    This is the only deviled egg recipe you’ll need this Easter
    Delicious Eggs
  • Famous celebrity redheads
    These famous faces turn heads with their perfectly styled red manes
    27 Photos
  • Short obituary
    A Swedish man decided to create his own obituary and now it's gone viral. See why
    Top News
  • Watch a new sport: Twenty reasons for you to start watching rugby
    20 Photos

Related Videos:

  • Eggs on display
    <div class="video-info" data-id="517294296" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>
  • Merlin Entertainments unveils major expansion plans in Orlando
    <div class="video-info" data-id="517724885" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>
  • California Living 2014 Hitchcock "The Birds" Movie Scene Tour Movie Trailer
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//;autoplay=1"></iframe>

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!