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Timbuktu becomes Pantopia in Falcon's Fury shadow at Busch Gardens

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The old Timbuktu area lies in the shadow of the new Falcon's Fury drop tower at Busch Gardens Tampa. However, the old area is getting a massive facelift, with revamped rides, new food offerings, special stores, and rich theming that bring the story of Pantopia (its new name) to life.

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Pantopia is a place where keys and doors hold a special significance, offering a portal into storytelling and adventure. Transportation plays a big role, too, from the balloon you'll see hanging from the entrance where it managed to ground itself to a variety of other vehicles. Doorways, keys, and artwork are also major players in the themed tapestry.

All of the buildings are getting fresh new coats of paint in vibrant colors to match the new area's dynamic personality. The Timbuktu Theater is being transformed into the Pantopia Theater. No longer will it be a 4D movie venue. Instead, it will house an animal show featuring exotics and domestic pets like dogs and cats. They'll live in their own air-conditioned building adjacent to the theater.

Meanwhile, new food options are popping up all around Pantopia. Highlights include a new pretzel shop, a special craft beer, and Dragon Fire Grill, a spot where you'll see meat kabobs roasting on the spit and sending delicious scents wafting all around in the same way that Zambia Smokehouse tempts in SheiKra riders.

The carousel, which is one of the original Busch Gardens Tampa rides, has been rehabbed in the past, but it's getting a colorful new canopy during the renovation. You can see some scenes from the area, which is currently under construction, in the slideshow accompanying this article. Pantopia is scheduled to debut this spring.

The Painted Camel Bazaar gift shop is another new addition. Jump to this article to take a peek inside. If you missed the Falcon's Fury construction photos, go to this article.

Need advice or guidance from a Central Florida theme parks expert? Check out my ebooks for Kindle and Nook.

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