The new, highly anticipated drop ride, Falcon's Fury, has had it's share of ups and downs lately, literally! For nearly a year, Busch Gardens Tampa has hyped this extreme thrill ride that angles it's riders towards the ground below before dropping them in a feeling that is supposed to emulate the dive bomb tactics of a falcon. However, the natural world has a lot more experience, and more technical knowledge, than some of the designers of the new ride.
A recent unveiling of the new experience for the press was indefinitely postponed, with no explanation given. On Thursday, May 28, Busch Gardens released an official statement detailing some of the issues the new ride system has encountered thus far, and pushed back it's official opening to sometime later in the summer.
"Busch Gardens’ new thrill ride Falcon’s Fury includes first-of-its kind design elements, systems and parts," stated Kelly Hornick, Media Relations and Marketing at Busch Gardens Tampa. "Due to a delay in the fabrication of key component parts, neither the manufacturer nor Busch Gardens are able to complete the lengthy testing processes needed to open the ride to the public. The safety of our guests and team members remains Busch Gardens’ top priority and none of these delays involve safety systems."
This is reminiscent of some of the issues faced by some of their competitors to the east. Universal Orlando had numerous issues with the opening of it's now defunct Jaws ride, so much so that the entire system was reworked after less than a year. At Islands of Adventure, the high in the sky trolley ride remained closed for several years before General Electric engineers were brought in to work all the bugs out.
"The ride has been safely operated in the initial stages of the testing process, and all other elements of the park’s newest re-imagined land Pantopia are now open to guests," Hornick continued. "Busch Gardens will provide updates on the ride opening as events warrant. We are committed to delivering world-class thrills and the best possible ride experience, and we look forward to the launch of Falcon’s Fury, North America’s tallest freestanding drop tower, later this summer."
There will undoubtedly be some who will read this as a design flaw in the system, and write off the ride entirely. Others may take the daredevil approach, and say that since it had so many issues, it must be awesome! As far as how the general public reacts, we will have to wait and see.
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