The Timbuktu area at Busch Gardens Tampa has been shrouded with construction walls for a few months now. However, the walls can't hide the tall, slim structure that's risen toward the sky steadily until it reached a final height of more than 300 feet.
That structure is, of course, Falcon's Fury, the park's newest thrill ride. It opens in the spring, and in the meantime, Busch Gardens Tampa held a construction tour for the media that went behind the scenes and into the busy work area.
As you'll see from the slideshow accompanying this article, Falcon's Fury has changed the entire Busch Gardens Tampa skyline, and it dwarfs SheiKra, which you can see in the background from certain spots. It also makes its closer neighbors, Sand Serpent and Scorpion, look like toys as they sit in its shadow. When it's up and running, it will feature impressive LED lights for added fun at night.
One of the ride seats was on display during the construction tour for members of the media to try out. You'll see me trying it in the slideshow, so I can attest to the fact that it's comfortable and secure. The ride will zip daring souls up the tower and drop them back to earth, but it has an added sinister surprise: you never know exactly when you're going to drop. It could be within one second, or you could be left dangling for several seconds before you plummet. The time frame will vary from ride to ride, so you'll never know what to expect.
Of course, you also drop face first, since the seats tilt forward. It's a special thrill akin to the fun of riding Sheikra (especially in the end seats) with no floor below you.
Falcon's Fury is just one small part of a huge renovation for the Timbuktu area, which is being reimagined into Pantopia. Jump to this article for scenes from construction around the area, or jump here for a peek inside the new gift shop.