Thursday, May 24, 2018
Things To Do

Falcon's Fury drop ride officially open at Busch Gardens

It has essentially been open for the past week, but on Tuesday Busch Gardens made it official: The much-delayed Falcon's Fury drop ride is open.

"We know guests from around the world have been waiting to experience this one-of-a-kind thrill ride, and we are excited to officially invite those guests to ride Falcon's Fury," said Jim Dean, president of the Tampa theme park.

Originally set to open in early May, the ride and its surrounding themed area called Pantopia is estimated by industry analysts to cost $5 million to $6 million. But construction delays cost Busch Gardens the summer tourist season for the tallest drop ride in North America, one of the most anticipated new rides of the summer.

Busch Gardens' attendance was down 6 percent last year to 4.1 million, its largest annual decline since the recession in 2009. It was also the steepest decrease of any of the top 20 amusement parks in North America, according to the Themed Entertainment Association's annual report, considered the best independent tracker of theme park attendance.

Since Busch Gardens started allowing visitors on Falcon's Fury for unannounced hours the last two weeks, Twitter reviews have been hailing it as a scary thrill.

It's a ride that slowly lifts riders to a lofty 335 feet, then plops them face-down before a free-fall drop that takes 6 seconds.

Busch Gardens has said Falcon's Fury will be among the rides that will be open during Howl-O-Scream, its Halloween-themed separate ticket on select nights from Sept. 26-Nov. 1. General admission for Howl-O-Scream is $89 but deals can be found online at HowlOScream.com,

Busch Gardens single-day adult ticket is $95; children 3-9 is $90. For Florida residents that price gets you unlimited park admission through Dec. 31 at BuschGardensTampaBay.com.

Comments
Eight women accuse Morgan Freeman of sexual misconduct in CNN report

Eight women accuse Morgan Freeman of sexual misconduct in CNN report

Eight women have accused actor Morgan Freeman of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior on-set, at his production company, and during press junkets, according to a report.CNN reports that 16 people have spoken out against Freeman’s alleged misco...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Ballet Nacional de Cuba stuns with a spectacular ‘Giselle’

Ballet Nacional de Cuba stuns with a spectacular ‘Giselle’

TAMPA — The Ballet Nacional de Cuba performed Giselle, its signature ballet, on Wednesday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. Fifty-four dancers charmed a packed house, culminating in about two hours an effort that took more tha...
Updated: 1 hour ago
9 things to do indoors on this rainy Memorial Day weekend

9 things to do indoors on this rainy Memorial Day weekend

It's probably going to rain, but we've got you covered (get it?)
Updated: 1 hour ago
15 things to do in Tampa Bay on Friday

15 things to do in Tampa Bay on Friday

Our editors' picks for May 25.
Updated: 2 hours ago
What's in theaters this week: 'Solo: A Star Wars Story,' Art and Short Film Mini-Fest

What's in theaters this week: 'Solo: A Star Wars Story,' Art and Short Film Mini-Fest

[email protected] brings an Art and Short Film Mini-Fest to the studio Thursday, May 24.
Updated: 2 hours ago
Watch Kenny Chesney’s new ‘Get Along’ video, filmed entirely at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

Watch Kenny Chesney’s new ‘Get Along’ video, filmed entirely at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

Were you at Kenny Chesney's concert on April 21 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa? Then there's a decent chance you might be in his new video.The country superstar dropped the official video for his new single Get Along on Thursday, and it was appare...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Dr. Beach ranks Caladesi Island No. 7 on list of country’s best beaches

Dr. Beach ranks Caladesi Island No. 7 on list of country’s best beaches

Caladesi Island’s "crystalline quartz" sand and "sparkling clear" water left an impression on Dr. Beach, who ranked it in his annual list of the country’s top 10 beaches.Dr. Beach, or Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, is a professor and director for the Lab...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Sunset Music Festival, more outdoor concerts could be soaked by weekend rain

Sunset Music Festival, more outdoor concerts could be soaked by weekend rain

  Your Memorial Day weekend weather forecast is not looking good, with a big low pressure system, Invest 90L, hovering out in the Gulf of Mexico and threatening to dump several inches of water on Saturday. For music fans, it couldn't be coming at a...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Hooper: More than a restaurant, Lee Roy Selmon’s was a meeting place

Hooper: More than a restaurant, Lee Roy Selmon’s was a meeting place

It’s where former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Doug Williams had lunch with current Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston.It’s where University of South Florida fans often gathered to watch the program’s biggest road games.It’s where folks showed up in...
Updated: 8 hours ago
An all-ages playlist of the summer songs of 2018? It can be done

An all-ages playlist of the summer songs of 2018? It can be done

Recently I was asked to create a playlist for a summer beach party. An opportunity to procrastinate and mess around on Spotify for a few hours? Yeah, totally, when can I start?I like playlists that are diverse, not just in terms of genre (pop, hip-ho...
Published: 05/24/18