Make us your home page

Theme Park Guide: When will Falcon fly at Busch Gardens?

The numbers are awesomely pants-wetting: 335 feet straight up, then straight down, the tallest free-standing drop tower in North America. Ninety-degree tilting seats. A 60-mph plummet. Yep, Falcon's Fury at Busch Gardens, the centerpiece of the Tampa theme park's new Pantopia land, sure sounds like a rush. Now if we could only ride the darn thing. Not to pile on Busch Gardens' considerable woes, but Falcon's Fury was supposed to open weeks ago, on May 1. And yet we're all still waiting. The problems have been described in a vague way — "construction delays" — so it's tough to say when we'll have an opening date. Compounding the stress? This is an extremely crowded summer for new Florida attractions and all that accompanying hype. Now it appears that our Big Three Thrills for 2014 — Falcon's Fury, Disney's Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and even Universal Orlando's second Harry Potter experience — will all open up much, much closer to one another. Well, at least we hope.

Sean Daly, Times staff writer



While we wait for the ride, we'll have to comfort ourselves with a Bacon Pretzel Fury, one of the new food offerings in Pantopia. The area, formerly called Timbuktu, has been redesigned to complement Falcon's Fury. It's a much-needed facelift for one of the oldest sections of the park. It features a new frozen treats spot, kettle corn, kebabs and shops selling goods from around the world.

Summer Nights

Busch Gardens will stay open until 9 p.m. June 28 through Aug. 17 to make rides such as Cheetah Hunt and Falcon's Fury (when it eventually opens) a whole new experience in the dark. Kinetix returns for a blast of music and acrobatics every night on the Gwazi Park stage. Included with regular admission.

If you go

Regular admission is $95, $90 for ages 3-9, for a single-day ticket, but a new Weekday Ticket saves $30 if you buy it in advance online and go on a weekday. A Fun Card for $95 provides unlimited admission through Dec. 31. The park is at 3605 Bougainvillea Ave., Tampa. (813) 987-5600.

Falcon’s Fury is the tallest free-standing drop tower in North America. Video of the drop at


Falcon’s Fury is the tallest free-standing drop tower in North America. Video of the drop at

Theme Park Guide: When will Falcon fly at Busch Gardens? 05/21/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 8, 2014 2:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Blake High grad Taylor Trensch lands lead role in 'Dear Evan Hansen' on Broadway


    For those who saw Taylor Trensch grow up in Tampa, his rise from promising student to star is heartwarming and entirely predictable. In January, Trensch, 28, will be moving into the title role of Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway, one of the hottest tickets in theater.

    Taylor Trensch, a 2007 Blake High graduate, will play the title role in Broadway's Dear Evan Hansen. Courtesy of Frank Trensch.
  2. A scene from "Epiphany."
  3. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Oct. 22


    Clearwater Jazz Holiday: The Avett Brothers: The Avett Brothers, with their blend of folk, bluegrass and rock, lead the lineup. 1:30 p.m., Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater. $16 per day, $45 reserved, $170 VIP. (727) 461-5200.

    AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 15:  (L-R)  Joe Kwon, Bob Crawford, Seth Avett, and Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers pose for a portrait at the "May It Last: A Portrait Of The Avett Brothers" Premiere - 2017 SXSW Conference and Festivals on March 15, 2017 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW)
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Oct. 21


    Conor Oberst: The Bright Eyes mastermind will be joined by opener, the Felice Brothers. 8 p.m., Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $30.50-$36. (727) 791-7400.

    Handout photo of Conor Oberst, performing Oct. 21 at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg. Credit: Grandstand Media
  5. McDonald's soft serve in Florida is made with handshakes and happy cows


    Floridians licked nine million McDonald's vanilla cones last year.

    Calves play with a rubber toy at the Milking R Dairy in Okeechobee, FL. Owners Sutton Rucks, Jr., and his wife Kris Rucks sell their milk to SouthEast Dairies cooperative, Edward Coryn of Dairy Mix in St. Petersburg buys it, transforms it into soft-serve ice cream base, and sells it to all the McDonald's. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times