Busch Gardens has removed two beams from its new coaster, Iron Gwazi, after a guest reported he hit his hand on them during a preview ride this month, the park confirmed.
“We recently had a guest report that he had struck his hand on a beam while riding the Iron Gwazi roller coaster. That guest declined any medical treatment at the park after the ride was over,” a Busch Gardens spokesperson said.
“Out of an abundance of caution, the morning after this situation, crews removed two beams from the area where the guest reported this situation occurred. We took the precautionary step to remove them as part of our commitment to the health and safety of guests.”
The alteration comes in advance of Iron Gwazi’s official opening day on March 11. Passholders have been able to take preview rides since Feb. 11.
The new coaster at Busch Gardens is the most anticipated coaster in the country among adrenaline junkies. It is a hybrid coaster that has the bones of the old wooden Gwazi, which closed in 2015, overlaid with a steel track and given a new layout.
It is the fastest hybrid coaster in North America and the steepest of its kind in the world. It has 12 “airtime” moments, when you flutter out of the seat, after it takes riders to a 206-foot peak. It then plunges them into a 91-degree drop, reaching top speeds of 76 miles per hour.
“The safety of our guests is our highest priority and all of our rides are designed and installed according to all applicable standards, manufacturer specifications and include specific ride restrictions for the safety of our guests,” a statement from Busch Gardens said.
SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens’ sister park, also recently made changes to its new Ice Breaker coaster. Shortly after it opened last month, the park raised the coaster’s minimum height requirement due to “operational issues with smaller riders.” It required riders to be 48 inches tall, the height of an average 8-year-old. But a week after opening, it raised it to 54 inches, the height of an average 10-year-old.