Two New Slides Coming to Adventure Island
When Adventure Island water park opens this spring, it will present visitors with new experiences to enjoy. As part of a hard hat tour on Thursday, the park in Tampa, Florida, shared a look at the construction on its new water slides, as well as the upcoming transformation of its front gate and beach area.
“Rapids Racer” is an all-new dueling water slide that features the world’s first dueling saucers, said Andrew Schaffer, director of design and engineering for Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island. Full of high-speed tunnels and turns, “Rapids Racer” allows riders in two-person rafts to race through nearly 600 feet of slide, with low walls offering peeks at opponents throughout the side-by-side slide experience.
Schaffer said “Rapids Racer” was built in collaboration with ProSlide Technology and includes six different dueling elements. The ride experience is just over 30 seconds long, and it will have a 42-inch height requirement for riders.
Located right by “Rapids Racer,” “Wahoo Remix” is a revamped version of the family-favorite “Wahoo Run.” The newly enhanced attraction will be Adventure Island’s first water slide to feature synchronized light and sound elements, creating a party atmosphere for the family raft ride experience.
“‘Wahoo Remix’ is our most inclusive attraction, and we’re really excited to bring it back in a new way,” said Brandon Thom, vice president of Adventure Island. He added that visitors as young as 2 and 3 years old can wear a life vest and join their families on the ride.
Adventure Island’s entrance will welcome guests to the park with a fountain and 3D signage ahead of the front gate, which will feature hanging lights, surfboard décor, a new marquee sign, and improvements to the guest relations building.
Upgrades to the park’s beach area include new landscaping, several places to lounge, and shaded areas, as well as a new photo opportunity with a large Adventure Island sign nearby. A recent addition to Adventure Island is the Hang Ten Tiki Bar, which opened late last year. The water park’s first full-service bar offers a menu of hand-crafted signature cocktails, local brews, and a regional and international rum selection.
“It’s the most change that we’ve had in this park in the last 30 years—all happening at once,” Thom said. “We have a lot of work to do, but we’ll be ready by the springtime.” Adventure Island is set to open on March 5.
Additionally, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay announced on Thursday that its 10th roller coaster, “Iron Gwazi,” will open to park guests on March 11, following an exclusive preview period for Pass Members on select dates starting Feb. 11. The park said “Iron Gwazi,” manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction, will be North America’s tallest hybrid coaster, with a 206-foot-tall peak that takes riders down a 91-degree drop and reaches top speeds of 76 mph.
“The incredible anticipation for ‘Iron Gwazi’ is shared by both our guests and Ambassadors, and we are beyond excited to open this amazing coaster,” said Neal Thurman, park president of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. “‘Iron Gwazi’ diversifies our thrill ride portfolio and is an impressive addition to the Tampa skyline. Combining classic elements of a wooden coaster with a smooth, steel track will provide thrill seekers with an unforgettable experience.”