People. Listen. You know that I am a SLUT for Rocky Mountain Construction. One of my bucket list items is to ride every RMC in the world because they are actually works of art.
One of the most controversial RMCs of late is Iron Gwazi in Busch Gardens Tampa. It was originally a dueling coaster called Gwazi, which was notoriously rough and a prime candidate for the RMC treatment. It was like HUGE NEWS in the coastersphere when Busch Gardens officially announced that it would definitely be happening. I think this was in 2019, and it was slated to open for the 2020 season.
Welp. We all know about 2020.
So then it was pushed to 2021 but ended up SBNO (standing but not operating) for the entire season. I looked GREAT though! Seemingly complete, but you know, you just couldn’t ride the damn thing. I remember at some point during the summer of 2021, there were videos circulating of IRON GWAZI TESTING!
But then nothing.
The park finally announced sometime that fall that it would be officially opening in March 2022. We had actually tossed around the idea of doing a Florida park road trip last January, but omicron was still rampant so we nixed that idea. It was for the best though because I don’t think I would have been able to handle being that close to such a magnificent RMC without being able to ride it.
Imagine my screaming when we solidified our spring break plans and I finally let it sink in that I WOULD BE RIDING IRON GWAZI less than a month after it opened!! (I mean, GOD WILLING.) The world’s steepest and fastest hybrid coaster! (As of this posting anyway!)
Obviously we made a beeline for Iron Gwazi as soon as we arrived at Busch Gardens on this beautiful, sunny Wednesday in April. It is right near the entrance too so that was great! Now that I’m thinking back to this day, I don’t even remember walking through the gates. I mean, we definitely did, but I have no recollection of it AT ALL. I just know that we got there a little bit after the park opened and I was so nervous that everything was going to be crowded already.
LOL. Janice. Please. Iron Gwazi was a motherfucking STATION WAIT.
A STATION WAIT.
Can you even!?!?
And not just for our inaugural ride. It was like this all day long. I think the longest we waited MIGHT have been 25-30 minutes but that was just because we wanted the front row.
LOOK AT THE FRONT OF THE CAR THOUGH!!
And I loved all of the greenery around the queue, and the polynesian-esque roof thingies. I am very cultured. Look at me go.
I love this picture of us so much!
OK let’s back up, Brenda. The line attendant was assigning seats but anytime we asked for the back, they were just like, “That’s fine” which cracked me up. I love a backseat ride on an RMC, and this was no exception. Broken record here, but I am not good at explaining roller coasters so I will just say that this was 100% worth the hype and I got off the damn thing feeling INVIGORATED. Like most RMCs, this bitch is RELENTLESS. It makes you feel like you’re being yanked around on a leash, or riding out an avalanche down a mountainside. From the first drop, you’re just careening at breakneck speed, unable to even contemplate the elements you’re whipping through.
And it only got better and better with every ride as the day went on.
Here’s how you know RMCs are the real ones: Henry does not often re-ride coasters, but he always gets back in line for an RMC.
This is Henry agreeing with what I just said up there.
I rode once with Henry in the third to last row and this broad in the dress was right behind us yapping at the back of my head the whole way up the lift hill, and on one hand I was agreeing with all the super hype shit she was saying about air time, etc, but she was more annoying than anything else. Especially when we arrived back on the brake run and I said to Henry, “OK, that sealed it for me. I like this better than Steel Vengeance,” and it was almost like she heard me and was purposely squawking to her husband about how Steel Vengeance is still superior because it’s a longer ride, and OK I’ll give it that, but Iron Gwazi did more for me in a shorter amount of time than SteVe.
Also, SteVe is RARELY re-rideable. That motherfucker always has a huge line every time we’ve gone to Cedar Point, except for when it’s down.
Which is often.
So this is why I’m ranking Iron Gwazi higher – the entire experience from the queue to the ride itself was just a bit better than SteVe in my opinion.
Chooch and I got right back in line and this time opted for the front and that dumb bitch got in line right behind us so we had to endure her being a THOOSIE IN A DRESS again but at least since she was in line for the same row as us, that meant I wouldn’t have her screeching behind me again.
She was the only person who annoyed me all day (aside from Henry, natch) and honestly, she wasn’t even that bad.
Henry liked Iron Gwazi so much that HE BOUGHT THE DAMN HAT. Chooch got a t-shirt. I got nothing and I have big sads over that. I should have gotten at least a coffee cup or something!
This was the last BIG COASTER that we had to check off the list for this road trip and it was really like saving the best for last.
Ugh, but VelociCoaster…
No, Iron Gwazi….
Yeah, but those VelociCoaster night rides…
OK but Iron Gwazi’s insane elements…
Yeah, I can’t decide. Those are two very different coasters and ride experiences. Can it just be a tie!?
This was our 8th RMC (just Henry’s 6th LOLOLoser) and it’s safe to say that RMC still owns my heart. This trip had Chooch replacing B&M with Intamin for his favorite manufacturer, but it’s still me and RM sittin’ in a (hybrid) tree.