SeaWorld, Busch Gardens announce new roller coasters opening next year

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The theme park wars are heating up with SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay announcing details of their new attractions set to open next year.

During a joint news conference, the two parks revealed that two new roller coasters will debut in 2020, one at Busch Gardens in Tampa and one at SeaWorld Orlando.

"This marks the first time in four years that both parks have launched new coasters in the same year, in addition to a new water slide in Tampa. SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Pass Members will be among the first to experience the new attractions," SeaWorld said in a press release.

Iron Gwazi will open in spring 2020 at Busch Gardens. The new attraction will be North America’s tallest, fastest, and steepest hybrid coaster in the world. Standing 206-feet tall, guests will experience a  91-degree drop, and reach top speeds of 76 miles per hour. The journey will include three inversions and 12 airtime hills as it races along more than 4,075 feet of purple steel track. 

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“Iron Gwazi is the evolution of a classic wooden coaster into a modern icon,” said Stewart Clark, Park President of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. “From the bones of the original Gwazi, a new legend rises, reaching taller heights and faster speeds, delivering the next-level thrills that our coaster fans crave and expect from Busch Gardens.” 

At SeaWorld Orlando, the new Ice Breaker roller coaster will also open in spring 2020. Located near the park's Wild Arctic attraction, Ice Breaker will be the park's first launch coaster featuring four launches, "both backwards and forwards, culminating in a reverse launch into the steepest beyond vertical drop in Florida — a 93-foot tall spike with 100-degree angle."

The theme is Ice Breaker also promotes conservation work in the Arctic.

Adventure Island is also getting a new attraction next year with Solar Vortex. It will be America’s first dual-tailspin water slide, sending sliders on a swirling journey through two open tailspin features.

"Manufactured by Whitewater, Solar Vortex will also include three dynamic AquaLucent™ elements — harnessing the power of the Florida sun into colorful patterns that shine through the slide as riders reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour."