By Jackie Carroll
A close encounter with blister bush seems innocent enough, but two or three days after contact, serious symptoms set in. Find out more about this dangerous plant and how to protect yourself in this article. Click here for additional information.
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SeaWorld is changing up its reputation with some thrilling rides, and its latest addition will surely be the best attraction yet.
According to USA Today, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is introducing two new roller coasters at its SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa theme parks.
At SeaWorld, the new Ice Breaker roller coaster, the park’s sixth coaster to date, will go forwards and backwards over 2,750 feet of track, at speeds up to 52 mph through the 90-second ride, according to the Orlando Sentinel. That may not seem very fast to roller coaster lovers, but the ride also features a 91-foot spike that measures at 100 degrees (slightly over vertical), which, again, passengers will travel both forwards and backwards over.
“This could be a kid’s first launch coaster,” Brian Andrelczyk, the park’s vice president of design and engineering, told the Orlando Sentinel. “It’s something the family can enjoy, but it is not going to disappoint thrill seekers either.”
According to the Sentinel, the Ice Breaker will be the park’s first launch roller coaster and is the first of three new rides coming to the park in 2020. And it gets within just a few feet off the ground at its lowest points, which can make for some pretty exciting highs and lows.
“The truth is you can have really exciting coasters that aren’t that high or go that fast,” roller coaster enthusiast Martin Lewison said to the Sentinel. “I love coasters that hug the terrain.”
The bright orange and blue ride will be near SeaWorld’s Wild Arctic exhibit, and will not only deliver thrills but also educate park goers on conservation efforts, USA Today reported.
Busch Gardens, known for being home to Florida’s tallest and scariest launch roller coaster, is also changing things up in the park by renovating its old, wooden Gwazi roller coaster and transforming it into a metal version, with the updated name Iron Gwazi.
The new ride will be bigger and better than before. When it is finished, the Iron Gwazi will officially be a hybrid coaster (with a combination of steel and wood materials) that will measure 206 feet tall and be able to launch passengers through upside-down loops on 4,075 feet of track at 76 mph, according to the Sentinel. The ride take a total of 110 seconds per trip, USA Today reported.
The new ride will actually beat out one of Busch Gardens’ other roller coasters, Tigris, for the “tallest and fastest” ride in the state. It is also just slightly taller than Cedar Point’s Steel Vengeance, which is currently the tallest roller coaster in North America, according to USA Today.
Jonathan Smith, director of rides and engineering for SeaWorld Parks, said the revamped coaster will be the “best roller coaster in Florida,” according to USA Today. Perhaps, said Smith, the best in the world.
Both roller coasters are planned to open to the public in the spring of 2020. For more information, visit the SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa websites.
If you are visiting Busch Gardens Williamsburg in your RV, there are some great nearby camping options. The following are three of the better options.
American Heritage is a highly rated Good Sam campground (9.5/10/10) that is approximately 15 miles from Busch Gardens. There are 105 sites. Pull through sites with 50 AMP service are available.
At over 8,000 acres, Newport News Park is among the nations largest municipal parks. It is located about 8 miles from Busch Gardens. The Newport News Park Campground offers 188 campsites in a wooded setting. At $36.00 per night for a water & electric site, this is definitely a good value option for the area. In addition to a great natural campground setting, you have access to hiking and biking trails, a nature center, an archery range, and canoeing & fishing on Lee Hall Reservoir.
Williamsburg/Busch Gardens Area KOA is located approximately 12 miles from Busch Gardens Williamsburg. the Williamsburg KOA has 370 sites divided into two sections. There is a lot to do at this KOA including a nice heated swimming pool, bounce pillows, and plenty of planned activities. Pull through sites with 50 AMP service are available.