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Adventurous can now officially take Falcon’s Fury plunge at Busch Gardens

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Published:   |   Updated: September 2, 2014 at 05:09 PM

— Thousands of thrill seekers have experienced the plunge in recent weeks, but it has been hit or miss for those visiting Busch Gardens, hoping to hop on Falcon’s Fury and dive, face-first toward the ground. Now, the long-awaited drop tower is officially open.

Falcon’s Fury went on line today as the newest attraction in the theme park’s growing array of rides offering titillating turns, sweeping slides and terrifying tumbles.

North America’s tallest free-standing drop tower will be operating this fall between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. most days. Check the Busch Gardens website for specific days and operating times.

“With the soft opening in the last couple of weeks, we tried to operate it as much as we could,” said Busch Gardens spokesman Travis Claytor. “Now, that it’s open all the time, it should be open constantly until close” each day.

“We are safely into the thousands” of guests who have already taken Falcon’s Fury for a spin, Claytor said. “The response has been amazing, absolutely fantastic,” he said. “Overwhelmingly, guests who have ridden it are just beaming with excitement when they get off the ride. Virtually, everyone has said they will ride it again.”

“We know guests from around the world have been waiting to experience this one-of-a-kind thrill ride and we are excited to officially invite those guests to ride Falcon’s Fury,” said Park President Jim Dean.

Falcon’s Fury had originally been scheduled to open in May. “Part of the delay was created because we were waiting on some parts to be remanufactured and shipped over from Europe,” Claytor said. “Then, they had to go through the installation process” and ride testing.

The tower stands at 335 feet and sends riders soaring at 60 miles per hour, straight down. At the ride’s highest point, “like its bird of prey namesake,” riders pivot 90 degrees in midair to a face-down position. Seconds later, they take a nose-dive.

Falcon’s Fury is located in the newly renovated Pantopia area of the park, which has a number of new shops, including Twisted Tails Pretzels, where guests can purchase specialty pretzels and craft beer. The renovated Pantopia Theater offers the show Opening Night Critters and the Painted Camel Bazaar offers guests a variety of upcycled and recycled merchandise.

The Pantopia Grill features a large indoor dining area and the adjacent Dragon Fire offers an outdoor grill. “And then, we actually have an open air market called Kettle Corn Market where you can get fresh popped kettle corn and other specialty flavored popcorns, snacks and drinks,” Claytor said.

For more information about Falcon’s Fury and Pantopia, visit FalconsFury.com.

yhammett@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7127

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