Erik Yates met his prospective bride at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Their first date was at Busch Gardens Tampa. Erik and Racheal Yates now publish www.behindthethrills.com, with guides, news and speculation for theme park aficionados.
With Busch Gardens Tampa’s announcement this week that it will provide details about a new attraction June 11, it doesn’t get much better than this for the Yates.
“We love the parks,” Erik Yates said. “We love to help people with their trips and give them ideas. And we love finding out what’s going to happen next.”
That interest led Yates to turn up clues on the latest attraction. More than a year ago he scoured plans that Busch Gardens Tampa filed with the Southwest Florida Water Management District in Brooksville that requested clearing a site for a drop tower ride. His theory meshes with Busch’s announcement Tuesday that it would be “dropping big news.”
“Busch Gardens Williamsburg opened one (a drop tower) in 2011, and the pattern is what one Busch park gets, the other will get,” Yates said. The Mach Tower in Virginia takes riders on a 60 mph, 240-foot vertical drop.
Paul Ruben, North American editor for the Park World trade journal, said a drop tower would be an appropriate addition to the Tampa park.
“But I will just wait until they announce their plans,” Ruben said. “I’d rather ride it than speculate about it.”