We're edging ever closer to the opening of Falcon's Fury at Busch Gardens theme park in Tampa. It's sounds horrifying: a free-fall drop from 335-feet in the air. Face down. Riders, beginning sometime this spring, will start the descent from a level that's 100 feet higher than anything else at Busch (the SheiKra roller coaster tops out at 200 feet).
“Not only are you looking down at SheiKra, but you’re looking at surveying the whole area. You’ll be able to see downtown Tampa, St. Petersburg ... Orlando ... Miami,” joked Jeff Hornick, the park's director of design and engineering, during a construction tour of Falcon's Fury and the surrounding Pantopia area. Here are five other facts we now know about Falcon's Fury.
1. The tower construction is finished, so it's as tall as it's going to get. To get a little perspective when looking at it (or at the video above), the bottom portion of the tower painted yellow represents 100 feet.
2. Once passengers are lifted to the top of the tower and tilted downward, there will be a holding pattern, which will fluctuate from trip to trip. Busch has not decided a minimum or maximum time for holds yet. “We want to hone in on what the perfect amount of time is," Hornick says. "We want enough time that you get the good views and enough time to think about your life before you drop, but not too long to hold you up there for a long period of time.”
3. There will be 32 passengers at a time, groups of four seats in an octagonal pattern. It should be able to handle 800 riders per hour, Hornick says.
4. The G force on the way down: 3.5. "That will be vertically, throughout your body," Hornick says.
5. Busch will not be using Quick Queue, its front-of-line ticket option, for Falcon's Fury at first.