MORE THAN 3 MONTHS
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More than three months after its May 1 opening was canceled, Falcon’s Fury at Busch Gardens is still in the testing phase, its debut yet to be rescheduled, with nothing more specific than “late summer.”
Busch Gardens isn’t answering questions about the ride or the delay, but issued a statement saying that it has design elements that have never been attempted on a thrill ride. “Several technical challenges impacting the ride’s operating efficiency were discovered, and additional time is needed to resolve those challenges,” the statement said. Earlier, Busch Gardens had said that the fabrication of key parts had been delayed.
At 335-feet, Falcon’s Fury will be the tallest freestanding drop tower in North America, according to Busch Gardens. As they rise, riders will sit in forward-facing seats connected in a ring around the tower. At the top, the seats will pivot so that riders are face down. Then the ride will drop them in a free fall that will hit 60 miles an hour before slowing.
“The safety of our guests and team members remains Busch Gardens’ top priority,” the statement said.
CARNIVAL TO BUILD PORT IN HAITI
Carnival Cruise Lines’ corporate parent will build a new $70 million cruise ship port on the Haitian island of Tortuga, making it the seventh Carnival-owned port in the Caribbean.
Ile de la Tortue, off Port-de-Paix on Haiti’s northwestern coast, will be Haiti’s second cruise port. Tortuga is west of Labadee, where Royal Caribbean, Carnival’s chief rival, has a private beach.
Carnival Corp., which has nine cruise lines, owns ports in Honduras, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Cozumel and the Dominican Republic and is building another port in the Dominican Republic, that is scheduled to open in 2015.
The island of Tortuga — named by Christopher Columbus for its turtle-like shape — historically was a center of piracy. More recently, it’s been a jumping-off point for clandestine migrant-smuggling operations.
‘DOWNTON ABBEY’ COSTUME SHOW DRAWS CROWDS
Delaware’s Winterthur Museum is drawing big crowds with its Costumes of Downton Abbey exhibit with more than 100,000 visitors so far. The Wilmington museum’s annual visitation usually is between 100,000 and 110,000. If ticket sales continue, the exhibit could attract double the number of the museum’s annual visitors.
David Roselle, the museum’s director, says the show is in the fifth month of a 10-month run. He says visitors have come from all over the country.
The museum, which was founded by H.F. du Pont as a decorative arts center, has added lectures and special events to enhance the show of 40 costumes from the popular PBS drama.