Falcon’s Fury finally opens at Busch Gardens

Four months behind schedule and without advance notice, Falcon’s Fury opened Tuesday at Busch Gardens in Tampa.

The 335-foot drop tower has been in a “soft” opening since Aug. 17, when members of the public were allowed to ride at unscheduled times, and a media day was set for Sept 10. Tuesday morning, though, Busch Gardens sent out a short release saying the ride had officially opened.

Falcon’s Fury was originally scheduled to debut May 1. However, its opening was indefinitely postponed while the ride was in the early phases of testing.

Busch Gardens blamed the delay on the ride being the first of its kind with “groundbreaking design elements that have never been attempted on a thrill ride” and “several technical challenges impacting the ride’s operating efficiency,” but would not elaborate.

The thrill ride takes guests straight up and down. It has a ring of seats facing outward that climb slowly up the tower, then pivot so the riders are facing the ground before they plunge down at 60 miles per hour.

An earlier version of this story had the wrong opening date.