VIDEO – Construction tour of the new Pantopia and Falcon’s Fury areas at Busch Gardens Tampa

Here is the video of the new Pantopia area and the new Falcon’s Fury drop tower hard hat construction tour I got to attend earlier today.  Many new aspects of the Pantopia area are discussed as well as some details about Falcon’s Fury, both of which are opening later this spring.

Stay tuned after the break for the newly updated press release which was released today.  It gives even more details about Pantopia and Falcon’s Fury.

Busch Gardens Newest Land – Pantopia™

Welcome to Pantopia™, Busch Gardens® Tampa’s fully remodeled land, which boasts elaborately-jeweled theming and features thrilling rides and attractions, sensational new dining options, exciting entertainment, shopping, a renovated indoor theater and more.

Located in the heart of Busch Gardens, the centerpiece of Pantopia™ is Falcon’s Fury™, North America’s tallest freestanding drop tower. The one-of-a-kind ride stands at 335 feet and takes riders soaring straight down. Like its bird of prey namesake, at the ride’s highest point, riders will pivot 90 degrees in midair to a face-down dive position. An instant later they’ll plunge 60 mph straight down.

Step Inside Pantopia™

Your arrival in Pantopia™ through the Key Gate will be just as majestic as the time you spend here. In a time long forgotten, a strange and mystical Key Master dropped from the sky at this very spot. If you look carefully, you can still see the remnants of his hot air balloon. Once inside, the legendary doors of Pantopia™ tell the rich history of the travelers that have come before and who are currently residing in this land. Travelers to Pantopia™ can explore these doors and learn the history of the residents.

The excitement builds as you make your way through the Transportation Plaza, where its caretaker has created kinetic sculptures from the tuk tuks, trucks, planes, bikes and wagons other travelers have left behind. Discover Botanica nestled amongst Pantopia’s™ lush and vibrant surroundings. This oasis of intricate botanical sculptures captures the flowing patterns of animal feathers, fur and scales, representing all the elements of Busch Garden’s newest land.

Finally, make your way to The Sitting Place, a modern-day watering hole where twinkling lights and lanterns line the trees that shade garden revelers looking to rest a while. Discovered by an eccentric Italian carpenter who specialized in carving woodland animals into unique chairs and stools, The Sitting Place was once an oasis where animals and humans gathered.

The Treasures of Pantopia™

The Painted Camel Bazaar is run by a fun-loving family of merchants and offers wandering travelers all the treasures of Pantopia™. This marketplace houses a collection of colorful awnings and found objects, including apparel, souvenirs, jewelry, toys and plush items, not to mention the best in Falcon’s Fury™ merchandise. The original proprietor traveled alongside the shop’s signature monkey, creating an unforgettable image that was captured for all posterity by a nomadic sculptor who once wandered through these crossroads.

From frozen delights and exotic versions of fan favorites to a dramatic outdoor grill, dining options abound throughout Pantopia™. Explorer Frosty Krystallos crashed his plane into an old shed a few years back. Satisfied with his new home, he simply rebuilt the shed as Lynx Frozen Treats, painting it with icy blues and whites. Now he crafts delicious snow cones, smoothies and other sweet and salty treats for any hot, thirsty traveler who happens by.

Dining options heat up with the Dragon Fire Grill. Inspired by the legends of the Komodo dragon, the Dragon Fire Grill showcases ribs, sausages and kabobs that tame the ravenous appetites of hungry travelers. Then, step inside the large dining area of Pantopia™ and sample some of Mama Marac’s most popular recipes, including baby back ribs or chicken fettuccini Alfredo. Famished wanderers will also find specialty salads, hot and hearty sandwiches, delectable desserts and a complete kid’s menu.

The tale continues with the Twisted Tails Pretzels. An artisan baker once came to the crossroads of Pantopia™ and never left. He adopted and cared for two lemurs that were often seen sitting back-to-back with their tails entwined. Inspired by the shape of the lemur’s tales, the baker started making the “pretzel.” Now this baker has expanded his skills to include other delicious treats, always using exotic, colorful and flavorful salts and sugars. Find the signature entwined lemurs in Pantopia™ and stop in for fresh-rolled pretzels and breads, featuring pretzel sandwiches, pizzas, pretzel dogs and an expanded assortment of craft beers, as well as other beverages and snacks.

The scent of fresh Kettle Corn will fill Pantopia™ daily. Be sure to explore this topsy-turvy structure decorated with a mesmerizing mosaic of plates and bowls and topped by an assortment of sticks and shiny mirrors, silverware and coins. Drop in and enjoy a phenomenal display station where kettle corn and other flavored popcorns are popped fresh daily. While you’re there, pick up other guest favorites like turkey legs, potato twisters or chicken strips, or quench your thirst with plenty of refreshing beverages!

Take the Dive in Pantopia™

The centerpiece of Pantopia™, Falcon’s Fury™ is the tallest freestanding drop tower in North America, standing at 335 feet. At the ride’s highest point there is an element of surprise. Like its bird of prey namesake, riders pivot 90 degrees in midair to a face-down dive position. An instant later they’ll plunge 60mph straight down with speed and power like they’ve likely never experienced before.

After you feel the fury, the excitement continues as riders feel the “sting” of The Scorpion’s terrifying 60-foot drop and 360-degree loop, all at incredible speeds. As long as anyone can remember, a band of marauding salvage artists have made a yearly pilgrimage to Pantopia™ to add their treasured findings to the sinuous scorpion sculpture that stretches across the entrance to its namesake coaster.

Fashioned from an old sailing ship by a retired captain with passionate dreams of flight, the mighty Phoenix soars through the sky with its red, shimmering wings spread wide. This giant pendulum of a ride swings and turns several full loops, creating speed changes, rocking motions and relative weightlessness for passengers.

Slow things down with the Grand Caravan Carousel. Courtesy of a benevolent Bedouin leader, guests to Pantopia™ will marvel at the luxurious, layered tapestries and tenting as they whirl around and around on a festive caravan carousel.

Finally, the entire family can follow along during Opening Night Critters, a theatrical “tail” that features both domestic and exotic animals in the newly-renovated Pantopia™ Theater. A couple of stage hands haphazardly find themselves in the spotlight as the human stars in an all-animal production. They quickly discover that working with these animals isn’t as easy as they had originally thought. Try as they might, they can’t get their costars to cooperate and when nearly all hope is lost, their kindness and compassion is rewarded when everything falls into place for a fun-filled, furry and feathered finale.



Clint Gamache started Thrillgeek back in 2013 to share his love of theme parks, pop culture and other geeky stuff with the world. He can be found on Twitter @iamcgeed