SeaWorld and Busch Gardens delay coasters to 2021 due to pandemic


Four nearly finished roller coasters set to debut this summer at SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks in San Diego, Florida and Virginia have been delayed until 2021 by the coronavirus pandemic.

SeaWorld and Busch Gardens rides still under construction and originally scheduled to open in 2020 have been postponed to 2021 in order to manage costs amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, according to a preliminary quarterly earnings report from SeaWorld Entertainment.

As a result, the Emperor dive coaster at SeaWorld San Diego, Ice Breaker quadruple launch coaster at SeaWorld Orlando, Iron Gwazi hybrid coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa and Pantheon multi-launch coaster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg will see their planned 2020 debuts pushed back until 2021.

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SeaWorld Entertainment had warned a delay in opening the new rides was possible.

“Depending on when we are allowed to reopen, we will make the decision as to whether or not the unfinished projects are completed for the 2020 season or pushed into 2021,” SeaWorld Entertainment CEO Marc Swanson said on a conference call with analysts in May.

Since then, SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa have reopened while SeaWorld San Diego and Busch Gardens Williamsburg remain closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The coronavirus closure of SeaWorld and Busch Gardens theme parks brought a temporary pause in all construction projects.

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“Prior to the temporary park closures, we had made significant progress on the construction of our 2020 lineup of new rides and attractions,” Swanson said on the call in May. “We completed almost 90% of the construction on these new rides for 2020.”

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SeaWorld San Diego’s website still boasts that the “New in 2020” Emperor dive coaster is still “Coming 2020.” Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s website bills the Pantheon multi-launch coaster as one of the most anticipated roller coasters of 2020. SeaWorld Orlando’s website says the Ice Breaker quadruple launch coaster is “Opening Soon.” Busch Gardens Tampa’s website says the Iron Gwazi hybrid coaster as “Coming Soon.”

Coaster enthusiasts will now have to wait until 2021 to ride Emperor, Ice Breaker, Iron Gwazi and Pantheon.

The 153-foot-tall Emperor floorless dive coaster …read more

Source:: Dailynews – News


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