Falcon’s Fury will reopen this spring, Busch Gardens says

Tampa theme park Busch Gardens closed Falcon’s Fury, a similar drop-tower ride, for inspections “out of an abundance of caution” after a 14-year-old fell to his death from his seat at the Orlando Freefall Games last March . “

Nearly a year later, Falcon’s Fury, a 335-foot free-standing drop tower that lets riders plummet at 60 mph, still hasn’t reopened. A spokesman for the theme park said the supply chain was to blame, not nervousness about rides in drip cars.

A Busch Gardens spokesperson, contacted by the Tampa Bay Times after inquiries, said the long wait was due to supply chain issues and parts needed for repairs, and rides will reopen this spring.

“It was a perfect storm,” Busch Gardens spokesman Eddie Delgado said. “All of our rides are subject to routine maintenance, but some of our rides, most actually, require special parts, and there are limited suppliers for Falcon’s Fury, and they’ve been delayed. We look forward to opening this spring .”

Thrill seekers love Falcon's Fury, which opened in Busch Gardens in 2014. After a fatal accident at a similar ride in Orlando, the ride was closed for inspection and has not reopened since last March.
Thrill seekers love Falcon’s Fury, which opened in Busch Gardens in 2014. After a fatal accident at a similar ride in Orlando, the ride was closed for inspection and has not reopened since last March. [ CHRIS URSO | Tampa Bay Times (2014) ]

Tire Sampson, an eighth-grader who was visiting Orlando’s ICON Park with his football team on March 24, died after slipping from his seat during a ride. Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Nicky Freed said at a news conference in November that a state investigation later concluded that Sampson’s fall was due to the ride operator “making a Change”.

The seatbelt proximity sensors were manually repositioned to allow for a larger restraint opening than other seats, Fried said. Flight attendants were instructed to seat larger guests in those seats, according to the department’s complaint.

The department is responsible for inspecting rides in the state, A $250,000 fine is being sought For amusement park operator Orlando Eagle Drop Slingshot LLC, the company has announced that it will cancel the ride.sampson’s parents presented Civil Wrongful Death Litigation Alleges negligence against ICON Park and other defendants, including the manufacturer and operator of FreeFall rides.

Shortly after the accident, a number of amusement parks temporarily closed their pendant rides for inspection, including one at Dollywood, Tennessee, Dr. Doom’s Fear at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando and the Falcon at Busch Gardens in Tampa. wrath. Earlier this year, Virginia’s Busch Gardens permanently closed the Maher Tower, its drop-tower ride that opened in 2011. “After reviewing and considering overall guest satisfaction, we have decided to close,” the company said on Jan. 8.

After Sampson’s death, state Senator Geraldine Thompson of Orlando introduced legislation to improve ride safety. The Tire Sampson Act proposes increased inspections and required training, as well as expanded signage regarding customer size requirements.

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The Orlando Freefall Ride takes place on Thursday, March 24, 2022 at ICON Park in Orlando. A 14-year-old boy has died after falling from a ride that opened in 2021.
The Orlando Freefall Ride takes place on Thursday, March 24, 2022 at ICON Park in Orlando. A 14-year-old boy has died after falling from a ride that opened in 2021. [ STEPHEN M. DOWELL | AP (2022)  ]