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Photo Update: Pantopia nears completion at Busch Gardens Tampa

by Banks Lee

DesertGrill

By Kirstin Wright

With spring comes flowers, beautiful weather, and … new clothes? Busch Gardens had all of these things during my most recent visit.

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NewProducts The Sahara Trading Company store near the front of the park featured new merchandise, including T-shirts and sweatshirts with a new slogan, “5X The Fury”. I thought for sure that there would be a mention of Falcon’s Fury on these products. But no, these colorful souvenirs mention just the five roller coasters that call Busch Gardens Tampa home. Regardless, any mention of ‘fury’ makes me want to check out my favorite construction site.

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PantopiaArch The entryway into the now official Pantopia features not only a new sign, but sylistic drawings of various animals such as a giraffe and a peacock.

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PantopiaSign A closer look at the sign reveals several dangling keys. This detail is in line with the story behind Pantopia that Busch Gardens revealed a couple of months ago.

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NewEntrance Since Falcon’s Fury is almost done, work has begun on the surrounding areas. In addition, guests have to enter the area to the right of the arch instead of directly through it. This allows for a closer look at the structures that had been hidden behind construction walls.

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PaintedCamel The Painted Camel Bazaar is one of the new shops in Pantopia. The window sill had several stuffed rattlesnakes and decorative wheels.

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FFWorkers Falcon’s Fury is as high as it’s going to get, but riders still need a place to sit. That’s what construction workers were busy doing on the Sunday that I visited. They appeared to be securing the upper red ring of the circle of seats to the main structure.

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SquarePlatform Above the workers was a square platform that I don’t remember being there before. I’m not sure if this will be part of the ride or if it’s just a temporary necessity for construction.

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SeatsFront

SeatsSide This was my first glimpse of the Falcon’s Fury seats. They remind me of the seats on SeaWorld’s facedown coaster, Manta.

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Phoenix

TopsOfGamesSection Pantopia’s coloring is spreading across the area. The Desert Grill can’t be missed with the purples and blues that decorate it. The Phoenix, blue before, is now bright orange/red. It looks great in this new color. Lots of construction walls block certain areas where the carnival games are. Plenty of the games are still open, but you can tell by the tips of the structures that the games, too, will have a new look once the walls come down. It’s safe to say that Pantopia will be Busch Gardens’ most colorful area.

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RefreshMktSign

RefreshMktInside Moving away from Pantopia, there’s a new snack/beverage shop next to the Stanleyville Train Station. This shop offers tempting, uniquely flavored teas and lemonades. The cotton candy lemonade sounded interesting, as well as the kiwi tea. The flavors were written in chalk, so expect these drinks to not only be fresh, but they will probably change often. Traditionalists are not to fret, as the shop also offers more generic tea and lemonade selections.

KWrightPicSince her first trip to Walt Disney World when she was just two months old, Kirstin has been hooked on visiting theme parks all around Central Florida. She enjoys writing and photographing every aspect of the parks; the rides, the food and the shows. She can be reached at [email protected].

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