Many theme parks closed their doors in 2020 and delayed opening new rides until 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. But the minds behind new and exciting rides have not taken a break! The roller coaster engineers at Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) in Idaho have been working nonstop. The design company has three coasters opening this year in parks around the United States.

One of those rides is the Iron Gwazi, a brand-new crocodile-themed ride at the Busch Gardens park in Tampa Bay, Florida. The coaster is 206 feet high, sports a 91-degree drop, and hits a maximum speed of
76 miles an hour. It’s also a hybrid roller coaster, combining steel and wooden construction.

“We’re always looking to push the envelope with new ideas,” says Jake Kilcup, one of RMC’s designers. But the most fun part of creating coasters? “Our team always gets to test-ride them first!” Kilcup says.