Thrills and Chills: Flight of the Falcon

Jason McDonald

I have a special fondness for drop tower rides.  At a base level, they all do the same thing.  After being strapped into a harness, you’re slowly lifted several hundred feet into the air.  Then, once you’ve been given ample time to regret your choices in life, the ride suddenly gives way and you freefall a hundred feet before coming to a herky-jerky stop.

And while most drop towers follow this basic premise, a few take the idea and try to add some unique twists.  The “Tower of Terror”, for example, has a whole “Twilight Zone” theme that really sets it apart.  Not every theme park can do the kind of immersive theming that Disney can, though, and so they must rely on more innovative tricks.  Enter the “Falcon’s Fury” at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida.

While not officially open yet, “Falcon’s Fury” is very nearly complete.  Originally, the ride was expected to open this week, but construction delays have pushed back the ribbon cutting ceremony.  However, we still have a great POV video to share with you that captures the experience of riding on the “Fury.”

Like I mentioned above, the ride is a drop tower with a maximum height of 310 feet and can reach speeds of up to 60 mph when you’re free falling.  The twist, though, is what this ride does to you as you’re falling.  Most drop towers keep you in a static sitting position which allows you to look off into the horizon.  On the “Falcon’s Fury”, your seat turns 90 degrees so you’re facing straight down when you begin to fall.

Essentially, it’s trying to create the sensation of being a Falcon while its diving straight down to the Earth.  It’s a beautiful design because it forces you to deal with the realization of how high up you are.  With traditional drop towers you can look straight ahead or up and not really grasp the distance between your body and the concrete pavement.  There’s no avoiding that here.  So if you’re looking to conquer your fear of heights, you might be interested in checking out “Falcon’s Fury.”


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