Home Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Kumba at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay to Close Permanently?

Kumba at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay to Close Permanently? [Update]

Credit: Matthew Paulson

Original Article: As with any kind of rumour, this information should be considered unofficial until Busch Gardens Tampa Bay officially confirms. 

A post/rumour on Screamscape suggests to us that Kumba at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay may close permanently in the future. 

“As theme park fans descend upon Busch Gardens Tampa this season to give the new Iron Gwazi a try, I do have one request. Be sure to ride Kumba while you are at the park. In fact, give the old girl 2 or 3 rides if you can.”

Lance Hart, Screamscape

Additional Quote:

“Kumba set a whole new standard for roller coaster design from the moment forward, in terms of engineering, design, inversion elements, and even a new definition for what a modern roller coaster should sound like with the iconic Kumba “roar” as the trains passed. So the next time you visit the park, hopefully sooner than later, give Kumba some love, because Screamscape has been hearing things…Very bad things…So ride Kumba while you still can.” 

Lance Hart, Screamscape

Whilst Screamscape’s Lance Hart didn’t mention the words “permanently close”, we can assume that’s what he meant by “very bad things”….Stay tuned for further updates. 

Once again, As with any kind of rumour, this information should be considered unofficial until Busch Gardens Tampa Bay officially confirms. 

Update: Lance Hart has posted the following update:

“The goal is to run Kumba through the summer, and Howl-O-Scream if the trains last that long, and then close the gates for good on Nov. 1st, 2022. Kaput… end of story… no 30th Birthday for Kumba in 2023. The sad thing is that they want to keep this a secret, as they don’t want the bad press about closing a major ride to follow the opening of Iron Gwazi, especially after they delayed the opening of Iron Gwazi by two years.”

Lance Hart, Screamscape

Additional quote:

“…So again, I say this, ride Kumba while you still can. It’s safe, being deemed “End of Life” doesn’t mean it’s dangerous, it just serves as notice from B&M to parks that they have 18 months left to schedule a replacement or plan the retirement for the ride. So ride Kumba… and if you want to see it saved, I’d encourage you to let the park know you want it to stay at guest relations when you visit in person, and maybe drop them a message online on social media or through their website. It would be sad to imagine the park without Kumba.”

Lance Hart, Screamscape [Read more here]

Update #2: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay have posted the following on Twitter:

Update #3: Lance Hart has posted the following update, writing a statement about the rumour per say:

“Today I’m going to openly talk about the Kumba rumor that has gathered much attention over the past week. The bottom line… is Kumba leaving? Honestly, I really don’t know. Busch Gardens Tampa did address the rumor however, and has posted messages on social media that indicate that Kumba isn’t going anywhere.

Did I make that story up?  Not in the slightest… (and like I have time for that). As with any report like this, the information was sent to me from an anonymous source, asking me to share that information.

Over the past 24 years, the point of Screamscape was to share theme park-related NEWS and RUMORS with everyone who loves theme parks, rides, and various forms of themed entertainment. Screamscape was also set up as a place where people who work within the industry, or have friends and loved ones who do, can come anonymously to share information about things they know or projects they are working on with me, and that I will keep their identities a secret.

Today I’m going to do something I’ve never done before, and I will openly reveal the exact message that served as the source of this story to everyone [see below]. In a series of four screen captures, I will only block out their email address and a couple of words where they ask to protect the source. I have also highlighted a couple of sections where they ask me to share the information with the readers of Screamscape, and actually, give me permission to share any and all of the information they provided. So please, read it all, and then ask yourselves, do you think Kumba is closing?

 At this point, I don’t believe Kumba is closing. Every so often someone with malicious intent will send in a completely fabricated story to Screamscape, hoping that I’ll post it. This is different from someone sending in just a “bad rumor” as there is no ill intent behind them. On the other hand, these fabricated tales usually end with a “HA! HA!” moment at the end, as the source will often reveal themselves elsewhere, taking pride or a twisted sense of satisfaction in the fact that they fooled me into spreading their tale.

It happens… and in no way is everything posted on Screamscape correct. The reports are called “rumors” for a reason. Nothing is ever completely true until there is evidence to say otherwise. At the same time, Screamscape also does not “make up” our rumors, the information is simply relayed as sent in from various sources. So when I received a message asking for help to spread the word about the possible demise of Kumba, I did just that. The goal was to raise awareness of the issue, and as asked, allow fans of the ride to plan trips to the park to ride it again. I know I was invested, as I was making my own travel plans as well.

As for Busch Gardens Tampa… if this was a complete fabrication, I do apologize for the fuss this story caused. However, it did prove that there are a lot of Kumba fans out there who love that roller coaster and like myself, they were making their plans to visit the park, buy a ticket, and ride all their favorite attractions, including the new Iron Gwazi.   

I’d like to be able to say that nothing like this will ever happen again, but I can’t. I’m not perfect, and there are some really great liars out there able to con even the best of us. There will always be good rumors, bad rumors, and those who just want the world to burn. The world is just a different place now than it was 24 years ago.”

Stay tuned to Orlando Theme Park Zone for more Orlando theme park-related news and information. 

H/T Screamscape


  1. Kimball isn’t going anywhere. They wouldn’t get rid of a roller coaster that had a good draw to it and replace it

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