Busch Gardens Tampa has confirmed that its Sandstorm attraction has closed for good, with the space expected to be used for a new drop tower that is likely to open in 2014.

Sandstorm had been expected to be moved to a new location in the park, but will instead be removed from the park. The troika-style attraction had been in place since December 1979, and was one of few flat rides remaining in Busch Gardens Tampa's line-up. It operated for the last time on June 2, 2013.

The drop tower ride had originally been expected to open in 2013, but the lack of progress to date points to an opening date in 2014. Little is known about the attraction at present, although it is expected to stand at several hundred feet tall.

Busch Gardens Tampa's last major addition was the Cheetah Hunt multi-launch roller coaster in 2011.

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Interesting that Busch Gardens would be considering opening a drop tower. I would have thought that a park of their scale and popularity might struggle, with such a low throughput ride, to avoid extremely long queues and irritated guests so I guess we'll see.

Personally it's a shame to see Sandstorm go though. I don't think I went on it when I visited Busch Gardens Tampa, but the place really is lacking in 'filler' rides, which doesn't help when it comes to queuing for the major attractions, so I'm surprised they've not found a new location for it within the park.

Mainly, though, they're crying out for a dark ride.

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