Busch Gardens – Paradise for Animal Lovers and Thrill-Seekers in Tampa

Busch Gardens Tampa Florida

Busch Gardens Tampa was opened in 1959, making it one of the oldest theme parks in Florida. This tourist magnet has seen constant improvement and features not only an extensive zoo, but also a huge variety of rides. Whether you want to go on safari through the Serengeti, ride exciting roller coasters or cuddle with Elmo and the Cookie Monster – Busch Gardens Tampa is a captivating place for guests of all ages.

BUSCH GARDENS ZOO – AFRICAN WILDLIFE IN FLORIDA

With 200 different species, Busch Gardens is not only Tampa’s biggest zoo, but also one of the biggest wildlife parks in the USA. 2.700 animals live in authentically designed enclosures that represent the diverse habitats of Africa. Serengeti Plains, a true-to-life copy of Africa’s famous savannah, makes up a huge portion of the park and houses herbivores like rhinos, zebras and antelopes. The best way to see these animals up-close is a safari ride with the open 4×4 vehicle. The four-legged inhabitants are not shy, so you might well be greeted by a giraffe peaking into the cabin. Alternatively, you can go round the Serengeti Plains area with the Safari Train.

In the Edge of Africa area, guests watch lions and giant hippos behind glass walls, and further to the south, cheetahs demonstrate their agility in a huge enclosure. Busch Gardens Tampa is also the perfect place if you want to see our primate cousins: Ourang-utans, chimpanzees, gorillas, gibbons and playful lemurs are kept in authentically decorated rock and jungle habitats. Other species include alligators, tigers, guenons and colorful birds. Families will love the Australian section, where children can pet cute kangaroos and wallabies.

In addition, the zoo offers countless animal encounters, where visitors have the opportunity to learn more about their favorite animals, play zookeeper for a day and even feed their darlings.

BUSCH GARDENS RIDES – FROM TAME TO NERVE-WRECKING

If you want to test your limits, the rides at Busch Gardens are perfect for you. Watch the park upside-down on the looping swing boat Tigris, or race through tropical landscapes with the Cheetah Hunt, a coaster reaching top-speeds of 60 mph. The Montu, America’s tallest inverted coaster, takes thrill-seekers on a high-powered ride full of loops and corkscrews. If you want to experience an almost vertical drop with 70 mph, you should try the roller coaster Sheikra.

Raw feline-inspired power awaits you at the Tigris: Florida’s biggest launch coaster will catapult you up to 150 feet with top speeds of 60 mph. And if this is not enough for you, ride the 335 feet Free Fall Tower Falcon’s Fury. At the highest point, the cabins are tilted inwards, sending you towards the ground face-first – a nerve-wrecking experience even for seasoned theme-park veterans. Fans of watery fun should jump aboard the whitewater ride Congo River Rapids with its exciting drops and waterfalls. There are also more laid-back options: Little guests, for instance, will love the child-friendly merry-go-rounds and miniature roller coasters.

And do not forget the shows at Busch Gardens: “Turn it up” lets you witness ice-skating skills in perfection, while the “Rock a Doo Wop” concert takes guests on a journey through music history. Little fans can sing and dance with the fluffy stars from Sesame Street in the Open Air area.

BUSCH GARDENS TAMPA – SHOPS AND DINING OPTIONS

SHOPPING OPPORTUNITIES

No trip to an American zoo would be complete without souvenirs. Your first stop should be the Emporium selling T-shirts, hats, bags and much more. Cute stuffed tigers are available at the brand-new Tiger Shop, while the Marakesh Market offers stylish Oriental garments. For African-themed accessories and artworks, visit the XCursions. Sesame Street fans can shop for toys at Abby Cadabby´s Treasure Hut.

RESTAURANTS

At Busch Gardens, hungry guests can choose from eight restaurants. If you love American comfort food like mashed potatoes, Mac and Cheese or chicken schnitzel, the buffets at the Serengeti Overlook Restaurant are perfect. Pizza, pasta, and mozzarella sticks are available at the Dragon Fire Grill & Pub, and the African-themed Zambia Smokehouse serves tender barbecue ribs. If you want to enjoy coffee or tea, just have a seat at the Garden Gate Café directly by the water. At the Brew Club you can fill your stein with more than 20 sorts of beer.

BUSCH GARDENS TAMPA – TICKET PRICES AND OPENING HOURS

Busch Gardens Tampa opens at 10 am everyday and closes its doors between 6 and 9 pm.

Tickets cost 111 USD per person, but if you buy your ticket at least one day in advance, you can save 25 USD. Hungry visitors should get the All Day Dining Deal. For 111 USD per person, soft drinks, sides and desserts are included in the ticket price.

Bargains can be struck with the Tampa Bay City Pass – perfect if you plan to stay longer and want to see other attractions such as ZooTampa, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium or the Museum of Science & Industry.

BUSCH GARDENS TAMPA – EVENTS

Thanks to the fun-filled event calendar, there is always something going on at Busch Gardens. On weekends from February to April, springtime is heralded with the Food and Wine Festival. Then, you cannot only try fine wines and locally brewed craft beers, but also listen to live-concerts. In September, the Animal Care Center opens its doors, showing visitors how injured animals are nursed back to life.

For some spook-tastic fun, visit the park in October. At the Howl-o-Scream Busch Gardens turns into a Halloween stage with costumed actors and haunted houses. Little guests can go trick-or-treating, master a haystack maze and cuddle with their favorite Sesame Street characters on the Kids´ Weekends. If you want to get into the festive mood, Christmas is the perfect time to visit Busch Gardens. Then, children are greeted by Santa Claus, Rudolph and Co., while the park is illuminated by thousands of light – a feast for the eyes, especially in the evening.

If you want to stay up do date on recent events, you should check out the official website buschgardens.com.

DIRECTIONS TO BUSCH GARDENS

The theme park is located in northern Tampa and can be reached in 2 hours from Cape Coral. If you want to stay longer, you can choose from many hotels and vacation homes nearby.

Calculate your route to Busch Gardens Tampa

Address for your navigation system: 10165 McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612, USA

Vacation in Florida Editor

Hello, we are your vacation in Florida Team. We welcome you on our website and hope you enjoy our articles about an vacation in Florida. If you want to book one of our vacation homes or apartments, you can contact us directly via our booking form. We would be happy if you share your experiences with us. You can use our comment function at the bottom of the page. If you have any questions, please write us a message! We will try to answer your request as soon as possible. We wish you all the best, your vacation in Florida Team

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