Busch Gardens Amusement Park in Tampa, Florida is the perfect place to go if you have a big group that is diverse in age and interests. The park is basically split into two major sections- the animals, jungle type area and then the rides. There is also a game area with carnival games, live dolphin shows (and others), and various types of themes and other shows around the Busch Gardens amusement park. The rides vary from water rides/flumes to little kiddies up and down type rides to simple sight seeing sky rides or boats. Then there are the roller coasters, some the more modern ones thrilling and for the daring and the older more conservative ones, like the Scorpion and the Python, which are more classic to Busch Gardens Amusement Park history, that have one loop and are mild.
It really is a place for everyone. It is definitely best to go with a big group, though, especially if you are bringing kids; that way the adults can split up and switch off watching the kids when they are too small to get on certain rides, and enjoy their time as well. The two big roller coasters at Busch Gardens Amusement Park, called the Montu and Kumba, are really great. In my opinion they are right up there with the ones at Islands of Adventure, which is the latest amusement park craze in Orlando, owned and operated by Universal Studios. I usually am not afraid of big rides, but Busch Gardens Amusement Park has the only ride that terrifies me: the Phoenix. The Phoenix is one of those pirate ship type rides, where it swings back and forth, eventually getting higher and higher until eventually you are upside down. The thing is though, it moves so gradually that the anticipation makes you feel more nervous than you really are. And the way the ride is, you end up being hung in weird positions, with a pretty open harness for long periods of time. I think maybe I’ve hung straight upside down for a whole minute before on that ride. And I go on all big rides, usually. But the speed of the Phoenix just really makes it scary. If you are going to Busch Gardens Amusement Park, though, definitely check it out if you like thrill rides. Most people love it, I’m probably just a wimp.
There are a few things you might want to keep in mind if you plan to go to Busch Gardens Amusement Park. The following suggestions should help you make the most of your Tampa Florida Amusement Park vacation or outing.
1)There are many shows and theatre type exhibits, including the exciting dolphin or whale performance and sometimes you can watch their currently featured animals being fed or doing some sort of interesting act. But be sure to look at show times ahead of time, as some of the shows there only run half of the day. You don’t want to miss out just because you didn’t plan for the performance.
2)If you plan to go on water rides, you get literally soaked, more than usual flume rides. If you have room throw an extra pair of socks in your bag. If you so desire, you can get a locker before some of the major water rides, but they are fairly expensive and not really worth it unless you have something of extreme resistance to water. The rides that get you soaked mostly soak your feet and your lap, possibly your hair, but if you are holding a fairly quality made bag or purse, and put whatever you want to keep dry inside, that should be sufficient. Additionally, you could purchase a poncho from any of the little novelty stores along the paths of the winding Busch Gardens Amusement Park.
3)Busch Gardens Amusement Park only offers really expensive food. Try to avoid eating a large meal at all costs. Even though they are unhealthy and probably not your ideal snack, try to stick to small, cheaper food snacks like French fries, or snow cones, or churros. When you get home you can always eat healthy to make up for it. And do not waste money on the drink sipper souvenir cups that are shaped like animals. They are cute but do you really want to cart them around?
4) Finally, when you first walk in the gate, check out the gift shop in the middle of the area, sort of off to the right. It has got some really great stuff that is not touristy- no Busch Gardens Amusement Park logos or anything. There is a pair of sandals there that I buy every time I go. Or if the novelty stores do suit your fancy, all you need to do is glance around at any given time and they are all over.
5) Call up the Busch Gardens Amusement Park box office before you plan to visit to find out if there are any specials going on. There may be group discount rates too if you are traveling with many people. Currently, for all Florida resident a two days for one price ticket is being offered. And it is not one of those annoying deals where you’d have to conveniently be up in Tampa for two days in a row and actually want to go to the Busch Gardens Amusement Park two consecutive days. Instead, just go sometime soon to secure your ticket and then you are free to go again anytime before 2006 is over. What a deal!