Busch Gardens, 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa FL 33612
Busch Gardens is one of a kind - a theme park which also includes one of the top zoos in America. The 335-acre 19th century African-themed animal theme park originally opened in March 1959 followed by the 29 acre Serengeti Plains in 1965 which allowed the African wildlife to roam freely.
Sheikra, the worlds steepest dive coaster with a drop of 90 degrees is a must for the thrill seekers. For the juniors, enjoy a leisurely ride on the Serengeti Express and the Skyride gongolas.
Annually its visitors top 4.3 million people, placing in the Top 20 of the most-visited theme parks in the US and in the Top 25 worldwide.
Location: Busch Gardens Tampa is located in Tampa, Florida. You can obtain driving directions by clicking the park's link on Theme Park Insider's Google map of U.S. theme parks.
History: Busch Gardens Tampa opened in 1959 as an animal exhibit and gardens adjacent to Anheuser Busch's Tampa Brewery. It was later developed into a full theme park called Busch Gardens: The Dark Continent. The Park is comprised of nine themed areas including Morocco, Bird Gardens, Stanleyville, Congo, Jungala, Timbuktu, Nairobi, Crown Colony Plaza, and Egypt. It is meticulously well-maintained and features several major roller coasters, the requisite water rides, plenty of kid-sized attractions, some midway amusements, high quality live shows, expansive animal exhibits, themed shops, and above average theme park dining.
Busch Gardens Tampa is currently operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, a division of The Blackstone Group.
Hours: http://www.buschgardens.com. Busch Gardens is open 365 days a year.
Tickets: Buy online. Always try to buy your tickets in advance, to save time when you get to the park.
Reservations: Busch Gardens offers a variety of guided tours for both animal exhibits and rides. You can book these tours online.
Strategy: If you want to see animals, they tend to be more active in the morning. If you're visiting for rides, the lines for the major coasters and water rides get longer as the day goes on (except at around an hour before park closing, then the lines are mostly nonexistent everywhere). If you want to see it all, check the show schedules online before you arrive (www.buschgardens.com), arrive early and start at the back of the park, working your way to the front. The meal deal is the best we have seen & most of the restaurants participate. The Quick Que Pass is a good deal too.
- Busch Gardens Tampa official web site.
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