Busch Gardens – Tampa Florida
Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida is one of the biggest animal parks in the United States. It is home to nearly 12,000 animals that fit into the park’s Africa theme. Not only does the park have an amazing array of animals, it has fantastic, scream inducing thrill rides. The park has tons of attractions, including exclusive experiences, live shows, regular events, and plenty of activities that are especially kid friendly.
Experience the trill of what a real African safari is like on the Bush Gardens’ African Plain in an open-air vehicle. The safari will take you through 65-acres of wildlife that freely roam the plain, making for absolutely amazing photo opportunities. There will an opportunity to get face-to-face to some of these gentle giants where you can even hand feed the giraffes. The safari is extremely popular, so make sure you book your spot early.
Kids of all ages will love this replica train ride. The open air train carriages take you around the animal park where you’ll see many of its residents living in natural habitats, including zebras, elephants, big cats, and much more.
While all of the animal park is great for kids, there are two areas that are geared especially towards younger kids – the Sesame Street Safari of Fun and Treetop Trails.
Sesame Street Safari is filled with your favorite characters entertaining you at the Sunny Day Theater with exciting stories or posing for photos. There are several mini-thrill rides here too. Kids will love the Air Grover and Rosita’s Djembe Fly Away. Special events are also held here, such as Dine with Elmo & Friends, or you can book your child’s Elmo hosted birthday party.
Treetop Trials is where the kids can let their inner monkey out. The playground is a maze of net bridges, tunnels, and climbing nets.
For older kids and adults there is no shortage of adrenalin pumping rides at Tampa’s Busch Gardens. The park is home to some seriously fear inducing roller coasters, including one of the last remaining Scorpions. Montu has a massive 60-foot vertical loop and is one of the biggest inverted coasters in the world. Another massive thriller is Falcon’s Fury, which drops you from a height of 335-feet at 60 miles per hour, face first. If that’s not enough try the SheiKra with its floorless seats, 90-degree drop, and speeds that reach 70 miles per hour. Finally, but not least take a spin on the Congo River Rapids that twists and flings you down a river of drops and rapids, that guarantee you’ll get wet.
Busch Gardens has several animal areas in addition to the Serengeti Plain. The Cheetah Run is home to 14 cheetahs, including the famous Kasi, a male cheetah that was raised with Mtani, a Labrador retriever. The two have been inseparable since they were only a few weeks old. The Myombe Reserve is where several lowland gorillas and chimpanzees live. The Tiger Trail has a number of observation areas that let you get close up and personal with the tigers living there. In the Nairobi section, you’ll get to meet the park’s Asian elephants during the daily Elephant Interaction event.
Eating and Shopping
Throughout the park you’ll find a number of great places to grab a snack or sit down for lunch. You’ll find everything from pizza, a pasta buffet, hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches, steak, and fries. After all that, if you still have room, head to Sultan’s Sweets for some freshly baked goodies, handmade candy, and a coffee. For those must have souvenirs the park shops will have plenty of cuddly friends to take home.