Activities & Resources
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay050in Tampa, FL 33612
about Busch Gardens Tampa Bay:
Teen - and brave parent - favorite coasters include Montu, one of the tallest and longest inverted roller coasters in the world; Gwazi, the southeast's largest and fastest double wooden coaster; and SheiKra, which features two 90-degree drops, a water splash-through (just stop and watch for a few minutes to see an oblivious visitor get drenched), and other heart-stopping thrills. Plus, it literally makes the surrounding ground shake, so even if your kids aren't tall enough to ride, they can experience some of the thrill of the coaster. These - and many more - thrill rides are well placed throughout the park, dispersing the crowds so no one area is completely bogged down during the day.
Busch Gardens is also well-known for its resident animal attractions, but a fair number of them require children to be three years old and at least 39 inches tall. The Edge of Africa and Myombe Reserve self-guided walking paths don't have any height restrictions and are well worth the time, even if you're tired. The hippo pool is simply amazing, featuring a large family of the graceful underwater giants (and even a baby during our most recent visit). We also had a much better view of the giraffes, antelope, and zebras from the paths than on the Serengeti Express Railway, which travels around a good portion of the park - though an "express" trip it truly is not.
Families with small children might not ever make it to these areas if they stop by The Land of the Dragons, a toddler's dream come true with specially sized rides just for the pre-school set. The play area features a three-story-tall tree house, a special kids' stage show, and mini-versions of carnival rides. Do not forget a towel and a change of clothes as the main highlight for most children is the water play area at the base of the tree. Just resign yourself to the fact that they will get wet - and probably never want to leave - and plan accordingly.
Food is abundant throughout the park, being primarily of the fast food variety, though it should be noted that all items are trans fat free and even vegetarians can find decent food. For a more formal dining experience, try the Crown Colony Restaurant, which overlooks the Serengeti Plain and offers more upscale menu items.
Changing tables are available in most of the restrooms, and parents can find a family baby care room in The Land of the Dragons. Busch Gardens also offers a "Baby Swap" procedure at all of the major rides, so adults can take turns riding our thrilling roller coasters and water rides. Strollers are available to rent at the entrance.
Don't forget to pick up a park map! Show times and other important information are printed on the back. Plus, the layout of the park can be a little bit confusing, especially the first time, and you may find yourself backtracking in order to reach your desired ride or show.
Camps: Busch Gardens also offers a number of different camps and programs, including Resident Camps, Group Camps, Day Camps, and even Sleepovers; check the website for requirements and available dates.
message from Busch Gardens Tampa Bay:
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is the ultimate family adventure park, featuring an unparalleled combination of exotic animal encounters, world-class thrill rides and live entertainment.
Up-Close Adventure Offerings:
VIP moments bring to life an array of opportunities to interact with amazing animals, and experience up-close tours and educational programs. Available year-round, these wild adventures offer a one-of-a-kind gift that creates a lifetime of memories. Multiple packages are available and range from $19.95 to $249.95 per person plus tax in addition to park admission. Visit BuschGardens.com for more information.
Normal park hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. within a 365-day operating schedule. Hours are extended during select weekend, summer and holiday periods. See website for further details.