Busch Gardens Tampa Florida is a wonderful theme park that is nestled in the middle of Tampa off Busch Blvd. and named after the Anheiser-Busch families of the famous beer companies. Don’t let that fool you into thinking the beer has much of anything to do with the park, though. One of my favorite Florida Theme Parks it has so many awesome things to see and do and includes things for every age of your family members.
Florida Theme Parks – Top 8 Reasons to Visit Busch Gardens Tampa Florida
All year long it is worth your visit and they do have seasonal events and themes around the park to see, but being in Florida, there are not too many times of the year it is not good to go. Summer time can be crowded and painfully hot, but even then, it’s not so bad. So when visiting Tampa Florida make sure to make time for Busch Gardens.
Make sure to check out the Tampa Bay CityPASS Busch Gardens is included along with the Lawry Zoo, MOSI, and 2 aquariums one being the Clearwater Marine Aquarium where you can see Winter and Hope from the Dolphin Tales movies.
Here are the top 8 reasons to visit the park.
The wide array of African Animals
They have so many animals to see, and they are nice and spread out all over the park, so you don’t feel like you have to wait in a line of people to get a good look at them. It can be called a zoo for sure, but the park overall is so much more than that. Many come right by the viewing areas so you can get a great look at them, and they also have trainers who will come out to give information at certain times of the day for many of them.
If you look for the signs when you are viewing ones like the cheetah, alligators, and elephants, they will tell you what times the trainers will be there and you can listen to them give some fascinating information on the animals, and they will answer questions too.
There are varieties of cats like two types of tigers, cheetahs, as I mentioned, and lions. There are lots of animals out in the fields that can be seen by a few of the trails, or by taking the train ride, as well as booking the safari tour they offer, which does cost extra. The train is easily the favorite way, though.
Busch Gardens Tampa Florida Rides
The park is divided into different themed sections like Egypt, Africa, the kid’s sesame street area and much more and each area has its rides. There are several coasters, and all of them are great. They have a few excellent ones that have been there for years and some fantastic newer ones that will blow your socks off.
The Cheetah Hunt and Sheikra are the most popular, and they just opened a brand new one that has a much different spin on it, literally, where you ride in cart type cars that turn around as you go over part of the tracks, called Cobra’s Curse.
Then there are lots of other rides if you aren’t a fan of coasters, too. From classic rides like the bumper cars and sky ride to water rides, flumes, and kiddie rides, everyone will find something they will love.
There are many good places to eat, and they do have quite a wide variety of types of food. There are smaller stand type places where you can grab burgers, salads, and more inexpensive items and then just find a seat, and these are the majority of the type. There’s a great smokehouse that makes fantastic ribs and chicken, and you will know when you’re near it because the smell is heavenly.
Then there are some nicer, sit-down style places as well. I would recommend the buffet at the Safari restaurant, as it has great views of the animals and the food is fantastic. They are friendly and helpful if you have food allergies as well. One other great place to eat, especially if your whole family wants something different, is the desert grille.
There is a great show there, it’s beautiful and cool inside, and it’s more of a food court type feel, with several counters of different styles of food. Then everyone is happy!
Birds & Aviaries
In several areas of the park, you will see all kinds of neat birds. There are 2 aviaries to see, and one is called Lorakeet landing and you can purchase the liquid food they eat, and they will come and sit on your arm and drink it. They are not the only birds in there, either. There are many types, and the aviary is lovely, with a waterfall in the center and friendly staff too.
Even if you don’t buy the food, it’s so worth going in, and if you’re like me, and you’re not quite wanting a bird landing on you, you just stand aside and watch the show.
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On your way out of there is a beautiful owl in his cage, and then down the walk little ways you will pass a huge area of flamingos, before coming to a second aviary. This one is a little bigger and has a good variety as well, and none are the same as the first one. They also have information cards for you to use so you can try to spot the different types of birds.
It’s very quiet and a great spot to get away from the crowds too, and sit down on a bench and relax. There are lots of other bird around the park as well, but these are the highlights for sure.
Seasonal & general décor
Every section in the park has amazing decorations all year long. They don’t miss an opportunity to get a feel for the areas they are channeling and to make you feel like you are there in person. They do hold special events for seasonal things, like their Halloween and Christmas events, too, where they go all out with the decorations all over the park.
Christmas Town is a special area that opens later in the day when it’s that season, and it’s so pretty and well done, but they do also have lots of other Christmas décor in other areas of the park if you are not staying to visit that part. They do sell a lot of neat items too that go along with the African or Moroccan themes, and your kids will enjoy seeing all of those things.
You will see all the animals you would expect in an African type zoo, but then they do have many you wouldn’t necessarily think of, and some very well done areas to view them in. There are penguins swimming in a large tank that you suddenly walk up on, it seems out of nowhere, and they are at a good viewing level, swimming around and so cute.
There’s an Australian area with kangaroos, emus, and wallabies where you can walk right near them, with just a small fence between you and them. Then there is also an animal hospital and surgery center where they do surgeries in view a few times a week, which is awesome to be able to see. Also don’t miss the gorilla area, the bat and snake caves and the baby nursery.
Being Florida, of course, you’d expect beautiful plants. There are lots of tropical ones and palm trees everywhere, but they go over and above on the plant beds, topiaries and displays of plants all over the park. They keep up extremely well with changing these out seasonally, too. You will see lots of beautiful and colorful displays, and orchids tucked in many places, some in places you’d not expect, even. They do lights on the trees as well at night which adds a great ambiance.
There are many good shows to see in the park, and you will want to check the flyer they hand you as you go in to make sure you catch them at the right times. There are a few musical ones, like in the desert grille, and up near the entrance, one that goes over different eras of pop music and is very entertaining and fun. Then there is an ice show that is spectacular and of course, inside and cool, so save that one for about 2 or 3 pm if you can, especially in the summer time! There is also a pet stunt type show that everyone will enjoy and a bird show, too. Some of them are very spread out from each other, so just be sure to catch them when you are in the right section for them. You can take the sky ride or train across the park too if you get in a bind for time.