If you are looking for extreme attractions with a lot of adrenaline, Busch Gardens is your place! A favorite of roller coaster lovers, it also attracts lovers of the animal world, as it is an open-air zoo.
Busch Gardens Tampa is an amusement park located in Tampa, Florida, and has attractions for all ages. Full of super radical toys, it also delights children and animal lovers with a safari area – a theme that inspired the park as a whole.
It was opened on March 31, 1959 by the Anheuser-Busch beer company. The concept, at the time of opening, was to be a place for people to taste beers while watching animals. Until the mid-90s, it was possible to try Budweiser for free at the park.
However, as time passed, the idea changed. Now the park has great attractions for the little ones and other super radical ones for those who like adrenaline. The highlight is the animals in a very natural environment, with more than 200 species that visitors can observe without disturbing them.
Many say that the best roller coasters in Florida are at Busch Gardens. What we tell you is that you need to go there to draw your own conclusions. ?
In this post you will read:
- Busch Gardens in Tampa
- When to go to Busch Gardens Park
- How to get to Busch Gardens in Tampa
- How many days to visit Busch Gardens
- Busch Gardens map
- Main attractions at Busch Gardens Park
- Busch Gardens special events
- Accessibility at Busch Gardens
- Tickets for Busch Gardens
- Where to stay when going to Busch Gardens
- hotels in Tampa
- Orlando hotels
- Tips for getting the most out of Busch Gardens
- Read more
Busch Gardens in Tampa
Currently, Busch Gardens belongs to the SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment group, which includes SeaWorld, Aquatica and Discovery Cove parks, all in Orlando, in addition to Adventure Island and Busch Gardens, which are located in Tampa.
In addition to the roller coasters, Busch Gardens is also famous for being a huge zoo and allowing interaction with various animals. There exists the Serengeti Plain, an area of 120 thousand m², where more than 200 species of African fauna, such as zebras, giraffes and rhinos, are free.
Because it is quite large, Busch Gardens has two transports inside that help with locomotion: the Skyride (a kind of cable car) and the Serengeti Railway (little train). They can be used free of charge, and they have stopping points in different areas of the park, providing greater accessibility to the place.
The Serengeti Railway runs along tracks right in the safari area Serengeti Plain, and allows you to observe the animals up close. That is, in addition to being a pleasant ride, the transport ends up becoming an attraction in itself. It's a great option to go with the kids and relax between one toy and another.
However, at Busch Gardens, the radical toys are the highlight. But even if you don't like the adrenaline very much, you can have a lot of fun at other quieter attractions. Younger children will love the Sesame Street area, and the whole family will enjoy the many animal interactions.
When to go to Busch Gardens Park
The best time to go to Busch Gardens is the empty period, the low season, which happens in the month of May or in the months between September and November (same period indicated for the other parks in Orlando).
Keep an eye out for American holidays, as the parks are more crowded on these days and in nearby periods. Busch Gardens also holds some seasonal celebrations, and at these times the number of visitors is higher.
Finally, pay extra attention when planning your trip for September, which is the end of Florida's hurricane season.
It's worth betting on travel insurance for the United States to cover you in case you have any problems, like having your trip canceled due to storms, for example.
How to get to Busch Gardens in Tampa
Tampa is 90 km from Orlando (about 1h30 by car). So, when you go to Busch Gardens, plan your trip considering the travel time for the round trip, if you choose not to stay a day in the city.
To drive from Orlando, take I–4 westbound. The road is well signposted and easy to drive. Waze works really well there, so if you need help, it's a good idea to have internet on your cell phone and GPS handy to use.
The best options for getting to Busch Gardens are to drive or use the park's own bus transport, which is free for ticket holders. It is necessary to book in advance through the website. Mears Destination Service. They also have wheelchair assistance, but need to be notified in advance by phone. +407 423 5566.
The bus passes at various points in Orlando. The only disadvantage of this service is that it has a fixed timetable for the round trip, which sometimes ends up making it impossible to arrive before the park opens.
If you prefer to go on your own and have full control over your schedule, it is worth considering a car rental in Orlando.
How many days to visit Busch Gardens
Take at least a full day to enjoy Busch Gardens. Plan to arrive early at the park.
But, as the place is big and with a lot to see, if you have two days to enjoy it, you will be able to enjoy everything with more tranquility.
Busch Gardens map
Check the map of the park to find out what the attractions are and plan accordingly:
Main attractions at Busch Gardens Park
Here we list some of the main attractions at Busch Gardens to help you build your itinerary through the park, separated by each area – inspired by the wonders of the African continent.
Don't miss out on the funniest roller coasters in Tampa, or enjoy the moments of interaction with animals.
To better understand:
- Quick Queue (QQ) – Busch Garden's “skip the line”, which allows priority access to attractions.
Edge of Africa
cheetah hunt (QQ) – Roller coaster inspired by the speed that cheetahs (cheetahs), it reaches 100 km/h. Despite being super fast, it's great for those who don't like to be upside down, as it doesn't have loops, but it has three throws. It is very busy and one of the most crowded. Minimum height: 1,20 m.
Cheetah Run – Place to see animals such as cheetahs, meerkats, lions and hyenas. It's really worth it to take the kids. Minimum height: no restrictions.
Coat (QQ) – This is one of the most reversing roller coasters in the world. There are 7 loops and screws in total. And, to top it off, in this one you go with your feet loose – is it or isn't it radical? Minimum height: 1,38 m.
Cobra's Curse (QQ) – This roller coaster does not have loops and the difference is that the cart rotates according to the weight of the people, so it will go forward or backward at different times. With a vertical rise of 21 meters and also accessible to wheelchair users.
From the attraction's line, it is already possible to see the habitat of some snake species.
Minimum height: 1,22 m.
Serengeti Outpost – From here, several paid tours depart, including the Serengeti Safari, where it is possible to interact with some animals, such as feeding the giraffes. It is important to book in advance to guarantee your spot, as they tend to fill up.
O Serengeti Safari It starts at US$29 (plus taxes) per person, and can be done by children aged five and over. The ride is done in an open jeep and lasts 30 minutes.
Congo’s River Rapids (QQ) – Rapids attraction, where you get on a round boat for up to 12 people and go down the river. Be prepared to get a lot wet on this toy. Minimum height: 1,07 m.
Kumba (QQ) – Roller coaster with several inversions, loops and a free fall of more than 40 m, where you will have the feeling of zero gravity. Minimum height: 1,38 m.
Falcon's Fury (QQ) – Elevator-style attraction, the carts climb a tower and, when they reach the top, the seats tilt 90° before plummeting. That is, the fall is upside down.
It is the tallest tower in North America for this type of attraction. Do you have courage? It is one of the busiest in the park. Minimum height: 1,02m.
Scorpion (QQ) – This is a classic roller coaster, which only has a 360° loop, but reaches 80 km/h. Minimum height: 1,07 m.
Phoenix – This toy has a viking boat style, and it turns 360°. Minimum height: 1,22m.
Sand Serpent (QQ) – This is a roller coaster suitable for children. Minimum height: 1 m.
Wild Surge – Also in the “elevator” style, but lighter and aimed at children. Minimum height: 0,97 m.
Treetops Trails – This attraction is a huge playground, in the “brinquedão” style, with 3 floors of hammocks.
Minimum height: no restrictions.
Orangutans and Tigers – Here you will have a lot of interaction with the animals, with orangutans and with the exotic white tigers. Minimum height: no restrictions.
sheikra (QQ) – One of the most extreme roller coasters in the park, with a descent of more than 60 meters and almost 90° of inclination and with simultaneous looping and turning. What makes it even more exciting is that the cart stops at the edge of the drop for approximately 3 seconds before descending.
It is very popular and one of the favorites for those who like adrenaline. Minimum height: 1,37m.
Tigris – Roller coaster full of curves and loops inspired by feline agility, reaching almost 100 km/h. It works on the throwing system, with the cart being thrown back and forth to get momentum. It's very competitive. Minimum height: 1,37 m.
Stanley Falls Flume (QQ) – Traditional splash style waterfall attraction, which gets very wet. Minimum height: 1,17 m.
Safari of Fun – Sesame Street (for kids)
This Sesame Street-themed area is completely kid-friendly.
Air Grover – Children's roller coaster. Minimum height: 0,97 m
Sunny Day Theater – Theater with presentations of Sesame Street characters. Minimum height: no restrictions.
Children’s Rides & Play elements – Area with several attractions for children.
Lory Landing – Bird nursery where visitors can interact with the animals.
Walkabout Way – Interaction with kangaroos and other Australian animals. It's free to enter, but if you want to feed the kangaroos, you have to pay separately. You must be at least five years old to participate in kangaroo feeding.
Iron Gwazi – This is the tallest hybrid roller coaster in North America and the fastest and steepest in the world, with a height of 63 meters, a drop of 91° and a top speed of 122 km/h, plus three reversals and 12 peaks with zero gravity sensation. The course is over 1.200 meters of pure adrenaline! Want a more radical attraction than this? Hard to find!
Minimum height: 1,22 m.
Gwazi gliders – Cart that rotates in circles, aimed at children. Maximum height: 1,42 m.
Busch Gardens special events
Busch Gardens, like many other theme parks across the United States and around the world, also hosts seasonal celebrations. At certain times, the park hosts special events with different attractions.
In the summer months, Summer Nights take place. The park closes later, at 22pm, and there are shows and special foods offered to visitors every day of the event.
In September and October, the park prepares for the Halloween parties. The Howl-O-Scream is Busch Gardens' only paid party at this time. The ticket must be purchased separately and costs between 40 and 50 dollars per person.
This party resembles Universal's Halloween - which is scarier and not recommended for children. During the event, the space is all decorated, in addition to the House of Terror and Scary Zones scattered throughout the park. Many attractions also enter the wave so you can enjoy the atmosphere even on the rides.
In November and December, Christmas Town takes place, the Busch Gardens Christmas party. The Christmas decorations and the shows presented are super special. You can find Santa and Rudolph (the famous red-nosed reindeer) for photos, and there's a fair selling themed goods at Christmas Town Village.
Accessibility at Busch Gardens
People with disabilities or those with reduced mobility are welcomed at Busch Gardens with all possible accessibility. The park is fully adapted for travelers with disabilities or mobility issues, with ramps in stores, restaurants and a special program to guarantee the best experience for everyone – the Ride Accessibility Program (RAP).
Within this program, there is a much more comfortable way to wait in line for toys, called Special Access. Indicated for visitors who cannot wait in the common queue, this feature uses a virtual waiting list. To use it, you must first register at RAP, at Guest Services (which is located in Moroccan Village).
In addition, there are electric wheelchairs for rent in the park, and the place has a train. Serengeti Railway, which helps in getting around the property. Lot A parking is also right next to the main entrance, making it easy to access, and toilets adapted for people with disabilities are scattered throughout all areas.
Another point worth mentioning is that Busch Gardens also has baby strollers. Thus, parents of even younger children can rest assured, because as soon as the little one gets tired, it will not be necessary to carry it on their lap, saving physical effort – which you can spend having fun in the toys. ?
Tickets for Busch Gardens
You can purchase a day ticket to Busch Gardens starting at $89, but prices vary slightly depending on the time of year.
If you also want to do the other parks (excluding Discovery Cove), it is worth buying the two- or three-day visit combos (choosing one park each day) or the unlimited visits (which gives you access to any of the parks in the group). per day for a period of 14 days).
Combo prices are:
- 2 days: from $105 (varies with season)
- 3 days: from $120 (varies with season)
- Unlimited pass for 14 days: from US$190 (all parking spaces included in the price)
The Discovery Cove ticket has different prices, from 220 dollars, and with it you have the option to visit two more parks in the SeaWorld network.
Where to stay when going to Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens is located in Tampa, 90 km from Orlando. As it is relatively close, it is possible to do a day trip between cities, staying in Orlando, Kissimmee or surroundings – which ends up being the choice of most, since many parks are located in these other locations.
In Orlando, the best areas to stay are close to shopping centers and restaurants. One of the favorites is the International Drive area, with good accommodations that are very popular.
But, if you want to be closer to Busch Gardens to enjoy the day calmly, staying in Tampa and close to the park will guarantee you a lot of tranquility. There are good options for hotels in the city, with good location.
Stay in St. Petersburg can also be a good idea, as the city is just 30 minutes from Tampa.
Below are some hotels in Tampa and Orlando to help you choose, with options for all tastes and budgets ?
hotels in Tampa
Check out some hotel tips in Tampa below:
Hyatt Place Tampa Busch Gardens
O Hyatt Place Tampa It is one of the closest options to Busch Gardens, with good value for money for the service provided. The rooms are very spacious, with two environments, and have a super cozy decoration. They can accommodate up to five people, making it a great option for families.
The accommodations are equipped with a large TV, fridge and even ironing equipment. At the hotel, guests will find a swimming pool, gym, and even a kitchen available 24 hours a day. The breakfast served is also quite varied. – SEE PRICES
- Rates from US$142
- Overall Guest Rating: 8,1 / 1.178 reviews
- Offers free cancellation (see conditions)
- Nearby Attractions: World of Beer (0,3 km), Adventure Island (1,7 km), and Busch Gardens (2,3 km)
“Great location for our visit to Busch Gardens the next day. Friendly hotel staff. Great pub next to the hotel.” – Keith no Booking.com - see all reviews
Tampa Marriott Water Street
O Tampa Marriott Water Street is a four-star hotel, for those looking for a more refined, super comfortable option with more amenities during their stay in Florida. It is right next to the Amalie Arena and the city's Convention Center.
The hotel has a gym, business center, two restaurants and a Starbucks, as well as private parking (surcharge). In the rooms, there is a flat TV, coffee maker and a desk, some with views of the city and others of the bay. – SEE PRICES
- Rates from US$269
- Overall Guest Rating: 8,7 / 526 reviews
- Offers free cancellation (see conditions)
- Nearby Attractions: Tampa Bay Beach (0,2 km), Amalie Arena (0,3 km), and Busch Gardens (10,7 km)
“The room was super tidy, comfortable and clean! I really enjoyed my stay and the staff was super nice! Great that there's a local starbucks too!” – Meredith no Booking.com - see all reviews
Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Tampa Busch Gardens Area
O Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Tampa Busch Gardens Area it is the best choice for those who want to stay close to Busch Gardens, as it is right in front of the park. Just cross the street and you arrive at the entrance.
Accommodation is very comfortable and well equipped. Another highlight is the hotel staff, who are super helpful and friendly. On top of that, the on-site breakfast receives many compliments from those who have stayed there, and there is still coffee and tea ready at any time of the day, as a courtesy for visitors. – SEE PRICES
- Rates from US$140
- Overall Guest Rating: 8,4 / 704 reviews
- Offers free cancellation (see conditions)
- Nearby Attractions: Busch Gardens (0,3 km), Skyride (0,8 km), and Adventure Island (1,6 km)
“Excellent breakfast! Very comfortable and clean accommodation. Helpful and polite attendants! The best location in Tampa. In front of Busch Gardens. Excellent value for money.” – Mariana not Booking.com - see all reviews
Check out some Orlando hotel tips below:
Rosen Inn International Near the Parks
O Rosen Inn International Near the Parks It is a great hotel for those looking to save money, as well as being close to outlets, malls and Universal and SeaWorld. Offers free transport at certain times to the parks. The hotel has a swimming pool, restaurants, games room, playground and laundry facilities in common areas. The rooms have Wi-Fi and are equipped with TV, air conditioning, safe, microwave, minibar, hairdryer and bathroom amenities. – SEE PRICES
- Rates from US$86
- Overall Guest Rating: 7,9 / 2.775 reviews
- Offers free cancellation (see conditions)
- Nearby Attractions: Bayhill Plaza Shopping Center (0,6 km), Universal Studios Orlando (2,4 km), and SeaWorld (4,9 km)
“Loved the hotel! loved the room! the location was the best thing. Huge room with two beds, the bathroom has a bathtub, close to everything. I highly recommend!” – Jose no Booking.com - see all reviews
Residence Inn by Marriott Orlando at SeaWorld
O Residence Inn by Marriott Orlando It is good value for money and is very close to Sea World. The hotel offers free transportation to the park and to others in the area as well. Plus, if you've already purchased your Sea World ticket in advance, you can enter one hour before the official opening on select days.
It has a swimming pool, restaurants, gym and laundry in common areas. The rooms are equipped with TV, air conditioning, coffee maker, safe, microwave, minibar, in addition to bathroom amenities and hairdryer. They also provide free wi-fi. – SEE PRICES
- Rates from US$146
- Overall Guest Rating: 8,5 / 2.399 reviews
- Offers free cancellation (see conditions)
- Nearby Attractions: Discovery Cove (1,4 km), SeaWorld (1,5 km), and Orlando International Premium Outlets (1,6 km)
“Great location, clean and comfortable rooms. Good breakfast. Great value for money for a family trip.” – Caroline no Booking.com - see all reviews
Fairfield Inn Suites by Marriott Orlando At SeaWorld
O Fairfield Inn & Suites Orlando at Sea World it is in a great location, with many restaurants around and close to SeaWorld, Aquatica and the Universal complex. It also offers free transportation to the parks at certain times.
Guests can enjoy a good breakfast there. The hotel also has a swimming pool, its own restaurant, playground, gym and laundry facilities in common areas. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, equipped with a TV, coffee maker, air conditioning, hairdryer and bathroom amenities, as well as a safe, microwave, minibar and free wi-fi. – SEE PRICES
- Rates from US$119
- Overall Guest Rating: 8,4 / 962 reviews
- Offers free cancellation (see conditions)
- Nearby Attractions: SeaWorld (0,7 km), Discovery Cove (0,9 km), and Orlando International Premium Outlets (3,5 km)
“Comfortable room, great bathroom, quiet despite being next to the elevator. Perfect housekeeping. Reception service very kind. American style breakfast with good variety and good quality products.” – Anderson no Booking.com - see all reviews
Tips for getting the most out of Busch Gardens
1) Download the apps before the trip
Download the mobile app from Busch Gardens. This way, you can research even more about attractions and places to eat, and start getting familiar with the maps.
2) Pay attention to the times to enter Busch Gardens
The Park is open daily from 10 am to 18 pm. On weekends during the summer and holidays it has extended hours.
Get there as early as possible as the parks tend to fill up an hour after opening. As the trip from Orlando takes 1h30 to 1h40, plan accordingly.
3) Ensure unlimited internet while traveling
Did you know that it's getting easier – and cheaper – to have unlimited internet throughout your trip?
Just ask for an international cell phone chip through AmericaChip. We always use and love it. They send a SIM card to your address in España, you insert it in your cell phone when you arrive at your destination and you have unlimited internet throughout the trip.
#StayHip: Save on car GPS rentals and use GoogleMaps and Waze with your unlimited internet.
4) Travel Insurance is ESSENTIAL
Although travel insurance is not mandatory to enter the United States, hiring a plan is Highly recommended. Travel insurance is cheap and a necessary investment to get rid of bigger problems that can happen during the holidays.
>> Read more in our post Travel Insurance USA – How to find a good and cheap one.
To find good travel insurance, compare prices and coverage at Promo insurance.
#StayHip: Save 10% on your travel insurance. use the coupon FORTRAVELOVERS to get 5% off and pay with boleto to guarantee an additional 5% OFF.
5) Tips for those traveling with children
If you have small children or babies, don't worry - all parks have the Baby Care Center. In them, you can heat the baby food and get products such as diapers, tissues and even some medicines. Look at the location on the map or seek help from an employee.
It's a good idea to have a stroller to take children up to 7 years old, because the place is big and they will get tired of walking. Rent from companies outside the parks or buy one at Walmart, so you can get a better price. In the parks, the average day rent costs 50 dollars and the strollers are uncomfortable.
6) What to bring to the park
We walked an average of 15 km through Busch Gardens, going from one attraction to another to enjoy everything the park has to offer. So prepare yourself physically before and wear comfortable shoes.
Water in Tampa is drinkable and you can order it for free at restaurants (that famous tapwater).
7) Extra Tips for Busch Gardens
- If you want to enjoy the roller coasters, arrive early at the park and go to one of them right away.
- At Busch Gardens there is the Quick Queue Unlimited, a paid service that lets you hop in the fast line as many times as you like (prices from $19,99 to $100, depending on the day, per person). There are also two other options:
- Quick Queue, which allows you to join the fast line once per attraction (from $14,99 to $79)
- Quick Queue Unlimited + 1, which allows a “skip of the line” at Tigris (from $39,99 to $119,99)
- The Quick Queue can be purchased directly from España and can be used at Cobra's Course, Scorpion, Congo River Rapids, Stanley Fall Flume, Cheetah Hunt, Falcon's Fury, SheiKra, Montu, Kumba and Tigris attractions, optional.
- In the more extreme attractions, if you have children, use the Child Swap, which is a special queue for parents or guardians. Just let an employee know that you are going to do this scheme, and he or she controls the group through a special ticket
- No food is allowed at Busch Gardens due to the presence of animals in the park
- The park has All-Day Dinning Deal, you pay only once and are entitled to a main course with side dish or dessert, each time you serve yourself at one of the participating restaurants inside the park
- Parking is $25 a day, and you can leave and return as many times as you like (just showing proof of payment)
- The park is quite large, so plan ahead if you want to see it all, as the attractions are far from each other.
- For faster walking within the park, use the Skyride cable car or the Serengeti Railway train, a great option to rest your feet while watching the animals and the park environment
FAQWhere is Busch Gardens?
Busch Gardens is located in Tampa, Florida, 90 km from Orlando. Check out all about Busch Gardens.What to do at Busch Gardens Tampa?
One of the main attractions in the park are the roller coasters - there are more than 10 -, in addition to the safari and lots of interaction with animals. See details of Busch Gardens park and its attractions.What time does Busch Gardens Tampa open?
The park is open daily from 10 am to 18 pm. On weekends and during summer and holidays it has extended hours. Learn more about Busch Gardens in Tampa.How to get to Busch Gardens Tampa?
The best option to get to Busch Gardens is to rent a car, but there is also a shuttle from the park itself, and several hotels offer transport to the park. See more tips for visiting Busch Gardens.Where to buy Busch Garden tickets?
You can purchase your Busch Gardens tickets, among several package options and prices, directly on the park's website. See our tips for enjoying Busch Gardens.How much does the Busch Gardens Tampa ticket cost?
Day tickets to Busch Gardens start at $89 per person, but prices vary slightly depending on the time of year. See more information about Busch Gardens.Where to stay when visiting Busch Gardens Tampa?
Because it is close, it is possible to make a day trip between the cities of Tampa and Orlando, Kissimmee, St. Petersburg or surroundings. Find your hotel here.
Did you like our Busch Gardens Tampa itinerary tips? Leave your comment or question here and we'll help you.
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