I enjoyed this place. Get the unlimited food band as it's worth it, which is cheaper online. Get there when it opens and go to the right if you do not have children so you can get to the big rides first. If you go to the left at entrance it's for small children. Food was excellent and I stopped every 2 hours and got fresh water and snack with unlimited food. The water you carry will get hot so your constanly needing fresh. The shows are awesome just make sure you map it out so you can have time to see them. Lines are long even on the above skything but I expected it.
*** BUYER BEWARE* Do not book a vacation package with Busch Gardens
We were originally charged $1293.12 on 7/7/2015 for
* Hotel stay Holiday Inn Express / New Tampa? July 13- 21 2015
* 3 Tickets to Busch Gardens
*3 All Day Dine at Busch Gardens
We stayed for two days the 13th & 14th and did use our tickets to Busch Gardens. We decided to move to a hotel closer to the Beach but before doing so contacted both Busch Gardens vacations where we had made our reservation and the hotel Manager George at the hotel we were staying at. Both said we would be charged no cancellation fees since we were moving to another Holiday Inn in Clearwater that we paid $2512.24 for the other 7 days that was also on the list for Busch Gardens vacations.
It took over a week to receive any refund onto our card when we received refund we were refunded $504.00 on 7/23/15
which means we paid $789.12 for two days (a Monday & Tuesday) and tickets for 3 to Busch gardens we did not use 7 days including a weekend stay. Not remotely possible that the math adds up. For the same stay at the same hotel with the same package the total comes to $490.48
I have been on the phone for over an hour with Belinda who will not give me the name up anyone higher than her that I can speak to. I have asked for a price break down or even how they concluded how much my refund was I also was not given that as they say they don't have one. This is very shady business practice and they should be ashamed of themselves.
As of right now we spent $3301.36 for Nine days so not worth it!!!!
We went with our young grandson and his parents. We were amazed at how much there was to do and entertain a toddler under 2 years old. It was a blast! Things we learned:
•We went on a Friday after New Year’s and it was great- small crowds and minimal lines
•Check the weather when planning your trip. Initially we planned to go earlier in the week. A cold front came through so we changed our visit and ended up with a perfect Florida day of 70 degree temperatures in January.
•There is special parking for strollers close to the entrance gate. We didn’t do this and had to walk from the parking lot as the tram can’t take strollers.
•Pay attention to rides for both age and height restrictions. There are several rides and attractions I look forward to doing on my next visit when I am taller and older.
•Keep your map handy as this is a large park and it can be confusing to get around
•Check the schedule when you arrive to the decide shows you want to see. Visiting with me as a toddler kept my parents and grandparents from seeing the shows which provide some great entertainment
•There are awesome water rides that I was too young to do. Maybe next time. Of course, we’ll be sure to bring dry clothes and take advantage of the lockers to store them. My grandparents say to get all the “wet rides” done early then change into dry clothes to do the rest of the park
•Check out the Busch Gardens Fun Pass that lets visitors return again and again throughout the year. It’s a great deal.
Covering a huge area, Busch Gardens is well worth a visit if you get the chance. We took my 2 teenage daughters and they had a fantastic time. The picture on my main page is of my daughters and other children, stood near the bottom of a ride, that hits the water at the bottom and splashes them. On a really hot day it's keeps the kids from getting grumpy.
The rest of the park has animals walking around, and so much to see and do, that I can't help but feel we may have missed something, even though we spent 2 days there. A must see.
Busch Gardens in Tampa has some 2,700 animals from across Africa including lions, tigers, elephants, camels, zebras, and more. This is also a very large amusement park, but easily overshadowed by nearby Disney World. Busch Gardens was owned by Anheuser-Busch until 2009 when it was purchased by the Blackstone Group and it became part of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment.
The park is divided into various cites, nations, and geographical areas of Africa including the Sarengeti Plain, Egypt, Morocco, Stanleyville, Timbuktu, Congo, Nairobi, and the Bird Gardens.
We were in the park for about five hours and had time to ride all five of the roller coasters, see the stupid 4D Pirates movie, take the relatively boring Rhino Rally safari ride, and grab a bite to eat at the Desert Grill restaurant. Luckily the lines were short on a rainy afternoon just a few days before Christmas, or all that might not have even been possible. The roller coasters are called SheiKra (which has a 200 foot 90 degree drop), Gwazi (a bone-rattling wooden coaster which, at 7,000 feet, is the longest roller coaster in the southeast), Scorpion (amazingly compact with lots of loops), Montu (an inverted roller coaster), and Kumba (a large & fast roller coaster).
Anheuser-Busch also owns the three Sea World parks in San Diego, San Antonia, and Orlando, as well as Sesame Place near Philadelphia.
Tickets for Busch Gardens cost about $62 for adults and $52 for children. Discounts are available for groups, for some online purchases, and for military members. We all agreed that if we had not entered using the military discount (free!) that a day there would have been a waste of money.
Busch Gardens is without a doubt one of the best priced family valued parks I know of.
We had a length of stay ticket so could come and go the entire time we were there, although once in the park we didnt leave until closing time. There are so many shows and rides and animals it took 3 days just to see it all and we still missed a bunch I am certain.
My favorite part was most likely the Safari tour and watching my girls feed and pet the Girrafes.
Very good value for the money, lots of things to do & see. A Must do if visiting the Tampa area. Busch Gardens does a great job of updating and adding new exhibits to make sure the park stays current. They dismantled the Skyride to make room for a new ride that will not be ready until spring 2011. So we will see what happens then.
(No more free beer or Clydesdale horses )
BUSCH WAS SOLD TO A NON AMERICAN COMPANY AND FREE BEER IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE AT BUSCH GARDENS.
THE BEER GARDEN IS STILL THERE AND NOW OFFERS A WIDE RANGE OF DRAFT BEERS (MANY HIGH END) AT A FRACTION OF THE PRICE THAT CAN BE FOUND FOR THOSE METAL "BOTTLES" SOLD INSIDE THE PARK. IN GENERAL THE PRICE OF DRAFT BEERS IS A LOT CHEAPER (AND YOU GET A HIGHER QUALITY BEER TOO)
-----FREE BEER NO LONGER
Busch Gardens was created as part of Anheuser Busch's (as in Beer) Brewery Tours and has expanded to the point where the Brewery is no longer on site.
HOWEVER, they do have a Beer Garden that offers FREE beer as a way to showcase their products.
The Beer Garden is not located near the rides and is a bit out of the way so plan your day accordingly so you don't have to walk all the way across the park to get there and back OR stop by for a bit on your way out of the park (the beer garden is located near a park exit)
The beer garden is a good place to chill out for a bit on hot days. Free beer tasting clinics are also available (times will be posted) . See the map for the Beer Garden.
Busch Gardens is an awesome value for the price. It offers tremendous Zoo exhibits, Broadway quality shows, killer rollercoaster’s, plenty of things for the kids to do. If you get there at 9am, you will have to chance to experience the whole park by 6pm. The plants & flowers are always immaculate and the park grounds are spotless. Plus, they let you bring in your own bottle water and snacks, so that helps cut down on the costs. On a sour note: they do not offer free samples of beer at the Hospitality House anymore; now the building is called the Garden Spot Café.
***Free for Military***
This was such a wonderful day! Rides, animals, and good friends; what more can you ask for? Please see my "Busch Gardens" travelogue for a more in depth story of how our day went.
Tips on making the most of the park
1) Be sure to get a map and show schedule when you enter the park or print the map and show schedule from the website listed below.
2) The park is large so plan your day to avoid continually walking back and forth across the park. I would recommend starting at the back of the park and working forward
3) The park gets VERY crowded during its peak hours 11 am to 2 PM. This is the best time to take in the numerous shows and take a long lunch
4) There are some wonderful places to have that long lunch. My favorite on hot days is the restaurant that overlooks the African Plain and Animals. Its cool, has a great view & the food is excellent. Another favorite is the German Dining hall that offers hot dog, beer and a show
THE WAY to visit the park
1) Arrive early & chill out during the hot/crowed times
2) The real trick to this and any amusement park is to be at the gate before the park opens. Factor in parking, take the shuttle and buy tickets (20 minutes minimum). Arriving early will allow you to go on 3 to 5 of the rides in the first hour, during peak times this same feat may take you 4 hours!
3) The parks hours change based on the day and season so check the website for that day/seasons opening times and get there 30 MINUTES BEFORE the opening time. It will take you at least 20 minutes to park, ride the tram from the parking garage to the park and get your tickets.
4) The park often opens a few minutes before the posted time so be there
5) Do the roller coasters and more popular rides in during the off peak times (do them first if you get to the park early)
6) When it gets hot and busy take a long lunch within the park and see a show or two. Both the heat and crowds die down by 3 PM and then you will be re-energized to enjoy the park
7) During the shoulder seasons (and week days) the park is less crowed and lines are minimal. This is when Bucsh Garden has the most price specials too.
Tampa has a premier amusement park, called Busch Gardens.
Bucsh Gardens is an extra special treat to those who love animals and roller coasters. The park is essentially built around a zoo so there are tons of animal to see, in fact you can spend a day looking at the animals and gardens and not go on any rides.
There are a few ?Tricks? to Bucsh Garden?s that will make a big difference in your trip
Discounts on Admission
1) Discounts to the park are available. Discount are always available from the Bucsh Garden website when you buy your ticket in advance.
2) AAA Auto also has discounted tickets and fast food places like Wendy?s and McDonalds in the area often offer discounts off of the admission price. Discounts are also regularly found on locally sold Coke cans.
3) Buy today and ride free all year ? if you?re a Florida resident Bucsh Gardens has a special promotion at least once a year where if you buy a ticket into the park you can get into the park for free for the rest of the year. Note this promotion does not include parking which can be quite expensive.
4) If you live in the local area yearly passes are often the equivalent to 1 to 2 visits to the park AND include free parking. These passes also offer discounts on food and concessions within the park as well as discounted admission to other parks. I get these passes every few years and they are well worth it
Current day pass pricing - $61.95 for adults and $51.95 for children ages 3-9
Check website for latest on Senior Pricing