Home to more than 12,000 animals, this world-class theme park is one of the largest zoos in North America. Busch Gardens® Tampa is one of Florida’s leaders in thrill rides and family entertainment, offering state-of-the-art shows, animal habitats, bird gardens, water rides, zookeeper-for-a-day experiences, behind-the-scenes tours, safari-themed dining and shopping, and more.
|from Ashley, one of our Tampa Travel Experts|
Good To Know
|from Rosemarie, our Tampa Market Manager|
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Out of all the theme parks, this is the one that has the most thrilling and adult rides. At the same time, you can wonder around and take in some breathtaking animals which makes things that bit more special. It's a shame there were so many challenges here that mean an average score is, at best, all I can offer. I'm being kind with this too. When you initially arrive at the park, it's going to take you 45+ minutes just to get inside the park. If you want to buy a fast pass ticket before entering, be sure to give yourself another 30+ minutes. This is an utterly ridiculous amount of time to wait just to get a ticket and enter. At a universal property this whole process took less than 10 minutes. Imagine then that after a total of about 90 minutes you're finally inside the park. The wait times are now long and will remain so throughout the day. The whole point of arriving early is to try and grab a few rides without the long wait; that's out the window then. I can't imagine how a child might behave in 27 degree heat for that length of time when excited to get on rides before finally getting into the park only then being confronted (without a fast pass) with an 80 minute wait for a ride. Parents; you have my sympathy and I wish you all the best. By now, if like us you arrived at 9:30 you'll be looking at nearly midday. Having only been on one ride. You'll be wanting (as a minimum) a drink or lunch. You'll wait a good twenty minutes for a drink. By which point, the drink you took from the fridge is no longer cold. At least, because you'll be so used to long waits for rides or just to gain entry to the park, your twenty minute wait for a drink will feel like nothing. Don't forget, just like Seaworld, this lot are owned by the same company. Meaning that when you have to store your items in a locker to go on a ride, you'll need to pay a dollar. There's something really irritating about this. Disney and universal don't do this and their parks are much better kept. There's some challenges. To ensure this is a little more balanced, I would say that the rides are very good. Even with the challenges, you'll need to try and go to experience them. They are fantastic. The staff do everything in their power to make it work for you. It's not their fault, it's the process. Why have you only got three staff on ticket counters? Or two staff dealing with four counters for drinks?! I hope you go and enjoy your day. Just be prepared for this. But your fast pass online before the day. Get there really early. Take drinks and store them in a locker all day (£$5 I think). It will help...
Iowa City, Iowa
We have been visiting Busch Gardens once or twice a year for longer than twenty years. In the last few years, it has lost most of its charm. First, the shows haven't changed in so many year they are boring. At least one (often two or three) major rides are not working every time we visit. All rides are shut down when there is even a threat of rain within the next hour. As this is Florida, it rains every day, so the rides are down about 3-4 hours or much longer per day without fail. It used to be possible to win at the games. Now, all the claw machines are so loose that if you come early in the morning and leave at closing, you can actually see that NO prizes have been won from any machine, even the ones with the chintzy stuffed animals.. Prizes at the big carnival games are now tiny and all the games that require any skill have been removed. The prices are ridiculously high, especially food, drinks; parking is minimum $18. The only good restaurant (a pizza buffet) was torn down. Park is a total rip off!!! Many animal exhibits are gone, removed. Some great roller coasters when they are working and no rain forecast. We are finished with this, what used to be our favorite park.is now forever off our list. Seaworld ruined a great park.
This park is huge!!!! Also if you love animals, you will really enjoy this place. It also has lots of rides for the little ones. The lines for the roller coasters are very long! Next time I'm going as soon as the park opens, so I can enjoy everything
We traveled to Tampa during a cheer competition this past April. I have not been to Busch Gardens in almost 20 years, we are Disney freaks. What a pleasant surprise. Very clean, great new rides and great animal exhibits. They don't just have two alligators sitting around in the exhibit they have 20. Their Tiger exhibit was outstanding they come right up to the glass. Some of the photo's we have of our children they look like they are sitting right next to the Tigers. Really had a great time, parking was easy, food was not that expensive and like I said great exhibits.
|Attractions||Hotels & Lodging|
How much is parking at Busch Gardens?
$18 - General parking for cars, motorcycles, trucks and recreation vehicles
$24 - Preferred parking
Preferred parking are subject to availability. Tour buses may park for free.
Do Busch Gardens tickets expire?
Tickets expire within one year of purchase date.
Are coolers or picnic baskets allowed inside Busch Gardens?
Picnic baskets and coolers are not allowed inside the park. (Exception: Baby food and medicine are permitted, but not in glass containers.)
What options are available if I want to bring my pet to the park?
On-site kennels are located at the front of the main parking lot across from the first tram stop. The air-conditioned facility is staffed from park open until one-half hour before park close, and the cost is $10.00 per day ($9.00 for Passport members, excluding Fun Card holders). Park guests are required to bring pet food and to walk their pets during the day. You may bring a blanket for the pet's comfort, and a current shot record and rabies tag is required.
Where can I rent a stroller or wheelchair at Busch Gardens?
Strollers, Wheelchairs & Electric Carts - Available for a nominal fee at the Stroller and Wheelchair Rental Shop in Morocco. You must be 18 years of age to rent electric carts and wheelchairs.
Where can I rent a locker?
Single-use lockers are located near Congo River Rapids, Gwazi, Kumba, Land of the Dragons, Montu, Scorpion, Stanley Falls and Tanganyika Tidal Wave. All-day lockers are available at the Marrakesh Theater and the Stroller and Wheelchair Rental Shop. You can rent an all day locker for $5, which allows you to switch the locker throughout the park.
Is smoking allowed at Busch Gardens?
Busch Gardens is committed to a safe and friendly environment. Therefore we have provided designated smoking stations throughout the park. All indoor areas will remain smoke-free environments. Outdoor smoking stations are designated in guest areas by smoking urns, benches and "Designated Smoking Area" signs, which are situated near most restrooms. These signs are marked on the park maps.
I have a hard cast from a recent accident. Will this effect which rides I can board?
Guests with hard casts are not allowed on Kumba, Montu, or SheiKra.
What shows are available at Busch Gardens?
Critter Castaways, Dance to the Music, KaTonga, Mystic Sheiks of Morocco, Pirates 4-D, Rock a Doo Wop and Darren Romeo (seasonally).
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