Newest Review: ... and with inversions) It draws huge crowds but because the place itself is so vast, you don't really notice. The park is split in to t... more
Fantastic park combining coasters with animals
Busch Gardens (Tampa Bay, Florida)
Member Name: janeh
Busch Gardens (Tampa Bay, Florida)
Date: 20/04/01, updated on 31/12/04 (88 review reads)
Advantages: You get a theme park and animal safari all in the same place
Disadvantages: Two hour drive from Orlando
I have been to Florida several times and have visited Busch Gardens on every occasion. I would definitely recommend it to anyone in the area.
Busch Gardens is located about 2 hours from Orlando, Florida. If this distance puts you off, don’t let it, Busch is well worth the visit. An even better idea is to combine a stay in Orlando with a few days by the beach at St Petersburg or Treasure Island etc which are only half hours drive from Busch. This way you get the best of everything.
Busch Gardens is not just a theme park, it is a safari park too. In order to give the best opinion of the park I will split the two areas up.
As with all good Florida theme parks this one comes with it’s fair share of roller coasters. In fact it comes with more of its share. There are smaller coasters such as Scorpion and Cobra which although twisty etc are really quite tame in the coaster scarability stakes. Great for kids though and adults of a less daredevil nature. They are also quite short in duration.
Then there are the bigger coaters such as Montu and Kumba. Kumba apparently means roar – which is the sound the coaster makes as it tears around the park. This really is a long, winding, twisting and high roller coaster. I weaves it’s was around most of that park – that’s big! The ride itself starts off by taking you up to a great height and then dropping you whilst twisting you 360 degrees – twice. The ride lasts three minutes which is quite a long time for this type of ride and one which is very fast. Highly enjoyable though.
The Montu is an inverted coaster – like the one at Alton Towers (Nemises). But as you are in America, this one is twice the height and size. Again a great ride – but don’t go on if you have a bad back!
There are quite a few water rides here too, which in the Florida heat is great, plus you never stay wet too long. There are the C
ongo River Rapids in which you travel around ain a rubber ring boat and smash against the sides, get soaked by water jets but generally have a good laugh.
There is also the Tidal Wave, here you get on quite a large boat and gently sail around a lovely landscaped river admiring the wildlife etc. However after a few minutes you go round a bend and come fact to face with a huge drop, straight down. This is where you get soaked – again. Even the spectators get drenched.
Other rides include water flumes and smaller roundabout type rides for youngsters. There are just too many to list. Whatever your age you will find something to suit.
This is where Busch differs from most parks. The animals here are kept in very large, authentic surroundings. This is the best environment I have seen for captive animals. Giraffes, elephants etc road freely over large expanses of land and you can go on jeep safaris to see them or view them from the cable car which travels over the park. Monkeys, gorillas etc have large cages with glass fronts that you can view them from. However, their habitats are very real, so sometimes you won’t see something as it will be hiding in bushes etc.
My favourite area was the white tiger enclosure. Again this is huge, with a large pool area for them to swim in. You can look down o them from a walkway as they play. Great.
Other things of interest are the shows they put on, such as the bird shows, sea lions etc.
This park is one of he best in Florida and one of the best I have ever visited as far as animal welfare is concerned – definitely worth a visit.
Cost wise I think it cost about £18 per person, but you an buy a second days ticket for half price or you can buy a multi ticket which works for Sea world and Wet N Wild too and is valid for a set time for several visits.
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