How to Visit Busch Gardens Tampa

12 Parts:Preparation for TripEntering the ParkMoroccoBird GardensSesame Street Safari of FunStanleyvilleJungalaCongoPantopiaNairobiCheetah HuntEgypt

If you've never been to but have been wanting to go to Busch Gardens Tampa, this article may entice you to go. Find out how you can visit it in this article.

Part 1
Preparation for Trip

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    Purchase your Busch Gardens Tampa tickets online (or over the phone) before visiting the park, particularly if you are visiting from outside the US. This will save you time when you arrive at the park - you won't have to wait in any queues at the ticket offices!
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    Preview the attractions in the park before your visit. Try previewing each attraction (ride or show) on YouTube, or take a peek at the ride through photos from others. Learn from what others see. This can help decide which rides and attractions will take priority during your visit or which attractions you'll feel you or your family will want to miss.
    • Busch Gardens doesn't allow video taping on any ride without prior approval by park staff. Ask them for permission, they potentially will. For most rides on YouTube, you'll need to include a true statement that says that you received permission before riding - as anything that doesn't will get taken down if found by Busch Gardens staff. This is to ward off those who post their journey for others so others don't have to ride if they don't want to; they want these videos to be only a preview of the park's attractions and nothing more.
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    Pack water, snacks, money and most importantly your park tickets before you leave for the park that day!

Part 2
Entering the Park

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    Decide if you truly want to visit the Busch Gardens Tampa. Although Tampa is mostly about MLB spring training, there are other minor league parks in the area that double as other entertainment values, as well as other smaller areas in the immediate vicinity. Look for the Tampa Bay Rays to play their major league games at Tropicana Field inside Tampa-St Petersburg, FL (April to early, early October). If you want, you can extend your search north east towards the towns of Lake Buena Vista and Orlando, FL where there are more choices to choose from including Walt Disney World's metropolitan complex of parks and resorts as well as Universal's system and even a SeaWorld. Or if you want, you can extend yourself over to St Petersburg and take a dip in the Gulf of Mexico's crystal clear beaches and shores.
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    Drive and park at Busch Gardens Tampa. The address to Busch Gardens Tampa is 1165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa, FL 33612[1] The cost to park at this park's parking lot is $18 per day, though for closer spots you'll need to spend a little more at $24.[2]
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    Take the tram, shuttle or bus up towards the entrance gate. Due to the traffic problem and roadway situation being very hefty to try and cross and confusing to most who aren't from the Tampa area, Busch Gardens wants all it's visitors to take a tram or quick access vehicle to drive them up to the gate instead.
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    Enter through the park gates using your park ticket you purchased earlier. Busch Gardens Tampa has only one gate at the corner of three area lands called Morocco, Nairobi and Egypt.
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    Look at the set up of Busch Gardens Tampa. This park is divided into about ten different lands. These lands include Morocco, Bird Gardens, Sesame Street Safari of Fun. Stanleyville, "Jungala, Congo, Pantopia, Nairobi, Egypt, and Cheetah Hunt.[3]

Part 3

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    Keep the Moroccan Palace Theater in mind, if there is a showing of a show on the day you visit. It's neat to look at all the Moroccan themed-motifs here. Although when you walk to the grand entrance of the park the theatre will be directly in front of you, you'll be positioned with it's back end facing towards the entrance. You'll need to walk to the other side of the building following the path to get to the entrance of it.
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    Reserve Gwazi Games for later or if you really like shooting arcades or similar palaces.
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    Ride the hub-and-spoke Gwazi Gliders. Although themed to paragliding and airplanes, this hub-and-spoke ride is rather bland, but important enough that some children will choose to ride it.
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    Watch a show at Gwazi Park. Although most shows are done at night, you can come back to this area later that day and take in a show. Most nights that the park is open, you'll be able to catch a showing here.

Part 4
Bird Gardens

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    Realize that there is no way to get around this bird-land completely. However, you can move around them without touching them or interacting with them. If you are severely allergic to birds and feathers, you could walk around this park starting in the Egypt land and walk towards Nairobi and walk back later, tacking Morocco last, but if you don't have a feather allergy, walk through this exhibit.
    • Talk to a park employee if you have a severe allergy to feathers or birds, as they might have other suggestions for you to follow to get you around this problem or to take an alternate route few people actually know about.
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    Walk about the bird garden animal habitats that exist here. There are two areas that are devoted to types of birds.
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    Step into and watch a showing of a show at the Gwazi Pavilion if you are invited in. This area is for special events, but if you are an invited guest or they are holding an event there, you may be able to take a look around. According to the Busch Gardens map, although paired to Bird Gardens-land, it's actually in the area held for Morocco-land.
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    Walk around the "Walkabout Way" area. The many birds that exist here use locomotion as their main transport method, though they do have feathers.
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    Step into Lory Landing. (You could even call this area Lorikeet Landing and the staff would understand what you mean for this attraction). If they have you feed the birds, you can do so with their supplied food. If you've walked across the walking path bridge near the Sesame Street Safari of Fun (that goes overtop of the train tracks), you've gone too far.

Part 5
Sesame Street Safari of Fun

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    Watch a show at the Sunny Day Theater, if there is a showing there that day. Most days there is, but you'll have to inquire at the gates for exact times of shows. There is no need for a reservation, but come a little early before the show to ensure you have a good spot where your kids can watch your favorite Sesame Street Muppet in action. Some of the bigger-than-life Muppets are there to put on a performance in front of your kids.
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    Tackle the family-friendly Air Grover roller coaster. To see if your children will tolerate bigger nastier roller coasters later in life, try them out on this one. Although the ride is short, it'll prepare them and you for whatever lies ahead with thrills and them.
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    Recognize the attractions that Busch Gardens Tampa felt were unimportant in this area and attempt to ride them, if you'd like. This area also includes three other attractions called Telly's Jungle Jam which is an interactive play area as well as a swing ride called Rosita Djembe's Fly-Away and a water play area called Bert&Ernie's Watering Hole.[4]

Part 6

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    Take the Stanleyville train from the train station towards the Nairobi station just after you walk over the bridge from Sesame Street Safari of Fun, or continue the loop around the remainder of the park. You'll see several pieces of wide open plain where the animals roam freely in the ride from Stanleyville. It has three stops at Nairobi and Congo along with this one here in Stanleyville. (Watch out, if you are getting out at Congo; the platform is on a slight up-grade.)
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    Walk towards the ride entrance for SheiKra.
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    Roll with the SheiKra roller coaster. Although this roller coaster is popular and almost new, it's also well worth the wait in line as the length of track and ride is long enough to become more than bearable.
    • This is not a kiddie roller coaster. This roller coaster is the "real deal here".
    • If you choose to skip the train, circle counterclockwise in this land around to the right to get to this attraction.
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    Flume your way on the Stanley Falls Flume which is the one and only log flume that is present at this park.
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    Watch a showing at the Stanleyville Theatre.
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    Take a ride on the out-and-back Skyride which takes you to a destination next to Kumba, turns around and circles back to this location. However, much like it's Williamsburg brother, the Skyride vehicles here are enclosed buckets. You'll find this attraction's entrance very near to the entrance to the Jungala land of the park. There is another Skyride location located in Cheetah Hunt later, but this one is open if you'd like to visit it and leave the animals well alone.
    • When these two rides run into the building to turn around, they sometimes meet next to each other, but you're always above and will never touch each other arm-to-arm.

Part 7

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    Visit with the orangutans and tigers just as you walk through this land. The attraction will be on your right as you enter.
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    Freefall on the kid-friendly (very tame) Wild Surge freefall ride. Although this ride sounds mighty, it's not! It bobs your ride vehicle up a pole several times and then within 90 seconds, brings you back down.
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    Visit and have your kids draw out their energy on the Treetop Trails exhibit. This jungle gym will have your kids loose some of their energy over the course of the day. Interact with your kids inside, if you want, the opening and entrance is sturdy and big enough for most to fit adults to fit through.

Part 8

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    Take the Congo River Rapids ride, Busch Gardens Tampa's rapid-rafting ride. Work this land clockwise from the point of entry, and this ride will board near the back of the land.
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    Ride on Kumba if you loved SheiKra. Kumba is Busch Gardens Tampa's other famous roller coaster, with all it's metallic helixes that will turn you upside down several times.
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    Find the Congolese train station which is right next to Kumba. If you haven't taken a round trip on this train already, take a complete ride on it for at least one full loop. Make sure you've gone past the Serengeti Plain at least once. It has three stops consisting of other stops at Stanleyville, Nairobi and this one.
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    Bump on the "Ubanga Banga Bumper Cars" ride. With this ride, it's safe to bump with your cars. However, this attraction is faced the opposite way compared to the direction you originally were headed in, and you must double back for it if you plan to ride it.

Part 9

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    Walk the path counterclockwise, so that stuff down the center can become a last riding resort item. Stop yourself from going past the Painted Camel Bazaar archway that crosses the walking path, until you've ridden yourself on each ride that sparks your fancy in this land.
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    Ride the Scorpion, another roller coaster that is slightly lesser-known and with slightly less activity.
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    Freefall on the drop-ride called Falcon's Fury.
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    Pass up the "Grand Caravan Carousel".
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    Ride the Sand Serpent. Formerly known as Cheetah Chase[5], this Wild Mouse roller coaster will take you on a journey no one will ever forget.
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    Ride the pirate ship ride that Busch Gardens calls The Phoenix.
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    Don't bother using either of the Kiddie Rides area nor the Games area in this land if your children and/or you were attracted by Treetop Trails and Gwazi Games earlier in the park. These games are mainly just repeats of earlier attractions in another location in the park, with the same general reason for existing.

Part 10

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    Recognize that although the Nairobi area sits across from part of the Serengeti Plain, it is not located on the plain.
    • The Plain can only be legally seen from the train ride or at the edge of where the Skyride will take you to if you look far off into the distance before it turns and heads back to it's "home base" just before it heads back towards Stanleyville right next to Jungala. Also, the Skyride from the Cheetah Hunt area will take you overtop of the Plains 100%.
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    Walk underneath the Painted Camel Bazaar archway and visit with the elephants in the Elephant Interaction Wall.
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    Turn towards the Animal Care Center, but be careful of any exiting cars from the walking path near the Plain that is off-limits to the public.
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    Schedule a reservation to a tour at the Serengeti Outpost. This building is the location where you can ask questions about the plains or how to reserve your spot in one of the few tours that go on nearby.
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    Take the train from Nairobi's train station to Congo land. The Nairobi train station train will take you through the Serengeti Plain past several animals about 10-15 minutes away. Nairobi train station's train is your best view of the Serengeti Plain as it takes you from place to place as you watch and interact with their freely-roaming wild animals such as birds, giraffes, lions, etc. that, if tempted may even come up to your train car and say "hi" to you.
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    Watch a show and/or interact with the animals in either the Jambo Junction or Curiosity Caverns animal exhibits. If you interact with one, you won't have enough time to interact with the other. You'll have to skip one of these two for time constraints.
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    Interact with the penguins in the Penguin Paint show. "Aren't the penguins cute with the tricks they play?"

Part 11
Cheetah Hunt

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    Realize that this area is a bit of a trek to go out, around and back out and through later at the end of your day, but if you want to visit an attraction in Egypt, it's your only choice.
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    Enter the land. Although the land comes off of the main entrance area, it's main concourse is a small strip of land across from the Edge of Africa area of the park on the opposite side of the train tracks.
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    Interact with the cheetahs in Cheetah Run animal habitat.
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    Take a ride on the out-and-back Skyride which takes you to a destination next to Kumba, turns around and circles back to this location. However, much like it's Williamsburg brother, the Skyride vehicles here are enclosed buckets. You'll find this attraction's entrance very near to the entrance to the Jungala land of the park. There is another Skyride location located in Stanleyville/Jungala area later, if you don't want to see any animals that this park is famous for.
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    Ride the Cheetah Hunt roller coaster. One of the two last roller coaster will finish your day, but when the temptation pangs express thrill, run wild with them. You will feel like you are really chasing cheetahs on this ride, though you won't see any.

Part 12

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    Take in the last roller coaster called Montu at the back of the Egypt area of the park.
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    Walk through the Edge of Africa exhibit.
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    Roll past the fang of a cobra snake in Cobra's Curse. This roller coaster will be opening in summer 2016 - so stay tuned. There were some computer sketches and previewed by the ride's engineers in 2015.[6]


  • Have a look at different ticket websites to see who is offering the best deal for Busch Gardens tickets.
  • Make sure the tickets you are buying are physical tickets and not e-tickets.
  • What time of the year you are planning to visit is also important. Summer months such as June thru September are going to be a lot busier than most of the other months.
    • There are many websites that have crowd predictions for each day of the year as well. This is definitely worth checking before you decide what day to go!
  • If you have made a good plan for the day the rest should be easy. Some changes may have to be made if rides are closed or break down for various reasons, but this shouldn't cause too many problems. All that's left for you is to enjoy your day!
  • This park opened to the public was March 31, 1959[7].
  • When 4-8 year old kids get antsy in the park and it seems like your day is lagging behind, give these kids some options. If you haul around a double-seat stroller, and warnings just don't work, give them time in the stroller. If they don't, you'll need to find some other way to draw out their energy. They will thank you for helping them "take a load off their feet". These youngsters tend to draw energy out more quickly, and become cranky quicker.
  • Food and beverage options are available throughout the park. You can find concession stands open sporadically around the park.
  • Restrooms might not be readily available, but they are located in sporadic places and where you least expect them to be. And if you have babies or infants, you can even change their diapers there (if they wear them).
  • Keep kids (under age 5) on "leashes" (arm straps) at all times. Don't allow your kids to remove them at any time. It's hard to see your kids leashed up like a pet, but with the 30,000+ guests in the park at any time, security is of utmost importance, and their leashes will help immensely. Don't even remove them, when your kids are in their stroller, as it can take only a few seconds for the kid to get out and become missing (the leashes only would allow the child to go so far as you'd allow them to go).
  • Don't worry if you hear people call this park Busch Gardens Africa instead of Busch Gardens Tampa. These two names are interchangeable[8]. Most people use the term Africa instead of Tampa, because of all the lands being named after places in Africa.


  • Identification is sometimes required when entering the park with your ticket, bring some form of identification for each party member.
  • Everybody's tastes are different. Some rides you can skip if you don't have time, or if the kids act up. Skip those rides that aren't suited to you or your kids' tastes.
  • Be prepared in the event that a sudden rainstorm impacts the area. Run or walk into the nearest attraction and seek shelter. The rain should end shortly thereafter (in most cases).
  • Take extreme caution, if and when you start to hear any rumbles of thunder.
  • For those attractions that are ride-vehicles, always ride the ride with safety in mind. Heed all advice the ride operator instructs you on, which includes wearing your safety harness/seat belt and not eating, taking pictures, etc.

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