Busch Gardens Florida Tampa Bay: Shows, Thrills & Safari Experience!

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Florida (formerly known as Busch Gardens Africa) was one of amusement parks that we’ve wanted to visit for a long time. This was mainly because of the safari park (known as Serengeti Safari) located inside Busch Gardens Florida! How cool is that? Thanks to the great folks at Visit Orlando and Busch Gardens (big shout-out to Cory & Stephanie), we were able to enjoy a fantastic day at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Florida!

Entrance of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Entrance of Busch Gardens Florida
Map of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Map of Busch Gardens Florida


About Busch Gardens Florida Tampa Bay

Believe it or not, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay was actually opened in 1959! WHAT?! :O Although she is actually close to 60 years old, the rides, shows and collection of animals have kept with the times, making it one of the premier amusement park destinations in Florida! There are many themed zones in Busch Gardens Florida including Morocco, Bird Gardens, Sesame Street Safari of Fun, Stanleyville, Congo, Jungala, Pantopia, Nairobi, Edge of Africa and Egypt.

With regard to parking, there are over 5000 parking lots available. General parking costs $20 while preferred parking (spots closer to the entrance of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay) costs $26. After we parked our car at the general parking area, we took a short walk to the tram station which takes guests to Busch Gardens. Probably a 2 minutes ride. The frequency of the trams were pretty good (less than 5 minutes) and soon, we were entering into Busch Gardens. Take note that the parking areas are on the opposite side of the road of Busch Gardens. The tram enters Busch Gardens via an underground pass. So don’t be surprised if the signs direct you away from Busch Gardens.

Tram to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Florida
Tram to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Florida

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is located at 10165 McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612. Opening hours of Busch Gardens Florida is from 10am to 6pm with extended hours during summer months.


Attractions and Shows at Busch Gardens Florida Tampa Bay

Gift Shop @ Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Florida
Gift Shop @ Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Florida

Having visited Busch Gardens Williamsburg, we can say that the shows and attractions are pretty unique to each of the parks. This is because Busch Gardens Williamsburg is “European” themed with zones such as France, Ireland and Italy. At Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, the entire park is “Africa” themed with zones such as Congo, Nairobi and Africa. As it was the Christmas season, the shows in the park ran along the same theme – Christmas Town. We first headed over to Sesame Street of Fun to catch Elmo’s Christmas Wish…

What do you think Cookie Monster wants for Christmas? A Giant Cookie!
What do you think Cookie Monster wants for Christmas? A Giant Cookie!

As we dropped by during a week day, there was practically no queues for the rides. Rides such as Sheikra. Somehow, Kate managed to psycho Tom to take the ride even though the name for the ride sounds like “SHRIEK LAH!”.

Tom taking Sheikra @ Busch Gardens Florida
Tom taking Sheikra @ Busch Gardens Florida

You know the feeling of “Why am I doing this?!” each time the roller coaster ascends slowly but surely up the highest peak of the ride? But at that point, you’ll probably have no other choice but to hold on tight and scream. A fellow rider once asked me as we were ascending one of this peaks, “So, tell me frankly, are you a screamer or the silent type?”. Apparently, there are 2 types of riders on roller coasters. The ones who are silent because they really want to scream but are too stunned to let out any sound. The rest are like Tom – screamers or in his case, shriekers! :P

On the way to the next show, we decided to drop by the bumper cars for a quick ride…

Bumper Cars @ Busch Gardens
Bumper Cars @ Busch Gardens

As it was the Christmas season, there were several Christmas-themed performances. Instead of merely listening to Christmas tunes, we opted for the Gospel-themed performance. Afterall, He’s the reason for the season right?

Lunch was at Zambia Smokehouse. We had the combination plate which included BBQ Chicken and Ribs, Smoked Beef Brisket, fries and a bun. Good for 2bearbear to share. Next it was time to board our favourite attraction at Busch Gardens Florida – Serengeti Railway!

Serengeti Railway Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Florida
Serengeti Railway Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Florida
Stanleyville Train Station
Stanleyville Train Station
Congo-Kinshasa Train Station
Congo-Kinshasa Train Station
Long Queues for Busch Gardens Train Ride
Long Queues for Busch Gardens Train Ride

There are only 3 stations to board the Serengeti Rail – Nairobi, Congo & Stanleyville. We actually loved the train ride so much that we took it twice. Each ride round the park takes about 45 minutes. Of course, our favourite part of the ride was when it passed through the Serengeti Plains (Serengeti Safari)…

Zebra Serengeti Plains Busch Gardens Florida
Zebra Serengeti Plains Busch Gardens Florida
Resting in the shade
Resting in the shade
Rhinoceros at a distance
Rhinoceros at a distance

The cool part of the ride is that the train does get really close to the animals. This why there were constant reminders for passengers to stay within the bounds of the train at all times. Sometimes, the animals cross or rest on the tracks. Trains would therefore have to stop and wait for the animals to clear. As to which side of the train gives you the best view of the animals? Left!

Train moves close to the animals
Train moves close to the animals
Close up view of animals @ Serengeti Plain Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Close up view of animals @ Serengeti Plain Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

If you enjoyed our content, “Like” us on Facebook Today!

Remember to leave your comments for 2bearbear Singapore Travel Blog in our comments section below!

As always, Busch Gardens always delivers on experience. Whether you’re into roller coaster rides, shows or animal encounters, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Florida has it all and more!

Related Posts

Top Things to do and Attractions in Florida (Besides Walt Disney World & Universal Studios)

Legoland Florida : Lego Brick Fun for the Entire Family!

Busch Gardens Florida Tampa Bay: Shows, Thrills & Safari Experience!

Media Passes to Orlando Magic vs Brooklyn Nets at Amway Center!

Medieval Times Orlando Dinner & Show: Of Knights, Horsemanship & Weaponry!

Lauderdale by the Sea and Aruba Beach Cafe

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa: The Springboard to Orlando Attractions!

Related posts:

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*