Like I mentioned in my post yesterday, here, we spent the day at Busch Gardens in Tampa! In my last post I shared all about how to enjoy Busch Gardens with kids. Especially what the splash pad and kid zone (sesame street) were like. In this post I am going to talk about all the roller coasters….. Which I loved!
We were expecting the park to be much smaller than it was. When we got there we decided to wander, and ignore the map. After 30 minutes of wandering, trying to find one specific ride, we gave up. We used the Busch Gardens app to navigate the rest the day. Since most the rides were pretty crazy roller coasters, we both bought Quick Queue fast passes ($50 for unlimited rides and you just go straight to the front of the line all day!). That way one of us could do the ride pretty quickly, while the other took care of the kids. The amount of roller coasters there are blew me away! We spent the whole morning and a lot of the afternoon taking turns trying them all.
Before Zoey went on a ride it was past noon. We would have brought her to the kids rides sooner, but she was having soo much fun exploring the park. And we were having so much fun taking turns roller coastin’ (a term I learned from a guy I sat beside on the Cheetah Hunt ride). There were SO many animals for Zoey to look at, birds to chase and gift shops to explore. It was impossible to be bored. We are so used to the Erie Zoo – which we love – but this was like zoo heaven in comparison!
I loved Disney World (post about our trip there here), so don’t get me wrong about this next statement. But if we went back to Florida AGAIN, we would definitely go to Tampa for Busch Gardens over Disney World. Kris and I both love roller coasters and there were just SO MANY of them! Disney is more focused on the experience, and less the thrill. But we definitely like the fast and crazy rides best… Kris and I keep talking about how we want to move to Tampa just so we can buy annual passes to Busch Gardens and go there all the time for date night! Busch Gardens was recently recognized as one of the top theme parks in the world and it is easy to see why when you visit.
My favorite ride was definitely the Cheetah Hunt – if you like speed and big drops you will LOVE it! I went on it about 5 times thanks to my quick queue pass. Kris is all about rides that flip you upside down so he loved the Montu best. Even though I like drops the Falcons Fury freaked me out a little too much haha. It is the tallest freestanding drop tower in North America, standing at 335 feet. I seriously felt my life flash before my eyes, it is taller than the statue of liberty and once you get to the top it rotates the seats so you are basically just hanging there for dear life, facing the ground – hyperventilating – and then it drops you. I would totally do it again though hahaha.
As we left the park we wandered through the gorgeous topiary garden. I didn’t know they had topiary gardens, so it was an exciting surprise. Zoey and I thought one bush looked just like Tofiti from Moana. There was also a giant octopus that took up an entire pond, a group of men in suits, a snake and so many more. I would have paid just to see that garden, so it was an unexpected bonus. Basically we LOVED the Busch Gardens, I think the last time we had this much fun was at the Rock-A-Hula in Hawaii! I think we will spend another day at Celebration.
Have you visited been to Tampa before? If you have what is your favorite thing to do there?
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As soon as we got home from the park we went straight to the hotel hot tub. If people couldn’t tell already, I think our bathing suits gave away that we are a family 😉
Posed and planned this photo herself haha.
She wanted try and all the sunglasses in one of the gift shops and when we found a pair that matched mine we couldn’t say no!
After she got off she said she LOVED this ride and wasn’t scared – but didn’t want to do it again.
Half hour train tour around the whole park, including through a huge ‘savannah’ of animals that could wander right up to the train if they wanted! So cool!