Busch Gardens - The Ultimate Guide

Carlos Braga

June 10, 2021
Atualização:04 Oct 2021 às 15:33

Thinking of taking a trip to the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay coming soon? Then enjoy our Busch Gardens Tampa 2021 Guide.

This wild and adventurous theme park is known for having some of the best roller coasters and thrilling rides in Florida.

It's particularly one of my favorites as I love rollercoasters and thrill rides and there's plenty of that!

However, unlike what many people think, Busch Gardens is not just a park for adults.

As we will show here and also show in another post, it presents several attractions for the whole family.

Formerly known as the Black Continent, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay invites you to seek adventures in Africa's lush and mysterious lands.

I have so many fond memories of this magnificent theme park.

I remember the first time I went and hoped I had no time to ride the roller coasters, because I was scared to death.

While nowadays, it is one of the parks I like most in all of Orlando (despite being in Tampa).

Tabela de Conteudo

What to expect from Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay?

Busch Gardens opened in Tampa, Florida, on March 31, 1959, by Anheuser-Busch, like a free animal attraction next to a brewery.

Since then, it has become a 335-acre theme park divided into African-themed regions:

Busch Gardens Map
  • Egypt
  • Congo
  • Bird Garden
  • Jungala
  • Morocco
  • Nairobi
  • Pantopia
  • Cheetah Hunting Area
  • Sesame Street Safari of Fun
  • Stanleyville


All areas of Busch Gardens in 2021 can be done in one day, if you have a plan.

Here we will give you the perfect Busch Gardens itinerary later in this complete guide!

How to get to Busch Gardens in 2021

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is about 110 kilometers from Walt Disney World Resort (one hour and 25 minutes by car).

There is a Busch Gardens shuttle that provides round-trip transportation to the park.

Round-trip fare is free with park ticket purchase and departs daily from Orlando with a maximum of three stops for Busch Gardens.

Reservations are highly recommended and can be booked by calling 1-800-221-1339 or by visiting Mears Destination Services online.

How to get to Busch Gardens Tampa from Disney World

  • WEST Travel on I-4 to I-75 (about 90 Km)
  • Merge onto I-75 NORTH via Exit 9 toward Ocala (stay on I-75 for about 6 km)
  • Take EXIT 265 toward Temple Terrace (this exit is also the University of South Florida exit)
  • You will enter E Fowler Avenue / FL-582 W via EXIT 265 and stay here for approximately 7.5 km
  • Turn left onto N McKinley Dr / County Hwy-585A (stay here for 1 mile)
  • Make a return to N McKinley Dr / County Hwy-585A
  • Arrive and park at Busch Gardens

Address

The address for Busch Gardens is 10165 N McKinley Drive Tampa, FL 33612.

Busch Gardens Hours

The Busch gardens normally opens at 10am and closes at 6pm.

However, during peak summer days, the park may be open until midnight. Keep in mind that when planning your trip, always check the park's website or mobile app for current times and waiting times.

What to know before you go

If you are wearing baggy shoes, you should leave them on the roller coaster loading platform.

Any other loose fittings can be placed inside the lockers located throughout the park.

What should I bring to Busch Gardens in 2021?

  • Comfortable Shoes
  • small purse
  • Breathable Clothing
  • Solar protection
  • Small umbrella
  • Water
  • Hand sanitizer
  • telephone
  • Ticket

Busch Gardens Roller Coasters

Translating some of their names.

Busch Gardens Montu

Later in this post we'll talk better about each of these roller coasters!

What is the highest roller coaster at Busch Gardens?

Sheikra is currently the tallest roller coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, reaching 60 meters in height.

BUSCH GARDENS PRICES

When planning your trip, you will want to know how much it costs to go to Busch Gardens in Tampa?

Let's look at the different ticket options you'll have at the park.

Parking Price

  • US $ 20: parking general for cars, motorcycles, trucks, recreational vehicles and campers (50% discount for Annual Bronze Pass members; FREE for Silver, Gold and Platinum Annual Pass members)
  • US $ 28: parking preferential (50% discount for annual Silver Pass members; free for Gold and Platinum members)

Busch Gardens Tickets

  • 1-day entry from $ 96.32
  • Play & Dine: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay + Eat Free All Day from US $ 111.53
  • Fun Card Pay: Get 1 year access to Busch Gardens plus FREE Adventure Island from $ 110.99
  • Tampa Bay CityPASS: Attractions include: Busch Gardens® Tampa, Florida Aquarium, Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa Marine Aquarium clearwater and the Chihuly Collection presented by the Morean Arts Center or the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI). US $ 109.00
  • * All prices are subject to change without notice.

Busch Gardens Annual Pass Options

  • Busch Gardens only from US $ 6.99 / month
  • SeaWorld or Adventure Island + Busch Gardens from US $ 9.99 / month
  • SeaWorld + Busch Gardens + Island of Adventure or Aquatica from US $ 11.99 / month
  • All prices vary according to the chosen plan.

Busch Gardens all-day meal plan

Everything you can eat and drink at Busch Gardens.

  • Adult: $ 39,99
  • Kid: $ 19,99

Busch Gardens Quick Queue

You can skip the lines at Busch Gardens's main rides and attractions, a kind of FastPass + only I pay separately.

Prices start at US $ 19.99 and vary according to how busy the park can be that day.

Below are the current attractions included in the system Quick Queue:

  • Falcon's fury
  • Cheetah hunt
  • SheiKra
  • Montu
  • Kumba
  • Stanley Falls Flume
  • Congo River Ride
  • Cobra's Curse
  • Scorpion
  • SandSerpent
  • Tigris (single use)
  • Prices subject to change.

BUSCH GARDENS 2021 TOURS

Elephant Insider Tour

Busch Gardens Elephant Tour

45-minute walking tour with expert coaches.

Elite Adventure Tour

The best Busch Gardens VIP experience where you can customize your own 7 hour tour. US $ 199.00

Guided Adventure Tour

An in-depth tour of the entire Busch Gardens theme park, complete with front-line access, lunch, 30-minute off-road wildlife safari, the opportunity to feed giraffes and more. US $ 99.99

Heart of Africa Tour

75-minute guided tour where you can see Africa's wildlife up close. US $ 29.00

Keeper for a day tour

You'll work with the zoo staff taking care of giraffes, antelopes, birds and more! This hands-on experience lasts 6.5 hours. US $ 249.00

Penguin Insider Tour

Guided tour with specialized coaches. US $ 29.00

Serengeti Safari

Outdoor touring vehicle that takes you across the Serengeti plain. US $ 39.00

Tiger Insider Tour

30-minute walking tour with expert coaches. US $ 29.00

Aldabra Tortoise Insider Tour

You can get to know one of the largest turtles in the world up close on this 30-minute walking tour. US $ 19.00

Cheetah Insider Tour

30-minute walking tour gives you a behind-the-scenes look at what is needed to care for cheetahs. US $ 29.00

Gorilla Insider Tour

You will get close to these endangered species in a 30-minute walking tour. US $ 29.00

Roller Coaster Insider Tour

Roller Coaster Insider Tour

This unique excursion gives you a behind-the-scenes look at how roller coasters are maintained each day, along with a panoramic view of Sheikra.

The roller coasters included in this two-hour tour are SheiKra, Cheetah Hunt and Cobra & #8217; s Curse. US $ 69.99

  • Discounts available to Annual Pass members. Prices subject to change.

8 Tips for Liking Busch Gardens

1 & #8211; Arrive early

Arriving 30-45 minutes before the park opens is the best way to maximize your day, especially if you are trying to do this in one day.

Power tip: Book a hotel near Busch Gardens, such as Home2 Suites by Hilton, and explore Tampa Bay before returning to Walt Disney World.

Remember that Busch Gardens is far from Orlando, at least an hour's drive away. Take this transfer time into consideration when going to the park.

2 & #8211; Clothing

Florida's weather is mostly hot and humid, except in the beautiful months of December, January, February, and March which can be a little cooler.

But there are still very hot days, so stay tuned for the weather.

As with Universal, Busch Gardens does not allow bags and loose items in its roller coasters and offers paid lockers to store your belongings.

So do not carry a very large backpack, carry only what is necessary.

3 & #8211; Find shady, reserved places

The Edge of Africa and Myombe Reserve are two generally serene living areas.

The great thing about Busch Gardens is the availability of hidden hidden spots throughout the park that also offer great views and shade.

Because unlike Disney parks, it is a normally empty park. Thus, it is possible to find several places like that to rest and enjoy a climate of nature.

4 & #8211; Go during the weekdays

To avoid the frustration that a busy day at a theme park can bring, I suggest avoiding holidays, weekends, and summer.

This is the time when both residents and tourists flood the parks.

Bringing unbelievable lines to the attractions and making it difficult to walk around the park.

The best days to visit the Busch Gardens are on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

5 & #8211; Bring 25 Cents Coins to Rent Busch Gardens Lockers

These tips are especially important if you are traveling alone and want to ride the roller coaster.

Although we recommend you pay the full day pass, but if you only want to walk to 1 or 2 attractions, take it 25 cent coins can be useful for lockers rental.

6 & #8211; Pass in Preferred Parking

Try to get to Busch Gardens early and park near the tram station in the regular parking section.

If you pay for an upgrade to the preferred parking lot then there is a possibility that you can be placed at the back of that lot and you will have to walk a long way to the front gates.

7 & #8211; Buy Busch Gardens Quick Queue Pass

Busch Gardens Quick QueueBusch Gardens Quick Queue


This is a most important tip if you are going on a busy day.

The Busch Gardens Quick Queue will allow you to ignore the long wait times on peak days in the park.

8 & #8211; Buy All-Day Dining

For a low price, you will have a bracelet that will allow you to eat at participating restaurants throughout the day.

Each time you eat, your meal will include: 1 starter, 1 side or dessert and 1 fountain drink, tea or water for each visit. That is, you can eat a lot!

All-Day Dining Participating Restaurants at Busch Gardens:

According to Busch Gardens, it is prohibited to share the All-Day Dining with the possibility of revocation of your dinner pass if it is considered a violation of the rule.

1-DAY DIRECT SCREENPLAY AT BUSCH GARDENS 2021

We will list here the order we recommend doing each tour and attraction.

  • Plan to arrive before the gates open.
  • Check out the famous Florida alligators in Morocco.
  • Join Cheetah Hunt.
  • Bow the curse of the snake.
  • Try Montu.
  • Enjoy a stroll on the edge of Africa or the Myombe Reserve to relax.
  • Take Skyride to the central park area.
  • Sheikra ride.
  • Conquer the Tiger!
  • Have lunch at Zambia Smokehouse.
  • Stanley Falls Tour.
  • Conquer the rapids of the Congo River
  • Ride Kumba.
  • Dive into the Scorpion Roller Coaster
  • Mount the phoenix.
  • Try the Sand Serpent roller coaster.
  • Conquer the Falcon Fury.
  • Grab a delicious pretzel and beer at Pretzels Twisted Tails.
  • Watch the shows you want


SPECIAL EVENTS AT BUSCH GARDENS

Food and Wine Festival (March and April)

Busch Gardens Food and Wine

Coasters, music, food, drinks, fun and more can be experienced at this annual Busch Gardens event.

This event is included in the park admission.

Summer nights  (June, July and August)

Experience the terrible roller coasters at night and have fun with other Hipsters while DJs play their favorite songs at night.

This event is included in the park admission.


Howl-O-Scream Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay (September and October)

The Dark Continent-inspired theme park turns into a terrifying and scary event where you will scream through the park.

A separate ticket is required for this event. You can read how to win Howl-O-Scream like a pro here!

Christmas Town Busch Gardens (November and December)

Christmas, Santa's house, Rudolph and more can be found at this annual Winter Wonderland experience in the heart of Tampa Bay.

Christmas Town is included with the park entrance.

BUSCH GARDENS TOURS, ATTRACTIONS AND ENTERTAINMENT

Before visiting Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, you must know all the tours and attractions that are available for you to enjoy!

Extreme Park Attractions

Cheetah hunt, Cheetah Hunt Area

Cheetah-Hunt
Cheetah-Hunt

Cheetah speed triple launch roller coaster and the largest in the park's size (+ 1.3km).

Emotion: High

Height requirement: 122 cm minimum

Cobra's Curse, Egypt

curse snakes
curse snakes

Spinning roller coaster with a vertical lift that takes you through the dark legend of King Snake.

Exciting: Moderate

Height requirement: 106 cm minimum

Falcon's fury, Pantopia

Spin 90 degrees in the air for a face-down dive in America's tallest (335 ft) drop tower.

Emotion: High

Height requirement: Between 137 cm and 195 cm

Read all about Busch Gardens Falcon's Fury Ride here!

Kumba, Congo

Busch Gardens Kumba

Hear the fierce roar of the lion in this classic must do roller coaster.

Emotion: High

Height requirement: 137 cm

Montu, Egypt

The Egyptian god named the roller coaster with seven inversions.

Emotion: High

Height requirement: 137 cm minimum

Phoenix, Pantopia

A classic boat trip that can go in a complete circle.

Exciting: Moderate

Height requirement: 121 cm

SheiKra, Stanleyville

SheiKra
SheiKra

90 degree floorless roller coaster at speeds up to 70 km / h.

Emotion: High

Height requirement: 137 cm minimum

Scorpion, Pantopia

The second roller coaster built at Busch Gardens with a 360 degree vertical loop.

Thrilling: Low

Height requirement: 106 cm minimum

Tigris, Stanleyville

Tigris
Tigris

This is the tallest launch roller coaster in Florida, with a height of 150 feet and a speed of approximately 60 miles per hour.

Emotion: High

Height Requirement: 54 ”Minimum

We have a post where we talk in more detail about the radical attractions at Bush Gardens.

Meeting with Animals at Busch Gardens in 2021

Animal Care Center, Nairobi

This & #8220; nursery & #8221; Pet Friendly has a state-of-the-art facility where guests can view treated animals, x-rays and other forms of medical and physical care.

Lory Landing Aviary, Bird Gardens

It features a free flight aviary for close encounters and a flamingo lagoon accompanied by a beautiful tropical setting.

Busch Gardens Official Tip:

Buy a cup of nectar on the way to the habitat to feed the lorikeets.

Also, check the guard's times on the back of your park map to see special animal behaviors, food.

Cheetah Run, Cheetah Hunt Area

Stand face to face with the fastest animal on land.

Edge of africa, Egypt

Walk through the peaceful African-inspired village as you watch and learn about majestic lions, crocodiles, hippos, hyenas and more.

Elephant Interaction Wall, Nairobi

Meet the powerful creatures face to face.

Jungala, Jungala Area

Take a close look at the cane tigers and orangutans.

Penguin point, Nairobi

Penguin Point Busch Gardens

Check out the African penguins that live in warmer climates and with water temperatures between 40 and 70 degrees.

Myombe Reserve, Nairobi

Lose yourself in this tranquil reserve full of gorillas and chimpanzees.

Walkabout way, Bird Gardens

A hands-on experience with kangaroos.

Aquatic Attractions Busch Gardens


Congo River Rapids

A brave soul riding through cold, icy waters on a January day.

Get ready to dive into this thrilling river adventure through waterfalls and deep caves.

Emotion: High

Height requirement: 106 cm minimum

Stanley Falls, Stanleyville

Stay pleasantly refreshed on this classic water-flume ride.

Emotion: Moderate

Height requirement: Minimum 117 cm

Family-friendly attractions


Grand caravan carousel, Pantopia

Carousel with arabian stallions theme.


Emotion: Low

SandSerpent, Pantopia

Sand Serpent Busch Gardens

A family-friendly “wild” style roller coaster, full of sharp curves and more!

Emotion: Moderate

Height requirement: Minimum 116 cm with a possible mate.

Serengeti Express Train, Nairobi

Travel through the park and watch exotic animals roam. The train has stops at Congo, Nairobi and Stanleyville stations.

Emotion: Low

Height requirement: None

Skyride, Cheetah Hunt Area and Stanleyville

Get a panoramic view of Busch Gardens on the cable car

Emotion: Low

Height Requirement: Pilots must be 142 cm or accompanied by a supervising escort.

Ubanga-Banga, Congo

Carnival classic style bumper cars.

Emotion: Moderate

Wild surge, Jungala

Get ready to launch from a 35-foot mountain crater at this falling tower attraction.

Emotion: Moderate

Height requirement: Must be at least 106 cm tall for walking alone or 38 & #8243; tall and accompanied by a supervising walking companion.

Busch Gardens Shows

Opening Night Critters, Pantopia

Rock A Doo Wop, Pantopia

BUSCH GARDENS RESTAURANTS

Dining at Busch Gardens 2021 is much better today than it was in the past.

The addition of Zambia Smokehouse made the dining experience at the theme park quite satisfying.

Although the offerings do not match the levels of some restaurants we find in other Orlando parks, there are several options.

Bengal Bistro, Counter Service, $, Multiple Cuisines

Jungala

Cheetah Snacks, Counter Service, $, American

Cheetah Hunt Area

Dragon fire grill, Cafeteria Style, $, Multiple Cuisines

Pantopia

Garden Gate Café, Counter Service, $, American

Bird gardens

Ice Cream Parlor, Counter Service, $, Ice Cream

Morocco

Kenya Kanteen, Counter Service, $, American

Nairobi

Kettle corn, Counter Service, $, Popcorn

Find in Pantopia

Pantopia Grill, Cafeteria Style, $$, American

Located in Pantopia

Refresh Market, Beverage Service, $, Beverages

Stanleyville

Serengeti Overlook Pub, Quick Service, $, American

Egypt

Serengeti Overlook Restaurant, Buffet / Full Service Restaurant, $$, Variety Cuisine

Egypt

Serpent Snacks, Counter Service, $, American

Egypt

Sheikra Sweet Treats, Counter Service, $, American Sweets

Stanleyville

Sultans SweetsCounter Service $ Bakery

Morocco

Twisted Tails Pretzels, Counter Service, $, Pretzels

Pantopia

Zagora Cafe, Counter Service, $, American

Morocco

Zambia Smokehouse Busch Gardens

Zambia Smokehouse, Cafeteria Style, $$, Barbecue

Stanleyville

Little shops

No self-respecting theme park, especially in Orlando, has few stores.

Like us, whenever we arrive anywhere in Orlando we are overwhelmed by the spirit of maximum consumption and want to buy everything.

Joking aside it's always nice to have lots of stores around the parks so you find everything from clothes to family souvenirs.

You will also find African crafts and clothing in the Morocco section of Busch Gardens.

  • Abby Cadabby's Treasure Hut
  • Caravan crossing
  • Cheetah Gifts
  • Cobra's Crypt Marketplace
  • Cookie Monster's Trading Post
  • Cub's Closet
  • Emporium
  • Gwazi Gifts
  • Kariba Marketplace
  • Marrakesh Market: Inspired Threads
  • Merchandise Kiosks
  • Montu Gifts
  • Nature's kingdom
  • Painted Camel Bazaar
  • Sahara Trading Company
  • Tiger's Treasures
  • Tropical wave
  • Xcursions

resume

The Busch Gardens It's one of my favorite theme parks to go to and I try to go whenever I go to Orlando.

It offers a wide range of attractions and exhibitions that can be enjoyed by anyone.

I personally appreciate the nostalgic factor of classic Florida theme park days that Busch Gardens also brings back in my memories!

To finish this guide, I leave a little of what we showed on our instagram and compiled it into a youtube video.

In our Youtube channel we show a little bit of a walk through the park!

We hope we helped, this was a very complete and practical guide to what you will find at Busch Gardens 2021.

We hope again that this post helped you in your research for your trip to Disney.

As a way to help us maintain the blog, we just ask you to help us by sharing this publication and subscribing to our social networks as Facebook, Instagram or Youtube channel.

In addition to helping us, we are sure that there you will find hundreds of useful posts for your trip!

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Guarantee the Best Trip to Disney

We know that the amount of information that involves a trip to Disney and Orlando is simply enormous.

This makes planning can be tiring or at times seem impossible! But what if I told you that you can trust professionals to put together a totally EXCLUSIVE and PERSONALIZED script for you and your group?

Unlike the generic itineraries found out there, this itinerary will take into account all the factors of your group such as ages, tastes and the entire profile that can change your trip.

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Secure internet for your entire trip

Although several places in Orlando have free Wi-Fi, the connection is not always good and mainly, in several situations where you will be moving from one place to another we recommend that you have internet to use gps on your cell phone for example.

We recommend that you travel with an international cell phone chip to have the best connection and internet throughout your trip and of course, with our indication you still get a discount on this super need for your trip!

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Secure Your Tickets Before Your Trip

Many people leave to buy their tickets arriving in Orlando or even on the day of the park.

We do not in any way recommend that you do this for a variety of reasons, such as:

If you buy tickets on time, you will not be able to book your Disney FastPass + in advance.

You will not be able to schedule your park days as required at the time of a pandemic.

You will lose valuable minutes of park in line to buy your tickets.

AND MAINLY, you will pay more because tickets at the box office are more expensive than buying in advance!

So be sure to secure your tickets! Use the discount coupon PDP when purchasing your tickets on the Uncle Orlando Travel.

Or if you prefer, ask for a quote with a sales consultant directly on your whatsapp, just click here!

More Tips for Your Trip to Orlando

As we talked about above, be sure to check out our youtube channel where we give several travel tips to Orlando.

In addition we show you lots of cool things to do there, do you want a better way to plan a trip than already living a little bit of what you will see there?

Click on the Image below to check all our tips on Youtube

Art of Animation - Little Mermaid Carlos and Nath - Departed Disney Parks
Art of Animation - Little Mermaid Carlos and Nath - Partiu Disney Parks

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Carlos Braga

Ex-team member of Universal Orlando and in love with Disney! Specialist in travel to Orlando with hundreds of trips to the parks before becoming a professional travel consultant to Orlando. I had the pleasure and recognition of being one of the 10 guests invited by Disney to its "Magic Influencers" program. In addition, we carry out monthly training updates on parks and the city of Orlando! The passion for Disney and Orlando started at a very young age in 1995 when I made my first trip to Orlando. Right after joining with Nath who is also DisneyManiac, we decided together to create the blog and social networks to share our love and experience with the world. Partiu Disney Parks was 4 years old in 2021 and is becoming more and more one of the great references in information about the Disney and Orlando Parks!