Read this complete guide to Busch Gardens in Tampa, near Orlando, and see all the tips we’ve brought you about this incredible park, famous for having the most extreme rollercoasters in the world.

All about Busch Gardens park

Busch Gardens is one of the four parks in the SeaWorld group, along with Discovery Cove, Aquatica and Seaworld itself. The park is located in the city of Tampa, about 1.5 hours from Orlando. As a result, many tourists who visit Orlando also go to Tampa.

The curious thing about Busch Gardens is that it started out as a zoo, housing various animals and teaching visitors about wildlife protection. But over time, the park added many of the attractions for which it is known today, such as the park’s extreme roller coasters. Thus, the place has become an exotic mix of animal care and adrenaline with the most insane attractions.

Roller coaster at Busch Gardens in Tampa

A good way to save money on your Busch Gardens ticket is to look for combos with the other parks – Sea World, Discovery Cove and Aquatica. This way, the price goes down and you can enjoy much more.

IMPORTANT: The city of Orlando has many theme parks and attractions spread across various regions of the city. To get to visit everything, the ideal is to use a rental car. If you want, see our article here with all the tips on how to rent a good car at the lowest price.

How is Busch Gardens park divided?

The park has ten areas with many different attractions. To make the most of it, it’s best to plan ahead and use the internal transportation available in the park, such as the Skyride (a kind of cable car) and the little train (called the Serengeti Railway).

Map of Busch Gardens in Tampa

Busch Gardens park’s main attractions

Our recommendation for the park is to arrive early and go straight to the most popular attractions. Even so, be prepared to queue at several rides and, above all, to walk a lot, due to the length of the park.

The main ride we recommend is Sheikra, a roller coaster with a 60-meter drop, one of the most famous at Busch Gardens. We also recommend Cheetah Hunt, Cobra’s Curse and Montu, which are great attractions and well worth a visit.

Busch Gardens

Interaction with animals: following this complete guide to Busch Gardens in Tampa, one of the park’s best attractions is the chance to interact with animals.

You can feed some of the more than 2,000 animals present there, in a unique experience. When we went to the park, we paid around 20 dollars to feed a baby kangaroo with a bottle. It was an incredible moment, recorded by the park’s professionals. They make the photos available for you to buy as a souvenir.

Cheetah Hunt roller coaster: is one of the fastest rollercoasters in the area, and it’s a attraction that simulates a Cheetah, the fastest animal in the world. Due to its popularity, it takes a long time to queue for the ride. Therefore, our recommendation is to go on it as soon as you enter the park or when you’re about to leave. At night, it is beautifully illuminated and offers great views. In other words, give preference to the night ride.

Unlike the other roller coasters, Cheetah Hunt prioritizes speed over loops. This way, the ride doesn’t turn too much upside down, it just goes very fast, for almost half the park. Cheetah Hunt is therefore a great recommendation for those who are new to roller coasters and are afraid of big curves. Finally, next to the attraction is the Cheetah Run, an area with 15 real cheetahs that can be seen through the glass, alongside their trainers.

Cobra’s Curse roller coaster: is a classic roller coaster in the park, due to its charm and its decoration, simulating a snake. The attraction doesn’t stand out from the others. However, it is one of the best in the city and you must see it!

Kumba roller coaster: there’s no shortage of thrills and adrenaline here. Free falls, speeds of over 100 km/h and inversions are some of the things you’ll find on the Kumba roller coaster.

Iron Gwazi roller coaster: is, undoubtedly, one of the highlights of Buschs Gardens. It is the tallest roller coaster in North America and the steepest in the world. In addition to its efficiency, the roller coaster stands out for the originality of its theme. It simulates the movement a crocodile makes when it catches its prey.

All this with 12 points of zero gravity and 3 inversions, at a speed of 122 km/h.

Scorpion roller coaster: scorpion, on the other hand, is based on the scorpion, making it an intense roller coaster full of curves. It has a 360º vertical loop that goes upside down. So, if you like thrills, this roller coaster is sure to please.

Sand Serpent roller coaster: is a unique roller coaster, but one that provides plenty of adrenaline. Along the way, it zooms up and up, reaching a height of over 350 meters. It then returns at full speed. In short, it has several curves, drops and even corkscrews.

Stanley Falls Flume: the best way to beat the heat is to go on the Stanley Falls Flume. Here, you’ll ride in a trolley that imitates a log flume as it passes through a river. Along the way, there are several beautiful scenes that imitate a jungle. At the end of the attraction, there is a 10-meter drop that will get you very wet.

Wild Surge attraction: is a tower that starts from a waterfall and goes up 10 meters. From the top, there is a beautiful view of Jungala’s village, which is well worth seeing. Then the tower comes crashing down, giving you a chill in your stomach.

As it’s smaller than the other attractions, it’s a great option for children to experience the thrill of the park.

Congo River Rapids attraction: you can have lots of fun with your friends in this big boat. Congo River Rapids takes up to 12 people and the feeling is that you’re rafting. There are so many bumps in the river that you’ll cool off a lot. Remember to arrive early as this is one of the busiest attractions.

Tigris roller coaster: on this ride, visitors will enjoy one of the highest climbs in the park, at 100 km/h. Tigris is located in the Jungala area and its purpose is to simulate a tiger’s race, similar to the Cheetah Hunt.

The roller coaster accelerates in seconds and has several loops and many curves. You can also find out more about the species with information provided in the queue.

Madagascar Show: Madagascar fans have a special treat at Busch Gardens: the Madagascar Live Operation Vacation show. This is a 20-minute musical featuring all the characters from the movie, to the sound of an infectious rock band.

It’s a great option, especially for those traveling with children.

Safaris and animal encounters: inside Busch Gardens, many animals live freely in special areas. You can visit them on one of the park’s great safaris. On the Serengeti Plain, for example, you can meet giraffes, zebras, white rhinos, antelopes and many others.

The Myombe Reserve features gorillas and chimpanzees in a beautiful rainforest habitat. And at the Edge of Africa, there are lions, hippos and hyenas, which you can see on a short walk.

Falcon’s Fury Lift: this is one of the largest free-fall elevators in the world. To add even more adrenaline to the attraction, as you ascend, the chair gradually tips forward. So, when you reach the highest point, you’re completely facing the ground. It’s highly recommended for those who like extreme rides, but if you’re afraid of heights, it’s certainly not a good idea.

Montu roller coaster: is one of the best roller coasters in the world, reaching 96 km/h, with more than 7 inversions and many loops. It’s another of Busch Gardens’ great recommendations and well worth going on, if only once. However, it usually has a very long queue.

Sheikra roller coaster: is the most famous roller coaster at Busch Gardens. Known worldwide for its intensity, its distinguishing feature is a 90º drop from a height of over 60 meters.

During the ride, the cart stays up there for 3 seconds before plummeting, where you can watch the view of the park as it shakes with excitement! What’s more, the trolley is weightless, so you can keep your legs free the whole way. Sheikra is well worth going on, it’s an excellent attraction at Busch Gardens.

Busch Gardens Summer Nights: is a night-time event that always takes place from June to August to celebrate summer. During this season, the park stays open longer and there is an incredible musical show alongside an enchanting fireworks display.

Many other Orlando parks also extend their closing hours during the summer, making it a great time to visit the parks. The event is included in the normal park admission, so there’s no need to pay an extra fee.

Attractions for younger children at Busch Gardens park

Although the park has plenty of extreme attractions, it also has lighter rides that are recommended for children. So, if you decide to travel as a family with children, you’ll already know which attractions are for them, saving you a lot of time. One of the most popular rides for children is the Air Grover, a small roller coaster with little speed, just enough for children’s enjoyment.

For fans of Sesame Street, there’s Elmo’s Treehouse Trek, which is an incredible tree house with lots of characters from the cartoon. They can enjoy not only playgrounds full of slides, but also a theater with characters from Africa, as well as a Ferris wheel called Big Bird, adapted for minors.

Air Grover at Busch Gardens

How to avoid the queues at Busch Gardens park?

Also in this complete guide to Busch Gardens in Tampa, known that there is a simple and practical way to avoid queues at the park, with the Quick Queue. This is an extra ticket where you can get into a much shorter VIP queue.

The ticket can be bought directly at the park ticket office or on the official Busch Gardens website. However, the cost is high and compared to other parks, the queue isn’t usually that long.

Quick Queue sign

Best restaurants at Busch Gardens park

Discover the best places for lunch and snacks in the park:

  • Sahara Snacks: here you can enjoy the best appetizers and snacks, such as hot dogs, fried chicken, cheese fries and others.
  • Crown Colony House: located near the Cheetah Hunt, the restaurant is a more sophisticated option in the park, offering fine à la carte dishes.
  • Zambia Smoke House: this is a cheaper fast-food restaurant, which we recommend.
  • Serengeti Overlook Pub Restaurant: here you can enjoy a panoramic view of the area, helping to take your mind off the adrenaline rush of the park. The comfort and simplicity are one of the most positive points of the place, which serves everything from salads to pizzas. In addition, those over 21 can enjoy a delicious themed drink.
  • Zagora Café: similar to the Serengeti Overlook Pub, with equally delicious dishes, but only for snacks.
  • Dragon Fire Grill & Pub: this restaurant serves the best of American, Italian and Asian cuisine. For vegetarians, there are also a few dishes available. A special feature of the place is the mouth-watering craft beers.
  • Zambia Smokehouse Restaurant: for those who like to eat good meat, head to this restaurant in the Busch Gardens park, next to the Sheikra rollercoaster.
  • Sultan’s Sweets Restaurant: this is a great bakery serving delicious muffins, cakes, brownies, specialty breads and other delights. The place is perfect for an afternoon coffee.
  • Bengal Bistro: the perfect restaurant for the whole family. Adults can enjoy the good food and the view in comfort. Children have a special area called Jungala.

Food festivals at Busch Gardens park

Busch Gardens has two incredible festivals for lovers of good food. At the Food & Wine Festival, all visitors can enjoy and learn more about wines and their derivatives, which are on display throughout the park. In addition, there are several delicious dishes that you can taste for an extra fee. All this to the sound of good live music.

You can access the festival for free, just by buying the traditional entrance ticket to the park. But for an extra fee, you can take part in exclusive tastings with experts.

There is also the Bier Fest, an event inspired by the famous Octoberfest, a German festival. It takes place every weekend from August to September. Here you’ll enjoy more than 100 craft beers from all over the world, along with elaborate drinks and plenty of appetizers to go with them. As with the previous festival, you don’t have to pay extra to take part, just to try the appetizers and drinks.

Final tips for Busch Gardens park

To conclude this complete guide to Busch Gardens in Tampa, you should know that the sun and heat tend to be constant during your walk through the park. So take a backpack with sunscreen to protect yourself, as well as a hat and light clothing to help you walk. Finally, don’t forget to take plenty of water.

How to save money at parks and attractions?

First of all, the first tip is to look for tickets in advance, not to buy them on the spot. That way, you can calmly research the best prices that are within your budget. In addition, there are many ticket combos that are much better value.

Disney Epcot

At the Disney complex, the ideal is to buy a ticket for all 4 parks, which is cheaper than excluding any of them. Plus, you can have the full experience of seeing the whole place. Another way to save money is to buy tickets to visit the parks for more days. In the end, the cost of the ticket per day is cheaper if you buy more days to go.

At Universal parks, you can experience a 2-week visit with the 3 Park Explore Ticket, which also allows access to the Volcano Bay water park. However, the best-selling ticket is the 2-day Park to Park ticket, which allows you to visit both Universal parks (Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure).

Volcano Bay Universal Orlando

And to enjoy the famous Busch Gardens rollercoaster park or SeaWorld Park, the best way is to buy the combo. It includes the 2 parks along with Aquatica. The price of the combo is only 30 dollars more expensive than a single ticket for just one of the parks.

Where can I buy the tickets for the lowest price?

We always use this website that sells all the tickets and tours. There is everything there and the price is always the cheapest. The only ticket that isn’t sold there is the Disney ticket, which for the time being is the cheapest place to buy it. But for all the other parks like Legoland, Busch Gardens, Sea World and Universal Orlando, this is the best site.

They also have a really cool free tour of all the cities. And it’s where we book the transfer to take us from the airport to the hotel. It’s cheaper and safer than taxis and Uber.

Saving money on NBA and NFL games

For sports lovers, you can’t miss a trip to the NBA and NFL games. It’s a unique experience to be able to enjoy the best of basketball and American soccer in the USA. As I said before, it’s a great idea to check out the ticket offers with our coupon and enjoy the best of American culture.

Ticket prices vary depending on the location you choose to watch the match. We always use this website, which offers great prices for all sports matches. We always use it and have had great experiences, as well as saving a lot.

Orlando Magic Game

Save money on your trip to Orlando:

Saving money: do you want to plan your trip while making the most of your budget? Be sure to read our article on how to travel to Orlando cheap, with all the tips to save the most, while still enjoying it!

Tickets: find out where to buy your Orlando tickets in the cheapest and safest way – for theme parks, museums and ticket combos. You can save up to 40%!

Car: if you are thinking about renting one this is the best website. It compares the price at all rental companies and finds unbeatable prices. You can save up to 30%!

Mobile chip: We always use this chip. It’s electronic (eSIM), you install it instantly and you can use your cell phone’s internet anywhere in the world.

Hotels: our article on where to stay in Orlando. You will find out the best area, the hotels that we have stayed there and how to save a lot on the hotel.

Travel insurance: medical care in another country is very expensive and it is extremely important to take out travel insurance for any trip abroad. This is the website we always take out our insurance on. Reliable and at a good price.

Transfer: do you need one, from the airport to the hotel? Find out here how to book and for the lowest price!

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