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Busch Gardens

Editor's pick

Categories: Attraction, Tourist attraction, Theme parks

Features: Guided tours, Kid-friendly, Play area, Sprayground

Payment options: Credit cards accepted

Alcohol: Beer and wine only

Parking: Lot

Admission: $97, $92 for ages 3-9

One of Tampa Bay's top tourist attractions, Busch Gardens is an Africa-themed park with some of the southeast's largest roller coasters, Broadway-style shows, exotic animals, multi-story family play areas, rides and live entertainment.

Rollercoaster enthusiasts, you'll love the choices here. The newest is Cheetah Hunt, a launch coaster that opened in summer 2011 and is meant to mimic the speed and movements of the cheetahs that are housed in the Cheetah Run habitat at its entrance. Sheikra is a floorless plunge coaster whose first drop will leave you breathless. Kumba offers a smooth ride that features a distinct roar, while the floorless Montu flips, dips and zips. Too chicken to do these? The Scorpion is a must for the beginner.

The Florida attraction's family-friendly area is the Sesame Street exhibit, where kids can interact with all of the familiar characters like Big Bird and Elmo. And fear not, it still has the fun sprayground that keeps them cool on a sunny Florida day.

Adults who are rollercoaster averse can amuse themselves with water rides like Congo River Rapids, the Tanganyika Tidal Wave and Stanley Falls. Or take a ride across the Serengeti Plain on an old-time train.

You'll find plenty of dining options, with either sit-down family dining (Zagora Cafe) or quick-bite places like the Kenya Kanteen or Oasis Snacks.

Be sure to visit the animal exhibits. Jungala offers a chance for animal interactions (that lion seems awfully close!), while the Myombe Reserve lets you see magnificent gorillas safely from a distance.

World-class skaters, amazing aerial performances, master puppetry and live animal stars take to the ice in Iceploration. Shows run daily in the Moroccan Palace.

Read a review of Cheetah Hunt.

And here's the lowdown on the other coasters.

Events at Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival
Saturday, March 5, 2016 12:00pm
Kenny Rogers
Sunday, March 6, 2016 12:00pm
Huey Lewis and the News
Saturday, March 12, 2016 12:00pm
Sunday, March 13, 2016 12:00pm

Junior Achievement Hall of Fame Dinner
Thursday, March 3, 2016 6:30pm

Real Music Series
Monday, February 15, 2016 11:30am
Strawberry Fields
Tuesday, February 16, 2016 11:30am
Strawberry Fields
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 11:30am
Strawberry Fields
Thursday, February 18, 2016 11:30am
Strawberry Fields
Friday, February 19, 2016 11:30am
Strawberry Fields
Saturday, February 20, 2016 11:30am
Monday, February 22, 2016 11:30am
The Glenn Miller Orchestra
Tuesday, February 23, 2016 11:30am
The Glenn Miller Orchestra
Wednesday, February 24, 2016 11:30am
Thursday, February 25, 2016 11:30am
The Glenn Miller Orchestra
Friday, February 26, 2016 11:30am
The Glenn Miller Orchestra
Saturday, February 27, 2016 11:30am
Monday, February 29, 2016 11:30am
Chubby Checker
Tuesday, March 1, 2016 11:30am
Chubby Checker
Wednesday, March 2, 2016 11:30am
Chubby Checker
Thursday, March 3, 2016 11:30am
Chubby Checker
Friday, March 4, 2016 11:30am
Chubby Checker
Saturday, March 5, 2016 11:30am

Serengeti Night Safari
Sunday, February 14, 2016 7:00pm
Love on the Wild Side
Saturday, February 20, 2016 7:00pm
Saturday, February 27, 2016 7:00pm
Saturday, March 5, 2016 7:00pm
Saturday, March 12, 2016 7:00pm

Valentine's Night Safari: Love on the Wild Side
Sunday, February 14, 2016 7:00pm

Reader reviews

  • Cheetah Hunt riders
  • SheiKra2
  • SheiKra
  • flamingo

  • Restaurants

  • Bars

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