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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: $99, $79 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

Howl O Scream Auditions
Friday, July 29, 2016 5:00pm
Saturday, July 30, 2016 5:00pm

Friday, September 23, 2016 7:30pm
Red Carpet Series
Friday, August 26, 2016 7:00pm
Wayne Brady

Summer Nights
Wednesday, July 27, 2016 9:30am
Thursday, July 28, 2016 9:30am
Friday, July 29, 2016 9:30am
Saturday, July 30, 2016 9:30am
Sunday, July 31, 2016 9:30am
Monday, August 1, 2016 9:30am
Tuesday, August 2, 2016 9:30am
Wednesday, August 3, 2016 9:30am
Thursday, August 4, 2016 9:30am
Friday, August 5, 2016 9:30am
Saturday, August 6, 2016 9:30am
Sunday, August 7, 2016 9:30am

Reader reviews

  • Cheetah Hunt riders
  • SheiKra2
  • SheiKra
  • flamingo

  • Restaurants

  • Bars

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