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Tampa’s Busch Gardens brings back gondola SkyRide, but now it will cost you

Fans posted complaints on social media that the slow-moving cable car that soars overhead near the Serengeti Plain will now cost money to ride.
 
Busch Gardens has announced tht Skyride, the slow-moving gondola that soars overhead from Cheetah Hunt Plaza to Stanleyville, will resume operations starting Friday Feb. 2 after a nearly four-year closure. But it will now cost you $5 each way to float 50 feet off the ground as you move across the park.
Busch Gardens has announced tht Skyride, the slow-moving gondola that soars overhead from Cheetah Hunt Plaza to Stanleyville, will resume operations starting Friday Feb. 2 after a nearly four-year closure. But it will now cost you $5 each way to float 50 feet off the ground as you move across the park. [ Busch Gardens ]
Published Feb. 1

Busch Gardens surprised its fans, and also angered some, by announcing that SkyRide, the slow-moving gondola that soars overhead from Cheetah Hunt Plaza to Stanleyville, will return starting Friday, after a nearly four-year closure.

But it will now cost you $5 each way to float 50 feet off the ground to grab a view of the park’s Serengeti Plain.

The park revealed on its website that SkyRide, which has been open since 1974 and was always free, will resume operations Friday, weather permitting. But there are now ticket stations at each end charging $5 per trip, though it is free for annual pass holders.

The cable car ride that links the Egypt and Congo sections of the park was shut down in 2020 during the pandemic and has endured closures since then that the park said were for maintenance purposes.

The park posted the news of the reopening on its social media accounts Thursday, and some posters were not happy.

“Reopening as an upcharge attraction is very disappointing,” wrote one. “No other park charges for this type of attraction on top of admission. Clearly a cash grab,” wrote another.

The fee is for each rider for one ride. Riders must be 56 inches tall or accompanied by an adult.

Busch Gardens has not yet responded to a Times request for a comment on the upcharge.