Busch Gardens – A Theme Park For All The Family {Review}

Busch Gardens – a Theme Park for all the family

 

We loved our day at Busch Gardens. So much. It really is a theme park for all the family. Whether you have thrill seekers, animal lovers or little ones at the start of their rollercoaster journey this park has something for everyone. When planning a trip to Florida don’t be afraid to venture further afield than Orlando. You won’t be disappointed. There really is so much to see. As part of our recent family trip to Florida we visited all of the SeaWorld Parks and I am so glad that Busch Gardens was our first experience of riding coasters outside of the UK. They were awesome.

 

From its African themed animal park, to world class thrill rides and more than 12,000 animals Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay really is a brilliant family adventure. I would recommend visiting on a week day, we found this more enjoyable in all of the parks that we visited. We arrived 45 minutes before opening which meant we were very close to the front of the queues for entry as well being near to the tram which is the only way to enter the park.

There was entertainment whilst stood in the queue which helped to pass the time. The toilets are also here whilst you wait. We took a packed lunch which I would highly recommend as well as ice cold water bottles which we filled up around the park using the water fountains. As part of your visit you will need to pay for parking ($25) as well as lockers when riding coasters ($1-$20). *Top tip* – Parking fees – the 3 for 2 Ticket and Discovery Cove Ultimate Package includes free parking at all parks and are only available to purchase in the UK.

And so I thought I would share our experience of visiting Busch Gardens – A Theme Park For All The Family {Review}

 

Rides and Rollercoasters

The question is do you dare to take on Tigris? Florida’s tallest launch coaster. Or ride Cheetah Hunt? Which is the longest coaster in the park. A firm Hargreaves Family Favourite, our 7 year old came off Cheetah Hunt screaming AGAIN, AGAIN. If they’re a little too much for you then why not try Cobra’s Curse. A ride for younger family members as well as adults like me who don’t quite fancy the dive coaster that is SheiKra. Cobra’s Curse is a spinning coaster that will have you all laughing as you spin in circles but also excited for the drops. A must family ride. And then there’s Montu, Kumba (both absolutely brilliant which we rode separately as too big for George) and the Congo River Rapids. And let’s not forget Stanley Falls Flume – a family water ride which left the boys soaked to the bone.

 

Busch Gardens - A Theme Park For All The Family {Review}

Busch Gardens - A Theme Park For All The Family {Review}

 

Busch Gardens - A Theme Park For All The Family {Review}

 

 

Animal Experiences

Busch Gardens is one of the largest, most highly accredited Zoo facilities in the US which was noticeable as we made our way around the park. The enclosures, the environment and the information available for you to learn about the animals was very impressive. On talking to the Animal Keepers you get a real sense of love and devotion to these animals. We saw Flamingoes, a Hippo, Penguins and a Tiger as we wandered around the park. And whilst we were originally focused on the roller coasters we have some wonderful memories of animal experiences that I know we won’t forget for a very long time. I would recommend taking in the animal experiences as early as possible, some animals prefer the cooler temperatures and are more active in the mornings.

 

Busch Gardens - A Theme Park For All The Family {Review}

 

Safari and Insider Tours

We booked and paid for additional animal experiences as part of our review which I would highly recommend. On entry to the parks you do need to collect your tickets from designated points. We have visited Zoo’s in the UK but nothing quite like what we experienced here. The Serengeti Safari was incredible – a 30 minute tour led by an expert guide in an open roof vehicle. As part of this tour you are given the opportunity to feed giraffes which is still one of my favourite memories of the whole trip. They really are such beautiful animals. So pretty. The tour was very educational with the option to ask questions along the way which George loved. We learnt that Zebra’s are in fact brown and white (who knew?) and that each Giraffe has a unique pattern just like human fingerprints.

 

Busch Gardens - A Theme Park For All The Family {Review}

 

Busch Gardens - A Theme Park For All The Family {Review}

 

 

We also booked an up close Aldabra Insider Tour. We knew that George would love this treat and oh my goodness it was brilliant. I had to hold back the tears when George was led into their habitat. He hadn’t realised who he was about to meet. We helped to prepare Buba’s food and spent 30 minutes learning many many facts about these incredible creatures. This big fella and I mean BIG was over 80 years old and loves sweet potato. He enjoys interaction which is why he was the main one of four Tortoises that our tour focussed on. I hadn’t actually realised how big he was until he reached for his food. It was lovely to learn about the different enrichment activities the animal keepers do to support these animals in their everyday life. George helped with one which added to the experience and left us feeling all excited for if Baba found them. I wonder.

 

 

Busch Gardens - A Theme Park For All The Family {Review}

 

 

 

 

Quick Queue Passes

For our family Quick Queue Passes were always a priority. They were in all of the parks we visited. We were gifted Quick Queue as part of our review of Busch Gardens however I would still personally recommend them if visiting on a busy park day. And would buy them ourselves if (or should I send when) we return. They are an additional cost however they do allow you to navigate the queues and make the most of your visit. That said, if you are planning to visit the park for more than one day then you may not need them.

I would recommend heading for Tigris and rides like Cheetah Hunt first as they are most popular. Then make your way back around the park ticking them off as you go. As an example within 15 minutes of the park opening the new ride – Tigris had a standby queue of 60 minutes. We managed to make it there first and both rode it within the first 20 minutes, without Quick Queue however we did utilise the Parent Swap facility. A brilliant facility for families.

 

 

 

 

And lastly, what I would do differently

Ride the Skyride. It was on our list but we just didn’t get round to it and I hear the views and slow pace are a lovely break from the rides. Buy a photopass – we purchased a memory maker for our time at Walt Disney World and I can’t help but feel disappointed that we didn’t get ride and animal interaction photos here at Busch Gardens. I would also spend two days here to make the most of it – book more of the animal interactions and ride Cheetah Hunt and Tigris twice. And lastly, Stop, Look & Listen – as we only had one day in the park I can’t help but feel that we didn’t notice everything around us. I am certain that we missed things. That said we are still incredibly happy with how our day flowed. The perfect balance of coasters and animal interactions.

 

 

 

 

Our day spent at Busch Gardens was gifted to us by SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment. I have not been paid for writing this review however it was part of the collaboration that I would share my honest views. We absolutely loved Busch Gardens and would highly recommend adding this park to your itinerary. You can find out more about Busch Gardens, and book by visiting the website.

 

And that’s our thoughts on visiting Busch Gardens – A Theme Park For All The Family {Review}. I have written a series of posts about our four days exploring the SeaWorld Parks. If you are looking to visit Aquatica then you can read Five Reasons Why You Should Visit here. And if a day of animal interactions, roller coasters & Sesame Street is what you are looking for then you can read about our trip to SeaWorld here. And lastly if you are looking for a day of pure luxury then you can read all about our day in paradise at Discovery Cove here. 

 

 

The KA Edit
The KA Edit

I’m Kerri-Ann or KA as my friends call me, always found with a cup of coffee in one hand and my camera in the other. I have a huge passion for photography, fitness, fashion and family travel. I started this blog in 2014. It began as my creative outlet after becoming a mummy to our little boy George Archie. I started out blogging about parenting and over the years it has evolved into a blog that covers lifestyle, fashion, family and travel. Today TheKAEdit is ultimately a life and style blog. Thank you for reading x x

4 Comments

  1. 26th May 2019 / 10:42 am

    Busch Gardens looks fantastic! I remember my best friend telling me about it after her trips to Florida when we were kids. It’s somewhere we would love to visit when we go back one day. I didn’t know they had a Memory Maker photo pass thing like Disney – that’s good to know. I would definitely do that I think. That photo of you and George at the end of your post is gorgeous – you both look so happy!

    • The KA Edit
      Author
      26th May 2019 / 1:55 pm

      Busch Gardens is fantastic, a brilliant park. All the parks has a similar versions of the memory maker. Oh I love that photo, just a little selfie whilst we waited for Mr H

  2. 29th May 2019 / 8:30 am

    Wow KA, such fantastic photos! I went to Busch Gardens in my late teens and would agree with everything you’ve said here – it’s a theme park with something for everyone. Looks like you all had a great day. xx

    • The KA Edit
      Author
      29th May 2019 / 8:57 am

      Aww thanks Suzanne. It’s such a great park – it was an awesome day x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.