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“Best theme park in Florida!”

Busch Gardens Tampa
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$98.99*
and up
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
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$154.99*
and up
Busch Gardens and Alafia River Wildlife Helicopter Tour
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$45.99*
and up
Aquatica Orlando
Ranked #1 of 197 things to do in Tampa
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Busch Gardens Tampa is the ultimate family adventure, offering 300 acres of fascinating attractions based on exotic explorations around the world. A unique blend of thrilling rides, one of the country's premier zoos with more than 12,000 animals, live shows, restaurants, shops and games, Busch Gardens Tampa provides unrivaled excitement for guests of every age.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Lockers / storage, Activities for young children, Food available for purchase, Activities for older children
Reviewed January 7, 2013

This is, in my opinion the best theme park in Florida. The zoo is amazing with wonderful displays and lots of animals to see. The roller coasters are world class. Cheetah Hunt and Sheikra are my favorites. The landscaping and grounds are beautiful and meticulously kept. The food is really really good! Try the smokehouse by Sheikra and you won't be disappointed. There's something to do for everyone here!

Thank Boerboelmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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8,206 - 8,210 of 13,710 reviews

Reviewed January 7, 2013

Fun park, worth a visit, not a great part of town though, short line ups, easy to find and get in and out.

Thank WigglyToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2013

Disney-done it, done it, and done it again. We stopped going when the kids only wanted to go from Thunder Mountain Railroad and then to Space Mountain and repeat. Now we go to Busch Gardens. It's about a 90 min ride from Orlando and if you have a GPS, you'll find it. Is it cheap? No. Is it worth it? Yes. We've been there a number of times now and we keep going back.

It's not cheap and be prepared to spend more on a fast pass. You pay for parking, you pay for admission, you pay for food, and if you are smart and it's during tourist season, you will pay for a fast-pass. The fast pass gives you front of line status one time on the most desirable rides. It isn't cheap, but you get what you pay for. You want to wait 1.5-2 hours for a ride or 5-20 min? Remember, it only gives you a one-time shot for each of the rides. You like it enough to wait the second time, you wait.

Second day re-entry. The full-priced ticket let you come back a second day. Take that Mickey! You can go and wait for the rides you didn't wait the first day. Down in Florida with the kids and run out ot things to do, this is a great thing. You want another fast pass though, you will have to buy it. Parking and food? Hey, people have to make a living at the parks too.

Food. We keep going back to the Zambia Smokehouse for bar-b-que. The meat is tender, juicy, and delicious. It's also not cheap. The turkey legs are pretty good too.

Rides. Sheik-ra was closed the day we were there so that was a big bummer. Some computer glitch they said that happens when it is colder. It was in the low 60's the day we were there. Better safe than sorry. Montu will flip you around. The new Cheetah ride is awesome. The Rhino rally ride was shorter this year than in the past. I think they must have taken out part of it to fit the Cheetah ride in the park. It was a disappointment, but with a 5 min wait with the fast-pass, the disappointment was faded quickly. Kumba was twisty, flippy goodness. My wife and kids liked the scorpion, but no fast-pass, only one car on the track at a time and a 50+min wait wasn't worth it to me. Gwazi is rickety compared to the others and if you have back problems, don't go on it. You will ache. One trick though, lift your feet and don't try to fight the twists and shakes. That makes it a little smoother. No water rides for us due to the colder temps, but a few people did ride them. None of us went on the Jungle flyers either.

Animals. Lots of them around the park and they are amusing. It's a zoo, with only the best animals.

Beer. The park used to be owned by Anheuser. At the center of the park was a beer tasting tent. 2 beers were included in the admission. When the fun American beer company sold out to the fun-sucking Inbev, away went the included beer.

Staff. The park people were very friendly. Directions were pretty good. My son "needed" a turkey leg at the end of the day and the employees sent us on the right road. The ticket booth person was very helpful. The parking people were also very nice and pretty efficient about getting us quickly from our cars to the park (early) and back (end of day).

Time to go. This was our first trip over the Christmas/New Year break. The other times were on the Martin Luther King holiday. Those other times, we didn't have a fast pass and didn't wait either. Sometimes we could even stay on the ride because there was no line. I'm sure that was just dumb luck. But maybe not.

Value compared to the rodent. Look, Mickey has it down. They know how to make you happy even if you don't want to be. We spent as a 4-person family about $600 with tickets, fast-passes, lunch, more food, and runway games. You don't think you would spend that at Disney? We'd do it again. We felt appreciated by the staff. We enjoyed the food and the rides and overall had a good time.

Thank MitchellF677
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren C, Manager at Busch Gardens Tampa, responded to this reviewResponded January 7, 2013

Thank you for your review! We hope you come back and experience Busch Gardens again soon!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2013

We visited this park twice, first in late December and second time January 5th.
The first time was terrible, basically you pay a fortune to just stand in lines!

The best point was that we bought a years pass (they call it fun card) for the same price as a one day pass, I don't know why they do that, but we got it and so we decided to visit again after the big rush during holiday season and that was the best decision! Almost no standing in lines, we could do all rides, even more than once!
The park is lovely done and a combination of an animal park and fun, adventure park. The rides are just awesome! Cheetah Hunt is great, three accelerations during the ride, hanging on top of Sheikra and looking down the drop is breath-taking and riding along Montu is just making you wanting to go on an on!
We've been in all Disney parks, Sea World, Universal, but Busch Gardens is the best one!

Thank Micha-07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren C, Manager at Busch Gardens Tampa, responded to this reviewResponded January 7, 2013

Thanks for your review of Busch Gardens!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2013

We took the family for a day,we were too far from Disney to make it worthwhile going so the children settled on Busch Gardens.
A good fun day BUT expensive,no family passes,no senior passes,no dissabled passes and on top of entrance fee you need to pay another $20 per person if you have any hope of getting on the rides.

1  Thank saraSurrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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