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Busch Gardens Floridaimage

Busch Gardens Florida on the outskirts of Tampa has been in existence since before the better known Walt Disney World complex at Orlando.  4.5 million visitors passed through the park in 2008. 

Although best known for its adrenaline rush roller coaster thrill rides, this park has one of  the largest zoos in the country.

Busch Gardens is an attraction that appeals to all ages and the access to the animals is excellent.  The park has several thousand animals in natural surroundings that complement the park's themes.  Zebras, giraffes, assorted antelopes and other animals graze the 80 acres of simulated African plains.

There are eight themed areas, namely: animals, live entertainment, thrill rides, children's  attractions, hospitality and shopping. For an aerial view of it all, there is a Skyride cable car that soars over the park. 

From the main gate, head for the walled city of Morocco, with exotic architecture, a sultan's tent complete with snake charmers, an exhibit featuring alligators and turtles and craft demonstrations.


The Moroccan Palace Theater features an ice show, which is the highlight of the park visit for many families. Visitors can also attend the Marrakech Theater for a song-and-dance show and follow up with a visit to the Crown Colony Restaurant.

Continue past Anheuser-Busch's famous Clydesdale horses to Egypt for a visit to King Tut's tomb with its replicas of the tomb treasures. Participate in "Akbar's Adventure Tours" and travel across Egypt via camel, biplane, and mine car. Youngsters have an opportunity to dig for ancient treasures. Adults and children at least 54 inches tall (1.4 meters) can climb aboard Montu, the world's longest and tallest inverted roller coaster.

After Egypt comes the Edge of Africa, the most unique of the park's themed areas. This is the home of most of the large animals. The Expedition Africa Gift Shop is the starting point for optional wildlife tours under the guidance of park zoologists.

Onwards to Nairobi, a beautiful area the park where gorillas and chimpanzees enjoy the lush Myombe Reserve that replicates their natural rainforest habitat. Nairobi has a baby animal nursery and petting zoo, reptile displays and an elephant exhibit.

Curiosity Caverns is where visitors can see bats, reptiles, and small mammals that are nocturnal by nature and prefer the darkness.  The park's safari adventure, Rhino Rally, is at the western end of Nairobi.  

Next stop is The Congo, home of rare white Bengal tigers that live on Claw Island and also where visitors board the next two roller coaster. Kumba is the fastest and largest roller coaster in the south east USA and once again, a minimum height requirement is applied to children, being 54 inches tall (1.4 meters). 

The Python twists and turns for 1,200 feet (365 meters) and this time the height restriction is 48 inches minimum (1.22 meters). If you don't mind getting wet, ride the Congo River Rapids in round boats that float down the rapidly flowing and finish off in this area with some bumper cars and kiddie rides for the younger ones.

Next is Stanleyville, a simulation of an African village complete with a bazaar, orangutans living on an island, and the Stanleyville Theater. Two more water rides, being the Tanganyika Tidal Wave and the Stanley Falls Flume complete this part of the park.

Land of the Dragons is a favorite with small children where they could spend the whole day enjoying a variety of play equipment and rides in a magical setting under the watchful eye and guidance of Dumphrey. Onwards to Bird Gardens which was center of the original park.  Its rich foliage and vegetation, lagoons and free-flight aviary are home for hundreds of exotic birds.

Now its time for more adrenaline-pumping on Gwazi, a pair of wooden roller coasters that  pass within a few feet of each other six times as they thunder by at 50 mph and rise to the height of a 7 story building. To round out the experience, Gwazi's passengers get to shoot water balloons at each other with big slingshots. 

The park's fifth and final roller coaster is located at the Timbuktu display. Its the high speed Scorpion with a 60-foot drop and 360 loop and once again children's minimum heights apply. 

imageGetting There & Getting Around

Visitors can get to Busch Gardens from Orlando via shuttle buses, which pick up at area hotels. Tampa International Airport is the major air gateway to this area. Amtrak trains arrive downtown at the Tampa Station.

imageOther Popular Florida Theme Parks

Walt Disney World : Universal Studios : Sea World : Kennedy Space Center : Everglades : Other Theme Parks

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Tampa Florida - Official tourism website of the Tampa area

Busch Gardens Florida - Official Busch Gardens website

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