Busch Gardens Tampa
Location: Tampa, FL
The Sunshine State is known for it’s retirement community, sexy beaches, and yes even their many theme and amusement parks strung throughout. One of the largest and most attended theme parks in Florida is Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay. Busch Gardens started out as a very small employee park and facility that opened in March of 1959. The park was admission free and it included beer tasting, bird and animal gardens, and even an escalator that was called stairway to the stars. This took guests up to the top of the brewery.
In 1965, the park began to expand and become more of an exotic attraction. The park opened a 29 acre area known as the Serengeti Plains. This allowed the African animals and exotic wildlife a place to freely roam within the park. Over the next several years, the park kept its focus on the exotic animals, tropical theme, and even the addition of amusements to attract new visitors. Busch Gardens eventually began charging a fee for the many attractions that were located in the park including their roller coasters which the park is really known for today. Today the park is operated by Sea World Parks and Entertainment and the majority ownership belongs to a private equity firm called the Blackstone Group.
Busch Gardens Tampa is said to be one of the most beautiful and themed parks in the world. Like its sister in Williamsburg, the park is split up into different areas. Some of those areas include Morocco, Timbuktu, and Stanleyville. Each one of the areas is unique and has food, décor, and rides that match that specific area. The park is well known for its many animal exhibits like Cheetah Run, the Edge of Africa, and Asian Animals. These all include very exotic and tropical animals not native to the United States.
The park also has some of the best entertainment and events that you will find in Florida year in and year out. The park boasts events such as Viva La Musica and Summer Nights and of course Howl O Scream during the Halloween months. The park has one of the best assortments of roller coasters in the country as well. Some of the best known coasters and most popular include the 33 year old Schwarzkopf coaster called Scorpion, Montu which is a B&M Inverted coaster with seven inversions, and of course SheiKra which is a a 200-foot-tall B&M floorless dive coaster with a 90-degree vertical drop. It was the first coaster of its kind in the United States. The latest coaster is called Cheetah Hunt. This launched coaster features a mid course parabola that gives riders the sensation of weightlessness for three seconds.
There is plenty for the whole family to do and you will probably want to stay more than one day to make sure that you can get to all of the attractions and events that you want. If you are planning your vacation for the Tampa region in Florida, you do not want to pass this park up. Give her a try and you may never have to think about doing a true safari ever again.
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