Busch Gardens – The complete Guide to Spend the Day

Busch Gardens is a park located in Tampa, 90 km from Orlando. He earned his fame for the excellent roller coasters, no doubt a must for anyone who loves adventure.

Despite this, the park has other attractions that are equally interesting, with emphasis on the chance to find various exotic animals, typical of the African fauna. In other words: it pleases adults with roller coasters and children with animals.


Have an Attack Plan

As I mentioned before, Busch Gardens is in Tampa, so be sure to leave your hotel well in advance if you want to get there for the first few hours of the open park (while everything is empty and you can enjoy the attractions with virtually no queue).

Go Step By Step

Busch Gardens is an extremely large park and cut by a huge African Savannah called the Serengeti Plain. This leaves the attractions a little apart from each other. Thus, it is advisable that this park is carried out in blocks.

Take advantage of transportation options

Use and abuse the Skyride (a kind of cable car) and the little train (called Serengeti Railway), which cut through the park, for locomotion. In addition to being great opportunities to see the animals and the beautiful view of the park, it also saves your legs a little. It may sound silly, but believe me: saving a little bit of your legs on a trip to Orlando is a huge advantage.

The Skyride has stations on the Edge of Africa, right next to the entrance to the Cheetah Hunt, and in Stanleyville, halfway between Kumba and Sheikra. It can take up to 4 people, depending on the weight (but they normally allow a maximum of 3 adults).

In addition, another transport option, for those who don’t like heights, is the small train with several stations around the park. Although it is not the fastest transport, it also allows for a tour of the entire Serengeti Plain, a place where many animals are kept, such as giraffes, zebras and lions.


As in most parks, the tip is to walk counterclockwise, that is, starting in the Edge of Africa area, then Egypt, continuing through Nairobi, Pantopia, Congo, Jugala, Stanleyville, Sesame Street, Bird Gardens, and finally, Marocco.

Novelty Factor

Tigris, Stanleyville, and Cheetah Hunt, located on the Edge of Africa, may be the longest lines in the park. If you arrive early, the tip is to try to go to these attractions as soon as you arrive at the park, then go to Cobra’s Curse and Montu in the Egypt area.

Attention to the Time Guide

Busch Gardens has a few shows going on daily, so if you want to see them, be sure to pay attention to the schedule.
– Click here to open the park map while reading the script.




Must-go Rides

Cheetah Hunt: Inspired by the shooting of cheetahs, the Cheetah Hunt is the first three-pitch roller coaster opened in Florida, reaching speeds of up to 100 km/h. For those who don’t like to be upside down, good news: this attraction has no looping.

But don’t worry, what looping lacks it makes up for in other ways, for sure.

It’s a pretty exciting roller coaster. Also, since it’s not so extreme, it allows access for anyone over four feet, making it a full plate for older children. For this reason, queues are usually longer, so it is advisable to do this attraction as soon as possible.

If you Have Time Left

Cheetah Run: as if it were a small walking safari, it is located near the Montu exit. It is a space dedicated to cheetahs, hippos, hyenas, lions and meerkats.

Without a doubt, this is a must-see attraction for those who love animals. If that’s not your case or you’re already going to visit other parks with animals (such as Animal Kingdom), you can only go if you have time, since the entire tour usually takes about 20 minutes.

By the way, for those who want to go, here’s a tip: the animals tend to be more active in the morning, which makes the tour cooler.

Eating tip

Serengeti Overlook Restaurant and Pub: This restaurant has a beautiful view of the park’s savannah and offers Table Service options (on the second floor), as well as fast food and various beers (on the ground floor).


Must-see Rides

Montu: classic park roller coaster. It’s pretty intense, and you can get the feeling of diving into twists, loops and 7 inversions, all at speeds in excess of 60 mph. When it opened, it was the most reversible roller coaster in the world.


Cobra’s Curse: it may not be the most extreme, but it is definitely a must for anyone who likes adventure! Here your cart is transported by elevator to the top of the roller coaster and then launched for a super drop.


It is in this area of ​​the park that the Serengeti Outpost is located, from which various tours depart daily (paid separately) for closer interaction with the animals.

The highlights of the tours are the Serengeti Safari, a 30-minute ride through the savannah of Busch Gardens in a typical African safari truck.

The experience is worth it for those who like a closer and more exclusive interaction with the animals and starts at US$29 dollars, but varies according to the time of year.

It is recommended to book in advance in order to guarantee a place on the tour, and children under 5 years old cannot participate.

If you Have Time Left

  • Animal Care Center: another attraction with interactions with animals, but here visitors can observe medical procedures that are performed on animals in the park itself.
  • Elephant Interaction Area: space dedicated to elephants.
  • Penguin Point: penguin pools and habitats.
  • Animal Connections: Place intended for interaction with animals, such as flamingos and lemurs. At certain times it is possible to feed them. In order to know the times it is necessary to check the guides provided at the entrance to the park.



Must-see Rides

Falcon’s Fury: JUST the tallest drop tower in North America, over 100 meters high! Upon reaching the top, the seats swivel, tilting the passenger so that they are in a horizontal position, and then collapse.

Yes, personally it is as terrifying as it sounds.

If you Have Time Left

Scorpion: Classic-style roller coaster with a drop of 18 meters high, a 360º loop and speeds of up to 80 km/h. Close to the other roller coasters in the park, it seems light, but when the cart starts to speed up, you can soon see that this emotion is definitely worth more if you have a little time to spare.
Phoenix: Do you know the famous Viking boat that has always been successful in mall parks or seaside towns while on vacation? So that’s almost it… but here it goes full circle and rotates 360°. In other words, much cooler, right?

Attractions we do not recommend

Pantopia Theater: Theater where a 30-minute animal show is presented in a comedy style, but with so many other cool attractions in this park, this show is really not worth wasting time.


Must-see Rides

Kumba: This delicious roller coaster offers sensations ranging from a drop of almost 40 meters in height to looping and inversions in 360º, at more than 100 km/h. Definitely a must-see!


If you Have Time Left

Congo River Rapids: a boat ride that holds 12 people, simulating a rafting through the Congo rapids and its obstacles. It is worth noting that this attraction really DOES A LOT WET. In other words, it’s not that you CAN get wet – you WILL get too wet. So only go if you’re prepared for it. If the barriers and waves on the attraction weren’t enough to soak you, they even provide a system where other people outside the attraction can hit you with water pistols.

Attractions we do not recommend

Ubanga-Banga Bumper Cars: a very simple replica of the well-known bumper cars.


If on the one hand this area does not offer any unmissable attractions, on the other hand it has numerous interesting experiences involving animals for the whole family. No doubt excellent for people with children, even if they are older.

If you Have Time Left

Orangutans and Tigers: another very cool area to meet animals, such as orangutans, bengal tigers and white tigers.

Only for Children

Wild Surge & Treetop Trails: a huge playground, with numerous “extreme” and interconnected attractions, tailor-made for children. Here there is a zip line that flies over the entire Jungala area, at 15 meters high, as well as canopy tours and much more. It also has a wet playground, with lots of water jets. Everything aimed at children.


Must-do Rides

Sheikra: the most famous (and most feared!) roller coaster in the park, Sheikra undoubtedly justifies all the expectation and fame created around her. It takes you to a height of 61 meters and then simply drops you from above, in a 90 degree free fall at over 110 km/h, but not without all the finesse of fear possible.


Before crashing the cart locks for 3 seconds exactly at the point of the crash just to give that final panic before you crash down for good. Detail: you go through the attraction with your legs completely free, which gives a feeling of super cool freedom.

Tigris: The newest roller coaster in the park, as well as being the biggest roller coaster in Florida!

It’s super radical and tasty, as it starts by throwing the cart back and forth to get momentum, until finally gaining strength to climb 45 meters high and follow the route, full of loopings, falls and radical curves.

If you Have Time Left

Stanley Falls Flume: another water attraction that gets a lot wet! Now with a calm walk sitting in a cart that resembles a tree stump. Everything is quiet until, at the end, you are faced with a 12-meter drop that will leave you drenched.

Attractions we do not recommend

Stanleyville Theater: Here is a 30-minute show with an animal expert – “Jungle Jack” Hanna – about rare and dangerous species of animals.

Eating tip


Zambia Smokehouse: very complete restaurant option, with assorted options to please everyone in the group, such as pork ribs, meat, chicken, sandwiches and desserts. In addition, it is located in a covered and air-conditioned environment.


This area of ​​Busch Gardens is themed with characters from the Sesame Street program, that is, completely intended for children. As such, it is a must for groups with younger children, but a complete waste of time for groups without children or with pre-teens.

Only for Children

  • Air Groover: a children’s roller coaster,
  • 123 Smile with me: meeting place and photographs with the characters of Sesame Street.
  • Sunny Day Theater: small theater with the characters from Sesame Street.
  • Children’s Rides & Play Elements: another playground, which brings together various activities, that is, a plateful for children to have fun.


If you Have Time Left

Walkabout Way: a place for you to meet kangaroos and some other typical Australian animals. It doesn’t even take 10 minutes and you have the opportunity to meet animals that aren’t always in zoos.

Attractions we do not recommend

Lory Land: a huge aviary for birds, where animal caretakers will be available to answer questions, sometimes even allowing some interaction with the birds.


If you Have Time Left

  • Moroccan Palace Theatre: performance with ice skaters, in the best “Holiday on Ice” style. This attraction was conceived by directors of Broadway musicals. As such, it is for sure the best show offered by Busch Gardens.
  • Myombe Reserve: mini-trail where you can find gorillas and chimpanzees.

Eating tip

Sultan’s Sweets: located right at the entrance/exit of the park. Here is a good option for a coffee, a sweet or an ice cream to start or end your day at the park.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the script and that you really enjoy your day at Busch Gardens!

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More Tips for Your Trip to Orlando

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