Day 9 – Wednesday: Busch Gardens

We drove down to Tampa today to visit Busch Gardens. We got the tickets as part of our Discovery Cove booking and I was looking forward to going to see the white tigers.

We thought we’d get some of the big rollercoasters done first before the queues built up so we first headed for Gwazi which is a double wooden rollercoaster. It’s named after a fabled Lion with a Tiger’s head and the two rollercoasters are a Tiger and a Lion. The old wooden style rollercoaster certain rattled us right through!

SheikraNext up was Sheikra which is a a dive coaster with a 90 degree 200 foot drop which scares the hell out of you! The slow chug up the slope is almost as scary as the drop itself…although the worst moment has to be the second or so that the rollercoaster teeters you looking down over the drop. As there was no queues we got on the front row of this ride just for that extra bit of scariness.

Walking clockwise we then came to the Kumba rollercoaster. After Skeikra it almost seemed tame with its 135 foot drop and series of turns and loops! It has one of world’s largest vertical loops and even gives you 3 seconds of absolute weightlessness.

Thinking it was time to settle our stomachs we headed next to Rhino Rally to see some animals. Once aboard your jeep you head off around an off-road adventure track past some rhino’s, zebra’s and other African animals. We then went on the Serengeti Railway which loops most of the park. Unfortunately, we were on the wrong side of the train for the best views.

Deciding it was time to get wet so we had time to dry off, we decided to head next for the water rides. First we headed to Stanley Falls which is where we met our longest queue of the holiday. We had to wait about 25 minutes for the log flume which was quite surprising as some of the better rides here had no queue at all. Next we headed to Tanganyika Tidal Wave which starts off as a really pleasant float through a jungle waterway, and then ends with a 55 foot plunge that gets you, and anyone silly enough to stand on the bridge you go under, absolutely soaked. Finally, we headed to the Montu rollercoaster which is one of the tallest and longest inverted rollercoasters in the world.

What on earth are you doingFinally we headed to the Serengeti Plain and Edge of Africa to see some more of the animals including the lions, giraffes and hyenas. The lions were fast asleep right up close to the glass which gave us a fantastic view of them, but wasn’t so good for photographs!

We could have easily spent a second day at Busch Gardens if it had been closer to Kissimmee like the other parks. I was very disappointed that the white tigers were currently off show – although pleased to hear that they were getting a nice new enclosure built for them. There were a few rides we didn’t have time to go on, including the Skyride which closed early morning due to the wind picking up, and some animals we didn’t get to see. I’ll definately visit again if we’d ever in Florida again as this was probably my favourite of the parks with a good combination or rides and animals – without comprimising on either.

More of my photographs from Busch Gardens can be found on my Florida Flickr set.


3 Responses to “Day 9 – Wednesday: Busch Gardens”

  1. David Says:

    I love it. The giraffe alone was cool. But add in the duck looking at the curious spectacle and it’s great.

  2. David Says:

    OOps. It’s not a duck, is it. It’s a pelican.

  3. Jungala at Busch Gardens « Helena’s Blog Says:

    […] at Busch Gardens Last year when we visited Busch Gardens I had been disappointed that the tigers were off show.  This year, Busch Gardens has just opened […]

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