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Busch Garden - Tampa, anyone been there?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
We are going to visit my parents in Tampa and will be spending one day at Busch Gardens. I was wondering if anyone had been there and if you had any advice.

Our children are 5, 3, and 1 year old twins. We were planning on going first thing in the morning, then my mom would take the babies home whenever they wore out and the rest of us would stay longer.

What were your favorite things for younger kids? How are the children's rides? How about the stage shows, are they too long for a young kid?
Any other great advice?

Thanks!
post #2 of 5
I've spent my whole life going there and we took DS about six times last year.

They have a children's area...which the name is failing me. Dinosaur Land maybe-but VERY friendly dino's as DS does not like them. There are several kidlet rides there, along with a little splash area, a stage where they do the exact same play everytime and a playarea. One way in and out-in case you have runners.

Down in the area where they have some of the roller coasters and a few other rides, they also have three other kiddie rides-some of which I rode when I was a kid!

They have a new area Jungala. They have two different water areas-one for bigger kidlets and one for the littles. A few things for older kidlets to do. Animals to see, very fun make sure you check it out.

Ride the train.

Plenty of restrooms. Oh, bring plenty of water (put under the stroller when you go in-they do go through your things and not sure if it is really allowed or not). They do NOT have many water fountains. Children's area is the only place I remember seeing them. And they used to have tons!

Oh and they have a show...which I am forgetting the name of...it is in a theater, not the one in the huge place to eat. If you can, try and see it the kidlets will definitely enjoy it.

Your 5 and 3 year olds will have a blast, one year olds will probably enjoy the animals. We varied if we brought a stroller for DS (he was in the two range). If we didn't bring the stroller, I brought a carrier so I could wear him if he got tired. It is a lot of walking. But LOTS of FUN! We are definitely buying another pass. I don't know when you are coming, but the weather has been varying greatly lately. Super cold for a few days and then warm again-so make sure to bring warm and cold weather clothing.

Have a great time!!
post #3 of 5
We love Busch gardens! We've had the annual pass for almost 3 years now.

Here's my advice:

Bring bathing suits. Even if you are not sure it's warm enough.

You can bring food and drinks in for the kids. We always bring healthy stuff and snacks along with juice boxes or bottled water for the kids.

Grab a map and schedule at the front gate. "Katonga" is AWESOME for little people. It's about 30 minutes long and the kids will love it. It's also a great place to relax in the AC and nurse when it's hot. I suggest sitting toward the front so that the bubbles and butterflies fall on you. If your kids like pirates the 3D movie is fun and is also in the AC. Sometimes there are other fun visiting shows. We really like to catch the acrobats when they are there. The birds show is fun too. There are more shows, we just aren't that into them.

There are quite a few kiddy rides. Dragon land is home of the kiddie rides (and more). There are also a few scattered throughout the park. If your 5 year old is 42" there are more ride possibilities. Hight restrictions are on the map.

Adults can "kid swap" on the grown up rides. One adult waits in line and rides. Then the other adult can skip the wait and go up the exit to ride too. This is great if you like to ride roller coasters.

Definitely ride the train. You can see more animals in the zoo part of the park this way. Also, be sure to see the hippos. They are on display in a very neat way. Jungala is the newest section of the park. This area also has some nice animal displays. We like the animal nursery too. You can get a kiss from the baby flamingos there if you are lucky.

My DH says this:

Be prepared to follow the kids around all day and not rush them. (This is what he needs to keep in mind to not be grouchy )

Remember that you will not be able to do it all in one day.


Hope that helps. The website has some great info on it too.
post #4 of 5
We went to Busch Gardens for the first time last year. We LOVED it!!
Jungala was awesome. It gets you right up next to the animals. We did everything we wanted in one day because ds1 was only 2. We weren't too ambitious about shows, just seeing things we thought ds would enjoy.
The tree top playground was a big hit with ds and DH! And dragon land was just right for ds' first rides.
There was a little splash area if I recall where kids had suits on and were splashing around so if that is something your kids would enjoy I would plan for that - swim diapers for the little ones, towels, etc.
Have fun! We are going back this year. I can't wait
post #5 of 5
We like Busch Gardens more than any other theme park we have been to! We like the monorail, zoo animals, and shows. Never had any hassles nursing there.

My kids loved Adventure Island. We thought we would only spend part of a day there and ended up getting there first thing in the morning and being the last ones out when they closed, we are water people. My boys were 3 and 6 the first time we went and there are alot of things even a 3 year old can do being held.
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