2024 Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Ultimate Guide: Tips, Tickets, Rides and More!

Thinking about making a trip out to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay anytime soon?

This wild and adventurous theme park is known to have some of the best roller coasters and thrill rides in Florida.

Formerly known as the Dark Continent, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay invites you to seek adventures in the lush and mysterious lands of Africa.

Cheetah Hunt Roller Coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Ba

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What to Expect on This Guide TODAY: show

Busch Gardens Tampa Tips and Guide for Beginners

I have so many fond memories of this magnificent theme park. It was the first time I had rode a roller coaster, Python, and it was the first park I was able to explore on my own.

Python Busch Gardens
Classic Python Roller Coaster at Busch Gardens (Photo Courtesy of Florida Memory)

Busch Gardens was also a place where I created great memories with my large family, being that it was a much more affordable theme park for families to attend together.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Cheetah Hunt Tiger Topiary

Get up to 35% off of your Busch Gardens Tampa Tickets with Groupon TODAY!

What to Expect at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens was opened in Tampa, Florida on March 31, 1959 by the Anheuser-Busch company as a free animal attraction alongside a brewery.

View showing gondola skyride at the Busch Gardens amusement park in Tampa Florida next to Anheuser Busch
View showing gondola skyride at the Busch Gardens amusement park in Tampa Florida next to Anheuser Busch. Photo Credit: Florida Memory

It has since become a 335-acre theme park divided into African-themed regions:

  • Egypt
  • Congo
  • Birds Garden
  • Jungala
  • Morocco
  • Nairobi
  • Serengeti Plain
  • Pantopia
  • Cheetah Hunt Area
  • Sesame Street Safari of Fun
  • Stanleyville

All areas of Busch Gardens can be done in one day if you have a plan. I’ll be sure to give you the perfect Busch Gardens itinerary later in this guide.

Get up to 35% off of your Busch Gardens Tampa Tickets with Groupon TODAY!

How to Get to Busch Gardens Tampa from Orlando

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is about 70 miles from the Walt Disney World Resort (an hour and 25 minute drive).

There is a Busch Gardens shuttle service that offers round-trip transportation to the park.

Busch Gardens Guide with white-black striped tiger.
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The round-trip fare is free with park ticket purchase and departs Orlando daily with a maximum of three stops to Busch Gardens.

Reservations are highly recommended and can be reserved by calling 1-800-221-1339 or visit Mears Destination Services online.

How to Get to Busch Gardens Tampa from Disney World

  1. Travel WEST on I-4 to I-75 (About 58 Miles)
  2. Merge onto I-75 NORTH via EXIT 9 toward Ocala (stay on I-75 for about 3.74 miles)
  3. Take EXIT 265 toward Temple Terrace (this exit is also the exit for the University of South Florida)
  4. You will merge onto E Fowler Ave/FL-582 W via EXIT 265 and stay on here for about 4.65 miles
  5. Turn left onto N McKinley Dr/County Hwy-585A (stay on here for about 1 mile)
  6. Make a U-turn onto N McKinley Dr/County Hwy-585A
  7. Arrive and park at Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens Tampa Address

The address for Busch Gardens is 10165 N McKinley Drive Tampa, FL 33612.

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Busch Gardens Tampa Hours

Busch Gardens Tampa usually opens at 10:00 a.m. and closes at 6:00 p.m. However, during the peak summer days the park may be open until midnight.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Welcome Sign

Remember when planning your trip, always check the park’s website or mobile app for the current hours and wait times.

Get Your Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Tickets Today! CLICK HERE.

What to Know Before You Go to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is known for housing some of USA’s most extreme and fearsome (and awesome) thrill rides. 

It’s because of this that you’ll want to make sure you come prepared with what you’ll need to make the most of your visit.

Knowing what to wear and how to be comfortable during your day is also vital for visiting this park.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay scorpion roller coaster in florida sun
Scorpion Roller Coaster at Busch Gardens

If you are wearing loose-fitting shoes, you should leave them at the loading platform on rides such as Montu.

Any other loose articles can be placed inside any locker located throughout the park.

What should I pack for Busch Gardens?

Recommended: Ultimate Florida Packing List: What to Pack for Your EPIC Trip!

What are the Busch Gardens Tampa Roller Coasters?

What is the tallest roller coaster at Busch Gardens?

Iron Gwazi is currently the tallest roller coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay peaking at 206-feet.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Iron Gwazi Roller Coaster in Florida Sun

It has been dubbed as North America’s tallest and the world’s fastest and steepest hybrid roller coaster!

Ready to plan your theme park trip? Watch the best vacation planning tips on YouTube. Get started here!

Busch Gardens Tickets and Prices

When planning out your family trip or your solo trip, you’ll want to know how much does it cost to go to Busch Gardens in Tampa?

Busch Gardens Dark Continent Classic Logo in front of Park Gate
Busch Gardens Dark Continent Classic Logo in front of Park Gate (Photo Courtesy of Florida Memory)

Let’s breakdown the different ticket options you will have at the park.

Busch Gardens Parking Price

  • $32: General parking for cars, motorcycles, trucks, recreation vehicles and campers (FREE for Silver, Gold and Platinum Annual Pass Members)
  • $47: Preferred parking (50% off for Silver Annual Pass Members; FREE for Gold and Platinum Members)

Busch Gardens Tampa Discount Tickets

  • One day admission starting at $138.99
  • Fun Card Pay: For a Day, get the rest of the year at Busch Gardens plus Adventure Island FREE starting at $194.99
  • Annual Pass starting at $14.50 per month
  • Tampa Bay CityPASS: Attractions include: Busch Gardens® Tampa, The Florida Aquarium, Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, Clearwater Marine Aquarium and The Tropics Boat Tours Dolphin or Sunset Cruise OR Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI). $139 (this is the best deal when visiting Tampa)

*All prices subject to change without notice.

Find more Groupon Busch Gardens ticket discounts here!

Busch Gardens Tampa Annual Pass Options

  • Annual Passes for Busch Gardens starts at $14.50 per month
  • Passes for all four Florida theme parks in the Busch Gardens family starting at $32 per month

*All prices will vary based on the plan you choose.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Annual Pass Upgrade Center

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay All-Day Dining Plan

Did you know that you can eat and drink ALL DAY for one low cost at Busch Gardens?

Busch Gardens All Day Dining Website
Screenshot from BuschGardens.com

The Busch Gardens All-Day Dining Deal is pretty much identical to the SeaWorld All-Day Dining Plan.

This Busch Gardens All-Day Dining plan is just as I described above: one meal every ninety minutes, all day, for one flat fee.

  • Adult: $49.99
  • Child: $24.99

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Quick Queue

You can skip the line on major Busch Gardens rides and attractions.

Busch Gardens Quick Queue Unlimited
Screenshot from BuschGardens.com

Prices start at $14.99 based on the option you choose and varies based on how busy the park may be that day.

Below are the current rides included in the Quick Queue system at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay:

  • Falcon’s Fury
  • Cheetah Hunt
  • SheiKra
  • Montu
  • Kumba
  • Stanley Falls Flume
  • Congo River Ride
  • Cobra’s Curse
  • Scorpion
  • SandSerpent
  • Tigris
  • Iron Gwazi (one time use with upgraded option)
  • Serengeti Flyer (one time use with upgraded option)
  • Phoenix Rising (coming soon)

*Prices subject to change.

Check out my latest theme park adventures on Instagram TODAY!

Top 8 Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Tours You Must Do!

On your trip to this fantastic park, you should think about upgrading your day with one of their fun tours.

Safari Tour at Busch Gardens with zebras, giraffes and more.
Serengeti Safari Tour at Busch Gardens

These tours will give you an up-close experience and education on what it takes to care for the animals in this Tampa theme park.

Get started on Your Tampa Bay Travel Plans here!

1. Elephant Insider Tour

Don’t miss this 30-minute walking tour with specialized trainers who give you an up-close look at these gentle giants.

Busch Gardens Tampa elephants

2. Keeper for a Day Tour

On this Busch Gardens tour, you will work with zoological staff caring for giraffes, antelope, birds and more! This hands-on experience last 4 hours. 

Busch Gardens Tampa chimpanzees walking by Myombe Reserve

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3. Penguin Insider Tour

Don’t miss this 30-minute guided tour with the specialized trainers of Busch Gardens who will give you an insider look into caring for the African Penguin!

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Christmas Town Penguins in water

4. Serengeti Safari

One of the most popular tours at Busch Gardens is the Serengeti Safari.

Busch Gardens Tampa Serengeti Safari Base Camp

It’s an open-air touring vehicle that takes you through the Serengeti plain across 65-acres of the African-inspired open field of the park.

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5. Aldabra Tortoise Insider Tour

You’ll be able to get an up-close encounter with one of the largest tortoises in the world on this 20-minute walking tour.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Aldabra Tortoise

6. Hippo Insider Tour

Here you’ll get to embark on a 30-minute walking tour which will you an up-close tour of these majestic African animals.

Busch Gardens Tampa Edge of African Hippos

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7. Sloth Encounter Tour

This is another animal walking tour that takes you on an in-depth experience of what it’s like to care for these unique animals.

Busch Gardens Tampa Animal Care Center Entrance

8. Australian Insider Tour

On this Busch Gardens tour, you’ll get to get an up-close look at some of Australia’s most beloved creatures!

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay water fountain

Don’t forget that discounts are available for Busch Gardens Pass Members, but like always prices are subject to change.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Walkabout Way Kangaroo Tour Area

Also, I only gave you a few of my favorite tours, but you can check out all the available options here on the official website.

11 Busch Gardens Tampa Tips for First-Timers

Now that we have all the information on what you can expect there, let’s go through a few tips to make your day easy at Busch Gardens.

Busch Gardens Tampa Pantopia entrance 2 with falcon's fury

1. Get there early

Arrive 45 minutes prior to park opening is the best way to maximize your day, especially if you’re trying to do it in one day.

Hipster Power Tip: Book a hotel near Busch Gardens such as Home2 Suites by Hilton here and explore Tampa Bay before heading back to Walt Disney World.

2. Dress appropriately

Florida weather is mostly hot and humid except for the beautiful months of December, January, February, and March.

Busch Gardens Tampa Cobra's Curse drop
Cobra’s Curse Roller Coaster

3. Find quiet, shaded spots

The Edge of Africa and Myombe Reserve are two, usually serene, sitting areas.

Busch Gardens Tampa entering Myombe Reserve

The great thing about Busch Gardens is the availability of hidden spots tucked away throughout the park that also offer great views and shade.

Check out my latest theme park adventures on Instagram TODAY!

4. Go during the weekdays

To avoid the frustration that a crowed day at a theme park can bring, I suggest avoiding holidays, the weekends, and the summer.

Falcon's Fury Busch Gardens Tall rainbow color drop tower
Falcon’s Fury Busch Gardens

This is the time that both locals and tourists flood the park bringing unbelievable attraction wait times and difficult navigation throughout the park.

The best days to visit Busch Gardens are Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

5. Use the All Day Self-Service Lockers

This tips is especially important if you’re traveling solo and you want to ride roller coasters.

Busch Gardens Tampa Lockers next to Montu

Busch Gardens does not allow for you to bring any loose articles on its roller coasters. So, renting a locker for the day will be your best bet.

Busch Gardens Tampa Lockers in Egypt

All you have to do is find the location of one locker, select the all day rental, then you can you can use the rest of the locker locations throughout the park on your solo trip.

A Standard Locker currently costs $15 to rent for the whole day.

6. Download the Busch Gardens Tampa Map

Map out your day prior to your visit.

Busch Gardens Tampa Map 2024 and 2025 PDF

This is a great way to make a note of your must-do’s and also a way to help you see and experience as much as you can if you’re only there for a short visit.

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7. Pass on Preferred Parking

Try to get to Busch Gardens early and park near the tram station in the regular parking section.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Parking attendant

If you pay for an upgrade to preferred parking, then there is a possibility that you may get placed in the back of that lot and will have to walk quite a distance to the front gates.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Stroller Parking Lot for Families

Hipster Power Tip: Families with little ones who require a stroller can request access to the family parking area which is closer to the gate. Just remember that although it’s no additional cost to you, it’s only available on a first come basis.

8. Find Busch Gardens discounted tickets and special deals

Websites such as Groupon, CityPASS, Undercover Tourist, and local businesses are perfect places to start!

9. Grab a Birthday Pin

If it’s your special day, be sure to stop by guest relations for a special birthday pin to wear at the park.

10. Purchase the Busch Gardens Quick Queue Pass

This is a most important tip if you’re going on a busy day.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Kumba Roller Coaster
Kumba Roller Coaster

The Busch Gardens Quick Queue will allow you to bypass the long wait times on the peak days at the park.

11. Purchase the All-Day Dining Deal

For one low price, you will get a band that allows you to eat at participating restaurants all day.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Chick fil a entrance and menu

Each time you eat, your meal will include: 1 entrée, 1 side or dessert, and 1 fountain drink, tea or water for each visit.

Christmas Town Village at Busch Gardens Holiday Food Chocolate Cake
Delicious Chocolate Cake

Basically, an all you can eat day at the park!

Busch Gardens All-Day Dining Restaurants:

  1. Zagora Café
  2. Oasis Pizza at Serengeti Overlook
  3. Chick-fil-A
  4. Dragon Fire Grill
  5. Zambia Smokehouse

According to Busch Gardens, sharing is prohibited and may lead to revocation of your dining pass if found in violation of the rule.

Solo Theme Park Traveler Tip: If you see a family struggling to get a group photo, offer to take their picture. In return, someone from their circle might reciprocate the offer to you.

The Best Busch Gardens Itinerary for a One Day Visit

Now it’s time to go through how to do Busch Gardens in a day.

2023 Howl O Scream at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Stranglewood Estate Haunted House Maze with NikkyJ
On my solo trip to Howl-O-Scream!

Do keep in mind that you can add or take away any item that’s not really interesting to you!

  1. Download and go over the park map.
  2. Plan to arrive prior to the gates opening.
  3. Ride Iron Gwazi
  4. Check out the famous Florida gators in Morocco.
  5. Join the Cheetah Hunt.
  6. Ride Cobra’s Curse.
  7. Experience Montu.
  8. Enjoy a stroll on the Edge of Africa or in the Myombe Reserve to relax.
  9. Take the Skyride over to the middle area of the park.
  10. Ride Sheikra.
  11. Conquer Tigris!
  12. Have lunch at Zambia Smokehouse.
  13. Ride Stanley Falls.
  14. Conquer the Congo River Rapids
  15. Ride Kumba.
  16. Dive into the Scorpion Roller Coaster
  17. Ride the NEW Phoenix Rising Roller Coaster.
  18. Conquer Falcon’s Fury.
  19. Grab a delicious pretzel and beer at Twisted Tails Pretzels.
  20. Ride the NEW Serengeti Flyer
  21. Catch up on any park shows that you want to watch.

READ NEXT: Ready to Get Wet? Busch Gardens Water Rides That Will Leave You Soaked!

Best Busch Gardens Tampa Events to Visit

Believe it or not, this Tampa park is truly coming into its own with events that rival some of the ones in the major Orlando parks.

Christmas Town Village at Busch Gardens Welcome to Holiday Hills Sign

Let’s go over what annual festivities you can expect at Busch Gardens. Hopefully, you’ll be able to visit one of these events.

1. Food and Wine Festival (March and April)

Coasters, music, food, drinks, fun and more can all be experienced in this standout Busch Gardens annual event.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Food and Wine Festival Sign

This event is included with park admission and is similar to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay West Coast Catch at Food and Wine Festival

2. Summer Nights (June, July, and August)

Experience the terrifying roller coasters at night and party with other Hipsters as DJs play your favorite tunes throughout the night.

Busch garden summer nights with Cheetah Hunt in the Background.
Cheetah Hunt Roller Coaster at Night

This summertime event is included with your park admission.

3. Howl-O-Scream (September and October)

The Dark Continent inspired theme park transforms into a terrifying, bone-chilling event where you’ll scream your way through the park.

Howl-O-Scream Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Howl-O-Scream Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

A separate ticket is needed for this event. You can read how to conquer Howl-O-Scream like a pro here!

4. Christmas Town at Busch Gardens (November and December)

The Christmas treats, Santa’s house, Rudolph and more can be found in this annual Winter Wonderland experience right in the heart of Tampa Bay.

Christmas Town Busch Gardens with wooden toy soldier
Christmas Town Busch Gardens

Christmas Town is included with your park admission and is a must do experience at Busch Gardens!

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Christmas Town NikkyJ and holiday tree

These are just a few of my favorite Busch Gardens events. You can check out the full list on their website here.

Busch Gardens Rides, Attractions and Entertainment

Before you visit Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, you must know all the rides that are available for you to enjoy!

Busch Gardens Tampa Thrill Rides

Cheetah Hunt Roller Coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Cheetah Hunt, Cheetah Hunt Area

Cobra’s Curse, Egypt

  • Spin coaster, featuring a vertical lift that takes you through the dark legend of the King Snake.
  • Thrill: Moderate
  • Height Requirement: Minimum of 42”
Busch Gardens Tampa Montu and Cobra's Curse
Cobra’s Curse and Montu Roller Coaster

Falcon’s Fury, Pantopia

  • Pivot 90 degrees in midair to a face-down dive in the tallest (335 feet) freestanding drop tower in America.
  • Thrill: High
  • Height Requirement: between 54” and 77”
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay entrance to falcon's fury
Falcon’s Fury at Busch Gardens

Read all about Busch Gardens Falcon’s Fury ride here!

Kumba, Congo

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay beautiful Kumba roller coaster
Kumba Roller Coaster

Montu, Egypt

  • The Egyptian god named roller coaster with seven inversions.
  • Thrill: High
  • Height Requirement: Minimum of 54”
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Montu Roller Coaster blue and yellow

Serengeti Flyer, Serengeti Plain

Busch Gardens Tampa Food and Wine Festival Serengeti flyer at night

SheiKra, Stanleyville

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Sheikra splash
SheiKra Roller Coaster

Scorpion, Pantopia

Scorpio Roller Coaster Busch Gardens Must Do's
Charging Station in Busch Gardens in front of Scorpion Roller Coaster

Tigris, Stanleyville

  • This if Florida’s tallest launch roller coaster with a height of 150-feet and a speed maxing out around 60 miles per hours.
  • Thrill: High
  • Height Requirement: Minimum of 54”
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Tigris Loop

Iron Gwazi, Morocco

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Iron Gwazi Entrance

Phoenix Rising, Pantopia

  • Ride on the wings of the phoenix on this family-friendly roller coaster
  • Thrill: Medium
  • Height Requirement: Minimum 42″
Phoenix Rising Concept Art Busch Gardens Tampa Roller Coaster

Get up to 35% off of your Busch Gardens Tampa Tickets with Groupon TODAY!

Busch Gardens Animal Encounters

Below are a few of my favorite locations to view animals inside of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. If you want to see the full list, you can view it here.

Myombe Reserve with gorilla statue
Myombe Reserve at Busch Gardens

Animal Care Center, Nairobi

This animal nursery features a state-of-the-art facility where guests can view animals receiving treatment, x-rays, and other forms of medical and physical care.

Busch Gardens Tampa Animal Care Center and Falcon's Fury (2)

Alligators, Morocco

In this area, you can view some of the most ancient creatures of the world. You’ll also get to learn what makes this majestic reptile so unique by the Animal Specialists at Busch Gardens.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Alligators sitting in the shade

Lory Landing Aviary, Bird Gardens

Features a free-flight aviary for up close encounters and a flamingo lagoon accompanied with a beautiful tropical backdrop.

Busch Gardens Team Member Feeding Bird. Lory Landing Aviary
Lory Landing Aviary

Cheetah Run, Cheetah Hunt Area

Come face-to-face with the fastest animal on land.

Busch Gardens Tampa cheetah hunt mosaic

Edge of Africa, Egypt

Walk through the quiet African-inspired village while you watch and learn about the majestic lions, crocodiles, hippos, hyenas, and more.

Busch Gardens Tampa Edge of Africa Entrance

Elephant Interaction Wall, Nairobi

Meet the powerful creatures face-to-face.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay elephants grazing

Jungala, Jungala Area

Get up close with Bengal tigers and orangutans.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Jungala tower

Penguin Point, Nairobi

Check out the African Penguins who live in warmer weather and water temperatures between 40 and 70 degrees.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Christmas Town Penguins

Myombe Reserve, Nairobi

Get lost in this quiet reserve filled with gorillas and chimpanzees.

Busch Gardens Tampa Life Stages of Gorilla Myombe Reserve

Walkabout Way, Bird Gardens

Go Down Under and have a hands-on experience with kangaroos.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay quite seating area in the shade to relax

Official Busch Gardens Tip: For Lory Landing, purchase a cup of nectar on your way in to the habitat to hand-feed the lorikeets. Also check the keeper times on the back of your park map to see special animal behaviors, feedings.

Busch Gardens Tampa Water Rides

Busch Gardens Congo River Rapids
One Brave soul riding on Congo River Rapids through icy cold waters on a January day.

Congo River Rapids, Congo

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Stanley Flume Water Ride

Stanley Falls, Stanleyville

  • Get pleasantly refreshed on this classic water log-flume ride.
  • Thrill: Moderate
  • Height Requirement: Minimum of 46”
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Sheikra and directional signs

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Family-Friendly Attractions at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Sesame Street Safari of Fun

Grand Caravan Carousel, Pantopia

  • Arabian stallions-themed carousel.
  • Thrill: Low
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay carousel ride

Serengeti Express Train, Nairobi

  • Travel around the park and watch exotic animals roam about. The train has stops in the Congo, Nairobi and Stanleyville stations.
  • Thrill: Low
  • Height Requirement: None
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay red, yellow and black train
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

SkyRide, Cheetah Hunt Area and Stanleyville

Busch Gardens Tampa New SKyride Entrance

Ubanga-Banga, Congo

  • Classic carnival style bumper cars.
  • Thrill: Moderate
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Bumper Cars

Wild Surge, Jungala

  • Prepare to be launched out of a 35-foot mountain crater in this drop tower attraction.
  • Thrill: Moderate
  • Height Requirement: Must be at least 42” tall to ride alone or 38” tall and accompanied by a supervising companion to ride.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Jungala Tree Top Trails

Busch Gardens Shows and Entertainment

  • Food and Wine Festival Concerts
  • Turn It Up! Remix, Moroccan Palace Theater
  • Welcome to Our Street, Sesame Street Safari of Fun
  • Storytime at Sesame Street Safari of Fun
  • Summer Nights Fireworks Spectacular
  • Animal Tales

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Fun Options For the Junior ThemeParkHipsters

  • Air Grover, Sesame Street
  • Storytime at Sesame Street
  • Bush Flyers
  • Kiddie Train
  • Sesame Street Safari of Fun, Bird Gardens
  • Tree Top Trails, Jungala
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Air Grover Roller Coaster

Busch Gardens Tampa Restaurants

Dining at Busch Gardens is way better than the early days. The addition of the Zambia Smokehouse has made for pretty satisfactory theme park dining experience.

Zambia Smokehouse Beef Brisket Wrap and Fries
Zambia Smokehouse Beef Brisket Wrap and Fries

Although the offerings haven’t reached to the levels of its counterparts in Orlando, you will have a variety of places to choose from.

  • Chick-fil-A, Counter Service, $, Multiple Cuisines (Jungala)
  • Dragon Fire Grill, Cafeteria Style, $$, Multiple Cuisines (Pantopia)
  • Springs Taproom, Counter Service, $$, American (Bird Gardens)
  • Moroccan Delights, Counter Service, $, Ice Cream (Morocco)
  • Dragon Dog, Counter Service, $, Hot Dogs (Pantopia)
  • Pantopia Drinks and Snacks, Counter Service, $, American (Pantopia)
  • Oasis Pizza, Quick Service, $, Pizza (Egypt)
  • Giraffe Bar, Drinks, $$, Cocktails and Brews (Egypt)
  • Coaster Coffee Company, Counter Service, $, Coffee and Bakery (Morocco)
  • Twisted Tails Pretzels, Counter Service, $, Pretzels (Pantopia)
  • Zagora Cafe, Counter Service, $, American (Morocco)
  • Zambia Smokehouse, Cafeteria Style, $$, Barbecue (Stanleyville)

* $ ($14.99 and under), $$ ($15 to $34.99), $$$ ($35 to $59.99), $$$$ (over $60)*

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Shops and Merchandise

If you’re an avid theme park souvenir collector, then you’ll be happy with the wide range of knickknacks, trinkets, and apparel available within the park.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Shopping Merchandise

You will also find African crafts and clothing in the Morocco section of Busch Gardens.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Gwazi Climb area

Check out the shops below:

  • Abby Cadabby’s Treasure Hut
  • Cobra’s Crypt Marketplace
  • Emporium
  • Iron Gwazi Gifts
  • Kariba Marketplace
  • Marrakesh Market: Inspired Threads
  • Nature’s Kingdom
  • Painted Camel Bazaar
  • Tiger’s Treasures Gift Shop
  • Xcursions

Join the Conversation on the Solo Theme Park Traveler’s Community on Facebook!

My Final Thoughts on Visiting Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens is one of my favorite theme parks to go to, especially on my solo excursions.

Sheikra Busch Gardens Red and Blue Roller Coaster with white wine.
Sheikra Busch Gardens and Wine

It offers such a wide range of attractions and exhibitions that can be enjoyed by anyone.

Busch Gardens Tampa Food and Wine Festival Serengeti flyer at night media event with NikkyJ

I personally enjoy the nostalgic factor of the classic theme park days in Florida that Busch Gardens so eloquently includes within its gates.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Pantopia entrance from auditorium

To end this guide off I want to list a few Pros and Cons of the park.

Pros of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

  • Easy parking
  • Free phone charging stations
  • Great emphasis on the preservation of nature
  • Lots of thrill rides with great animal habitats in one park

Cons of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

  • Approximately an hour and a half from Orlando
  • Park is very dark at night
  • You can see neglect in certain areas of the park that’s showing its age and lack of upkeep. This may be due to a need for more employees, but this is something that I hope Busch Gardens improves on.
  • Park map on website is sometimes outdated
  • Lacks a variety of quality theme park dining options
  • Major rides, like Kumba, do not get proper maintenance
  • More indoor rides needed to combat the Florida sun

I hope you enjoyed this definitive guide for planning your trip to this Tampa theme park.

Don’t forget to get up to 50% off or more on Tampa Bay’s 5 best attractions at CityPASS.com for your next vacation.

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!

Hoop Dee Doo Revue NikkyJ Dinner Show Disney World. Author bio of theme park expert Nikida Metellus.

About the Author

My name is Nikky. I’m a wife, a mother, a pharmacist turned theme park blogger, USA Today 10Best Contributor, and a writer who loves ALL things amusement park related!

Traveling alone to the parks has changed my life and I want to show how you can create your own solo theme park memories.

Connect with me on Instagram!

(Original Article Date: Summer 2017/Updated February 16, 2024)

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