BREAKING: You will now have to PAY $5 to ride the SkyRide at Busch Gardens Tampa!

Get ready, because the big day is almost here! The SkyRide at Busch Gardens Tampa will finally reopen after almost four years on Friday, February 2, 2024. 

As you get prepared for the amazing sights of roller coasters and animals from 50 feet high, you should know that things have changed with the new pay-as-you-ride policy.

It’s official: Busch Gardens Tampa will charge a $5 fee for guests to ride the Skyride one way.

Let’s dig into everything you must know before you go.

Busch Gardens Tampa Skyride Entrance

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What to Expect on This Guide TODAY: hide

Is the SkyRide open at Busch Gardens?

As previously mentioned, the SkyRide will open on Friday, February 2, 2024 at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

Busch Gardens Tampa Cheetah hunt next to train tracks next to the Skyride Busch Gardens Tampa Bay cables.

What is the SkyRide at Busch Gardens Tampa?

The SkyRide at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is a cable-car that runs across the park. Allowing you to get stunning views of the Florida theme park from 50 feet up in the sky.

This gives you the opportunity to take in the glorious skyline without being worried about the next stomach-lurching drop.

Skyride at Busch Gardens Tampa
Photo Courtesy of SeaWorld Orlando Parks & Entertainment

You must be thinking “Well, hold on. Aren’t the stomach-lurching drops the reason people go to theme parks?”

I didn’t mention the animals now, did I? 

Busch Gardens Tampa Gorilla Myombe Reserve

You get amazing views of these cute cuddly creatures and the not so cuddly ones (all animals are cute) from the top.

I’m talking rhinos, tigers, gazelles, lions and even (wait for it) giraffes and elephants. 

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Tiger Lodge

This makes me want to pack my bag and get over there right now!

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New Updates to the SkyRide in 2024

Now that you know what to expect on this high-flying adventure, let’s go over a few questions you may have about this new up-charge at Busch Gardens Tampa.

Skyride at Busch Gardens Tampa
Photo Courtesy of SeaWorld Orlando Parks & Entertainment

What are the hours for the Busch Gardens Tampa SkyRide?

If the weather is good, the SkyRide at Busch Gardens will be up and running from when the park opens until it’s time for the sun to go down.

Is there a height requirement for the SkyRide at Busch Gardens Tampa?

There’s no specific height requirement, but if you’re under 56, you’ll need to ride with someone over 56 and at least 14 years old.

Busch Gardens Skyride with Cheetah Hunt in the background

How many people can fit in a cable car on the SkyRide?

Each cable car can only have up to three (3) guests who are over 56.

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How much does it cost to ride the SkyRide at Busch Gardens Tampa?

At this time, the price for experiencing the SkyRide at Busch Gardens is $5 per person. This is a new change for an attraction that used to be included with your theme park ticket.

Busch Gardens Tampa Cheetah Hunt Entrance

According to Busch Gardens, one ride is from Stanleyville station to the Cheetah Hunt Plaza OR from the Cheetah Hunt Plaza station to the Stanleyville station.

Where can I buy a ticket for the SkyRide at Busch Gardens?

You can buy tickets for the Busch Gardens Tampa SkyRide at the boarding stations, such as the one in Cheetah Hunt Plaza or the station in Stanleyville.

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

Can I buy SkyRide tickets online or through the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay app?

Nope, you can only buy tickets at the loading stations, like the one in Cheetah Hunt Plaza or at the Stanleyville station.

Busch Gardens Tampa Cheetah Hunt green track Things to do at Busch Gardens Tampa.

Can I purchase multiple one-time rides for SkyRide?

Sorry to tell you this but at this time you can’t buy multiple one-time rides. Each ride will need to be purchased separately before you hop on.

Can I use my Pass Member guest tickets at the Busch Gardens SkyRide?

Nope, Pass Members can’t use their guest tickets for the SkyRide. This is pretty sad that our guests will have to pay to ride with us.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Annual Pass Upgrade Center Pass Member

Can I use my Busch Bucks to buy a one-time ride on the SkyRide?

Sorry, but the Busch Gardens Tampa Busch Bucks that you get as a Pass Member Perk won’t work for the SkyRide.

What if I’ve bought a ticket for the Busch Gardens SkyRide and it’s not running due to the weather?

Just like with all the rides at Busch Gardens, if the SkyRide isn’t running due to bad weather, the company’s Weather-or-Not assurance policy will let you request a readmit or a refund at Guest Relations or via email.

Do Pass Members get to ride the Skyride at Busch Gardens Tampa  for free?

Yes, anyone with a valid Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Pass, Preschool Card, or Fun Card can ride the SkyRide for free. 

Skyride at Busch Gardens Tampa 3
Photo Courtesy of SeaWorld Orlando Parks & Entertainment

Just make sure to show your valid pass to the ride attendant at the entrance.

Recommended: 25 Fun and Free Things to Do in Tampa, Florida TODAY!

Making Memories on the SkyRide at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

The fun doesn’t end when you enter the gates of Busch Gardens!

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay tiger topiary in front of cheetah hunt

If making memories and taking them home with you is your goal for the day, you’ll want to take some photos up there.

The sheer amount of beautiful photograph opportunities is astounding.

Busch Gardens Tampa Travel Planner and Itinerary Guide

Scenic, close-ups, skyline photos, zoomed-in photos of animals or aesthetic cable-car shots– you can have it all!

Cheetah Hunt Drop at Busch Gardens Tampa view from the Skyride at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.
View from the SkyRide

Oh, and I almost forgot! You can get across the park in a few minutes without walking for miles (figuratively) on your aching feet.

Are you even more excited for the SkyRide now?

Well, let me give you all the insider knowledge you need to enjoy every aspect of the SkyRide so you come home with no regrets and a very full camera roll!

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History of the SkyRide at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Fun Fact: The SkyRide was actually made in Europe. To be exact, it was assembled by the longest-established industrial group in the ye quaint old country of Switzerland.

The maker of this fine cable ride is the– Von Roll (yes, like the Swiss roll and the rolls on roller coasters).

Skyride at Busch Gardens Tampa
Photo Courtesy of SeaWorld Orlando Parks & Entertainment

I love a good punny name as much as the next person, but what really sets these guys apart from the rest is that they have been making sky rides since 1952.

That is a whopping 68 years of expertise on cable car building.

View showing gondola Busch Gardens 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

The Skyride at Busch Gardens Tampa is one of the park’s oldest features, dating back to 1974. And it has been used by hundreds of thousands of visitors ever since. 

Cheetah Hunt Roller Coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Ba

The only time it was ever shut down was in 2010 when the new Cheetah Hunt was being constructed and from 2020 to 2024 due to the global pandemic.

It opened up again a year later when the addition to the scenery had been completed.

Busch Gardens Tampa cheetah hunt behind west African black crown crane
Cheetah Hunt at Busch Gardens

The SkyRide is closed due to the global pandemic restrictions and pressures, but the park reassured us that it will open up.

Recommended: 25 Fun and Free Things to Do in Tampa, Florida TODAY!

What to expect on the SkyRide at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

If you are doing the SkyRide right, by the end of the six-minute ride, you are going to feel like all your worries have just melted away.

You will be breathing in the cool breeze and drinking in the stunning scenery. It will be like a dream.

Busch Gardens Tampa New Skyride Entrance

Let me tell you what’s going to happen in the course of that dream.

Edge of Africa Entrance at Busch Gardens Tampa

The Skyride connects the Cheetah Hunt Area/Edge of Africa section of the park with the Congo/Stanleyville section which is on the other side of the park.

As the ride goes both ways, you can move from one side of the park to the other very easily.

Busch Gardens Tampa Edge of African Hippos

For the purposes of this article, however, I’m going to take you from the Edge of Africa section to the Congo/Stanleyville section.

Starting Your Journey

You can go to Cheetah Hunt station to begin your journey. Just look for the huge SkyRide sign nearby and you’ll know exactly where to go!

Busch Gardens Tampa Cheetah Hunt Entrance next to Skyride Busch Gardens Tampa Bay entrance.
Cheetah Hunt Entrance right next to the SkyRide Entrance

After following the direction and a bit of wandering you will come to the loading platform.

Each cabin can hold up to three adults. If you have children, there can be up to three people in the cabin. 

Once the door is shut, you are off!

Get ready to see the large variety of animals who call Busch Gardens home on one side.

Busch Gardens Tampa Nyala

On the other side, the sky is dotted with looming rides. You can see SheiKra and the classic Scorpion from your vantage point.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay wide shot of scorpion roller coaster

Halfway through the ride, you will come to a stop so that the Ambassador Members can check if the cabin has enough momentum to make the ninety-degree turn that is about to come.

That takes just a couple of seconds and then you will be off again.

This time you will take a turn into the sands of Africa. All around you, you will see the Falcon’s Fury and the formidable Kumba. Finally, you will come to a stop at the back end of the park.

Overall, the ride is quite slow and relaxing, perfect for a hot afternoon or early evening when your feet start hurting from all the standing and walking.

Read: 5 Fun Things to Do in Tampa with CityPASS

5 Top Tips for the SkyRide at Busch Gardens Tampa

Now that you know what to expect on this gondola ride at Busch Gardens, let’s go over a few tips to make the most out of your trip!

Skyride Busch Gardens Tampa Bay view with Cheetah Hunt in the background

1. Bring a great camera

You can bet your money that no matter the weather, the views from the Skyride at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay are going to be amazing.

While you might not want to bring your best camera out and lug it around, a smaller compact version would be perfect!

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Pantopia auditorium

Conversely, if your phone has a good camera (I know the newer iPhones should work just a well but you may not be able to zoom in too much without images pixelating.

Entrance to Cheetah Hunt Roller Coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Skyride

Either way, this is a great way to capture memories and get those aesthetic shots for the gram!

2. Choose your companions wisely

A journey is only as fun as the people you’re traveling with. Ever heard of that?

Busch Gardens Tampa Pantopia entrance 2 with falcon's fury

Probably not because I just made it up (not really). But seriously, you need to choose your cabin companions wisely. 

View from the Skyride at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.
Old SkyRide View at Busch Gardens

If you get in with a family and kids, you may not have the relaxing experience you wanted. Same goes for really chatty people unless that is what you would genuinely prefer. 

Or just get yourself in a vehicle alone like we advocate for solo travelers here on this site!

3. Plan out your day

If there was a Theme Park Bible, then the Genesis chapter would have ‘Plan your day’ written over and over again for five pages.

Boarding the blue Skyride at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Blue Gondola.

Having a plan is so important when it comes to theme parks because there is just so much to see.

There are so many rides you need to be on, and oftentimes you have very limited time for this.

Hipster Power Tip: Enter the park early and take the Skyride right to the back of the park where you can ride on all the popular attractions but not wait as long.

4. Don’t wear loose clothing

Ladies, if its a windy day and you are sitting in an enclosed space wearing a flimsy skirt of some sort.

Well, let me tell you, that six minutes ride is going to seem much much longer than it actually is.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay dragon fire grill in pantopia

You should never wear loose items of clothing (like scarves, skirts, scarves that double as a blouse) to a theme park.

Busch Gardens Tampa Travel Planner and Itinerary Guide

This is because you will be moving at very high speeds quite a few feet above the ground. It can uncomfortable and embarrassing real quick.

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5. Read the rules

All rides have certain rules and regulations around them and Skyride is no exception.

While most of the rules are quite generic and common sense, some differ. And that’s where you want to pay attention.

Close up view of skyrail at the Busch Gardens theme park in Tampa Florida
Closed Busch Gardens Monorail where Cheetah Hunt and the SkyRide is currently located. Photo Credit: Florida Memory

For example, the Skyride only allows you onboard if you are 56 inches. Children are only allowed onto the ride if supervised by an adult or with someone 14 years old or older.

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

What to Know Before You Go to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Now that you know a bit more about the SkyRide, let’s go through some of the most common questions.

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

What is the oldest ride at Busch Gardens Tampa?

You guessed it! The oldest ride in Busch Gardens Tampa is the SkyRide which was opened to the public in 1974.

Python Roller Coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Yellow Arrow Development Photo Credit: Florida Memory
Python Roller Coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Overlooking Tiger Area Photo Credit: Florida Memory

However, some people don’t consider it an actual “ride” and prefer to say that the Python, which was built in 1976, was the oldest ride in Busch Gardens.

How long will the SkyRide at Busch Gardens Tampa take?

The SkyRide takes 6 minutes to transport you from the front of the park to the back (or from the Egypt region to the Congo/Stanleyville section).

Skyride at Busch Gardens Tampa
Photo Courtesy of SeaWorld Orlando Parks & Entertainment

At what speed does the SkyRide at Busch Gardens move?

The Skyride is not meant to be a fast thrilling ride and so it is much slower than the other rides around it. The average speed at which the SkyRide moves about 3 miles per hour.

Is Busch Gardens Tampa a zoo?

Yes! In fact, it is one of North America’s largest zoos. Talk about having the full package!

On the Serengeti Safari with Zebras, one of the animals at Busch Gardens

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My Final Thoughts on the SkyRide at Busch Gardens Tampa

And with that, this guide comes to an end. I hope you found this informational especially with the new updates.

If you have any more questions about the SkyRide or Busch Gardens, don’t forget to comment it down below!

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Kumba Roller Coaster
Kumba Roller Coaster

Remember the ideal time to go on this ride is when you have been standing in queues for too long and your feet hurt or if you have been on too many roller coasters and your tummy feels queasy. 

What is the skyride at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay?
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Take my word for it, those six minutes on the SkyRide Busch Gardens Tampa really relax you like nothing else.

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!

UP NEXT: What is the Quick Queue at Busch Gardens? (HOW TO SKIP THE LINES)

(Original Article Date: December 24, 2020/Updated on February 1, 2024)

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