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Exploring Africa at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
06/19/2012 01:00:34 PM: Operated by SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is one of the most-visited the...
SeaWorld Orlando and the Turtle Trek
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Visit Discovery Cove
06/14/2012 08:25:00 AM: Ever dreamed of vacationing to a tropical beach, swimming with dolphins, and experiencing the rainfo...
06/06/2012 05:09:09 PM: SeaWorld's Aquatica is the next generation of family fun in Orlando, combining the active rides and ...
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06/06/2012 11:19:29 AM: SeaWorld Orlando is one of the largest and most popular theme parks in the world. In 2010, the park ...
Exploring Africa at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Published: 06/19/2012 01:00:34 PM
Operated by SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is one of the most-visited theme parks in the world. A mix of family fun and daring roller coasters, the African themed parked spreads out across 335 acres and is open year-round for tourists.
Humble Beginnings for Busch Gardens
From such humble beginnings in 1959, Busch Gardens was once a free hospitality facility for the Tampa Anheuser-Busch brewery, but expanded into the 19th century African-themed park it is known as today in order to draw more visitors while introducing a plethora of tropical settings, exotic animals, rides and an admission fee.
Python - First Roller Coaster
Busch Gardens introduced its first roller coaster, Python, in 1976. This was also the first inverted roller coaster in the state of Florida and resided in the Congo section of the park until 2006 when it was torn down, along with neighboring vendor shops, during an immense renovation to make room for the current Jungala attraction. Another popular ride from the Congo section, the Congo River Rapids, was introduced in 1982 and takes guests on a drenching journey through its white water rapids and is still in operation today.
The Jungala attraction officially opened in April of 2008 gives families the opportunity to have safe, yet intimate experiences with some of the world’s most exotic creatures. Children can climb to their heart’s content through a rope maze of nets and bridges or choose one of three flight patterns offered by Jungle Flyers to explore Jungala by air. Slightly more daring guests will want to hop aboard Wild Surge, a thrilling ride boasting of unmatchable views that sends riders soaring from a 35-foot crater to above an immense waterfall.
One of the most unique sections to open soon at Busch Gardens will be the Animal Care Center. This facility will provide guests an educational experience into the daily care of the resident animals, including nutrition and surgeries, and will even allow visitors to take part in the experience.
Endangered Species Safari
Another education attraction located within the park is the Endangered Species Safari. Visitors can learn about these amazing animals from a trained wildlife expert and even have some close encounters with a few of its occupants including giraffes and rhinos. The Endangered Species Safari is not included in the general admission and costs an additional .95. Another located inside Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is the Sunset Safari where guests can feed some of the animals by hand and toast the end of their African adventure while staying right in Florida!
Guests will not want to miss Cheetah Hunt, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the amazing speed of the world’s fastest land animal. Be sure to inquire as to when the cheetahs are more likely to be running. Other animal attractions include Bird Gardens which hosts up to 500 exceptional and beautiful tropical and the Moymbe Reserve, a natural habitat for gorillas and chimpanzees.
If just looking for some easy family fun, stop by the Sesame Street Safari of Fun where children can interact with their favorite characters, cool off by a water attraction or hop aboard a number of kid-friendly rides including Soar with Grover, a junior roller coaster perfectly designed to create thrills and laughter for youth.
Although Busch Gardens Tampa Bay once boasted of only two roller coasters, these twisted, breathtaking giants are peppered throughout the theme park at a variety of thrill levels, including Cheetah Run, Sand Serpent, Gwazi, and SheiKra.
Click here for Busch Gardens Website.
By Jeff Collins
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