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Old 01-17-2013, 11:13 AM   #1
parkhopping
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Busch Gardens Tampa tips

I found another thread on this topic, but it was from 2005 and I know a lot has changed since then. Anybody have some general info and tips on BG? I have been once before, but it was a couple of years ago and we really only spent 1/2 a day there. I just got a pass and am planning to go on MLK day...I know the holiday will increase the crowds, so I'm looking for some advice. Knowing so much about Disney, going to another theme park without all that knowledge worries me, LOL!

So, where's the best place to start in the mornings? General plan of attack for the coasters/thrill rides? Do crowds typically thin out in the evenings, even with an earlier closing time than most WDW parks? Dining suggestions (cheap/good)? All info is welcome and appreciated
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:37 PM   #2
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We were there in May 2012

My hubbie, daughters (8 and 5 at the time), and I were there in May. We absolutely loved it... in fact, we loved it so much, we went a second day.

If you're into coasters, there are tons of great ones. I'd ride Cheetah Hunt first since it's the newest. It had the longest line, although lines were minimal when we were there. I'd also recommend SheiKra if you like intense coasters.

We just loved seeing the animals. One "can't miss" thing to do is to go to the Tiger Exhibit. There's a "tunnel" you can go thru that pops you up so you're inside a glass booth inside the tiger exhibit. With any luck, they'll be laying close by, and if you've got someone with you, they can take a picture of you up close and personal to the tiger!

We also had to feed the kangaroos since we'd never done that before! We also spent some time in the Animal Care Center where they actually do medical procedures on the animals. We got to watch a turtle having a surgery when we were there.

We didn't do the All Day Dining since we heard it wasn't worth it, and that it limited you to certain places. We adults really enjoyed the Smokehouse (we had the brisket, chicken, and ribs combo).

There were also some good shows - Iceploration being one of them. If you have litle kids, my girls loved Critter Castaways, and they got to meet some of the cast after the show.

Enjoy your day!
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:13 PM   #3
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Busch Gardens is our favorite park for coasters and we always go twice in a trip. Last time I was there was June 2012 and Cheetah Hunt was brand new. We went first thing, when the park opened. The loading process was so abysmally slow I think we could have gone on Montu 3 times by the time we got on Cheetah Hunt, even though the line wasn't even that long. I would not waste more than one go on Cheetah Hunt, its fun but not THAT fun and definitely not better than SheiKra or Montu. So even though it was our first time on Cheetah Hunt we really felt like it wasted a lot of our "get there when the park opens" jump on lines.

We tried the all-day eating thing once and it is way too expensive, you will never eat enough to make it worth it. Most certainly you couldn't eat that much and go on the coasters!

If you love coasters and the biggest ones have huge lines Kumba will have shorter or no lines. It is really fun but at the back of the park and rougher than the other coasters except Gwazi of course.

If the whole park opens at once I would go on Cheetah Hunt once right at park opening and then not waste any more time on it, but that's just me. I could go on SheiKra all day. Last time we went though half the park opened an hour after official opening so SheiKra wasn't even running until 10:00.

I did notice, with where Cheetah Hunt is situated, that people tend to move on to Montu since its closest to Cheetah Hunt. So that means SheiKra is wide open for a while in the morning while people do CH/Montu, assuming they actually opened everything at once.

But that's just me and my coaster loving son, I am sure sure some people go for the animals and can give advice on that.
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:55 PM   #4
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The show schedules tend to drive our path. It's hard to fit them all in without walking back and forth across the park too much.

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Old 01-20-2013, 10:43 PM   #5
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What hotels are close to Busch Gardens? Is I am better off staying in Orlando, Fl. I planning on going back to Sea World. Also has anyone take the bus that pick up at Sea World for Busch Gardens and was it nice and how long did take get there on the bus. I will have a car for the trip that is not a problem.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by crazelion View Post
What hotels are close to Busch Gardens? Is I am better off staying in Orlando, Fl. I planning on going back to Sea World. Also has anyone take the bus that pick up at Sea World for Busch Gardens and was it nice and how long did take get there on the bus. I will have a car for the trip that is not a problem.
We always drive from Orlando and back in the same day. It is maybe an hour and 15 min. I would rather do that anyday then be stuck with a bus schedule but that's just us. I know some people don't mind the free shuttle but everybody has days where they just need to leave a park earlier than expected, or it rains, or somebody gets heat stroke or whatever.

Hotels: I have no idea! Orlando lodging is so inexpensive comparitively, we just use it as our hub for Busch, beaches, and obviously all the Orlando area parks. The area BG is in is called Temple Terrace and not exactly a resort area, more like a college/business/not too exciting area. I really feel that a day is largely wasted if switching lodging is involved, and I have tried to do this on several trips and it always screws up at least an afternoon. I just like to plant my family and stay put til its over, so we drive to BG and the beach.
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ametista View Post
Busch Gardens is our favorite park for coasters and we always go twice in a trip. Last time I was there was June 2012 and Cheetah Hunt was brand new. We went first thing, when the park opened. The loading process was so abysmally slow I think we could have gone on Montu 3 times by the time we got on Cheetah Hunt, even though the line wasn't even that long. I would not waste more than one go on Cheetah Hunt, its fun but not THAT fun and definitely not better than SheiKra or Montu. So even though it was our first time on Cheetah Hunt we really felt like it wasted a lot of our "get there when the park opens" jump on lines.

We tried the all-day eating thing once and it is way too expensive, you will never eat enough to make it worth it. Most certainly you couldn't eat that much and go on the coasters!

If you love coasters and the biggest ones have huge lines Kumba will have shorter or no lines. It is really fun but at the back of the park and rougher than the other coasters except Gwazi of course.

If the whole park opens at once I would go on Cheetah Hunt once right at park opening and then not waste any more time on it, but that's just me. I could go on SheiKra all day. Last time we went though half the park opened an hour after official opening so SheiKra wasn't even running until 10:00.

I did notice, with where Cheetah Hunt is situated, that people tend to move on to Montu since its closest to Cheetah Hunt. So that means SheiKra is wide open for a while in the morning while people do CH/Montu, assuming they actually opened everything at once.

But that's just me and my coaster loving son, I am sure sure some people go for the animals and can give advice on that.
I like Cheetah Hunt better than Shiekra because it seems to last longer and it has more twists and turns. Shiekra is only exciting if you get the front row.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:35 AM   #8
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To be clear, I wasn't suggesting staying near BG for an entire vacation. Only a night, as an alternative to driving back to Orlando if a family wants to spend two days at bg
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Old 06-08-2013, 03:59 PM   #9
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Don't buy a 2 day pass... Right now a one day ticket and a 2013 annual pass is the same price at the gate.
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Old 07-01-2014, 01:36 PM   #10
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Reviving a thread from last summer...

I was hoping to get some updated Busch Gardens info!

Going in late September 2014, planning 2 park days.

Cast of characters: grandparents, 9 yr. old. grand daughter, aunt. So, 3 adults, one kid. I'm the aunt and would rather not get kickedby a 9 yr. old all night, so my own bed would be preferable.

I'm hoping someone can recommend a nice hotel, I'd prefer as close as possible to BG. We don't plan on any beach trips or night-life. A suite or mini-suite situation would be nice. Am I correct that BG has no on-property hotels of their own?

We're considering the meal plan, in spite of some less than great reviews. For the price, it sounds fine, even if some restaurants or menu items are excluded.

Any current suggestions or info would be much appreciated.
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eljay View Post
I was hoping to get some updated Busch Gardens info!

Going in late September 2014, planning 2 park days.

Cast of characters: grandparents, 9 yr. old. grand daughter, aunt. So, 3 adults, one kid. I'm the aunt and would rather not get kickedby a 9 yr. old all night, so my own bed would be preferable.

I'm hoping someone can recommend a nice hotel, I'd prefer as close as possible to BG. We don't plan on any beach trips or night-life. A suite or mini-suite situation would be nice. Am I correct that BG has no on-property hotels of their own?

We're considering the meal plan, in spite of some less than great reviews. For the price, it sounds fine, even if some restaurants or menu items are excluded.

Any current suggestions or info would be much appreciated.
There are no on property hotels. Busch Gardens is in a business district of Tampa near University of South Florida. Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is not far from Busch Gardens. Other than that there are a couple hotels just a block from Busch Gardens. Go towards Fowler (USF), not Busch Blvd (rough area) if you want to stay close to BG.

Here are some choices:
Embassy Suites (Fowler Ave)
Wingate by Wyndham (Fowler Ave)
La Quinta Inn and Suites (Fowler Ave)
Baymont Inn and Suites (Fower Ave)

Again, all of Busch Blvd is a bad area. I have a friend who lives off Busch on 21st St just a few blocks away (in her childhood home with her parents) and it's pretty sketchy.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
http://www.seminolehardrocktampa.com/
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