Take a journey to the great plains and deep jungles of Africa when you spend a day (or three) at Busch Gardens® Tampa.
Ideal for any animal lover or intrepid adventurer, Busch Gardens® Tampa features over 300 acres of animal habitats, water rides, scream-inducing roller coasters, and safari-themed dining and shopping.
This world-class theme park is a must-visit destination for thrill-seekers and zoophilists, young and old. Smaller explorers will love discovering the Sesame Street® Safari of fun, while adrenaline junkies will flip over the exceedingly steep SheiKra® coaster.
Ready to answer the call of the jungle? Our Insider’s Guide to Busch Gardens® Tampa will teach you everything you need to know about this nature-filled theme park.
Tampa is a city on the rise with beautiful beaches, fascinating history, and a vibrant downtown arts scene. But, if you’ve yet to visit Champa-bay (as locals lovingly refer to it), you are missing out.
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Delight your travel companions by taking in even more adventure and wildlife when you stop to experience nearby attractions such as:
Make the most of your Busch Gardens® Tampa trip and bundle your tickets with a Busch Gardens® Tampa Vacation Package.
Whether you strive to stay close to the park and hit the Cheetah’s Hunt® first thing or take your time uncovering the hidden gems downtown, we have a medley of different options for Tampa Hotels.
Pro Tip: Did you know that Orlando is only an hour and a half drive from Tampa?
If you are dying to combine your Busch Gardens® Tampa experience with some of the more popular Orlando theme parks, you can choose from several Orlando Hotels & Resorts and make the commute.
About the Park
Busch Gardens® Tampa was created by the Anheuser-Busch company in 1959 as a free animal attraction to be featured alongside their brewery. Today, it is a Florida landmark attraction that leads the way in extreme thrill rides.
Another highlight of this African-themed park is its impressive wealth of biodiversity! Over 12,000 animals and 250 species call Busch Gardens® Tampa home. In fact, Busch Gardens is one of the largest zoos in North America.
Travel your way through the dark continent as you traverse the ten distinct regions of the park:
- Birds Garden
- Cheetah Hunt Area
- Sesame Street Safari of Fun
When to Go
As one of Florida’s most popular attractions for locals and visitors alike, it can be hard to find a day where Busch Gardens® Tampa isn’t busy.
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Your best bet for light crowds and lower wait times is to avoid weekends, holidays, and the summer.
Additionally, we always suggest arriving at least 30-45 minutes before the park opens to maximize your park time and get a head start on any lengthy ride wait times.
Pro Tip: Insider experts swear that the best days to visit Busch Gardens® Tampa are Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Before diving into your day of animal interactions and spellbinding live Broadway-style shows, you’ll need to pre-purchase your tickets.
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Believe you and your animal-loving crew will be back again soon?
For those who just can’t get enough Busch Gardens Tampa fun, the Fun Card or Annual Pass are great options:
- Fun Card - Buy a Fun Card for next year and receive unlimited admissions now through December 31, 2022
- Annual Pass - Upgrade your single-day ticket to an Annual Pass hassle-free on the day of your visit
Screaming your lungs out on a classic steel roller coaster- timeless! Fumbling around with a paper map, not so much.
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Thankfully, Busch Gardens® Tampa has gotten with the times and has an incredible app that makes navigating the park from your phone a breeze.
Download the official Busch Gardens Mobile App before your visit to:
- Discover park amenities - including animal experiences
- View upcoming showtimes
- Locate the nearest bathroom
- Manage all your in-park purchases and barcodes
- Navigate using an interactive and easy to use map
- Contactless purchase park upgrades like Quick Queue or All Day Dining
- And more!
If the theme park gods are not smiling in your favor and facing heavy crowds and long wait times, it can be a good idea to invest in a Quick Queue Pass.
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There are three different Quick Queue Pass options up for grabs depending on your specific park goals and desires:
- Quick Queue - This allows you to skip the lines 1x per ride at selected rides & roller coasters
- Unlimited - This allows you unlimited skips per ride at selected rides & roller coasters
- Junior - This will enable you to skip the lines 1x per ride at selected kid-friendly rides & roller coasters
Park Add Ons
Want a unique Busch Gardens® Tampa experience? Tailor your trip to your specific tastes with incredible park add ons.
Serengeti Safari® Tour
Budding biologists will flip for the opportunity to get up close and personal with their favorite wild animals on the Serengeti Safari® Tour. This 30-minute off-road safari escapade will transport you to the wild African plains and leave you with unforgettable memories of hand-feeding giraffes.
The Keeper for a Day Tour
Care to step into a Zookeeper’s shoes for a day? The Keeper for a Day Tour will give you an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at how the Busch Gardens Tampa team cares for their bevy of endangered and exotic creatures.
All Day Dining Deal
More about the simple pleasures of a good meal and an iced cold beverage? The evergreen All Day Dining Deal is one of Busch Gardens® Tampa’s most popular add ons.
This delicious deal is perfect for those who dream about eating their way through the park and allows for: one entrée platter, one side or dessert, and one soft drink or bottled water once per hour at selected dining establishments.
Consistently ranked as one of the top amusement parks in the U.S., there honestly isn’t much to miss at Busch Gardens® Tampa. From animal interactions to electrifying live performances at the Moroccan Palace Theater, it’s next to impossible to pick our favorite attractions.
However, for those shorter visits where time is an issue we can never skip:
- Cheetah Hunt® (ride)
- Montu® (ride)
- Congo River Rapids® (water ride)
- Skyride (aerial tram)
- Kumba® (ride)
- Serengeti Express (train ride)
- Walkabout Way - say hello to your favorite furry friends from down under
- Serengeti Plain® - observe the majestic animals of the African plains
- A live ice skating show at the Moroccan Theater (show)
- Scorpion® (ride)
- Sheikra® (ride)
- Phoenix® (ride)
Variety is the spice of life, and Busch Gardens® Tampa loves to keep its guests guessing (and coming back for more) with their continuous park additions and innovations.
The latest and greatest roller coaster coming to Busch Gardens® Tampa, Iron Gwazi, is scheduled to open in March of 2022 and promises to deliver some serious speed and height.
Hold on for your life as this wood and steel hybrid coaster will reach speeds of up to 76 mph and dizzying heights of more than 200 ft!
Food & Drink
Although you can bring your own refillable water into the park, Busch Gardens® Tampa prohibits entering with outside food or snacks.
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Never fear, the park is packed with tasty options, from lighter than air funnel cakes to mouth-watering southern BBQ.
Our Busch Gardens® Tampa culinary highlights are as follows:
- Delicious pizza with a stunning view - Oasis Pizza
- Best brisket sampler - Zambia Smokehouse
- Ice-cold craft beer - Giraffe Bar (new)
Florida weather can be fickle, but that’s no excuse to show up unprepared for a day of Busch Gardens® Tampa fun!
Ready yourself for a day of rides, discovery, and yes, lots of walking, with our list of essential theme park items:
- Portable phone charger
- Water bottle
- Hand sanitizer
- Comfortable shoes
- Poncho, raincoat, or jacket (weather dependent)
- Stroller (if required)
With stunning natural scenery, exotic animals from Oz, and high octane coasters that will leave you begging for mercy, there isn’t much that Busch Gardens® Tampa doesn't cover.
Little ones will go gaga for letting loose with Bert and Ernie, while adults can enjoy a cocktail or two while gazing out at the majestic Serengeti.
Busch Gardens® Tampa serves up a winning combination of a dynamic theme park, an African safari, and an educational zoo adventure.
Are you ready to go where the ‘fun comes naturally’? Start planning your ultimate Busch Gardens Tampa vacation now!