Busch Gardens Tampa Announces Tigris Opening

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Tigris
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Triple-launch coaster Tigris to officially open Friday, April 19 at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

TAMPA, Fla. 

Just in time for the holiday weekend, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will officially open Tigrisa triple-launch steel roller coaster, on Friday, April 19, 2019.

The new attraction is Florida’s tallest launch coaster and the ninth coaster in the park’s collection, solidifying Busch Gardens Tampa Bay as Florida’s thrill ride leader.

Tigris will catapult riders through an exhilarating array of looping twists with forward and backward motion, breath-taking drops, a 150-foot skyward surge, and an inverted heartline roll, reaching a top speed of more than 60 miles per hour. 

Riders will race riders along more than 1,800 feet of steel track designed to mimic the awe-inspiring agility of the world’s largest and most powerful cat –the tiger.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Tigris
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Tigris joins a top-rated list of favorites for coaster enthusiasts, including Cheetah Hunt, the park’s longest coaster, SheiKra, a 200-foot tall floorless dive coaster, Falcon’s Fury, a 335-foot freestanding drop tower, Montu, an inverted coaster, Kumba, and Cobra’s Curse, to name a few.

The best way to experience Tigris and all of the attractions at Busch Gardens as well as more than a dozen seasonal events throughout the year is with an Annual Pass. 

Guests can choose from four unique passes for the benefits and value they want most. Pass Members will also enjoy exclusive ride time on Tigris for the first two weekends in May before the ride opens for the day to general guests.

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Busch Gardens Fun Card Offer

Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens Provides Unprecedented Value With Free Adventure Island Fun Card Offer 

Guests Can Enjoy All the Thrills of Busch Gardens Tampa AND Water-Soaked Fun of Adventure Island

 

Guests can take advantage of an unprecedented offer and receive an Adventure Island® Fun Card FREE with the purchase of a Busch Gardens® Tampa Fun Card. This new, limited-time offer let’s guests enjoyunlimited thrills at Busch Gardens  and the water-soaked fun of Adventure Island for $92 for adults and $87 for children (ages 3-9) with no blackout dates.

Falcon's Fury image copyright Busch Gardens
Falcon’s Fury image copyright Busch Gardens

“We’re excited to bring this extraordinary offer to the loyal Busch Gardens and Adventure Island fans and guests,” saidBusch Gardens Park President Jim Dean.  “In addition to experiencing the thrilling rides, world-class entertainment and over 12,000 animals that Busch Gardens offers, guests can also cool off at Adventure Island all season long.”

In addition to the unparalleled combination of thrill rides, animal attractions and entertainment, each Fun Card includes admission to the incredible line-up of events at each park, such as the Real Music Concert Series, Bands, Brew & BBQ, Island Nights and Summer Nights.

Adventure Island

Offer is valid through March 31, 2014 and provides unlimited access to Busch Gardens through Dec. 31, 2014 andAdventure Island through Oct. 12, 2014. Guests can take advantage of this unprecedented offer online atbuschgardens.com, by calling (888) 800-5447, at the front gates at Busch Gardens or at select AAA locations.

This is a limited time offer and does not include admission to select special events (including Howl-O-Scream and Christmas Town at Busch Gardens). Offer does not include parking or discounts on food and merchandise. Price is plus tax, per person and is valid for only residents of the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Offer is non-transferable and non-refundable and not valid with other discounts or special offers. Other restrictions may apply. Subject to change without notice.

Be the first to know about new events, special deals and future announcements by following the park’s blog atBuschGardensTampaBlog.com. You can also “like” the Busch Gardens Facebook page, and follow @buschgardens onTwitter and on Pinterest.

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SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Weekday Ticket Offer

Everyone loves weekends, but SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Tampa now have a reason to celebrate the weekdays, too. Guests can explore Antarctica: Empire of the PenguinTM and the wonders of the sea at SeaWorld Orlando, or experience thrilling attractions and amazing land animals at Busch Gardens Tampa with the all-new $50 Weekday Ticket, on sale August 1 through December 20, 2013, for $50 for a single-day admission, Mondays through Fridays.

SeaWorld and Busch Gardens

At SeaWorld Orlando’s new Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, families are transported into an icy world like they’ve never seen before where they can explore the majestic grandeur of the South Pole and see it through the penguins’ eyes on a first-of-its-kind family ride. Then, guests step off and explore a massive penguin colony of nearly 250 feathered friends – gentoo, rockhopper, Adélie and king penguins — in an expanse that envelops them in cool extremes, both above and below the penguins’ icy world.  It’s a must-see, one-of-a-kind experience only at SeaWorld Orlando.

 SeaWorld and Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens Tampa offers an unparalleled mix of animal encounters, captivating shows and thrilling rides.  Dive like a bird of prey aboard the thrilling coaster SheiKra.  Soar like an eagle, roar like a tiger, and discover shared family fun playing with your littlest ones at Sesame Street’s Safari of Fun.  And, nowhere is the spirit of discovery more alive than on Cheetah Hunt, the breathtaking, multilaunch coaster sprinting across the Serengeti.

The $50 Weekday Ticket for SeaWorld and Busch Gardens is available online to U.S. residents at SeaWorldOrlando.com or BuschGardensTampa.com or by calling (888) 800-5447.  The $50 Weekday Ticket is valid for one weekday’s admission to either SeaWorld Orlando or Busch Gardens Tampa and must be used by Friday, December 20, 2013.

For an additional $25, guests may add a day’s visit to Aquatica Orlando with the purchase of the SeaWorld Orlando Weekday ticket, or add a day’s visit to Adventure Island Tampa with the purchase of the Busch Gardens Tampa Weekday Ticket. Guests may only purchase the additional visit to a waterpark with the purchase of the $50 Weekday Ticket.

To learn more about the new $50 Weekday Ticket, and to purchase, visit SeaWorldOrlando.com or BuschGardensTampa.com.

SeaWorld Orlando

About SeaWorld Orlando
Immerse yourself in wonder at SeaWorld® Orlando, where the aquatic world comes alive like no place else. Climb aboard and ride the mighty Manta®. Experience the power and grace of killer whales in the awe-inspiring Shamu® show One Ocean®. Share an epic voyage with sea turtles on the 3D 360 TurtleTrek®. And there’s nothing cooler than to see the world through the eyes of a penguin in the thrilling, chilling adventure of Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin™. An ocean of fun is waiting to be explored right here at SeaWorld Orlando. Jump in and dive deep.

Busch Gardens Tampa logo

About Busch Gardens Tampa
Busch Gardens® Tampa is the ultimate family adventure, offering 297 acres of fascinating attractions based on exotic explorations around the world. A unique blend of thrilling rides, one of the country’s premier zoos with more than 12,000 animals, live shows, restaurants, shops and games, Busch Gardens Tampa provides unrivaled excitement for guests of every age.Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Busch Gardens Celebrates International Tiger Day

Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens Celebrates International Tiger Day

July 27-29, 2013

Weekend-long Event Includes Face Painting, Keeper Talks and Endangered Malayan Tiger Cubs

In recognition of International Tiger Day on July 29, guests are invited to join a weekend-long celebration at Busch Gardens® Tampa.  The festivities take place daily from July 27-29 in the Jungala® area of the park.

With only 3,200 wild tigers in the world, International Tiger Day, also known as Global Tiger Day, is an annual celebration to raise awareness for tiger conservation.  Busch Gardens is celebrating with face painting, tiger keeper talks and feedings.  Also, a portion of the proceeds from the tigress and cubs plush toys sold in the Tiger Lodge gift shop in the Jungala area will be donated to the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund.

Additionally, three of Busch Gardens’ newest additions, endangered Malayan tiger cubs, are scheduled to make an appearance on the Jungala habitat all three days of the celebration.

 Busch Gardens

Keeper Talks

Stop by the Rainforest Research Station to find out what it’s like to be a tiger at Busch Gardens. The animal care team will demonstrate how they work with tigers from feedings to enrichment to playtime.

Malayan Tiger Cubs

In May, Busch Gardens announced the birth of three endangered Malayan tiger cubs to mother Bzui and father Mata.  The three cubs, named Cinta, meaning “love”, Bundar, meaning “round,” and Rukayah, meaning “delicate,” will be on the Jungala habitat throughout the celebration.

Species Survival Program (SSP)

The Malayan tiger births are part of park’s partnership in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP). The mission of the SSP is to cooperatively manage specific, and typically threatened or endangered, species populations within AZA-accredited facilities. There are currently just over 50 Malayan tigers in the Species Survival Plan.Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Wordless Wednesday – Last Ride Of The Day

Wordless Wednesday – June 12, 2013

Wordless Wednesday
This week’s Wordless Wednesday takes for the last ride of the day on the Serengeti Railway at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. The Serengeti Plain at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is full of free-roaming herds of African animals, and it is truly a special place!

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Busch Gardens Summer Nights Return

Summer Nights Bring Nightly Fireworks Back to Busch Gardens Tampa

Busch Gardens Summer Nights

Add Exciting Entertainment and World-Class Coasters in the Dark, and Busch Gardens is THE Place to Be Every Night This Summer!

Busch Gardens’ Summer Nights amps up the excitement year-after-year, and 2013 promises to offer even more after-dark entertainment and fun for the whole family with a new rock-n-roll musical production at the Desert Grill and the return of guests’ favorites, including an energizing acrobatics show featuring Kinetix, and an amazing fireworks finale every night of the event.

Starting this Saturday, June 8 through Aug. 18, guests will experience extended park hours, special entertainment, high-energy DJs, and the thrill of riding world-class coasters in the dark, including Busch Gardens’ triple-launch coaster Cheetah Hunt®.

The award-winning Kinetix show returns to Summer Nights with nightly performances of its rock-fueled blast of music and acrobatics. The show’s energizing performances include live musicians, singers, dancers and artists from around the world. Their thrilling performance, along with modern music and pyrotechnic effects, will pump up the crowd every night in Gwazi Park at 9 p.m.

Gates open at 8 p.m., so arrive early to ensure a good spot and enjoy the Party Starters’ pre-show interactive games and dancing.

NEW! Born to Rock

Feel the beat and get ready to let loose with Busch Gardens Tampa’s Born to Rock! Follow along with Arvin as he unexpectedly finds himself in the middle of a rock-n-roll musical production, filled with mash-ups of contemporary music and high-energy choreography. A live guitarist, belly dancers and a top-notch circus round out this excitingly wonderful whirlwind of color and music.

Fireworks Light Up the Sky Every Night

Celebrate the perfect end to the evening with an amazing fireworks finale. Busch Gardens lights up the sky every night of the event with an incredible aerial display set to popular music. The best views are in Gwazi Park, right after the nightly Kinetix show, but the fireworks are visible from all over the park.

On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the Party Starters will host dance challenges all day throughout the park and pick the most outgoing guests to compete in the Dance-Off competition that evening. The Dance-Off will be a three-round competition starting at 7 p.m. in the Desert Grill. The audience picks the winner with “the best moves” by applause, and first prize is four tickets to come back to Busch Gardens Tampa.

Don’t forget that Busch Gardens is the place to be this summer ­– both day AND night – with brand-new attractions that offer exciting entertainment for everyone. See Busch Gardens’ biggest ice show ever, Iceploration, bringing to life an all-new adventure filled with world-class skaters, original costumes, amazing aerial performances, master puppetry and live animal stars. The park’s Animal Care Center welcomes guests to closely observe and even take part in the animal care experience in this new state-of-the-art facility. And the park’s mega-attraction and Florida’s first triple-launch coaster, Cheetah Hunt®, launches riders from 0 to 60 in a matter of seconds. If going from zero to cheetah is not your speed, guests can watch as Busch Gardens’ cheetahs sprint several times a day in Cheetah Run.

 

Park hours for Summer Nights are extended until 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and until 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Summer Nights is included with daily admission or any annual pass.

For more information on Summer Nights and Busch Gardens, visit buschgardens.com or call
1-888-800-5447.

 

NEW! The hottest ticket this summer is the 3-Park Summer Sizzler.  This new, limited-time offer lets guests enjoy unlimited admission to Busch Gardens Tampa and unlimited weekday (Monday – Friday) admission to Adventure Island™ and Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark™ Orlando, now through Labor Day for only $99.  Florida’s best resident summer value is valid from the date of purchase through Labor Day, Sept. 2, 2013. Valid for Florida residents only (photo ID required); price is $99 plus tax.  Take advantage of the Summer Sizzler online at Buschgardens.com or AdventureIsland.com, by calling (888) 800-5447, or at the front gates at Busch Gardens, Adventure Island™ and Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark™.

 

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Sea World’s Viva La Musica

Viva La Musica
Viva La Musica

Last week I was able to visit Sea World to experience some new attractions and special events for me. Viva La Musica is a Latin music festival that takes place in the spring at both Sea World and Busch Gardens. Last year I went to Busch Gardens and got to try some great food, but missed out on the concerts. I made a point when this year’s schedule came out to make sure that I caught at least one concert between the two parks. I was beyond ecstatic when I discovered my favorite salsa band, El Gran Combo, was going to be playing at Sea World and Busch Gardens for Viva La Musica this year!

I scheduled my entire weekend around attending the El Gran Combo concert at Sea World on May 4th. The weather wasn’t exactly gorgeous when I arrived at the park, so I decided to see if I could do a few rides before grabbing lunch and waiting for the concert to start at 3pm. I really hadn’t done any of the rides at Sea World before and had mostly focused on the animals and shows on my previous visits over the past year and a half. It was far past time, so I made a beeline for Manta hoping the dreary and drizzly weather was scaring off the tourists. To my luck I was able to walk on to Manta, Kraken and Journey to Atlantis all in less than an hour. I had never been in the aquarium at the exit of Journey to Atlantis and loved it!

Jellyfish
Jellyfish

Moray eel
Moray eel

Fish
Fish

Tropical fish
Tropical fish

Like most special events at Sea World, Viva La Musica is focused around the Bayside Pathway between the entrance and Bayside Stadium, where the concerts are. Vendors setup booths with Latin American and Hispanic artwork and merchandise. Then there is my favorite part: the food and drinks! I love the variety of options for food that are different than the normal park food. I opted for a fantastic grilled skirt steak with chimichurri sauce and sweet plaintains along with a tamarind flavored shaved ice treat for dessert. The food was great and I loved sitting and listening to the warmup salsa band on the secondary stage and watching all the guests getting out on the dancefloor. You even had the opportunity to get your picture taken with Shamu and his friends in their Salsa outfits!

Skirt steak with chimichurri and sweet plantains
Skirt steak with chimichurri and sweet plantains

Shamu
Shamu

Me
Me

Salsa dancers
Salsa dancers

Grandma dancing
Grandma dancing

Miami Dolphin Cheerleaders
Miami Dolphin Cheerleaders

El Gran Combo
El Gran Combo

Since I know from experience the concerts at Sea World special events like Viva La Musica fill up early, I went directly to Bayside Stadium to get a seat as soon as I finished lunch. I got there about an hour and a half early, which is way earlier than I would usually, but when I noticed the steady flow of guests heading that way, I was glad I did. I have never seen the stadium as full as this for any events before. It was amazing! El Gran Combo took the stage after a warm up act by the Miami Dolphin Cheerleaders. The concert was one of the best I’ve been to in a theme park and it was fantastic performance by my favorite salsa band. I’ve never seen as many guests up and dancing in the aisles at any of the dozens of concerts I’ve been to in my life.

Bayside Stadium panorama
Bayside Stadium panorama

Dolphin Cheerleaders
Dolphin Cheerleaders

El Gran Combo at Viva La Musica
El Gran Combo at Viva La Musica

Fountains salsa dancing to the music
Fountains salsa dancing to the music

Couples dancing
Couples dancing

On the way out of the park I had to swing by the Dolphin Nursery, which is one of my absolute must dos each trip to Sea World. I had a great afternoon experiencing Viva La Musica. This special event is over for the season, but when next spring rolls around, make sure you don’t miss Viva La Musica, which takes place at Sea World and Busch Gardens! Have you been to Viva La Musica before? Which bands have you seen?

Dolphin Nursery
Dolphin Nursery
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Spring into Adventures

Spring is in the air. Hopefully the pollen and my allergies will clear up soon and it is heating up and starting to feel like summer here in Florida. I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some of the things I’m most looking forward to over the next couple of months instead of doing that spring cleaning that I probably should be doing. Now that I’ve found out my schedule for the rest of the spring and beginning of summer, I thought I’d start planning some weekend adventures. The parks across the area have some fantastic special events this time of year, and before the kids are out of school it is a great time to get away while the crowds are lower.

Spring in bloom at Epcot's International Flower & Garden Festival
Spring in bloom at Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival

At Epcot we are already more than halfway through the International Flower & Garden Festival. I love this event each year and have been attending since 1998! I dearly miss Davy Jones of the Monkees, as his was always my go to concert for the Flower Power Concert Series. The thing I think I am most excited about (aside from the newly added food and beverage kiosks) is that my favorite HGTV celebrity, David Bromstad, is going to be hosting presentations May 17 – 19 and I’m now off that weekend!

Star Wars Weekends
Star Wars Weekends

Another of my favorite things that I will get to do for the third year in a row is Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This fabulous event has quickly become a must do for me! I still have so many things I haven’t done yet that are on my to do list. I need to get up early enough and get to the park to see the Stormtroopers on top of the entrance to the park above the turnstiles. Also, I really want to get my picture taken with as many of the characters as possible and go to some of the presentations and shows. And then, of course, there is Hyperspace Hoopla, my favorite of all! My apologies to anyone who now has that song stuck in their head (Hoooooooopla, Hyperspace Hoopla…).

Viva la Música
Viva la Música

Busch Gardens and Sea World are playing host to an awesome special event that I got to experience last year for the first time: Viva la Mύsica! This great offering is one that features Latin American food, merchandise, cuture, and of course, music. I got to go just for an hour or so to Busch Gardens after work last year and got to try to some amazing food, but was too late for the concert. This year I was hoping to catch at least one weekend at Busch Gardens and Sea World each. I was so excited when I found out that my favorite salsa band, El Gran Combo, was going to be playing at both parks. I know where I’ll be that weekend!

One of the greatest things about these three events is that they are all included in park admission. Food and beverages of course are extra, but the entertainment and most of the presentations are free of charge with your ticket. These add tremendous value to your vacation or even just a day in the park for us locals.

Water parks are definitely on my list for the next few months. I’ve lived in Florida for almost 20 years and I’ve only been to Typhoon Lagoon for a couple hours and did the lazy river and snorkled with the sharks before the park closed due to weather. This needs to be rectified. I’ve visited Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach for functions, but haven’t done a single water slide. This is a travesty! I also would love to check out some of the other area water parks like Sea World’s Aquatica and Adventure Island in Tampa.

Now we all know that sometimes with the spring come those showers that we need for those pretty flowers. What to do when it isn’t exactly park weather? Why not catch a film? Two movies I am ridiculously excited to see this spring are Marvel’s Iron Man 3 and Disney/Pixar’s Monsters University (visit this site if you haven’t already – it is hilarious!). I am a huge Avengers fan and loved the first Iron Man movie, enjoyed the second one, and adored the Avengers, so I cannot wait to see what they have in store for Tony Stark in this next installment. Monsters Inc was a great, feel good family flick and I think that this will be very entertaining to see some of Mike and Sulley’s adventures before they were best buds.

What are you looking forward to this spring? Did I miss any of your favorite spring special events? Have you been to any of these before? What are some of your favorite things to do in spring when the weather doesn’t cooperate? Hit us up and let us know.Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Welcomes Baby Aardvark

Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens has welcomed its newest resident: an adorable aardvark born Tuesday, Feb. 6. The healthy baby is expected to grow to more than 120 lbs. within its first year of life.
 
Aardvarks are solitary by nature, and aardvark births are not common. The animal care team is very proud to announce this birth as the third baby born to parents “Izzy” and “Friz.” The baby’s sister “Adazee” was born on March 26 last year and its older brother “Zawadi” will be two years old on April 10.
The baby, whose sex is unknown at this time, is receiving primary care from its mother and additional care from members of the Busch Gardens animal care team.
Busch Gardens  
Stay tuned to Busch Gardens’ Facebook and Blog to learn more about the more than 12,000 animals that call Busch Gardens Tampa home.

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SeaWorld Parks Launches New Mobile Websites for SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Parks

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Launches New Mobile Websites and Ticketing for SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Parks

SeaWorld Parks

 
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment launched new mobile websites for the three SeaWorld and two Busch Gardens parks last week, providing guests and fans with a convenient and easy way to plan their vacations and purchase and redeem tickets directly from their mobile devices. 
 
SeaWorld and Busch Gardens are some of the first in the theme park industry to effectively use mobile sites with geo-location capabilities. When a guest is near one of the SeaWorld or Busch Gardens parks and connects to the website, the guest’s phone will immediately default to driving directions. However, if the guest is actually in the park, the site will automatically default to a park map so they can find their next adventure without missing a beat.  Receiving the most relevant content, products, offers and promotions based on their location to the parks are just some of the many intuitive features mobile users can now experience.
 
“These mobile sites have been in development for several months and we are excited about the incredibly positive response we’ve already seen from guests,” said Anne Fischer, Director of Interactive Marketing for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. “With ever-increasing mobile traffic to our parks, guests can expect more exciting mobile websites, products, apps and systems designed to make their lives more convenient in the near future.”
 
The sites provide guests with a simplified mobile purchase experience with images, text and easy steps for the entire process. Once the purchase process is complete, guests will receive their digital admission ticket directly on their phone, allowing them to proceed directly to the front gate for entry to the park.
SeaWorld Parks
 
Unlike other theme park mobile sites, guests can not only purchase single day tickets, but also multi-park and season passes, allowing guests to save money and time. Based on the tickets purchased, the sites will suggest additional experiences and adventures, including behind-the-scenes tours, up-close animal interactions or dining options to make their visit to the park even more memorable.
 
The new sites were designed to work with some of the most popular cell phone operating systems, including Apple, Android and Windows.

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Safari Of Fun Tea Party At Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Join Abby Cadabby and Zoe for a

Safari of Fun Tea Party at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Safari of Fun Tea Party - Abby

 

If Your little one is a fan of Sesame Street, you are going to want to head over to enjoy a special Safari of Fun Tea Party featuring Abby Cadabby and Zoe from Sesame Street® at Sesame Street® Safari of FunTM at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay on Sunday, January 13 from 12:30 pm – 1:00 pm.

During this Safari of Fun Tea Party with Abby Cadabby and Zoe at Sesame Street® Safari of Fun, everyone will snack on mini assorted sandwiches, veggies with cream cheese and soy butter, fresh fruit, chicken tenders, mac and cheese, mini cupcakes and cookies. And there are several beverages to choose from including fruit flavored teas as well as milk, juice and hot cocoa.
Safari of Fun Tea Party - Zoe
Lunch is $22 for adults and $15 for children. Pass members receive a 10 percent discount. Also, you will receive One 6×8 photo, which is included, per family. Admission to the park is not included, but is required.
The Sesame Street® Safari of FunTM area at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is a really great place for younger members of your family to experience small thrills and big fun at just the right size!
Safari of Fun Tea Party - Show

Come join everyone’s favorite Sesame Street® friends on a family-friendly Safari adventure where the rhythms of Africa are sprinkled with giggles. It’s Busch Gardens’® newest land filled with kid-size rides, cool water fun, and plenty of memorable adventures.

 

Fly through the desert with Grover. Climb in Elmo’s Tree House. Splash in Bert and Ernie’s watering hole. You can even dine with your child’s furry friends.

 

It’s Sesame Street Safari of Fun, where imaginations run wild and there’s fun for everyone.

To make reservations for this Safari of Fun Tea Party, simply Visit SesameStreetSafariofFun.com or call 1-888-800-5447.

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Pumpkins in July? Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Is Growing “The Dark Side Of The Gardens” for Halloween

 

When It Comes to Creating “The Dark Side Of The Gardens” for Halloween,
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s Horticulture Team has to Start Early


TAMPA, Fla. (July  2012) 
– As Busch Gardens began preparations earlier this year to transform the park into “The Dark Side of the Gardens” for its 13th annual Howl-O-Scream event this fall, the horticulture team realized that they faced a challenge: It’s hard to find heirloom pumpkins and winter squash in Tampa in October.

Their solution? To research seeds and plant their own heirloom pumpkin patch. Heirloom pumpkins are the antique varieties of fruits and vegetables not normally found in mainstream produce markets. Heirlooms often feature unusual shapes, unexpected colors, plus a very flavorful flesh. Busch Gardens’ crop of pumpkins is destined not for pies, however, but for the delight of park guests who will be ready for the cooler temperatures and Halloween fun that pumpkin season signals.

Pumpkins growing on a tree at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay!

“Last year was our first try at pumpkin farming which ended in miserable results due to heavy rains,” said Busch Gardens’ Director of Horticulture, Joe Parr. “This year, we started in February with raised beds of rich compost made right here at the park with zoo and landscaping debris, and are watering with a water-conserving drip irrigation system.”

It must be working: The pumpkin experiment has yielded more than 60 fruits so far, much to the excitement of the proud gardeners who coaxed the vines from seeds by hand-pollinating the flowers with cotton swabs… and who are now sharing their office with piles of pumpkins.

Some examples of the different varieties of pumpkins they have grown at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

Pumpkins are all American members of the squash family and have been cultivated for more than 5,000 years. When Columbus discovered America, he found the native people growing a variety of pumpkin which would come to be named Seminole. Busch Gardens’ pumpkin patch features the Seminole, as well as La Estrellas, a tropical pumpkin hybrid from the University of Florida. Both thrive in Florida’s heat and humidity. Parr’s team is also growing Rouge Vif d’Etampes (also known as the “Cinderella pumpkin”,) tiny Jack-Be-Littles,  warty, dark-green Marina di Chioggias, the 50- to 60-pound“Big Max,” and even a “Pumpkin Tree,” which is actually a rare orange eggplant with tiny, ribbed fruits.

The challenge now will be to keep the ripe fruits looking their best until September when autumn harvest displays appear in the park for both day guests and Howl-O-Scream visitors to enjoy. If properly stored, pumpkins can last up to a year in Florida.

A member of the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay horticulture team with one of their many pumpkins!

“As the summer temperatures soar,” says Parr, “it’s nice to think that October’s chill and pumpkins are coming soon.”Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Busch Gardens photo tour 4/7/12

Every once in a while it is nice to sit back and just let the pictures speak for themselves. I can attest there are times when I am a bit longwinded and tend to get distracted (ooh squirrel). I’m going to try to introduce photo tours into my blog posts much like I did for my previous post on Disney’s Pop Century Resort. For those who don’t know, I work in Tampa and live south of there by a good 45 minutes. As often as I can, I try to take the opportunity to visit Busch Gardens since it is less than fifteen minutes from my office. This past weekend was gorgeous, so I decided to head over to the park on Saturday after I got out of work.

Since it was a kind of warm afternoon I noticed quite a few of the animals napping, which was not something I had seen on my previous few visits. I also couldn’t help myself in noticing several of the animals were mooning me while I tried to take their pictures. 😉

On this day I experienced two new attractions: Tut’s Tomb and Iceploration. The former is a recreation of King Tut’s Tomb that was discovered in Egypt in the early 1900s. This was a really neat area to explore that I had never even noticed before. I was very grateful that it wasn’t a very confined space, which I was a little worried about since I am claustrophobic. Iceploration is a relatively new show that takes place in the Moroccan Palace Theatre. The premise is that a young boy who doesn’t like to play outside and is very much into electronics is forced to travel around the globe with his grandfather exploring areas such as an African savanna, the Great Barrier Reef, the Arctic and a Rainforest. It is a unique presentation with performers dressed as different animals ice skating throughout the different scenes. There are also live animals (warning: birds fly into the audience!!!) that come on stage in the different scenes from birds to cats and dogs. You can even meet one of the huskies after the show and have a picture taken with it. It was an enjoyable show with a variety of entertainment styles from dance to ice skating, animal entertainment, all while telling the story of exploration across the globe. For you Disney folks think of it as Festival of the Lion Kings combined with Finding Nemo the Musical and the old Tarzan Rocks show at the Animal Kingdom (minus the recognizable songs and characters). They even have their own version of the tumble monkeys!

So I present to you some pictures I took at Busch Gardens this past weekend and invite you to join along for this photo tour. Enjoy!

 

 

All in all I spent a few hours in the park and was able to enjoy a few new things along with some of my favorites. I can always go to the park and just enjoy myself by walking around and watching the animals. It was especially nice to see the baby joeys and to see the cheetahs as close as I did. There seemed to be even more beautiful flowers than on my last few visits. Spring is in bloom. Have you been to Busch Gardens recently? What are some of your favorites? Is there anything you’d like to see on another photo tour? If so, please leave us a note in the comments or feel free to email me at Betsy@onthegoinmco.com.

If you enjoyed these pictures, check out my previous blog post here on the animals of the Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram