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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Week In Review And News – January 3, 2014

With the start of a new year and with so much going on after the holidays, I thought it would be a great time to restart our Week in Review and play a little catch up on this week’s highlights and news from the Orlando and Central Florida Attractions and Venues!

Week in Review – December 30, 2013 to January 3, 2014

Walt Disney World Resort

The Disney Parks Blog announced a new contest where you can win a 5-day/4-night vacation for four to either the Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort.

We’ve just launched disney.com/resolutions where Disney celebrities are sharing how they plan to resolve to spend more time with family in 2014. A new video will be uploaded everyday in January.

 

On disney.com/resolutions, we are also awarding a vacation-a-day from December 31, 2013 through January 31, 2014! So enter every day for your chance to win because this is the year to spend more quality time with the people you love most. Good luck!

 

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Open only to individuals, who are, as of Entry, legal residents of, and physically located within, the 50 U.S., D.C., Puerto Rico or Canada (excluding Quebec) and who are not Minors. Sweepstakes starts 12:01 AM (EST) on 12/31/13 and ends 11:59:59 PM (EST) on 1/31/14. Click here for Official Rules.

runDisney

With Walt Disney World Marathon weekend right around the corner, runDisney was everywhere when they released details about the Limited Edition runDisney 2014 New Balance shoes!

httpv://youtu.be/C8YXAZu9kCE

You can find out more about these shoes here.

Universal Orlando Resort

Harry Potter Diagon Alley Week in Review

With construction on Diagon Alley ramping up, A Celebration of Harry Potter drawing close, Cabana Bay opening reservations being taken, and CityWalk undergoing a HUGE transformation, the Universal Orlando Resort is buzzing with energy!

Diagon Alley Construction on December 29, 2013. Week in Review
Diagon Alley Construction on December 29, 2013.

Antojitos Update Week in Review

I don’t know about you, but I am so excited for everything that is coming to the Universal Orlando Resort!!!

SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld Orlando

January is Passholder appreciation month at SeaWorld Orlando, and they are offering some great deals!

Bring a friend for FREE! SeaWorld® Orlando Pass Members receive a friend for free ticket*. Online registration is required. Valid for one single-day admission by January 31, 2014. Register Now.

Double Your Discount**

  • Save 20% on dining in all of our cafeteria-style restaurants
  • Save 20% on merchandise in our gift shops

*Pass Member must be present for guest to gain admittance. Free ticket offer valid for active SeaWorld Orlando 1-Year, 2-Year and FL Platinum Pass Members. Not valid for Fun Cards, Teacher’s Study Passes or Friends & Family Passes. Free ticket is non-transferable, not for resale and may be revoked for misuse.

**Offer only valid between Jan. 1-31, 2014. Must present active SeaWorld Orlando 1-Year, 2-Year, or FL Platinum Pass to receive savings. Not valid with any other discounts or offers. Not valid on All-Day Dining offers. Merchandise offer valid for in-park purchases only.

Amway Center

The Circus is coming to town!

Ringling

Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus LEGENDS is coming to the Amway Center January 9-12, but Monday the circus train rolls into Orlando.  Fantastic photo opportunities will be available as the Ringling Bros. pachyderm performers parade to the Amway Center. 

The Ringling Bros. animal performers will unload at 8:00 p.m. and walk beginning at 8:30 p.m. Animals will unload at railroad tracks near 1035 W. Amelia,  then travel east on Amelia, south on North Hughey Ave., then west on West South St. and enter the GEICO Garage behind Amway Center. (Note: route and time are subject to change without notice.)

Tickets are still available and start at $16. Ticketmaster service charges and facility fees not included.  All seats are reserved. Tickets are available atwww.ringling.com or www.ticketmaster.com, at any Ticketmaster outlet, by calling 800-745-3000, or at the Amway Center box office (phone:407-440-7900).  For group ticket sales and information, call 866-248-8740.

LEGOLAND Florida

If your house is anything like mine, you have watched the trailer for ‘The LEGO Movie’ four times daily and I was excited to see that they are going to be having a weekend of activities in February!

httpv://youtu.be/fZ_JOBCLF-I

LEGOclubweekend [3]

February 8 & 9, 2014 Enjoy fun for all with activities to celebrate “The LEGO Movie”, the first-ever, full-length theatrical LEGO adventure featuring an all-star cast and set to open in theaters February 7. Guests will enjoy a special movie-themed building activity, movie-themed scavenger hunt in Miniland USA and meet and greet sessions with costume characters Emmet and Wyldstyle, who play leading roles in this epic movie.

Busch Gardens Tampa

BG Bring a friend for free Week in Review

January is also Passholder appreciation month at Busch Gardens Tampa!

Double the Fun – Bring a Friend for FREE

During January, Pass Members can bring a friend for free! Online registration required. Limit one free ticket per active Pass Member. Offer valid between January 1-31, 2014. Other Restrictions Apply. Log in now to register your friend’s ticket and learn more about this limited time offer.

Triple the Savings – 30% off merchandise, food, and beverages

All month long, Pass Members get 30% off merchandise, food and beverages when you visit the park! Offer valid between January 1-31, 2014. Other Restrictions Apply.

Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex

A Falcon 9 rocket is targeted to lift-off during a dramatic SpaceX launch scheduled for January 3, launch time is subject to change but the launch window of 5:05 p.m. to 7:17 p.m. EST. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex guests may view the launch from the Apollo/Saturn V Center, the closest possible public viewing area, or special areas at the Visitor Complex.

Launch viewing from the Apollo/Saturn V Center, located in Kennedy Space Center, includes live mission control commentary and is available for Visitor Complex guests for $20 plus the cost of admission. Admission to the Visitor Complex is $50 plus tax for adults and $40 plus tax for children 3-11. Bus boarding for the Apollo/Saturn V Center begins at 3:15 p.m.

Launch viewing, featuring live mission control commentary, also is available from Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and is included in regular admission.

Week in Review- Posts from On the Go in MCO

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Staycation

New Year’s Eve at the Walt Disney World Resort

Wordless Wednesday – Happy New Year

Merchandise Spotlight – Walt Disney World Resort

Thanks for joining us for this Week in Review, and if this is indication of how jam packed 2014 is going to be I am really excited!Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Returns

Christmas Town

CELEBRATE A FAMILY TRADITION WITH CHRISTMAS TOWN, ONLY AT BUSCH GARDENS

 

More Snow, More Event Nights and More Than a Million Lights Create the Bay Area’s Biggest Christmas Celebration Ever


Tampa, Fla. (Nov. 13, 2013) – `Tis the season for family traditions! Last year, Busch Gardens® Tampa launched the biggest Christmas celebration ever, and this year, Christmas Town has even more jolly times in store! This year, Christmas Town has more snow, even more event nights and more than a million twinkling lights! Christmas Town transforms the park into a nighttime holiday wonderland of wintery surprises and all things Christmas, filling guests’ senses with seasonal sights, sounds and flavors, and continuing a beautiful tradition for Tampa’s families. What’s even better than that? A portion of the proceeds from Christmas Town will benefit All Children’s Hospital here in the Bay area.

image004

This year’s event has added even more nights to experience all-new evening attractions, shows and shopping. Christmas Town is open 18 select nights from 6 to 11 p.m., Nov. 29 through Dec. 23.

NEW THIS YEAR! Enjoy unlimited admission to all 18 nights of Christmas Town with the Christmas Town Unlimited ticket for just $89 plus tax for adults and $29 plus tax for children.

NEW THIS YEAR! This year’s event also introduces Discovery Dollars, a new cashless wristband that can be preloaded with cash or linked to a credit card. Dollars can be used at merchandise and dining locations around Christmas Town to make your family’s night even merrier!  Guests who set up accounts with cash can visit Guest Relations upon their exit to have unspent money returned. Unclaimed monies will be donated to SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund.

And while Christmas Town brings exclusive Yuletide experiences, guests will also have the opportunity to ride some of Busch Gardens’ most popular roller coasters, including Cheetah Hunt, SheiKra and Gwazi.  The special event includes attractions exclusive to the nighttime experience:

This year, SnowWorld® Presented by Coca-Cola® brings real snow back to Florida! This guest favorite is bigger than ever for even more snow-filled fun! Slide down eight new slides, make a snowman, play in the soft white snow or pack the perfect snow balls to test your aim in the target practice area.

All aboard the Christmas Town Express for the biggest Christmas carol sing-a-long on wheels. Friends and family are invited join in singing traditional songs of the season like “Jingle Bells,” “Frosty the Snowman” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” while circling the Serengeti on a beautifully lit vintage-style steam locomotive.

 

The Claus family invites you into their North Pole home at Welcome to Santa’s House. While the elves are busy preparing for Christmas, Mrs. Claus is in the kitchen baking holiday treats, but even Santa himself will take a break from his busy holiday schedule to meet and take photos with families in his private study.

Straight from the South Pole, the Christmas Town penguins have brought a bit of ice and snow all the way to Florida! Come chill with these dapper little creatures and marvel at their underwater antics at the newly expanded Penguin Point, complete with a giant penguin photo opportunity in the Nairobi area.

Even Busch Gardens’ most familiar fans will barely recognize the portions of the park that convert to Christmas Town through special entertainment, live music, festive treats, holiday shopping and more than one million twinkling Christmas lights:

NEW! Enjoy a trip back in time to celebrate Christmas in the good ‘ole days in Holiday Hills. In this nostalgic town, a live brass band sets the mood for seasonal fun with everyone’s favorite Christmas tunes while Mrs. Claus cooks up delicious holiday fare for the whole family at Mrs. Claus’s Family Feast.

NEW! Journey into Jungala to see a nature-inspired Christmas, including a new tree light show in Christmas Time Terrace. A larger-than-life Christmas tree comes alive every fifteen minutes with spectacular dancing lights. The breathtaking light show on this 40-foot tree is the perfect place for this year’s family photo.

NEW! Sneak a kiss with your sweetheart in the beautiful garden walkway of Mistletoe Memories. Here, romantic topiaries, flowers and sparkling white twinkle lights fill the trees overhead and set the scene for sweet moments with loved ones and beautiful photos worth cherishing.

Celebration Village brings together the rich, warm colors of Christmas and heartfelt voices lifted in song to welcome guests as they enter Christmas Town. Draped in jewel-tone ornaments and glowing lights, the Moroccan Village comes alive with local choirs in the Marrakesh Theater and shops full of holiday gifts.

Family and friends will cozy up to brave the chill in the air along Ice Wonder Way. The frozen pathway sparkles and shimmers in the night as brilliant white garland wraps the front of the Moroccan Palace, welcoming guests for special performances of Angels of Peace: A Christmas Journey on Ice.

Wild colors, exotic decorations and intricate animal patterns create the kind of Christmas found only in nature! Stretching along the Cheetah Hunt walkway, Jungle Jubilee welcomes guests to Florida’s only triple-launch coaster and the iconic Crown Colony restaurant, featuring special holiday fare and the Carol of the Bells light show.

Experience the humble magnificence of that first Christmas night and remember the real “reason for the season” along Miracle WayGuests will marvel at a topiary representation of the Holy Nativity and illuminated angels, set along the Stanleyville Bridge in the warm glow of Christmas lights and sacred holiday music.

Christmas has come to Sesame Street! Meet Elmo, Bert, Ernie, Big Bird, Zoe and Abby for photos and plenty of hugs for a funny, furry Christmas in Sesame Street A Very Furry Christmas at Busch Gardens. Stick around to see the characters in the all-new, heartwarming show Elmo’s Christmas Wish.

When it’s warm in December and there’s more sand than snow, celebrate a Floridian Christmas with a touch of the tropics in the Enchanted Flamingo Valley. Guests will be “thinking pink” as they encounter decorated palm trees and a flock of festive flamingos created from thousands of twinkling pink lights.

Christmas is in full bloom along Poinsettia Parkway, where guests can lose themselves among hundreds of traditional holiday flowers that set the scene for breathtaking pictures.  Make a family memory in front of an enormous tree made entirely of beautiful red poinsettias.

On your way to seasonal shops, delicious treats or to play in the snow, stop by Jingle Bell Junction and step into a larger-than-life-sized greeting card for fun family memories beneath a thousand dazzling Christmas lights, located at the crossroads of Christmas Town in Gwazi® Plaza.

Explore Christmas Town Village’s quaint holiday cabins while shopping for the perfect gift and indulge in a delicious seasonal treat like hot chocolate, waffles with ice cream, warm-baked cookies and rustic sandwiches along the Gwazi® Park walkway. Kids can climb aboard the Jingle Bell Express, a pint-sized train for a holly-jolly ride.

Steps away from the playful flock at Penguin Point, bright and colorful lights line the pathway and fill every branch of every tree surrounding the North Pole. Savor holiday treats and sights as your family prepares to meet the big man himself on the way to Welcome to Santa’s House.

Guests who have come to love Busch Gardens’ traditional holiday shows will still be able to see Christmas on Ice, Christmas from the Heart and Christmas Celebration during the day. But at Christmas Town, new shows will provide a very special evening of family-friendly entertainment:

NEW! Join Elmo, Cookie Monster, Zoe and everyone’s favorite Sesame Street friends in Christmas Town’s all-new show, Elmo’s Christmas Wish. Sing and dance along with Elmo as he makes a Christmas wish to Santa and learns the meaning behind Christmas.

NEW! Christmas Time Tree Show brings a larger-than-life Christmas tree alive every fifteen minutes with spectacular dancing lights.

NEW! Join the adventure as everyone’s favorite Madagascar friends including Gloria, Alex, King Julien and the penguins go on a vacation with a Christmas twist in Madagascar Live! Operation: Christmas Vacation. Fun and colorful holographic ornaments fill the trees overhead on the plaza pathway leading to this all-new show.

World-class skaters will bring to life favorite Christmas songs both traditional and contemporary, in a cool, angel-inspired ice show, Angels of Peace: A Christmas Journey on Ice, produced especially for Christmas Town by the creators of Christmas on Ice and Iceploration.

Busch Gardens’ Crown Colony House restaurant sets the stage for a stunning ballet of music and light each night under the stars. The Carol of the Bells features tens of thousands of Christmas lights covering the façade of the stately building set in motion to a choreographed presentation of stirring seasonal songs.

Local church choirs, school choruses and professional performance groups from around Florida raise their voices in joy and fill the Marrakesh Theater with song and Christmas cheer in the Hallelujah Showcase. Performance groups will change nightly and feature traditional, classic and new holiday ballads and favorites.

 

For those who can’t wait to get their night at Christmas Town started, guests are invited to pull up a chair at Mrs. Claus’ Family Feast for a special evening filled with stories, songs, a delicious buffet of traditional holiday fare, plenty of opportunities for holiday hugs and photos with Mrs. Claus and her favorite elves. Space is limited for this exclusive dining experience and reservations must be made in advance at ChristmasTown.com             

 

“Christmas Town is a unique holiday tradition for Tampa Bay-area families,” says Jim Dean, Busch Gardens Tampa’s park president. “We’ve creating a season-long celebration for family and friends unlike any other event our guests have ever seen – the kind of Christmas fun only Busch Gardens can provide.”

 

Christmas Town is a separate-ticketed night event, and regular daytime admission is not required or included. General admission for Christmas Town is $60 for adults and $20 for children plus tax. Busch Gardens annual pass members will receive the deepest discounts with advance online pricing starting at $25, and special offers are available for guests wishing to upgrade their paid daily admission toBusch Gardens. Gift cards and tickets are available at Bay area Publix and AAA locations and additional discounts are offered through promotional codes from Coca-Cola® at Dunkin Donuts® and Fantastic Sam’s®.  Families with children ages 3 to 9 will enjoy a special advance-purchase price of $10 for their youngest members.

 

Christmas Town will also offer some magnificent new opportunities for groups looking to book a unique holiday party. For details, call the Busch Gardens Events Team at (813) 987-5523.

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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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Falcon’s Fury set to drop at Busch Gardens in Spring 2014

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

This morning Busch Gardens Tampa Bay announced their newest thrill ride to be joining the pantheon of great attractions in Spring of 2014.

From the Busch Gardens website:

Introducing Falcon’s Fury, Busch Gardens® Tampa’s newest thrill ride that lets you soar and dive like a magnificent bird of prey.

You’ll climb nearly 300 feet to an incredible view of the terrain beneath you, then pivot 90 degrees in midair to a daring dive position, eyes fixed on the ground far below. An instant later, you’ll plunge at 60mph straight down to where you started, with speed, power and adrenaline like you’ve never experienced before.

Take to the skies with Falcon’s Fury – only at Busch Gardens. Rising Spring 2014.

Falcon's Fury logo
Falcon’s Fury logo

 

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=y4uKOsogphs

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Waves of Honor Program At SeaWorld Parks Honors Military Families

Waves of Honor Program

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Salutes Military with Waves of Honor  Program

Program Provides Free Admission for Military Members and as many as Three Direct Dependents to SeaWorld®, Busch Gardens® Parks and Sesame Place®

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ is honoring the men and women of the U.S. armed services through its Waves of Honor™ military salute program. The program provides free admission to the SeaWorld® and Busch Gardens® Parks, and Sesame Place® for members of U.S. armed forces and as many as three direct dependents through 2013. Waves of Honor follows Here’s to the Heroes. Created in 2001, the program has awarded more than 6.7 million theme park tickets to service members and their families.

“It has always been our honor to host members of the military and their families at our parks each year,” said Jim Atchison, President and CEO of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. “Waves of Honor is our way to say ‘thank you’ to these dedicated service men and women who sacrifice so much to preserve the freedom we share in this country.”

Waves of Honor provides one complimentary admission per year to one of the SeaWorld® or Busch Gardens® Parks, Sesame Place®, Adventure Island® ,Water Country USA® or Aquatica® San Diego (weekdays only) for the service member and as many as three of his or her direct dependents.

Waves of Honor
Army Specialist Eric Espinosa and his daughter Alexis attend a special military tribute at SeaWorld® Orlando’s Shamu® Stadium in August 2012. Espinosa surprised Alexis at the park after
serving a year in Afghanistan.

Any active duty military, activated or drilling reservists, or National Guardsman representing any of the five service branches is entitled to one complimentary admission to one of the participating parks under the program. He or she need only register, either online at www.wavesofhonor.com or in the entrance plaza of a participating park, and show a valid active military identification. All dependents 10 and older must present a valid military dependent identification for entry into the park. Dependents may take advantage of the offer without their service member, though an adult must accompany minor dependents.

SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa, and SeaWorld San Diego operate year-round. The remaining parks are seasonal. Each park’s operating schedule is available online.

Inactive, standby and retired reserve members, military retirees, U.S. Merchant Marine and civilian Department of Defense workers are ineligible for the program. The program does not include Discovery Cove® in Orlando or Aquatica® Orlando. Rules of eligibility can be found at www.wavesofhonor.com and are subject to change. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment reserves the right to terminate the program.Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Getting my coaster fix at Busch Gardens

Gwazi & Sheikra coasters
Gwazi & Sheikra coasters

One of my favorite things about Busch Gardens, aside from feeding the kangaroos and seeing all the other animals, is the great roller coasters they have to offer! The park has some fantastic rides for kids and adults alike. If you haven’t been before, or even recently, let me introduce you to the coasters of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

Kiddie Coasters

Air Grover – This ride in the Sesame Street Safari of Fun section of the park opened in March of 2010 and features a biplane theme and climbs a 24 foot lift hill. It is a quick, but fun ride with the lovable Grover. If I’m not mistaken, this is the favorite coaster at Busch Gardens of our own Cheryl Perlmutter.

Sand Serpent – In Timbuktu, this wild mouse style coaster, which is five

Sand Serpent
Sand Serpent

stories high at 45 feet, offers quick turns, dips and lifts that will leave you cozy with your friends you’re riding with. It originally opened in Busch Gardens Williamsburg in 1996 and was relocated to Tampa Bay in 2004 as Cheetah Chase, but was renamed in 2011 to avoid confusion with the brand new Cheetah Hunt coaster.

Scorpion – This was the first coaster I did when I revisited Busch Gardens for the first time in over 25 years. Also in Timbuktu, it appears to be pretty simple, but then you realize the loop is accomplished with you only wearing a lap bar and you come awfully close to the ground at a high speed and quite an angle.  It is a ton of fun, but quite the thrill for a smaller roller coaster that opened in 1980. Its max height is 60 feet, but the 45 foot drop makes it feel taller.

 

Wilder Thrills

 

Kumba
Kumba

Kumba – I just did Kumba for the first time, and this is one of the more intense coasters, at least for me, at Busch Gardens. Located in the Congo section of the park, Kumba has a name that comes from a translation from the word “roar” and it lives up to that name. With the seven inversions, Kumba, which opened in 1993 and hits top speeds of 60mph and has a height of 143 feet, is not for the faint of heart. One of the things that I think made it more intense than some of the other coasters is the loops into corkscrews one right after the other. If you are looking for a rush, this just may be the coaster for you.

Gwazi – Speaking of intense, this wooden coaster located in the Morocco section of the park is probably the most jarring of all at Busch Gardens. There are two sides with competing tracks called Lion and Tiger that offer different ride experiences. Recently the Tiger side has been closed, but the Lion side still roars, thrilling park goers with a 105 ft height and speeds above 50mph. The ride opened in 1999, but being a wooden roller coaster, it has a much more classic feel which keeps you on your toes.

Sheikra
Sheikra

SheiKra – This was one of the other coasters that I rode for the first time last week. For the longest time I thought I’d never ride it, but I’m trying to be good about trying new things, so I did. This is definitely the fastest (70mph), tallest (200ft) and steepest angle (90 degrees straight down) of any coaster I’ve ridden. It is located in the Stanleyville section of the park and when it opened in 2005, SheiKra was the first dive coaster in North America. To add to the excitement, the ride dangles you above the dive for a few seconds to where you can’t even see the track below, which seems to be behind you. It is such a smooth ride and so fun with the dive and an inversion. Can’t wait to try this one in the front row!

 

Cheetah Hunt
Cheetah Hunt

Cheetah HuntCheetah Hunt is my favorite ride anywhere right now! This is the newest coaster at Busch Gardens and one of the longest at 3/4 of a mile long and almost four minutes in duration. This ride in the Crown Colony Plaza section of the park is almost twice as long as most coasters that tend to be around 2 minutes long. This triple launch coaster that opened in 2011 is probably the smoothest roller coaster I’ve ever ridden. The highest point is over 100 feet tall and maximum speeds reach 60mph. With figure eights, a helix or two and a barrel roll as the single inversion, this ride is so much fun! My favorite part is when it feels like a slalom, reminiscent of a cheetah hunting its prey. I especially love to ride this at night!

Montu
Montu

Montu – So full disclosure, this is the one coaster at Busch Gardens that I have not yet ridden. It will happen someday, but from the reactions of my friends, I think I was right to save this for last. Montu opened in 1996 and is the second tallest coaster at 150 feet and the second fastest at 65mph behind SheiKra. With seven inversions, this is one of the more intense roller coasters in the park including a zero gravity roll. I will get back to you all after I tackle this monster coaster in the Egypt section of the park.

I absolutely love the variety of roller coasters that Busch Gardens has to offer! There is something for everyone from mild to wild and from rougher more intense rides to some of the smoothest coasters ever built. This summer I hope to catch as many rides on the fantastic coasters at Busch Gardens to get my adrenaline fix. Have you been to Busch Gardens recently? Have you ridden any or all of these coasters? Which one is your favorite?

 

 

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Feeding The Animals Of Walkabout Way At Busch Gardens

At Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Zoe got to do something she’s wanted to do for ‘her whole entire life’…She got to feed kangaroos in the Walkabout Way area of the park.

 Walkabout Way

Guests ages 5 and older can purchase a cup of food for this experience at a nominal fee, but it is important to note that you can go in without purchasing food for the animals. If you are a Busch Gardens annual pass holder, you will want to make sure that you show your pass for a discount!

 Walkabout Way

In Walkabout Way you will find red and grey kangaroos, Bennett’s wallabies magpie geese, Australian black swans, and other native Australian species. And the best part is that the food that you purchase can be fed to any of the animals in this area!

 Walkabout Way

There are a few things to keep in mind if you want to feed the animals in Walkabout Way.

  • The first thing to keep in mind is that there are scheduled feeding times, which are posted at the entrance to the area. It is a good idea to visit at the beginning of a scheduled feeding, since the animals can get rather full if it is a busy day of treat giving.
  • The animals in this area are accustomed to being touched, so there are also tons of hand-washing stations located just outside of the Walkabout Way feeding area for your convenience.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions! There are experts on hand that can answer questions from your little ones, and love to share their passion for taking care of these beautiful animals.
  • Take tons of pictures! How cool is it to have a picture of you feeding a kangaroo or wallaby? Answer, VERY cool!

 Walkabout Way

I hope that you give feeding the animals of Walkabout Way a chance, and that it is as fun for you and your family as it was for mine!Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Spring Break Kicks Off With A New Season at Busch Garden’s Adventure Island

Adventure Island

Spring Break Kicks Off With A New Season at Busch Garden’s Adventure Island 

Splash into spring when Adventure Island begins its 2013 season of fun in the sun on Saturday, March 9, 2013.  It’s time again to splash in the wave pool, amble down the Rambling Bayou, race down speed slides, including Everglides® and Riptide, or just kick back on the beach amidst a tropical Key West setting,
Adventure Island
The best value to visit all season long is the Adventure Island Weekday Pass.
  • Play weekdays all season long – Enjoy unlimited weekday access to Adventure Island during the 2013 season with no blackout dates.
  • Valid Mondays through Fridays, March 11 through Sept. 2, 2013
  • Purchase at AdventureIsland.com, at the Adventure Island or Busch Gardens front gates or by calling 1-888-800-5447.
  • The Adventure Island Weekday Pass is $51 for adults and children.
Adventure Island
ISLAND NIGHTS RETURNS IN SUMMER
When the sun goes down, the fun heats up at Adventure Island® during Island Nights, a sunset celebration every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night from June 13 to Aug. 10. From 5 to 9 p.m. the energy revs up with music and games on the beach, entertainment and tropical-inspired cuisine, in addition to all the thrilling slides, tube rides and water-drenched fun of Adventure Island®.
CABANAS To make the most of your Adventure Island® visit, rent a cabana for a shaded, exclusive spot for your family and friends to gather throughout the day. Each cabana includes four chaise lounges, a locker, a mini-fridge with assorted drinks and four souvenir towels. Daily rental prices range from $99.99 to $189.99, based on the time of year.
ADVENTURE ISLAND
From the moment guests enter Adventure Island®, they are immersed in a Key West-themed paradise. The 40-acre water park features thrilling slides and tube rides, including Riptide, Wahoo Run®, Key West Rapids, Runaway Rapids, Everglides®, Calypso Coaster, Aruba Tuba, Caribbean Corkscrew®, Water Moccasin and Gulf Scream. Guests can also kick back on the beach or in the 17,000-square-foot wave pool, play on professional sand volleyball courts, breeze through the tropical gift shop or let the current sweep them through a half-mile of lush landscapes and tropical waterfalls on the Rambling Bayou.
Visit AdventureIsland.com for daily operating hours. Single-day admission tickets for Adventure Island® are $46 for adults and $42 for children. Children ages 2 and younger are free, and all children must be accompanied by an adult. All prices are per person, plus tax. Park hours are subject to change. Visit AdventureIsland.com for more information.

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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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Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation coming to Busch Gardens Tampa

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Launches

Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation

at California and Florida Parks

Madagascar Live

— New Live Show Debuts at Busch Gardens Tampa® and SeaWorld San Diego in 2013 —

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment today announced it will premiere Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation, an original live musical show featuring the characters from DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc.’s (Nasdaq: DWA) beloved Madagascar franchise, at two of the company’s parks this summer.

Celebrating the box office success of Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, which has grossed more than $740 million at the worldwide box office, Alex the Lion and friends will party while on vacation with guests at Busch Gardens Tampa® and SeaWorld® throughout 2013.

The 20-minute musical show follows the antics of Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, King Julien, Mort and the Penguins during a vacation adventure. The show will feature rock/pop music performed by a live band and include both classic and original songs. The characters also will conduct meet and greets with park guests. Additionally, special co-branded merchandise exclusive to the parks, will be available.

These two locations will be the only theme parks in the U.S. where fans can see the characters of Madagascar live. The new show “Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation” premieres in the following locations:

The company also has the opportunity to expand the show to other parks in the SeaWorld family in the future.

“Audiences around the world have embraced the characters of Madagascar, and SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks are the ideal places for families to enjoy this immersive live entertainment experience,” said DreamWorks Animation’s Head of Worldwide Licensing & Consumer Products, Kerry Phelan.  “The entire creative team behind this uniquely original version of “Madagascar Live!” has done an impressive job of translating the beloved world from screen to stage, bringing it to life for young park guests and family audiences alike.”

“Our parks both entertain and inspire guests to care about animals,” said Scott Helmstedter, Chief Creative Officer of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. “Likewise, the Madagascar movies also inspire animal lovers, but in a different way with their inimitable charm and humor. We welcome these characters to our family with open arms and look forward to working with DreamWorks Animation on this incredibly funny and engaging new show.”

Madagascar is one of the most successful CG animated movie franchises of all time, grossing more than $1.8 billion at the worldwide box office. In 2012 “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” grossed over $740 million at the global box office, becoming the highest grossing film of the series.Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens sign decorated for Christmas Town
Busch Gardens sign

If you are looking for a new way to experience the holidays in a theme park, look no further than Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay! This new nighttime event takes places on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings from November 30 – December 23 from 6 – 11pm. We were fortunate enough to get to take part in this great new offering from Busch Gardens on opening night, and I cannot wait to go back again.

There are so many great things to do and see during this after hours party that requires a separate ticket for admission. Annual Passholder and advance discounted tickets are available so get your tickets ahead of time to be able to maximize your savings. Throughout the park beautiful decorations of gorgeous flora and spectacular lights are showcased with Christmas music floating around along with unique holiday food and beverage offerings.

We started off by exploring the schedule of shows to try to catch as many of the things with set times that we could. First up was the ice skating show Angels of Peace in the Moroccan Palace Theater. This was a beautiful presentation of nationally ranked ice skaters to some of your favorite Christmas carols. Next up we went to see the Hallelujah Chorus, which this evening was a local high school madrigal group performing classic Christmas songs.

After we explored Morocco and the gorgeous lights around the entrance to Christmas Town, we decided to head to Cheetah Hunt to catch a couple of back to back rides since it was a walk on. This was the case with practically no wait on Gwazi and Sheikra later too. While we rode, our friends watched the Carol of the Bells show projected on the Crown Colony House. This dancing lights show was amazing, especially catching it from Cheetah Hunt.

One of our favorite activities of the evening was the Christmas Town Sing-Along Train. We had so much fun singing Christmas carols with other guests while riding around the park on the Serengeti Express Train. We even got to see a few animals while riding around the Serengeti Plain! I highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys Christmas carols or even just having fun as a group.

If you have little ones in your family I’m sure they (and you) will enjoy the dancing of the elves at Club Elf by Sheikra. You can even get your picture taken with the elves at the end of their set. This is a great interactive dance party for the young ones or those just young at heart. Also in this area you can find some unique holiday treats to Christmas Town. The Candy Cane Sprite Delight was one of our favorites.

Great light displays are dispersed around the park featuring some of the animals found at Busch Gardens like cheetahs, zebras, elephants and flamingos. These were some of the most beautiful areas of the park lit up at night. Next up we explored Christmas Town Village with great crafts, food and drinks to choose from. My snack of choice was delicious in the warm ham and swiss cheese sandwich on pretzel bread and honey mustard.

Gwazi Park plays host to the Contemporary Christian band Jars of Clay each night of Christmas Town. We were treated to a great show of Christmas carols as well as their hit song Flood. Definitely make this a don’t miss part of your evening! Next to the park you will find Snow World, a play area where kids can slide down a small snowy hill on inner tubes and kids big and small can throw snowballs at targets.

We ended the evening watching a performance of We Three Kings who sang and told the story of the nativity. On our way out of the park we caught the Enchanted Flamingo Valley, which was lit up with brilliant pink lights on the trees. All in all it was a fabulous evening filled with food, fun and Christmas spirit at Busch Garden’s Christmas Town. I am looking forward to going back again soon to catch several things I didn’t get to experience like Sesame Street: A Very Furry Christmas, Santa’s House and checking out some of the other amazing sounding dining options special to the Christmas Town celebration.

If you get a chance, hook up your sleigh and head on over to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay to take advantage of the great special event that is Christmas Town! There are tons of fun things to do, great shows, live entertainment, animals, and of course some of your favorite rides. What better way to spend time getting in the holiday spirit than by visiting Christmas Town with family and friends.

Have you been to Christmas Town? What did you think? What are you most looking forward to seeing?

Read more about tickets for this special event here.

 

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Christmas Town Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Tickets Available Now!

CHRISTMAS TOWN BUSCH GARDENS TAMPA BAY TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Santa is ready to celebrate the Season with Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, starting November 30th!

 

Christmas Town Busch Gardens Tampa Bay launched the web site for the park’s biggest Christmas celebration ever. Tickets are now available online for Christmas Town, an event that will transform the park into a nighttime holiday wonderland of wintery surprises and all things Christmas, filling guests’ senses with seasonal sights, sounds and flavors, and creating a beautiful new tradition for Tampa’s families. The event takes place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, Nov. 30 through Dec. 23.

On the Christmas Town web site, guests can also find information about the event’s all-new attractions, special entertainment, live music, festive treats and holiday shopping and display of thousands of twinkling lights.

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Christmas Town Busch Gardens Tampa Bay ticket information:

  • Children’s tickets purchased in advance online are $9.99 (ages 3 to 9)
  • General admission for Christmas Town is $39.99 plus tax
  • Busch Gardens will share a special promo code for tickets at $29.99 on the park’s Facebook page
  • Busch Gardens annual pass members will receive the best discounts, and special offers are available for guests wishing to upgrade their paid daily admission to Busch Gardens and through promotional codes from select retail partners
  • Christmas Town is a separate-ticketed night event, and regular daytime admission is not required or included

Christmas Town will also offer some magnificent new opportunities for groups looking to book a unique holiday party. For details, call the Busch Gardens Events Team at (813) 987-5523.

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Busch Gardens Welcomes Seventh Baby White Rhinoceros

BUSCH GARDENS WELCOMES BABY WHITE RHINOCEROS
 
The Adventure Park Announces Seventh Calf Since 2004

Baby White Rhinoceros
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Welcomes Seventh Baby White Rhinoceros

 
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay welcomed a baby white rhinoceros on Tuesday, October 23, 2012. The female rhino was born 26-acre white rhino habitat on Busch Gardens’ Serengeti Plain.
 
The baby is the second calf born to mother Kisiri and the seventh calf born to father Tambo. Busch Gardens has celebrated a total of seventh white rhino births since October 2004. The new baby weighed an estimated 140 pounds at the time of the birth. The newborn – who has yet to be named – will gain approximately four pounds each day until it reaches an adult weight of approximately 3,500 to 4,000 pounds.
 
Busch Gardens participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) to ensure genetic diversification among threatened and endangered animals in zoological facilities. The birth brings the total white and black rhino population at the adventure park to eight.
 
Kisiri, Tambo and another female white rhino were airlifted from Kruger National Park in South Africa in 2001 through the efforts of the International Rhino Foundation (IRF), a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of rhinos. Fewer than 15,000 white rhinos remain in the wild, and approximately 200 live in zoological facilities across North America.
 
Since its inception in 2003, The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund has granted $7 million USD to more than 500 projects in the U.S. and around the world, including $194,000 USD grants to rhino conservation projects. The Fund was created by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable foundation dedicated to supporting environmental and wildlife conservation initiatives.

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