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Ronda Writes Disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with Mom Central as an Ambassador for Busch Gardens Tampa. Park tickets were provided by Busch Gardens Tampa to share an honest review of my experience. All opinions are my own.
Busch Gardens Tampa Experience
September 22, 2014 by
Our day at Busch Gardens Tampa was fantastic! On Friday, we made the drive to Tampa for the weekend. It was pouring rain on Friday and according to weather forecasters, it was supposed to be pouring again on Saturday with sprinkles on Sunday. I was almost ready to cancel the trip, but our hotel was non refundable and I had just remembered I do not listen to weathermen/women. We took a chance and with a prayer we had the most beautiful, sunny Saturday. Warm weather, blue skies and a nice breeze. Perfect for a theme park visit.
We arrived at the park around 10:30am, and by the looks of how full the parking lot was, hundreds of other people were probably praying for nice weather as well. The place was packed, but everything is organized the "theme park" way. After you're directed to your parking space, it's just a short walk to the shuttle that takes you to the entrance.
It only took 3 minutes to retrieve our park tickets using the kiosk. My suggestion to park visitors, always buy your tickets online! Aside from the savings you'd receive purchasing your tickets online, you also save time at the park. No long lines, multiple kiosks available!
Once inside the park, I couldn't wait to see what was in there. I've been to Busch Gardens in Virginia when I was a child, but honestly, I did not remember anything about it. I was surprised to see so many animals. I heard of their wildlife sanctuary, but I did not expect to see so many animals at the theme park. It was great! I'm not a roller coaster kind of gal, but I love to visit zoos and aquariums, so this place really has something for everyone!
One animal that caught my eyes was the alligator without a front left foot. In the past, I met a man with a missing arm as a result of an alligator encounter, and heard stories while at gator wrestling shows from entertainers boasting about almost losing parts, this was a first!
I didn't want to look away, but the way the gator looked at me, I felt as if I was being rude. That's when I notice more than a dozen other alligators that look as if they were all fed cows an hour earlier. I have never seen gators as big as these in person, wow!
There is a 12 year old Western Lowland Gorilla names Pele, who is currently expecting. Due is November. I'm not sure if the photo on the right is of Pele because they all have large bellies, but that was the only gorilla that was sleeping far away from the others who chose to rest near the spectators glass. (See photo album)
We viewed animals, rode the train around the park, took a skyline ride for a birds eye view, filled our bellies and enjoyed a show where the animals were the actors! It was such a wonderful day! We arrived a half hour after it opened and left closing time. By the time we left I snapped over 400 photos, but there were still A LOT of exhibits and areas we did not have enough time to see. Two things we will definitely do next visit is wear bathing suits under our clothes so we can enjoy the roller coaster where we'd get soaked and the kiddie water park. We also have to take the tour on the open truck that takes you near the animals. Gosh, there's so much more! I cannot wait to visit again sometime during their "Christmas Town" event (November 28th - December 31st). Hopefully, you will have a chance to check it out too, if not, stay tuned for photos!