Busch Gardens is a large family-friendly animal park in Tampa Bay in Florida, part of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and home to over 200 species of animals. From the most beloved to the critically endangered, Busch Gardens includes animals from all over the world in its conservation efforts. They support programs such as the non-profit Rising Tide Conservation in Nairobi, which helps researchers find alternative methods to collecting species from the wild by investigating ways to breed fish internally.

As a result of its extensive animal welfare programs and wholly naturalistic habitats, Busch Gardens has achieved the Humane Certified seal from American Humane, the world’s largest approver of animal welfare. Named one of the best zoos in the country, Busch Gardens continues to serve the animal and human community in every way it can.

photo by Jeremy Thompson (CC BY 2.0) modified

What are the highlights of Busch Gardens in Tampa?

Busch Gardens has a fantastic selection of rides and other activities. Serengeti Express is a popular train ride through the Serengeti exhibit. Rollercoasters such as Tigris, Cobra’s Curse, Sheikra, Montu, Kumba, Scorpion, and Sandserpent bring visitors to soaring heights. Tigris has forward and backward stops with heart-stopping drops. Cobra’s Curse and Sandserpent have consecutive winding loops. Montu and Scorpion are inverted rollercoasters. Kumba was named for being as loud as the roar of a lion. Sheikra includes an intense 90-degree angle drop.

For a calmer yet enjoyable experience, Air Grover is a Sesame Street-themed playground area for children. Open viewing of animals and their care is also available at the state-of-the-art Animal Care Center. Guided tours allow you to view the animals even closer. These should be booked in advance and include Serengeti Safari, Keeper For A Day, and Animal Ambassador Insider.

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Where to eat and drink in Busch Gardens in Tampa?

At Serengeti Overlook, the spacious Giraffe Bar offers panoramic views inside and outside of the Plains exhibit. It has beverages of all kinds, such as specialty cocktails, locally crafted beers, and wines and spirits that support conservation programs both domestically and internationally. The Giraffe Bar is air-conditioned with several TVs for sports viewing. Oasis Pizza also boasts air-conditioned seating. Dragon Fire Grill & Pub offers thrilling live performances indoors, in a market-style restaurant that serves burgers, pizza, chicken platters, and Asian cuisine with craft brews and cocktails.

Beside Sheikra, Zambia Smokehouse offers its specialty of barbecue-dipped ribs. Zagora Cafe offers a casual atmosphere with American dishes outdoors, with cheeseburgers straight from the grill. In Jungala, Chick-Fil-A offers its signature chicken sandwiches and other American fast food items. In the center of the relaxing Bird Gardens, Garden Gate Cafe supplies a whole host of frozen drinks and select quick bites.

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What else is good to know about Busch Gardens in Tampa?

Pets and smoking in Busch Gardens is prohibited. Special deals for military personnel, packages including hotels and camps, information on school programs, seasonal attractions, and group events are on the zoo’s website. For certain rides, Quick Queue is offered at an additional cost.

Busch Gardens is just across the street from Adventure Island's water park. Children 5 years and younger have free access to Busch Gardens and Adventure Island. The recommended length of visiting one of the parks is approximately 3 hours. Busch Gardens is also near Lettuce Lake Regional Park and the Museum of Science and Industry. Lettuce Lake Regional Park is a 240-acre wildlife preserve with a 1.25-mile path for bicycling, jogging, and walking, with kayaks and canoes available for rent. The Museum of Science and Industry incorporates over 150 hands-on activities in Saunders Planetarium, Mission: Moonbase, Sky Trail Ropes Course, and more.

Busch Gardens in Tampa

Location: 10165 McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612, USA

Open: Saturday–Monday from 10 am to 10 pm , Sunday–Thursday from 10 am to 8 pm, Friday from 10 am to 9 pm

Phone: +1 813-884-4386