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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is an African-themed adventure park that provides a blend of thrilling rides, one of the country’s premier zoos featuring more than 12,000 animals, live shows, restaurants, shops, and games. It offers an array of attractions suitable for all ages and has been a cornerstone of Tampa’s tourism sector for decades. The combination of exciting roller coasters and opportunities for close encounters with exotic wildlife makes Busch Gardens a unique entertainment destination.


The origins of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay date back to 1959 when it was founded as a hospitality facility of Anheuser-Busch. It showcased a bird garden and the Stairway to the Stars, which was an escalator that took guests to the roof of the brewery. Over time, the facility evolved into a theme park, officially opening in 1962. The park’s African theme was solidified with the opening of the Serengeti Plain in 1965, which allowed animals to roam freely. The park continued to grow throughout the 1970s and 1980s with the addition of more rides and attractions.


  • Opening Date: March 31, 1959
  • Area: The park spans over 335 acres, making it one of the largest zoological institutions in North America.
  • Rides: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay features more than 10 world-class roller coasters and over 20 total rides.
  • Animals: The park is home to over 12,000 animals from 300 different species.
  • Accreditation: The park is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).


Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is located on the east side of Tampa, Florida, at 10165 McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612. It is conveniently situated near other attractions and amenities, being just a short drive from Tampa International Airport and popular beaches.


The official website for Busch Gardens Tampa Bay . Visitors can find detailed information about the park, purchase tickets, view park hours, and learn more about attractions and events on the website.

Opening Hours

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay typically opens at 10:00 AM, but closing times can vary depending on the season and day of the week. It’s best to check the park’s official website or call ahead for the most up-to-date information on opening hours.

Things to Do

Thrill Rides

The park is famous for its roller coasters, such as SheiKra, a 200-foot tall dive coaster, and Falcon’s Fury, North America’s tallest freestanding drop tower.

Animal Exhibits

Visitors can enjoy up-close encounters with animals on the Serengeti Plain, meet cheetahs at Cheetah Run, or explore the Myombe Reserve to observe gorillas and chimpanzees.

Live Shows

Busch Gardens offers various shows ranging from ice-skating performances to educational talks about wildlife conservation.

Family-friendly Attractions

For families with younger children, there’s the Sesame Street Safari of Fun area, which features rides, play areas, and a chance to meet Sesame Street characters.

Seasonal Events

The park also hosts special events throughout the year, such as Howl-O-Scream for Halloween, Christmas Town during the holiday season, and the Food & Wine Festival in the spring.

Tips for Visiting

  • Purchase Tickets in Advance: Buying tickets online can save time and money.
  • Plan Your Visit: Check the park’s schedule for shows and feeding times to help plan your day.
  • Stay Hydrated: Florida can be hot, so drink plenty of water and take breaks in shaded areas.
  • Use the Park App: Download the Busch Gardens mobile app for a park map, ride wait times, and more.
  • Wear Comfortable Clothing: Expect a lot of walking, so wear comfortable shoes and breathable clothing.
  • Consider a Quick Queue: If you’re visiting during a busy time, a Quick Queue pass can help you skip the lines on popular rides.
  • Stay On-site: Consider staying at one of the partner hotels for perks like free shuttle service and early park entry.


Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is a premier destination for thrill-seekers and animal lovers alike. With its rich history, diverse range of attractions, and dedication to conservation, it offers a unique and memorable experience for all visitors. Whether you’re a Florida resident or a traveler from afar, the park’s blend of thrilling rides, exotic animals, and beautiful landscaping ensure a day full of adventure and fun. With careful planning and these tips for visiting, you can make the most of your trip to this iconic Tampa attraction.

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