Busch Gardens – amusement park and zoo in one

We love to travel, and we love Florida. And we love to travel IN Florida, because there is so much to see. You can spend a lifetime there (or at least numerous vacations), and never get to see half of it. In order to come on the wish-list for a tourist family, an attraction has to be really worth while. Recommendations and a few youtube-videos drew our attention to the amusement park Busch Gardens near Tampa. We stayed in the Orlando area, where both Disney World and Universal Studios were less than half an hour drive away, but we were up for something new. So we headed South East. Just like many of the other fun places we’ve visited in the sunshine state, this was one we did not regret we went to :-D!!

You’re bound to have fun at Busch Gardens!!

Fun fun fun!

We bought one day tickets, but it turned out that we could get them extended for one more day – for free!! Nice!! It didn’t take long before we put another visit on our schedule (we’d most likely done that anyway, regardless of free tickets), because the roller coasters in Busch Gardens are amazing!! The first one gave us a whole new perspective of life (the up-side-down perspective) – many times. One of us actually found it a bit too enlightening, and due to a big ice cream meal just before stepping on board, she needed a few minutes on a bench in the shades – accompanied by a bottle of water. And while one of us joined her (never leave a pasient alone!), the rest of us (we’re a party of four) decided that one should not disturb the sick! So we gave her a break – and took one more ride.

Selfish? No! She said she wanted alone-time, and she didn’t want us to miss out on the fun.


Cheetah Hunt – the longest ride

Cheetah HuntWhen going to Busch Gardens, you have to try the Cheetah Hunt!! It’s probably the most popular ride there, and you’ll see and feel why! It’s 4,400 feet long and thereby the longest ride in the whole park. At the start of the ride, you’re being “shot” forward when the roller coaster wagon accelerates from zero to thirty miles per hour. But that’s not the highest speed you’re gonna experience: The peak is at 60 miles per hour!!! Yes, we went several times – all of us!





Florida is warm in the summer, so you might want to cool off during the day. May we recommend the Congo River Rapids? This is a ride that will take you down stream in a round “raft”. Be sure to lock all your valuables and anything that is not water-resistant (e.g. cameras) in one of the lockers before you sail away – because EVERYONE gets wet!. Three of us invested in ponchos. The fourth thought that was a good investment – afterwards…


The animals of Busch Gardens

After various ice cream breaks and roller coaster tours, we started taking a closer look at all the animals in Busch Gardens: There are flamingos, huge turtles, cheetahs, hyenas, kangaroos, and even elephants. You’ll find 12,000 animals of 250 species, and more than 30 threatened and endangered species. You’ll come very close to many of the animals: You can even feed some of them (you can buy animal food at the entrance). We became best friends with a hungry kangaroo; it ate of our hands 😀 If you got kids, you MUST take them here!! How about coming home after a vacation and be able to tell your friends that you fed a kangaroo?!

Feeding the kangaroo

Left: Feeding and petting a kangaroo is not an every-day activity, and certainly not one you expect to carry home amongst your treasured memories.
Animals of Busch Gardens








Below: Some of the animals we said hello to during our two days in Busch Gardens.



















Hyena on guard The curious ostrich











Oh, yes, and we forgot to mention: There is a train that takes you around the whole park! You can get on and off at several stations, and some parts of the ride is actually a safari. It’s fantastic!!

The Busch Gardens train



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