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Ways to Experience Busch Gardens
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736
780
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Reviewed 15 June 2021

My husband and I had never been to Busch Gardens before, so we really went into this experience with an open mind. We recently became Annual Passholders to the SeaWorld parks and wanted to check this park out. Overall, we liked a few of the experiences, but it was not a great day. Please keep in mind that this review reflects a weekend visit during peak season. Here is an overview of our experience to Busch Gardens:

Attractions: We loved the animal attractions at the park! The exhibits were pretty nice and well-maintained. We enjoyed the train that takes you around the park and through the safari area. We also thought the "Cirque Electric"show was pretty cool. Be advised that this is a LARGE property so there are a lot of things to see. Patrons are made aware of this by signage at the front of the park. However, we definitely did not feel like the thrill rides were worth the extremely long waits. We were only able to ride two major thrill attractions: "Cheetah Hunt" and "Cobra's Curse." Both of these were fun enough, but we waited over an hour each. It appeared that they were loading an entire train car with just Quick Queue guests while the stand-by line moved at a snail's pace. My husband and I felt uncomfortable in both of these rides as well. We are both 6 feet tall, and the harnesses/restraints on the rides and the leg room was not ideal. I can't imagine how anyone taller than the two of us could ride them. There are many thrill coasters at the park, but it was certainly not feasible to ride them all on just a base ticket with no Quick Queue (which is expensive).

Food and Drink: We ate at "Oasis Pizza" across from the Cheetah Hunt coaster. My husband and I split a cheese pizza and fries. For the price of the food, I expected it to be decent quality. However, we both decided that it reminded us of a school lunch. I have had better theme park food for the same price elsewhere. Other than that, we ended up buying most of our drinks from the fridges in merchandise locations. That seemed to be the only option because very few other restaurants and stands were open, and if they were open, they had long lines. Very clearly they are short staffed. Luckily my husband and I were okay throughout the day with this strategy, but if you have a hungry family to feed I wish you luck.

Environment: This one is the big deal for me. There were several points throughout the day were I just felt uncomfortable with the crowds and the atmosphere. After about 3 p.m., the park was full to the brim with people. We were asked to make a reservation to come to park, but I don't think it mattered at all because they were certainly not limiting capacity. With the long lines for rides, few options for food, and low staff you can imagine how it would be an unpleasant experience. I didn't see a single person cleaning or picking up trash or even managing crowds. It was pretty chaotic. As far as general environment and aesthetics go, it made me sad to see creative ride queues in a state of neglect. For example, the queue for the Cobra's Curse attraction had a lot of thought put into it. Despite that, guests have scratched their names into walls, ripped up elements of the theming, and left trash throughout the line. There was a literal pit of pennies and trash that guest had thrown below a statue that Busch Gardens couldn't be bothered to clean up. It's like they put in a lot of effort when the ride was new and never checked back in with it to maintain it. A lot of the park is like this. Like, it has the potential to be nice, but it isn't maintained. All of it needs a coat of paint and a good clean.

Merchandise: We bought a souvenir holographic tiger cup as a meme.

Would I Return?: If I came back to Busch Gardens Tampa, it would be on a weekday morning when it is quieter and more pleasant. Only because I have an annual pass, I will probably return in a few months from now to see if they transition from having a lack of staff and food options due to COVID-19. In summary, I think that they lost a lot of money during the pandemic and at this point are just trying to keep the park full and operating costs low.

Date of experience: June 2021
4  Thank AnotherDisneyAdult
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2021 via mobile

My family and I were in Orlando doing their theme parks, but decided to drive to Tampa to go to Busch Gardens. We had been to the park one other time in the past, and wanted to go again. My husband and 2 teen son's enjoyed the park once again! They have a great mix of big coasters and zoo exhibits. We ate lunch at the Dragon Fire Pavillion. The inside was air conditioned and they had a man playing the piano. We enjoyed the food court too. I had the orange chicken with lo mein, my boys had burgers and hubby had the chicken finger stack. My only complaint is the wait times posted for rides were not accurate at all. The wait times were longer than posted.

Date of experience: June 2021
Thank emilyr640
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2021

This is a place for local families and Florida residents who can purchase passes or pay one day play all year tickets. Lines for rides and food are long due to limited amenities being open. Animal exhibits are nice but no ambassador’s to educate you. Needs more live music, entertainment, shows, food options. Don’t purchase all day dining passes. Food options are mostly the same every restaurant and lines are long.

Date of experience: June 2021
1  Thank Got2getaway2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2021 via mobile

We visited Busch Gardens Tampa yesterday. It was 90° out and most beverages stands were closed. We purchased all day dining and drinks, but lines in the selected restaurants exceeded an hour each time and food was mediocre to bad. We purchased quick queue tickets, which helped us ride several rides.

The park itself needs care, cleaning, and improvement to aethestics. Hardly any staff sweeping or cleaning throughout the day.

Besides the awesome rides, the visit was very disappointing. We will most likely never return to this park again.

Date of experience: June 2021
1  Thank shawnjH2029WW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2021 via mobile

My brother and I took our families today. It was very disappointing, you could not get a water without having atleast a 20 minute wait. There were barely carts with water or drinks. The place is way under staffed and very disappointing. During Covid they should have updated the park and made it prestine like Disney did. The place looks like a dump. Someone needs to come in and do an overhaul of the place. It was very sad.

Date of experience: June 2021
Thank Lesley K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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