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Thrills and Adventure Ahead at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

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Are you a thrill seeker? A coaster enthusiast? An animal lover? Then buckle up and hold on tight, because Busch Gardens Tampa is going to take you through a wild African adventure.

Located northeast of downtown Tampa, Busch Gardens is the perfect place to spend the day shopping for unique souvenirs, dining on delicious treats, and having fun with friends and family. With dozen of rides, shows, and games, everyone will be entertained.

What to Know Before You Go to Busch Gardens

Here’s a quick reference for everything you need to know before planning your day and heading to the park:

🗓 Park Hours  and Show Times
📍10165 N McKinley Dr. Tampa, FL 33612 – Directions
🎟 Get Busch Gardens Tickets
🗺 Park Map

Now, onto the fun stuff! UNATION is here to take you through some of our favorite rides, shows, and upcoming events.

Rides and Roller Coasters

Cheetahs and Tigris and Cobras, Oh my! Here are some of Busch Garden’s most thrilling rides.

Iron Gwazi

Scheduled to open spring of 2020, is the new and improved Gwazi! Iron Gwazi is set to be North America’s tallest, fastest and steepest hybrid coaster. The wood and steel hybrid design features new thrill elements, but also includes restored elements from the original Gwazi. It’s a crocodile-inspired thrill, that you don’t want to miss.


Florida’s tallest launch coaster can officially be found here in Tampa Bay. How cool is that?! To make things more exciting? The ride starts off by shooting you backward and takes you through a journey of twists, turns, and inverted heartline rolls. We can’t make this stuff up, guys. It is quite an innovation. Going 150 feet upwards, over 60 miles per hour through 1,800 feet of steel track. This leaves us with one question to ask you… can you take on Tigris?

Cheetah Hunt

Do you have the speed of a Cheetah? We know we don’t. But with Cheetah Hunt, we do! This coaster gives you the ability to race through Busch Gardens at the speed of nature’s fastest land animal. With 3 launches and 4,400 feet of steel, it’s almost a guarantee you’d to win that race.

Cobra's Curse

Don’t be fooled by the name, because this ride makes us feel everything but cursed! Cobra’s Curse is Florida’s first family spin coaster. That’s right, spin. And to put a bigger spin to it, the experience will never be the same! Yup. Each ride varies depending on the weight distribution on the coaster.

Which coaster are you most thrilled for? You can catch us riding laps on Cheetah Hunt all day long. 

We get it, roller coasters aren’t for everyone. Thankfully, the options at Busch Gardens are endless! Bumper cars, anyone? Maybe in the mood for a whitewater raft expedition? Oh! How about a Skyride with panoramic views of the park? Seriously y’all, the fun doesn’t even begin to describe how we feel about these selections.

To see Busch Garden’s other rides and info on Quick Queue passes, go here.

World-Class Shows

Take a break from all the rides and walking and catch one of the AMAZING shows at Busch Gardens! Whether it’s cooling off during the ice skating show, rocking to some Doo Wops, or experiencing an animal encounter like never before, you know you’re in for a treat. Check out a full list of their shows here.

Turn It Up

Let’s face it, we’re in Florida. We’re going to need to take breaks from all of these rides and cool off. What better way to do that than by turning it up at the Moroccan Palace Stage? With the contemporary performances, aerial arts, and eclectic pop music, there’s no better way to cool off than with the hottest show on ice.

Rock A Doo Wop

Doo you ever miss the simpler days where iPhones and CD’s weren’t a thing but dancing in the streets was? Rock A Doo Wop brings you back to the time where you can rock to some good ol’ jukebox hits and dance like no one is watching!

Critters Inn Charge

Need some cuteness overload? Then head over to Pantonia Theater, and experience 20 rescued dogs, 20 rescued cats, and over 30 birds as they steal your hearts and steal the show. If it was up to us, we would always let them be in charge!

Animal Experiences

Speaking of animals, did y’all know you can get up close and personal with some of the worlds cutest animals like sloths, kangaroos, giraffes, and more?! That’s right friends, Busch Gardens offers a variety of animal experiences for their guests. Whether it’s feeding, observing animal care, or trekking through the Serengeti Plain, Busch Gardens has you covered.


There’s more going on at Busch Gardens than a park full of rides and animals. Check out some of their upcoming events to really plan out that perfect, Busch Gardens day.

Adventure Island

Grab your swimsuit, grab your towel and grab your friends and family, because it’s time to cool down and party up!

10 water slides. 3 pools. 2 kid play areas. Unlimited fun.

What to Know Before You Go to Adventure Island

Here’s a quick reference for everything you need to know before planning your day and heading to the park:

🗓 Park Hours
📍10001 N McKinley Dr. Tampa, FL 33612 – Directions
🎟 Get Your Adventure Island Tickets
🗺 Park Map

Water Slides

If you’re feeling daring, then we dare you to grab your closest friends and take on Adventure Island’s newest slide, Colossal Curl. The corkscrews, waterfalls and tall heights won’t allow you to feel short on adrenaline.

Want to keep the adrenaline flowing? Then you better head towards Vanish Point next and prepare to be swept off your feet. Okay, maybe not swept, but the floor below your feet will definitely be pulled away, and you will definitely drop 70 feet down the drop slide. No worries though, your feet will find ground to stand on at the bottom!

Alright alright, time to give those feet a break! Grab a mat and race your friends down the four-lane water slide, known as Riptide.

Learn more about all their water slides here.


Okay, your adrenaline rush is coming to an end, but you’re not ready to head out just yet. It’s time to check out one of Adventure Island’s pools! Grab a tube, sit back, relax and float down the Rambling Bayou. Who knows, maybe you’ll even float through a tropical rainforest?!

Speaking of tropical, rumor has it Paradise Lagoon’s tropical vibe can, and will, make you feel like you’ve found a slice of heaven. This action-packed adventure pool includes waterfalls, slides and a cliff to jump off of. The opportunities are endless!

Which brings us to our final destination. Endless Surf. The wave pool where the surf is always up and the fun is endless. Experience a new roll of waves every 5 minutes…Wowza!

So…are your friends, swimsuits, and towels all packed up in your car?

Follow Stuff to Do in Tampa Bay on Facebook and Instagram to see what other fun adventures Tampa Bay has to offer.


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Stefanie Font

Stefanie Font

Stefanie is a City Manager for UNATION and author of the Stuff to Do in Tampa Bay City Guide. For more insight on the best events and things to do in the Tampa Bay area, download the UNATION app and follow @StufftoDoinTampaBay on InstagramFacebook, and YouTube

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