Busch Gardens Tampa
Busch Gardens Africa(formerly known as Busch Gardens Tampa Bay) is a 335-acre 19th century African-themed park located in Tampa, Florida. It opened on March 31, 1959 as an admission-free hospitality facility for the Tampa Anheuser-Busch brewery on the grounds of the manufacturing plant. Visitors could watch animal acts in a tropical setting and before leaving the grounds entered a beer garden offering free Busch beer to drink. After the manufacturing plant closed down some years later, Busch Gardens focused progressively on its tropical landscape, exotic animals, and amusements to draw visitors.
Busch Gardens began charging admission as the entertainment became more complex, with extra fees for the thrill rides, such as the roller coasters for which the park is now well known. It currently falls into the category of an amusement park and competes with other such parks in Florida and charges comparable fees.
The Serengheti Express (train) runs along the back end of the park and makes stops at the Nairobi, Congo and Stanleyville themed areas. The Skyride transports guests from Crown Colony to Stanlyville.Busch Gardens Areas:
The park's main entrance is home to the Mystic Sheiks of Morocco brass and percussion ensemble. Treats can be purchased at the Sultan's Sweets and the Zagora Cafe. The Moroccan Palace is located here as well as the outdoor Marrakesh Theater.
Pink flamingos, parrots, black swans, and hundreds of rare birds live here among the foliage and waterways. In the Bird Theatre, guests can see the parrots as well as birds of prey.
Sesame Street Safari of Fun
Former Land of the Dragons children's section of the park. Land of the Dragons, which itself replaced the Dwarf Village in 1995, was replaced by Sesame Street Safari of Fun on March 27, 2010. It contains all the attractions from Land of the Dragons which are now re-themed. It also contains four new attractions: Telly's Jungle Jam, an interactive play area; Rosita's Djembe Fly-Away, a swing ride; Bert & Ernie's Watering hole, a water play area, and Air Grover, a children's roller coaster. The area also houses a Komodo dragon exhibit.
StanleyvilleThis section of the park is home to following:
- SheiKra, which was the first and only Dive Coaster in the United States until the addition of Griffon at the sister park Busch Gardens Williamsburg. It's a 200-foot diving roller coaster with a 90-degree vertical drop. After passengers have been secured, the trains make their way out of the station and begin the 45-degree lift hill to the ride's peak height of 200 feet. Trains make a turn and come onto a specially-designed holding brake, which holds the trains for about 3-5 seconds. Riders are then taken down a 200-foot vertical drop and are quickly taken into an Immelmann inversion. An upwards turn brings riders to a block brake before riders take a second, nearly vertical, drop into a mist-filled tunnel.
- Stanley Falls Flume, a log flume with a 43-foot drop.
- Tanganyika Tidal Wave with the addition of a 55-foot (17 m) drop that generates a giant splash.
CongoThis section contains two of the park's more popular rides.
- Kumba is a 143-foot steel sit-down roller coaster with seven inversions. First built in 1993, it still remains a popular ride today. It stands 143 feet tall and has a top speed of 60 mph. Kumba is one of the first in a line of multi-inversion coasters (that is, those having six or more inversions) It has seven inversions which, in order, are: 114-foot tall vertical loop, which wraps around the lift hill, a first-ever diving loop, Zero-G roll, Cobra Roll (two inversions), Interlocking corkscrews immediately after the block brake. Kumba means “Roar” in the African Congo language. The coaster itself mimics this definition with a dinstinctive roar that the train produces as it traverses the track.
- Congo River Rapids, a water ride that simulates raging whitewater rapids. The ride opened in 1982.
- Ubanga Banga Bumper Cars, a bumper cars ride.
JungalaOpened on April 5, 2008, Jungala is a 4-acre family attraction featuring up-close animal encounters, rope bridges to explore three stories of jungle life, and a water-play area for children. Also located in this area are two family attractions:
- Jungle Flyers, a zip line that offers three different flight patterns above the treetops of the new area.
- Wild Surge, a shot tower that launches guests above a waterfall.
- Tiger Trail, which is a walkthrough with tigers where there is also a glass turret where you can look out right in the middle of the tiger enclosure. During the Kareebu Jungala atmosphere show, stiltwalkers perform with puppets and interact with guests in the heart of Jungala.
A section originally themed after the malls and bazaars of Africa that opened up in May 1980 and was called Timbuktu. The Phoenix rollercoaster was built in 1984 and remains a popular ride to this day. The section was renovated in 2003. Important elements added during this facelift included the Timbuktu Theater, which replaced the park's Dolphin Theater with an indoor 4-D movie theater. In 2004, Das Festhaus was transformed into the Desert Grill, and the park's family-friendly Sand Serpent wild mouse roller coaster opened, replacing the Crazy Camel flat ride. In September 2014, Falcon's Fury opened and replaced the Sandstorm flat ride. This section of the park was re-themed to Pantopia alongside the opening of Falcon's Fury. A Full list of the rides & Attractions are:
- Scorpion, a steel, Schwarzkopf-designed sit-down roller coaster with one vertical loop.
- Sand Serpent, a steel wild mouse roller coaster.
- Phoenix, an Intamin Looping Starship themed as an Egyptian cargo vessel.
- Pantopia Theater, an indoor theater that now houses Opening Night Critters with the opening of Pantopia in 2014.
- Caravan Carousel, a carousel with horses, camels, and chariots.
- Falcon's Fury, a drop tower that has a speed of 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) and tilts 90 degrees towards the ground. It is the tallest free-standing drop tower in North America at 335 feet.
Alligators and crocodiles can be observed here up close. In Curiosity Cavern, guests can view mammal and reptile exhibits. Visitors to Nairobi can meet the Animal Ambassadors who travel the country and make educational appearances at Jambo Junction. The area also contains Myombe Reserve, a tropical rainforest that is home to Western lowland gorillas and common chimpanzees. In 2012 the Animal Care Center opened, allowing guests to observe actual veterinary procedures, as well as meet the start of Wildlife Docs, Busch Gardens' Saturday morning television show. The main train station at Busch Gardens is located at Nairobi. Another popular attraction here is the Asian elephant exhibit.
Animal Care Center, a nearly 16,000-square-foot attraction, allows visitors the chance to view the Busch Gardens' veterinarians at work in a new state-of-the-art veterinary hospital. The major visitor aspects of the facility include a nutrition demonstration kitchen, treatment rooms, a clinical lab and an interactive diagnostic activity. Behind the scenes the veterinary hospital also includes the animal nutrition center, animal recovery and holding rooms and vet offices. The park's former animal care center was located behind the scenes.
Crown Colony Plaza
Crown Colony is the smallest section of the park. It features a restaurant, the Cheetah Hunt roller coaster, and the Skyride station.
- Cheetah Hunt, a multi-launch steel roller coaster that opened in 2011.
- Cheetah Run, an animal exhibit located next to Cheetah Hunt. It replaced the Clydesdale Hamlet.
Bedouin tents, authentic handicrafts and art create an Egyptian marketplace feel. Guests can visit a replica of King Tutankhamen's tomb with the excavation in progress. (The Tutankhamen Tomb closed in winter 2013, and will be replaced with the queue for the park's 2016 coaster, Cobra's Curse, and the Golden Scarab Gift Shop was converted into an arcade area.) The primary attraction of the Egypt-themed area is Montu, an inverted steel coaster.
- Montu, named after the Egyptian falcon-god of war, is a 150-foot (46 m) steel inverted roller coaster with seven inversions.