Busch Gardens Tampa has been on my list of places to visit ever since I moved to the area. After a few months of living in Tampa, I finally spent the day at the Busch Gardens park. This was my first visit to Busch Gardens since high school and I was really excited to see animal exhibits! Here are some of highlights from my day at Busch Gardens Tampa.
Morocco is the first center you visit upon entering the park. On the way there, I came across humongous alligators sunbathing alongside turtles. At first, I thought the alligators were statues and that it was a turtle exhibit; then one of the gators moved its foot and blinked. I was shocked at how large and calm they were.
I walked into the Moroccan Palace Theatre just in time to catch the Iceploration ice skating show. I’ve always watched figure skating when the winter Olympics is around so it was a treat to see a performance in person. I loved seeing the skaters spin and could have watched for hours.
Jungala Tiger Exhibit
Seeing the tigers was probably my favorite part of my day! I love big cats and wanted to see them while they were active. At Busch Gardens, there are scheduled times where someone speaks about the exhibit. I rushed to get to this one in time. One of the tigers would get right up to the glass and almost pose for pictures. The female Bengal tiger behind the fence was making noises when the the speaker started. I’m not sure if it was feeding time, but she was definitely pacing a lot more than the other tigers.
Rushing to Eat
After checking out the tigers, I searched the map for somewhere to eat. I quickly realized it was getting closer to 4 PM. Many of the restaurants close an hour before the park closes, as mentioned on the back of the map. As I was sad that I didn’t have more time to take in the plants on the way to the Dragon Fire Grill. It was a good thing I hurried because this location decided to close two hours early today. It was kinda sad seeing them turn hungry kids away when they were supposed to be open until 5. That’s the one thing I really think Busch Gardens Tampa should change is making sure the food locations are open when as advertised on the map.
Plants, Plants, & more Plants
The horticulture at Busch Gardens Tampa is very well kept. I loved the topiary sundial in front of the Naiobi Train Station. There are tons of alcoves and picturesque corners throughout the park. I loved being surrounded by beautiful plants at every moment.
I saw a bunch of animals while aboard the Serengeti Express but many were far from the tracks; since it was in the late afternoon. There was one ostrich that could not make its mind up about crossing the tracks. Instead, it followed the train while staring at passengers. On my way to the front of the park, I came across the hyena hut and lion’s den. All of the lions were napping so I’ll have to come back for them during an active time. I also saw meek rat pop up from what seemed to be a long nap. He looked confused haha.
Busch Gardens Tampa
Here is a vlog of my day at Busch Gardens Tampa. You can see and hear the tigers as well as the overly curious ostrich.
Which animals are your favorite to visit when at a theme park or zoo?