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zilp 02-21-2013 04:55 PM

Help me plan for a 2 day Busch Gardens visit
We are headed for a week stay in Orlando March 23-30. We are getting the Busch Gardens/SeaWorld tickets which allow unlimited admission for 14 days. We would like to go to Busch Gardens on the Monday and Tuesday of that week and it will be me, DH, kids (ages 3,6,9) and my mom. I am planning on getting there early for park opening and then staying until the afternoon. No one will go on the coasters, so our focus will be on the shows and animals. For some reason I am having a hard time getting a feel for this park, and am not sure how to split up the days. help!

angelmom27 02-21-2013 08:13 PM

Not a lot of shows from what I remember. Lots of fun animal exhibits to see. If your kids like sesame street they will love the play area. Fun kiddie rides, a splash play area, and a meet and greet too. When we had APs we would just walk around and enjoy the day. The next time we went we would try and see something we hadn't seen yet.

zilp 02-22-2013 08:33 AM

Thanks. I guess I am looking on advice as to where to start early in the morning, eg what attractions get really busy later in the day, what animal exhibits to see first thing in the morning.... basically what part of the park to start with.

We will want to see the shows and will work our times around that, but my kids are huge animal lovers and I would like make sure we see them to advantage.

angelmom27 02-22-2013 11:25 AM

From what I remember it gets busy in spurts. There were times we would go and there were a rush of crowds but then they would clear out. We saw the area with the gorillas first but I noticed a lot of people would do that. Its at the front. Maybe see it later in the day or on the way out. Since you aren't doind a lot of the coasters you will have lots of time with the two days to enjoy it all. Waiting in line for rides is what kills your time there. We did a few rides mostly coasters at the beginning or the yr. I didn't get to do them later cause I got pregnant so we just enjoyed everything else.

hydrotony 02-23-2013 12:06 AM

I've been a pass holder at Busch since 2002 and have visited a lot but never with children, so this is an educated guess. Start by getting the park guide/map/show list just inside the turnstiles for info. There are about 7 live shows, figure out their times for when you want to see them. The park is sort of a circle through the left side of the park. The right side is the many animal areas and train around the savanna. Do the left side going clockwise, see the birds, kangaroos, and then stop in Sesame Street area. Lots of kid stuff there. Keep going clockwise into Jungala area, tigers, orangs, and kid play areas. Continue to Timbuktu and several kiddie rides. Next is Nairobi that has elephants, a new animal hospital and education shows, and the animal nursery Jambo Junction. Next is the reptile cave. After this are the open animal viewing areas for primates and hippos.

OK, that was the circle. The right side of the park has the train ride. Also the cheetah area and Edge of Africa to see lions, hyenas, giraffes, rhinos, etc.

Many people say there isn't a full day of activity but there is if you want to see all the animal encounters and shows. Two days would be quite full if you are so inclined. Busch Gardens, to me, is much better than Animal Kingdom for animal encounters.

As for deciding what to do each day, some shows are worth seeing twice, like Iceploration and there is also a truck excursion into the savanna to feed the animals for an extra charge. Some days have animals in the hospital for procedures and some days not. Big glass walls allow everyone to watch. You need to ask about that. There are some water rides that get you wet, set a day for that. Go to the Busch Gardens web site for show times and animal info.

zilp 02-23-2013 08:05 PM

Thank you hydrotony!

seus-mouse 03-15-2013 08:41 AM

We try to do Busch for two days everytime before heading to Orlando.

We get there at opening and go straight North through Morocco and up to Nairobi and get right on the train. The ride around the animals early on has a lot of activity that doesn't seem to be there later when it's hotter. We get off at the Congo Train Station, hit Congo River Rapids first. That far part of the park is pretty empty then and we work our way down through the Jungala, (The Jungle Flyers are a cool ride for kids 6-12 that gets HORRIBLY long lines later) and Stanleyville ,( Flume, Tidal Wave, Tiger Habitat...),areas that are also empty then and enjoy the rides with very little wait.

From here you can go to Timbuktu where there are kiddie rides and a carnival like atmosphere,IMO, with games and such. OR South into Sesame Street Safari of Fun. Both good things for smaller kids AND by the time you get down here the BIG SURGE is up where you started when you got off the train in the Congo. :)

*Special Note from my DH. The turkey leg vendor across from the Orangutan Habitat, in the Jungala Area, has HANDS DOWN the best smoked turkey legs as DH compares to Disneys and Universals. In his words, " They sure know how to use that small smoker!:worship:

Egypt has some cool and fast roller coasters, the Skyride, ( which is very cool to see the animals from above ).

Hope this helps a little. We often have to split out plans between our older adrenalin junkie daughters and our 4,9 and 12 year old neice and nephews.


dizzyr 03-15-2013 12:20 PM

Okay I'm not happy reading this! I had decided to skip BG on this trip and do US instead. Now after reading your post I kinda wanna go back to our original plan of BG instead of US!

zilp 03-15-2013 07:32 PM

Thank you Seus-Mouse!

Quick question, I saw on the BG website that rides inthe back of the park open 1/2 hour later than the front. Did you find that some of the rides were closed for you?

seus-mouse 03-16-2013 10:43 AM


Originally Posted by zilp (Post 47810973)
Thank you Seus-Mouse!

Quick question, I saw on the BG website that rides inthe back of the park open 1/2 hour later than the front. Did you find that some of the rides were closed for you?

Your welcome, Zilp, I love a good strategy that helps us all in line.

We didn't notice any delay, maybe because the train ride from Nairobi travels counter-clockwise the long way around, that and the time getting on and off and then the walk to Congo River Rapids might have been about a half an hour +/- a few minutes. The last three years it has been on Easter break so the crowds did get big later on.


dolphinrescuegirl 03-16-2013 06:56 PM

Just a FYI. You have to be age 5 to enter the kangaroo/wallaby exhibit. It is also best to visit this exhibit in the morning when they are more active. If you go during the feeding time, you'll want to buy food. The animals will ignore you during this time if you don't have food. This is my absolute favorite part of BG!!

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