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Old 07-10-2012, 03:46 PM   #1
tink20
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Would love your advice

We have never been to Busch Gardens or Seaworld. So, I was planning a trip for myself, DH and DS (10) (he has a fall break) for the week of Oct. 14th. We would be driving (about an 8-1/2 drive to Tampa) Here is my itinerary and cost of trip.

Sun: Drive down stay in Clearwater Beach
Mon: Go to Clearwater Marine Aquarium to visit Winter
Tues: Go to Busch Gardens open 10-6 (should we do the dining plan?)
(Sun - Tues staying at a condo in Clearwater)

Wed: Drive to hotel near Seaworld, if the weather is warm enough, go to the waterpark its open 10-5, then maybe go to SW a few hours in the afternoon (SW closes at 6p)

Thurs: Full day at Seaworld open 9-6 (thought about doing the dining plan this day)

Total cost for the 3 nights at condo, 2 nights at Fairfield by SW, all tickets, food allowance, gas and parking is $1900.00

I would like to know, from those of you that have been, what do you think?
Is it worth the money and the drive to do BG and SW? I don't want to go and be disappointed. I know its not WDW, but is it still fun? We do like going to zoos and aquariums. The 3 of us aren't really into thrill rides, so I am not so sure about BG. (duing Oct. Congo River will be closed, that is something we would have liked) We aren't into the big coasters. We like things like BTM at WDW.

Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-10-2012, 06:17 PM   #2
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Busc's food was very good, the bonus with it is the ability to get 50% off refillable cups and popcorn buckets.The menus where quite large for quick dining and one even had entertainment! If you plan on eating 2 meals then go for it. We just did a seaworld/aquatica/busch trip and had a lot of fun. We steered away from winter as it was quite costly and I had seen her when they were taping the movie. Busch gardens is very much worth going to, it is a large park though.
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Old 07-13-2012, 04:02 PM   #3
tink20
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Thank you dntd, anyone else have any helpful advice?
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Old 07-14-2012, 01:31 AM   #4
Katyella
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Free Dining

Hi, I am not sure if you have already booked your Seaworld Tickets but there is a link that includes free all day dining when you purchase your tickets. Sorry I am unable to post the link and this cannot be found on the website.

If you do a google search on Seaworld Free All Day Dining you should get a few links pop up.

Hope it helps.
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:16 PM   #5
anierodzik
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We did a trip in May to Busch Gardens, Seaworld, Aquatica, Universal, and Discovery Cove. It was AMAZING! I'm almost finished with my trip report, which you can find here:

http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2951020
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anierodzik View Post
We did a trip in May to Busch Gardens, Seaworld, Aquatica, Universal, and Discovery Cove. It was AMAZING! I'm almost finished with my trip report, which you can find here:

http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2951020
Thank you so much. I would love to ask you a few questions, if you have the time.
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Old 07-15-2012, 03:34 PM   #7
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Sure, I'd love to help....
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Old 07-15-2012, 04:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anierodzik View Post
Sure, I'd love to help....
Well after doing a little bit of research, I was now thinking of doing Discovery Cove instead of the Clearwater Aquarium. I wanted to go this Oct (3rd week) for cooler weather and less crowds, but if we are going to be doing a lot of swimming, I was wondering if next June (first week) would be better. I know it will be more crowded and likelyhood of thunderstorms would be greater. So, I don't know which month would be better......any input on that? Here are a few other concerns/questions I have.

I had originally planned CW because I was trying to avoid staying near BG (I had read it was in a "not so nice" neighborhood) So first question, Did you feel safe at the hotel you stayed in (HIExpress)?

Next, the 3 of us aren't really into the big coasters, we do things like Splash, BTM, Dinosaur. We did the Mummy at US and DS didn't really like it (a little too intense for him) So second question, Do you think there is enough to do at BG, and would oneday be enough? Should we get the QQ if we go in Oct or June?

Lastly, DS likes to swim but isn't a strong swimmer, would he be able to enjoy A and DC?
Do you think the water is too cold to go in Oct?


Thank you for your time and help, I saw that you have a DS the same age, so thought you might have some helpful advice. I know DS will love SW, he loves animals and going to aquariums, just didn't know if it was worth the drive to BG, since we will not be riding the coasters.
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:53 AM   #9
anierodzik
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I had originally planned CW because I was trying to avoid staying near BG (I had read it was in a "not so nice" neighborhood) So first question, Did you feel safe at the hotel you stayed in (HIExpress)?

Next, the 3 of us aren't really into the big coasters, we do things like Splash, BTM, Dinosaur. We did the Mummy at US and DS didn't really like it (a little too intense for him) So second question, Do you think there is enough to do at BG, and would oneday be enough? Should we get the QQ if we go in Oct or June?

Lastly, DS likes to swim but isn't a strong swimmer, would he be able to enjoy A and DC?
Do you think the water is too cold to go in Oct?


Thank you for your time and help, I saw that you have a DS the same age, so thought you might have some helpful advice. I know DS will love SW, he loves animals and going to aquariums, just didn't know if it was worth the drive to BG, since we will not be riding the coasters. [/QUOTE]

Yes, I felt very safe at the hotel. The area around the hotel and around Busch Gardens is certainly to scenic in a touristy way, but we felt safe.

If you don't do the coasters at Busch Gardens, I would not recommend the Quick Queue. You can always change your mind and purchase it during the day. There is still SO MUCH to see and do- feeding kangaroos and birds, water rides, shows and of course, the African animal trails. You could also look into the Safaris where they take you out in a truck through the animals (that's where we got to feed the giraffes.) This was the park that my 9 year old decided to love coasters- first the Scorpion then the Cheetah Hunt. (By the way, the Mummy was the only ride my 9 year old wouldn't ride- too scary.)

I don't know about the water temp in October, but at Discovery Cove you are in wet suits so you should be fine. I am not a strong swimmer (my family is), but I was able to snorkel and enjoy everything there. It was our first time snorkeling, and our family took to it like, well, fish. We loved, loved our day here!

At Aquatica you can wear life vests, so there is a sense a security, and the lazy river, the not-so-lazy river, the wave pool, and all of the water playgrounds are great. Again, don't know about the temps in October. We were in Orlando at the end of September one year and it was definitely warm enough to get in the water.

Enjoy your trip and your planning, and let me know if you have any other questions!
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Old 07-16-2012, 11:54 AM   #10
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thank you anierodzik
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