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Old 09-09-2012, 07:00 PM   #1
aubreysmom09
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Seaworld/busch gardens with 3yr old

We had to buy a new car, so we had to cancel our Disney vacation. We live near Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA, and go almost once a week. We have platinum passes for the Busch owned theme parks. It's a fairly inexpensive trip for us. I'm curious if their is enough to do for our almost 3 year old. We are going the week after Thanksgiving. She is 39" tall at the moment. When I read online it seems that Busch Gardens in Tampa and Seaworld doesn't have much for younger kids to do as Busch Gardens here in VA. She does well at Water Country USA, so I'm sure she will do fine at Aquatica. Hopefully it will be warm enough to go. I haven't been to Seaworld since I was 6, so it's been a while. Anything that is a must do?
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:40 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aubreysmom09 View Post
We had to buy a new car, so we had to cancel our Disney vacation. We live near Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA, and go almost once a week. We have platinum passes for the Busch owned theme parks. It's a fairly inexpensive trip for us. I'm curious if their is enough to do for our almost 3 year old. We are going the week after Thanksgiving. She is 39" tall at the moment. When I read online it seems that Busch Gardens in Tampa and Seaworld doesn't have much for younger kids to do as Busch Gardens here in VA. She does well at Water Country USA, so I'm sure she will do fine at Aquatica. Hopefully it will be warm enough to go. I haven't been to Seaworld since I was 6, so it's been a while. Anything that is a must do?
Your daughter will haev tons of fun at both parks .

At Aquatica, they have some great play areas for young guests. Kookaburra's Cove is for the tiniest kids:



Plus there's a HUGE play area that accomodates a wide range of ages (you will probably have as much fun there as she does):







She will enjoy floating along with Mom on Loggerhead Lane:



The wave pool is fun for all ages:



And there's a beautiful sandy beach to make sandcastles:



As for SeaWorld, Shamu's Happy Harbour has a bunch of rides geared for kids just her age and a little older. One Ocean (the Shamu show), Pets Ahoy, Clyde & Seamore Take Pirate Island, and the dolphin show will also appeal to her, even at the age of 3. Plus, she will probably like to feed a dolphin (or a sting ray, or any of the various other animals) and she'll be captivated by all the fish in the aquariums.

I think it sounds like a great trip, and I will bet you won't be disappointed .
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Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
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Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
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**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 09-10-2012, 08:48 AM   #3
aubreysmom09
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She goes down all the big watersides at water country but 3, because she doesn't meet the height requirement. She doesnt like the little kid area, because she wants to go down the big ones.lol. Will it be warm enough in November to enjoy Aquatica? It looks like a nice park. She loves the aquarium, so I hope the shows at Seaworld will keep her entertained.
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:55 PM   #4
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Will it be warm enough in November to enjoy Aquatica? It looks like a nice park.
As a Canadian, its "warm enough to swim" when there's no ice on the water .

Just kidding .

In all seriousness, I can tell you we swam at New Years, so I am guessing November will be fine. If its "too cold" they will close the park. The water is heated so as long as you can stand the air temperature when wet, you are good to go.
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Gina and her two guys ...conquering awesome Orlando, one offsite attraction at a time!

Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 09-10-2012, 09:52 PM   #5
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I'm originally from Chicago, so I get it. See the first sprig of grass and shorts come out.lol. If its heated it's all good
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:03 PM   #6
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I was wondering the same thing as OP regarding Busch Gardens Tampa. It seems like there are a few things for little ones to do but I don't get the impression that it is as "multigeneration oriented" as Sea World (if that makes any sense ). I would love to hear more feedback about visiting Busch Gardens Tampa with little ones on this forum.
Gina - I read your trip reports. Awesome I love Disney, but thank you for showing us how much fun Orlando is within itself. My kids are at the age (10 and under) where they are really into Disney entertainment and I am a big Mickey fan , but it seems like the Sea World parks (SW, Aquatica, DC) are more aligned with my family's vacationing style and park touring pace. DH and I went to Sea World a couple times in the mid to late 90's when it was in Ohio, and he grew up going to Sea World (Ohio); so we have wanted our kids to experience Sea World for quite some time now. I am also interested in Busch Gardens too.
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:25 PM   #7
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We have been taking our daughter to BG sine she was like 2. It's very family friendly. Lots of animals, sesame area. We love it there. She was bummed when the Elmo place opened cuz she was already to big for the swings...
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:06 PM   #8
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We did Busch Gardens Tampa with a 1.5 year old and a 3.5 year old. They both loved it. The lines are much shorter (if any at all for kid rides). The animal train ride is a different take on the safari, and probably more enjoyable for the younger kids than the equivalent at Animal Kingdom as it is slower and less bumpy. It is much longer as well, with chances to get on and off.

We arrived at park opening and went until about 2:30. Both kids slept quite well on the easy 1 hour drive back to Disney. We saw everything, rode all the kid rides in that time. You would be stretching it to do a full day there with real young kids, but it was perfect for the time frame I mentioned.

For Sea World, both kids loved it probably more than Disney. We went back twice. Magic Kingdom was probably a close #1 and Sea World right behind in their favorite places.
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Old 10-07-2012, 12:06 PM   #9
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My kids are 3 and 5 now and we have been going to Both SW and BGT since they were really little. I think if not for disney's marketing, my oldest would say BG is his favorite park.

There is LOTS for the younger kids to do and in many ways it is easier with multi generations because there are kid attraction near EVERY big ride. So if you are doing rider swap there is something for the kids to do while they wait close by. Now alot of those things are "carnival" rides, but after a few days of waiting for major attractions, my kids are good with a few rides.
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