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Old 04-23-2013, 09:29 AM   #1
mrsmoku
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Busch Gardens Tampa! First Time - Lots of Questions!

We're headed to Busch Gardens Tampa mid-June but I have a ton of questions. Any and all help is appreciated!

1. Where to stay? We would like to walk to the park instead of having to drive and pay for parking or rely on a shuttle. From what I've gathered, it seems like there is a not-so-great neighborhood in the area - we'd prefer to stay away from that! 2 adults, no kids.

2. Crowds? It's summer and kids are out of school so I know it will be busy but what are generally the best 2 days to go? Sunday and Monday? Friday and Saturday?

3. Backpacks/water/snacks? Can you bring and carry backpacks around the park? Can you take the backpacks on rides or do you have to get a locker? How about waters and snacks?

4. Not to miss rides or food? Or, definitely miss rides or food? Both inside and outside of the parks.

5. Anything else!!
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:20 PM   #2
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I'm going to move this thread to the SeaWorld forum.
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metro West View Post
I'm going to move this thread to the SeaWorld forum.
I copied it over to that thread when I realized I put this question in the wrong category. You're welcome to delete this thread so there arent duplicates
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:53 PM   #4
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I deleted the other thread with no responses.
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:30 PM   #5
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1) The area over by the college is a little bit better. I have stayed over there, specifically at the Embassy Suites, and while it is a long walk, you can do it. If I recall correctly it was sidewalk most, if not all, of the way. But it is a hike, just depends on what shape you are in and how you feel about walking back after a day in the park.

2) I normally go on weekdays and it is generally better than weekends, although I don't go during the summer enough to say which day specifically is better.

3) Most rides you will need to locker any bag you have with you, and most of the major rides have lockers right outside the entrance to the ride itself. You can also get an all day locker up by the front of the park. You can bring certain things in, but sorry, I don't know what their requirements are.

4) I like the Zambia Smokehouse, which is the BBQ place. Good ribs but I always get the beef brisket (the platter may not be on the menu but you can still get it, I just had it yesterday). A good mid-day break place is Sultan's Sweets, which has a bakery, ice cream, and candy shop. It also has Starbucks coffe.

For rides my favorite is SheiKra, that first drop is like nothing else. Cheetah Hunt is also good, although it took me a while to warm up to it. As far as I am concerned you can skip the wood coaster, Gwazi, but others seem to like it. They also have several water rides if it is a hot day and you want to cool off a little.

5) Make sure you at least walk through the kangoroo area, even if you don't feed them. They will be friendly until they realize you have no food. Skip Rhino Rally, it has really gone downhill since they put in Cheetah Hunt, it was way too short now.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:49 AM   #6
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Walking would definitely be a trek! I agree that the college side (Fowler) is better than the neighborhood on Busch Blvd, but I can't think of a hotel that would be less than probably 1-2 miles away, are you really going to want to walk that far both directions in addition to walking in the parks? Seaworld parks tend to be pretty strict about not bringing a lot of food etc in the parks, and several rides you will need a locker if you are carrying a backpack (lockers are the coin operated near the rides and are $.50 each time). I second the smokehouse, this is a fave for us. Also really like the Desert Grill. They serve mostly italian, it is counter service, but is inside seating in air conditioning, and they do hold shows, mostly dance/music type in there, which are fun to watch. We love the kangaroos as well, also really enjoy the elephants, usually the gate is open and you can go in and get fairly up close with them several times a day.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:58 AM   #7
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Forgot to add, as far as rides, I like Cheetah Hunt fairly well, and really enjoy Montu (suspended coaster). I rode Sheikra once, and wasn't really crazy about it, as once it starts down hill I feel like I am tipped over head first. I am planning to ride it again the next time we go, though, and will likely let my hubby talk me into front row this time, as he swears it is the only way to ride this one. My brother and husband both LOVE Sheikra. I don't mind Gwazi (wooden) but it doesn't really thrill me either, it generally feels like a long kiddie coaster to me. I will say that it is smoother than a number of wooden coasters I have been on, though. Kumba is another good coaster. We generally go spend the day once a month or so, since we live locally, and we really like to get the all day dine deal, this allows us to get entree, side or dessert and drink (or any of the previous), as often as we want all day at nearly all the counter service restaurants.
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:00 AM   #8
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I checked out the nearby hotels and did not care for them. We prefer the hotels just across 275. Better area, plenty of conveniences nearby and the boys had fun at Chuck E Cheese.

Cheetah Hunt is our favorite ride. The lines can get long so we hit it first thing in the morning. The skylift uses the same building so from there we take it to the back of the park. We avoid the wooden coaster. If you are there in warmer weather be sure to hit the water rides early to avoid everyone trying to beat the heat.
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:37 PM   #9
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Cheetah hunt is a great ride, usually end up riding it at least twice. The line gets long later in the day for that one so hit it early.
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Old 05-04-2013, 01:47 PM   #10
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I was doing some reading and am getting conflicting sites saying gwazi is open and closed.


Any thoughts
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:14 AM   #11
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I would skip Gwazi if it is open. It is the roughest jerkiest wooden coaster I have ever been on. I felt like I had been in a car wreck when I got off that ride and all the kids agreed with me. Everybody hated it.

Cheetah Hunt is one of my all time favorite rides in any park.

I can't say where to stay because we stayed in Orlando and just drove in for the day and drove back to Orlando after we left the park.

There is no place for you to walk from that isn't about 2 miles away. Just pay the few bucks to park and walk in from the parking lot like everyone else does. JMO.
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