Trip Report!!! Busch Gardens and SeaWorld

NashvilleTrio

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 2, 2005
Very enjoyable trip report! We'll be in Tampa first of June. While I'd love to go to Busch Gardens, I'm not so sure the kids will actually enjoy it. I have to practically "make" them ride rides at theme parks. I don't know why they are so squeamish, but they just won't do anything they perceive as scary. And, we've had so so luck on "trying" rides...some they like, some they come off crying mad I "made" them try it once. They are 7 and 9, you'd think they'd be a little more thrill seekers like Mom & Dad. But, not so. We do plan to go to Seaworld, and I understand there is a combo pass that we could use to go to both parks that isn't much more than a 1 day pass, so I'm tempted to do both, but I just hate to waste 2 days begging them to try stuff when I could be relaxing on the beach. LOL
I think you're kids could have a good time doing: Land of the Dragons (kid's play area), Lory Landing (bird feeding), Stanleyville Falls (log flume), Jungala (kid's play area), Sky/Train Ride around park, Rhino Rally (Land Rover through Serengeti), Edge of Africa (Lions, Hippos, Fish, etc) and Myombe Reserve (Apes and Chimpanzees).

There are additional kid friendly rides in Timbuktu and Congo, but that give you an idea for the 7-9 year olds.

However, I do understand wanting to have a rest day, but I always save that for my desk job when I return to work. :lmao:
 

vossjemi

I LUV 2 Travel!!!
Joined
Apr 16, 2004
Thanks for your response nashville. Yeah, I rest at work too! LOL We do have a couple things planned in Tampa...like taking the ferry from Honeymoon Island to Caladesi Island 1 day & going down to St. John's Pass near Madeira Beach and doing a Pirate ship excursion on another. And with Seaworld that is 3 busy days with a beach day thrown in between since our condo is right on the beach. I'm still considering BG...I may pull up this website and show the kids all your pictures to see if its something they want to try. THanks!
 

MelanieC

<font color=blue>BL II - Blue Team<br><font color=
Joined
Sep 28, 1999
Great report. Thanks for sharing. Great pictures!
 

NashvilleTrio

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 2, 2005
Sorry for the delay, but I'm back with the final installment of this trip report. By the way, I hope everyone had a Blessed Easter yesterday!

Our final day was back at Busch Gardens on March 16. We had an 11 hour drive back to Nashville and had planned to leave Tampa around noon, but we were having so much fun, we ended up not leaving until about 2:30! :scared1: But it all worked out fine. It was a LONG drive home, but Greg did most of the driving while Josh & I got to sleep.

Most of what we did on our final day was just repeats of the earlier days, so I'm just going to post some pics and let them mostly speak for themselves.

Here are a few pics from the hotel pool showing Greg again having some fun with our waterproof camera.






Ok, back to BG pictures...




















Well, that's it! I hope everyone enjoyed our report. Please feel free to ask questions! Happy Spring to all!
-melissa
 

LiamsDISMom

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Loved your report. We are platinum members as well, (we live near williamsburg) and are planning on going for the first time in Sept.(well at least in almost ten years) to SW and BG. I did not know about the re-ride prviledge. I do not think we have that here in BG Wil., although I do intend to check next time to be sure. So you used that at BG as well as SW? Also noticed the free sky tower was included with pass. Are there any other perks or discounts we should know about before we go?
 

NashvilleTrio

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 2, 2005
Loved your report.

So you used that at BG as well as SW? Also noticed the free sky tower was included with pass. Are there any other perks or discounts we should know about before we go?
Thanks! :lovestruc

Yep, we used the re-ride at both parks and it was really nice. Almost as good as Universal's on-site Express, but not quite. :thumbsup2

If you go to the BGT or SW website there are additional web only coupons you can print out, but nothing mind blowing.
 

Janet Hill

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 6, 2005
I did not know about the re-ride prviledge. I do not think we have that here in BG Wil., although I do intend to check next time to be sure.
My son has asked on two different occasions at BG Wil and was told no. He was only 10 at the time, so I don't know if they were blowing him off or not and since I was no where near Griffon, I couldn't confirm. I would be interested to know if you can use this perk in Let us know if you are able to use this perk in Williamsburg. Don't forget to bring your BG Williamsburg refillable bottles: these are good at all the parks.
 
  • LiamsDISMom

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2009
    That is very cool. I can't wait to try that out when we go. Thanks for the tip on the bottles too. I probably would not have thought of that. Also when I find out about the re-ride in Wil. I will definitely post it. Thanks for your help.
     

    momtoBrandon&Jacob

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 23, 2007
    Thanks for the report. I am contemplating doing SW when we go in October. We will be staying in Disney so will probably have to take a taxi. Can you tell me if SW is worth it for just one day? Not worried about price - just leaving disney property and shlepping to SW and such. Plus we will be on the DDP and will have to pay OOP for all the meals that day. Also, do you think it's important to get there first thing in the a.m. or is it possible to get there at around 10:00am and still see everything.

    Sorry for all the questions, but I've never been. It'll be me, hubby, 2 boys ages 7 and 8. Thanks!
     

    MarkFL

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 4, 2008
    Melissa, I'm pretty sure I saw you at Busch Gardens! I don't remember what days I was there last month but I swear I ran into you somewhere. Maybe I should wear a lime green Mickey head everywhere I go!
     

    NashvilleTrio

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2005
    Thanks for the report. I am contemplating doing SW when we go in October. We will be staying in Disney so will probably have to take a taxi. Can you tell me if SW is worth it for just one day? Not worried about price - just leaving disney property and shlepping to SW and such. Plus we will be on the DDP and will have to pay OOP for all the meals that day. Also, do you think it's important to get there first thing in the a.m. or is it possible to get there at around 10:00am and still see everything.

    Sorry for all the questions, but I've never been. It'll be me, hubby, 2 boys ages 7 and 8. Thanks!
    I personally think SW is worth doing because I am a big fan of marine life. And their rides are great as well. If you or your family members have any sort of interest in marine life, then I would say it's definitely worth it. If not, then maybe not so much. I would say that the rides are just sort of "icing on the cake" - they're great rides, but there are only a few of them.

    If you go, however, I would suggest getting there by opening if possible just to avoid the crowds. Since you've probably been to Disney before, you should know all about beating the crowds! ;) We got there around opening and left around 6pm and did not get to see and do everything. But we did most of what we had planned to do or see. But there are still some things on our list for our June trip.

    Hope this info helps - have fun!
     
  • NashvilleTrio

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2005
    Melissa, I'm pretty sure I saw you at Busch Gardens! I don't remember what days I was there last month but I swear I ran into you somewhere. Maybe I should wear a lime green Mickey head everywhere I go!
    No way! That's cool! I'm hard to miss 'cause I'm six feet tall. Greg always points out other "amazon women" to me when we're out in public because it's rare that we see women who are that tall. :lmao:
     

    snoopybabe

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 24, 2007
    Loved your report. We are platinum members as well, (we live near williamsburg) and are planning on going for the first time in Sept.(well at least in almost ten years) to SW and BG. I did not know about the re-ride prviledge. I do not think we have that here in BG Wil., although I do intend to check next time to be sure. So you used that at BG as well as SW? Also noticed the free sky tower was included with pass. Are there any other perks or discounts we should know about before we go?
    I don't think BG Wil has the re-ride priviledge. I have heard from others who have gone to SW & BG Tampa that they were treated like gold there & wished they were treated so nicely here. Plan on going this August & can't wait:banana: We went to SW 2 years ago & they even gave us free preferred parking. I didn't know about the re-rides then but plan on doing it this time:dance3:
     

    waverunner1

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 13, 2009
    I have throughly enjoyed your TR! :surfweb: The pics were great. The gold digger one :rotfl2:! We're trying to decide which park to pick with our Discovery Cove package. We are going to be at Clearwater Beach during the first part of the trip, then to Orlando. Having a hard time deciding. If you have any insight to which park, I would love to hear. Our DS is nine, but is on the short side. I guess BG is more ride oriented and SW is more show oriented?
     

    Bridora

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 15, 2009
    Hi! I just found your Trip Report and read it all just now. We are going to Sea World for the 1st time at the end of May. I can't wait! I loved looking at all your pics--they were wonderful. Now I'm ready! :cool1:
     

    jmskinner

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 15, 2006
    Hi, I just found your TR. I was looking for info on BG since we will be going in July. Can you believe we have lived in the Tampa area for almost a year now and haven't been. Got AP's to WDW and have spent all of our time there. Really enjoyed your TR and the pics were great. Really looking forward to going now.
     

    RabFlmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 4, 2003
    I personally think SW is worth doing because I am a big fan of marine life. And their rides are great as well. If you or your family members have any sort of interest in marine life, then I would say it's definitely worth it. If not, then maybe not so much. I would say that the rides are just sort of "icing on the cake" - they're great rides, but there are only a few of them.

    If you go, however, I would suggest getting there by opening if possible just to avoid the crowds. Since you've probably been to Disney before, you should know all about beating the crowds! ;) We got there around opening and left around 6pm and did not get to see and do everything. But we did most of what we had planned to do or see. But there are still some things on our list for our June trip.

    Hope this info helps - have fun!
    During the summer you definitely want to stay in SW longer than 6PM because of the night shows they do. They are not the same shows that you see during the day so you want to do both. The Sealion tonite show will be funnier if you have done the daytime shows

    We usually try to get there at opening-to get to feed the dolphins first thing
    and stay till close during the summer. You might actually find that you want to pick up the 2nd day free pass when you leave. New coater is the best in Orlando , too.
     

    keishashadow

    Proud Redhead...yes, I have some bananas!
    Joined
    Dec 30, 2004
    it's a small world melissa;)i just did a search for info on BG (1st visit in 25 - cough:laughing:something years & figured things had a changed a bit!), glad i found this TR:thumbsup2great pics

    we enjoy SW but decided to select BG as our 'free' tix for our 1st Discovery Cove experience in a couple of weeks.

    i have kelly m's guidebook & want to plan lose touring itinerary, as when we visited BG Williamsburg on weekend in August few years ago were lucky to get a couple of rides done all day.:rolleyes1It was confusing with only certain sections of the park open early, but not posted anywhere that i could tell, even the employees didn't know.:confused3

    i am thinking of booking the safari, rhino one or not; depending on availability & what time we make it to the park in the am sounds like great way to get up close, not sure about standing in a moving truck bed though.:confused:

    def hoping the crowds 1st week in Oct on tuesday or wednesday are manageable.

    any more hints?
     

    NashvilleTrio

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2005
    it's a small world melissa;)i just did a search for info on BG (1st visit in 25 - cough:laughing:something years & figured things had a changed a bit!), glad i found this TR:thumbsup2great pics

    we enjoy SW but decided to select BG as our 'free' tix for our 1st Discovery Cove experience in a couple of weeks.

    i have kelly m's guidebook & want to plan lose touring itinerary, as when we visited BG Williamsburg on weekend in August few years ago were lucky to get a couple of rides done all day.:rolleyes1It was confusing with only certain sections of the park open early, but not posted anywhere that i could tell, even the employees didn't know.:confused3

    i am thinking of booking the safari, rhino one or not; depending on availability & what time we make it to the park in the am sounds like great way to get up close, not sure about standing in a moving truck bed though.:confused:

    def hoping the crowds 1st week in Oct on tuesday or wednesday are manageable.

    any more hints?
    Yes, Janet, it is a small world indeed! I had forgotten about this TR. Glad you found it and glad it was somewhat helpful.

    You're doing DC?? I'm jealous! I know you guys will have a blast!

    We loved the Serengeti Safari and thought it was well worth the money. It was very cool to be so close to the giraffes. Our son was a little apprehensive at first but quickly warmed up to it and loved it as well. Watch out for your cameras though - one giraffe completely knocked another guy's camera out of his hands and it fell and broke. Luckily it was only a small point -n- shoot. Would've been worse if it were a big Nikon or something like that!
    Standing in the back of the truck was fine. They drive really slow and everyone had room to hold on to the side of the truck bed.

    Gosh, it's been a while since we were there, but it seems like only the front section of the park was open at the beginning of the day. So, it must be the same as Williamsburg. I think we just hung out at Montu for a few rides and then the rest of the park was open after that. (Montu is a great ride, by the way. Very smooth - We love it!)

    As far as other hints go -
    -Of course, get there before or by opening to beat the crowds.
    -Study the map and have a plan of action before hand.
    -If you have a meal at the Crown Colony Restaurant (and the weather is nice) ask to sit outside where you'll have a fantastic view of the animals.
    -You guys can probably skip Jungala because it's geared to younger kids. Josh loved it the first time we went, but was bored with it the second time.
    -We loved feeding the birds at Lory Landing. The best and most entertaining money we spent all day!
    -You may want to consider Quick Queue. It's worth the money if you want to get the most rides in possible.

    Hope this helps and have a great trip! I think the crowds should be ok for you especially on a weekday. We'll be there on October 16 which is a Saturday so I know it'll be crazy! Have fun!!!!!!!!!
    -Melissa
     

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