My entire life I have heard of Busch Gardens, but I really didn't know much about it other than it was a theme park. I often wondered why anyone would go there when there are SO MANY theme parks in Orlando to see, plus it's an hour or so away from Orlando. Well, the mystery was finally solved when we received free tickets from my husband's uncle. Hey, why pay to go to a Disney park if you can go to it's competitor for free?
Busch Gardens is a zoo, rides, gardens, and shows all rolled up into one. It is really worth the visit if you love animals because it is a full zoo. The rides and shows are just the icing the cake. My only complaint about this park is that you can't possibly do it all in one day. We spent most of our time visiting the animals and only went on a few rides plus one show. However, we did leave around the supper hour because our son Jordan had to work during the day, and we wanted to spend our evening with him. The park is open late, if we would have been able to stay until the park closed, we might have gotten to see more.
This is the entrance to the park. They have this nice spot right at the entrance to take pictures of your visit.
If you love rides, especially roller coasters, this is the park for you. Many of the Disney parks don't have the extreme roller coasters the teens love, but this park does. We didn't go on any, cause we don't like them, but our son-in-law Jason loves them and went on a lot of them alone.
However, we did go on several rides: this water log ride (I stayed back to take pictures. I don't like drops), a water rafting ride (that was fun, but I got soaked) and bumper cars. We also went on a train ride and a sky ride, which was awesome because we got to see the entire park sitting down and a lot of the animals.
Here are some photos of my husband, daughter, and son-in-law going down the water log ride.
Every time we travel, we always try to check out the local zoo if time permits. So it was quite convenient that this park was a zoo! One thing we liked about this zoo, was how close you could get to the animals...almost too close at times!
They had an aviary, and these sweet little birds would fly right to you and land on your shoulder, arm, or even your head! It was so much fun!
We saw many animals on the train ride. The train guide warns you that the train may have to stop for animals on the tracks. She wasn't kidding. We had to stop for a gazelle.
There is also a safari ride you can take as well, but you have to pay extra for this. I think it was around $25.00 per person. Needless to say, we passed on that.
This rhinoceros was feeding only a few feet from our train. We could not believe there was no barrier between him and our train. What if he suddenly charged? Apparently, the park was not worried about that all, so he must have never done that.
They sure had plenty of alligators at this zoo! I've never seen so many alligators in one place in my life! And again, I couldn't believe how close they were. There was only a small, short wrought iron fence separating these guys from the sidewalk where the people were.
Look at all the turtles! They don't seem to fear the alligators one bit!
In addition to animals and rides, they also had a ton of shows. We only had time to see one show. It was a holiday on ice show. We were impressed with the professional figure skaters and the quality of the show.
The decor of Busch Gardens was beautiful. I will be showing and covering this topic more on Sunday's Garden post, for this park was filled with gorgeous gardens. They also did a fabulous jobs decorating the park with various themes such as the Serengeti Plain, Pantopia, Egypt, Morocco, etc., and a Sesame Street area for the little ones.
This is the entrance to the Pantopia area:
These puppeteers are part of a show. They came out to say "Hi" to the kids. It was so fun to watch them maneuver in these costumes and try to figure out where their actual body parts were in relation to the costume.
Our visit to Busch Gardens was way too short. If you go, pick a slow day and get there early, for there is so much to see and do. It cost $99.00 per person (adult) to get in the park. Although food is quite reasonably priced in comparison to the Disney park food prices, we packed a picnic lunch to keep the cost down. You can get your hand stamped and leave the park to eat. They have free shuttle rides to your car, which we really appreciated as parking is quite far away on crowded days!
Have a great day! Amy
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