Busch Gardens

About Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens - Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens Africa This 335 acre park opened in 1959 as a hospitality centre for the Anhauser-Busch brewing company. They didn't charge for admission and showed acts with performing animals. On leaving the park the visitors would be given a free sample of the beer. You can still get your free sample today although the admission is no longer free!

When the brewing plant closed down some years later, Busch focused more on it's animals, and rides to attract more visitors. Busch Gardens became famous for it's Roller Coasters and still is today. The Serengeti Express runs along the rear of the park and stops at the Nairobi, Congo and Stanleyville areas. The Skyride, cable car, carries guests between Crown Colony and Stanleyville.


The park's main entrance is where you will find the Mystic Sheiks of Morocco brass and percussion ensemble. They travel around this area playing their instruments. You will also find the outdoor Marrakesh Theater here. Other attractions are:

  • Bird Gardens With Pink flamingos, parrots, black swans, and many rare birds live here whilst in the Bird Theatre, guests can see the parrots as well as birds of prey.
  • Land of the Dragons
    A children's play area with a three-story-tall tree house, an enchanted forest, slides, a gentle waterfall, and smaller sized rides.
  • Marrakesh Theater.


This section of the park is home to the park's water rides and SheiKra, a roller coaster that held numerous records. You will also find one of 3 Railway Stations here (Right alongside Sheikra). The rides in include:

  • SheiKra, a 200-foot Bolliger & Mabillard diving roller coaster with a 90-degree vertical drop. After passengers have been secured, the trains make their way out of the station and begin the 45-degree lift hill to the ride's peak height of 200 feet. Trains make a turn and come onto a specially-designed holding brake which holds the trains for anywhere between 3-5 seconds. Riders are then taken down a 200-foot vertical drop and are quickly taken into an Immelmann inversion. An upwards turn brings riders to a block brake before riders take a second, nearly vertical, drop into a mist-filled tunnel. After the tunnel, trains manoeuvre a wide turn over the park's smoke house before coming to the finale, when the train travels across the surface of a pool, soaking onlookers. After another turn, the trains come into the service brake and are slowed by magnetic brakes before returning to the station. Height Restrictions, 54"/137cm
  • Stanley Falls Flume, a log flume with a 43-foot drop. A fairly basic fun ride for all ages. Height Restrictions, 46"/116cm
  • Tanganyika Tidal Wave, a 20 passenger shoot the chutes water ride with a 55-foot drop. A bit dated now, but still good fun. It takes you on a scenic ride through uncharted African waterways culminating in the 55ft Drop. Height Restrictions, 48"/122cm


This section contains two of the park's more popular rides. In November 2006, the section underwent a major renovation, which included the removal of the park's classic Python roller coaster. Rides include:

  • Kumba, is a 143-foot steel sit-down roller coaster with seven inversions. First built in 1993 by Bolliger & Mabillard, it still remains a popular ride today. opened in 1993, it stands 143 feet tall and has a top speed of 60 mph. Kumba is one of the first in a line of multi-inversion coasters (that is, those having six or more inversions) built by B & M. It has seven inversions which, in order, are:
    • 114-foot tall vertical loop, which wraps around the lift hill
    • B & M's first-ever diving loop
    • Zero-G roll
    • Cobra Roll (two inversions)
    • Interlocking corkscrews (also a first for B & M) immediately after the block brake
    • Kumba had the most inversions of any coaster by B & M until the opening of Dragon Khan in 1995.
    Kumba” means “Roar” in the African Congo language. The coaster itself mimics this definition with a dinstinctive roar that the train produces as it traverses the track. It is not known if this was a design feature or an incidental though appropriate aspect of the ride. Most likely, the cause of this roar is due to the track design. Similar to other Bolliger & Mabillard roller coasters, the track contains a hollow spine and rails, which are known to produce a roaring sound. Height Restrictions, 54"/137cm
  • Congo River Rapids, a water ride that simulates raging white-water rapids. The ride opened in 1982. This is one very wild rapids ride and you will get soaked too! Height Restrictions, 42"/106cm
  • Ubanga Banga Regular Bumper Cars, a bumper cars ride similar to those found at fairgrounds. Height Restrictions, 42"/106cm


Opened on April 5, 2008, Jungala is a 4-acre family attraction featuring up-close animal encounters, rope bridges to explore three stories of jungle life, and a water-play area for children. Also located in this area are two family attractions: Jungle Flyers, a zip line that offers three different flight patterns above the treetops of the new area, and Wild Surge, a shot tower that launches guests above a waterfall. Another attraction is Tiger Trail, which is a walkthrough with tigers where there is also a glass turret where you can look out right in the middle of the tiger enclosure. During the Kareebu Jungala atmosphere show, stiltwalkers perform with puppets and interact with guests in the heart of Jungala.

  • Jungle Fliers, a zip line ride.
  • The Wild Surge, a Moser family launch tower ride.


Once you leave Congo, you arrive in Pantopia, A section originally themed after the malls and bazaars of Africa that opened up in May 1980 as Timbuktu. The Phoenix was built in 1984 and remains a popular ride to this day. The section was renovated in 2003. Important elements added during this facelift included the Timbuktu Theater, which replaced the park's Dolphin Theater with an indoor 4-D movie theater. In 2004, Das Festhaus was transformed into the Desert Grill, and the park's family-friendly Sand Serpent wild mouse roller coaster opened, replacing the Crazy Camel flat ride. In September 2014, Falcon's Fury, a 335 foot drop tower, opened. This section of the park was re-themed to Pantopia alongside the opening of Falcon's Fury.

  • Scorpion, a steel Schwarzkopf designed sit-down roller coaster with a 63ft drop and one vertical loop. Height Restrictions 42"/106cm
  • Sand Serpent, a steel "wild mouse" type roller coaster. Height Restrictions None
  • Phoenix, a looping Egyptian cargo vessel. Hold on to your lunch! Height Restrictions, 48"/122cm
  • Pantopia Theater
  • Caravan Carousel featuring Camels, Horses and Chariots
  • Falcon's Fury, a drop tower that has a speed of 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) and tilts 90 degrees towards the ground. It is the tallest free-standing drop tower in North America at 335 feet (102 m). Height restriction 54"–77"/137–196 cm


Alligators and crocodiles can be observed here up close. In Curiosity Cavern, guests can view mammal and reptile exhibits. Visitors to Nairobi can view injured or abandoned newborns at the Nairobi Field Station Animal Nursery. The areas also contains Myombe Reserve, a tropical rainforest that is home to Western Lowland Gorillas and Common Chimpanzees.

Crown Colony Plaza

Crown Colony is the smallest section of the park. It features

  • Crown Colony Cafe a restaurant
  • Cheetah Hunt a multi-launch steel roller coaster that opened in 2011.
  • The Skyride station.
  • Cheetah Run an animal exhibit located next to Cheetah Hunt. It replaced the Clydesdale Hamlet.


Bedouin tents and authentic handicrafts and art create an Egyptian marketplace feel. Guests can visit a replica of King Tutankhamen's tomb with the excavation in progress. The primary attraction of the Egypt themed area is Montu, an inverted steel coaster.

  • Cobra's Curse is a Mack steel spinning coaster that will replace the Tutankhamen Tomb in 2016.
  • Montu, named after the Egyptian falcon-god of war, is a 150'/46m high, steel inverted Bolliger & Mabillard roller coaster with seven inversions.

Animal Exhibits

Cheetah Run

In May 2011, Cheetah Run opened. Cheetah Run is home to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay collection of cheetahs. There are running demonstrations and Meet a Keeper sessions throughout the day. In addition, the exhibit has interactive screens with cheetah facts.

One of Cheetah Run's most notable residents is Kasi, a male cheetah, who was paired with Mtani, a female Labrador Retriever, from 2011 to 2013 when they were young. Mtani now lives with a zoo-keeper and Kasi has been paired with a female Cheetah. As of 2013, Busch Gardens has 14 cheetahs.

The Serengeti Plain

In 1965, the park opened its Serengeti Plain animal habitat, the first of its kind to offer animals in a free-roaming environment. Over the years, the habitat has expanded from 29 acres to its current size of 65 acres (26 ha). It is home to the Grévy's zebra, reticulated giraffe, addax, white rhinoceros, eland, impala, ostrich, and marabou stork.

Myombe Reserve

A 3-acre (12,000 m2) home for six lowland gorillas and nine chimpanzees located in Nairobi, opened in 1992.

Edge of Africa

Opened in 1997, Edge of Africa is a walk-through attraction where guests can observe African animals. Among the exhibits are a Nile crocodile, meerkats, two prides of lions, a pack of spotted hyenas, two hippos, vultures, and a troop of lemurs.
The three newest members to the lion pride include a male lion named Kembe and two female sisters named Shaba and Shtuko. They arrived at the park as cubs in 2013 from a zoo in Africa.

Orangutan Outpost

Tree-top observation platforms to watch and interact with orangutans.

Tiger Lodge and Tiger Trail

Observation areas, trails and a bridge to watch and interact with tigers. Busch Gardens has at least 10 tigers.

On March 31, 2013, Bzui, a female Malayan tiger, gave birth to three cubs sired by Mata. She had two males and one female. The males were named Bundar and Rukayah. The female was named Cinta.

Kulu Canopy

A multi-species habitat for white-cheeked gibbons, flying foxes (fruit bats) and false gharial - a reclusive and very rare crocodile native to Indonesia and Malaysia.

Jambo Junction

See many types of animals, including Caribbean flamingos, lemurs, cuscuses, sloths, opossums, snakes and more.

Walkabout Way

Area to hand-feed kangaroos and free-roaming wallabies and to see other animals such as kookaburras, magpies, black swans and tawny frogmouths. A male kangaroo named Horatio arrived at the park in early 2014.

Curiosity Caverns

This cavern attraction, formerly known as Nocturnal Mountain,[15] contains animals such as aardvarks, bats, snakes, lizards, tamarins, and sugar gliders in the low-light environment. This attraction offers the true facts about the creatures inside and cracks the myths about them wide open.


The Nairobi section of the park has five female and one male (arrived from the Calgary Zoo in 2013) Asian elephants. There are daily interactions at the Elephant Interaction and Husbandry Wall or during the Elephant Keeper Experience.

Asian Adventures

Asian Animals in Rainforest Komodo dragon