We visited Busch Gardens Tampa for the first time in May 2021. As you may know, Busch Gardens Williamsburg is one of our favorite parks so surpassing our spiritual sanctuary would be a tall order.
I try not to set expectations before visiting a new place but BGW is so well themed to European villages how could an African-themed sister park compare? I was nervous that the Africa vibe would be a cheesy caricature of the beautiful continent. Also, on the other end of the spectrum, I feared the Florida park would be better and ruin Williamsburg for me.
Our morning started about 11 am and we immediately ate lunch. I felt like my blood sugar was low and I wanted to eat and hydrate Immediately. We ate at the Zagora Café where I enjoyed an Impossible Burger and Aaron had chicken fingers. The food was fresh and well prepared. Interestingly, I don’t think I have ever had standard park food at Williamsburg besides Ice cream. American food in an African-themed park was a little disappointing but not hardly a bad experience.
The restaurant was next to Iron Gwazi, that is all I’ll say about the mysterious circumstances surrounding the opening of the new SeaWorld Entertainment Rollercoasters.
As we continued to walk down the path next we ran into Parrots, Flamingos, and various ‘Florida Birds’. I suffer from Ornithophobia, and although it comes off as prejudice towards birds I am truly just afraid of them and do not understand them. Needless to say, I skipped the Avian Observatory.
Next, we hit three rides back to back…
Tigris which for some reason exacerbated my headache and sent me to the gift shop for Excedrin. Very nice views during the cycle but the Premier Skyrocket 2 trains with comfort harnesses turn me off more and more each ride.
Sheikra The OG B&M dive coaster left me wanting nothing more. With only one inversion the ride was still solid and beautiful coaster to photograph.
Stanley Falls Flume is a very cute classic flume. Our log wouldn’t leave the station so our ride-op instructed us to shimmy forward (lol very ghetto). We got to the base of the second lift and it was stopped. We collided with the log before and then the subsequent hit us. That was an experience but some very quick maneuvering by the operations team got all three of us safely down the big drop! #LIVELOGLIFE
We made our way across the park from that are hitting up Kumba (which made my headache worse but was totally worth it) and Scorpion (which was fun because we rode with a very adventurous woman in her 80s.)
We observed the closed Falcon’s Fury and many of the wildlife exhibits!
We went to Cheetah Hunt which was absolutely the longest line of the day. While a good coaster it’s neither great nor as bad as it is said to be. It’s just a thing that exists! We hit up Cobra’s Curse such a fun ride.
Last but not least we sealed the day with a ride on Montu. Montu is probably a great ride but… my headache, coupled with my increasing inability to endure positive g-forces (sigh), I got the credit but I really need to give it a fair shake on a day I feel good. In the vlog my initial reaction is positive but I was caffeine drunk from coffee and headache pills.
Overall I loved the park. The beauty of the Florida setting is such that the african theming and local flora make sense. The Safari too was amazing we rode the train a few times to check out the animals.
Is it better than BGW? No…. Does it have a better coaster lineup maybe… Will I be back absolutely? All of my fears were resolved by the fact the BGT has its own charm. I am now a fan of two Busch Gardens parks. What these parks provide is very unique. Thanks for reading and check out the video on the YouTube Channel SOON!
Love and Respect!