Busch Gardens Tampa. How Much Time Do I Need?

Saturday, April 16, 2005 9:32 PM
My folks are going to Florida next week, and I have been invited. We are planning to go to Busch Gardens:Tampa, but I would like to know if the park can be experienced in one day.

I obviously want to experience the rides, while my parents would go to shows and animal attractions. Can this all be done in one day?

Also, any advice on strategy once we get into the park, and any tips on how to save money (cheapest tickets I have seen so far are from AAA) would be greatly appreciated!

EDIT: Also, it looks like Dollywood is on the way (about half way between the park and here). Is it worth taking an extra day to visit?

-Sam *** Edited 4/17/2005 1:42:55 AM UTC by Avalanche Sam***

Saturday, April 16, 2005 10:27 PM
The park can be done in a day, but you may need to skip a few things.

If you arrive at the park within a half hour of it opening, head straight for Kumba in the very back of the park. You should have a very short wait there, so make sure to re-ride if you want. Next, work your way back to the very front of the park and go to Montu. You should have a decent wait for this ride, 15-20 min im guessing, but you never know. Montu is an AMAZING ride, one of my favorites.Make sure you get a ride once in the back and the front.

After Montu, head straight across the park to hit Shiekra (if its open, im not sure when it does). If it is open make sure to get that done. Then go to Gwazi. This is another great ride. Both sides are quite different and both are excellent. The animal part is really cool, and make sure to take the train around the park.

Have a great day, its a wonderful park.

Saturday, April 16, 2005 11:17 PM
You'll need exactly 37 minutes and 14 seconds if it's a tuesday and 84 minutes 33 seconds any other day.

Hope that helps.

Saturday, April 16, 2005 11:58 PM
Great! If it takes me longer than 84 minutes and 33 seconds, I know who to yell at!

I was just asking if one day was enough.


Sunday, April 17, 2005 3:12 AM
Unless the place is jam packed one day should be enough for you. Granted, I haven't been there since 1994 and the day I was there it was raining and there were maybe 2,000 people in the park.

But we did everything.

Sunday, April 17, 2005 9:51 AM
I would suguest the VIP Adventure tour... it was $80 and you get front of the line privigliges(SP lol sorry) and you walk thourgh all the exibits. So you see the whole park in a day and get info about the park that you wouldn't find in the park
Sunday, April 17, 2005 11:22 AM
You can definitely do Busch Gardens in one day, but be prepared for lines even if the park isn't crowded. Everytime I have gone, they always stack trains and seem to not care about capacity at all. The station for Montu can get pretty messy when it's packed with people too. You have to ride Montu at least once in the front and once in the back.

Scorpion doesn't usually have a long line, but I've never seen it run more than one train so hopefully that isn't too much of a wait.

Cheeta Chase usually gets long lines after the Lighthouse 4-D let's out a crowd of people (since it is right next door).

Kumba usually is deserted near the end of the day leaving a one train wait for the front and a walk on for the rest of the train. Definitely try this one in the front and back as well, it's wicked intense.

Python is skip-able, but if you ride it, sit anywhere on the right side of the train.

As for Gwazi - lately they have been only running one side. Both are good in my opinion, and definitely better in the front of the train for all the pops of unexpected air.

SheiKra is opening on the 21st of May for the general public (I think). If that's open when you are there, I have no idea how lines will be.

And finally - Dollywood is well worth a stop if you can budget the time. It's a great park for shows and shopping for the people who don't ride, and it has three very unique and exciting coasters that I've never seen with horribly long lines... but you never know.

Sunday, April 17, 2005 11:36 AM
I went to BGT a couple years ago, and from my experience, it can definitely be done in a day. I actually rode everything a couple times apiece in 1 day.
Sunday, April 17, 2005 9:28 PM
Sam, it can definitely be done in a day. Next week should be quiet, save for maybe more locals on Saturday.

I know that someone suggested you do Kumba at the back of the park and then come back to the front for Montu but my last trip to BGT I found it best to hit Montu then hop on the skyway to get to the back of the park and track down Kumba.

You may even be able to hit Gwazi to the left of the park's entrance, veer right to Montu, THEN take the Skyway to the back of the park.

As long as you get there when the park opens you will have NO problem doing the major coasters -- and Rhino Rally (it gets a bad rap but it is a one-of-a-kind attraction) -- before lunch.

Cheetah Chase (low capacity is its curse), Scorpion, Python -- if you don't mind getting soaked the rapids ride is a pretty good one. The Lighthouse 4D show can also possibly be considered a water ride!

Either way, if I were you I would have your parents meet up with you for a late lunch at Crown Colony and at that point you will have done the marquee thrill rides and then you can spend some quality family time and meander through the park and enjoy the animal exhibits.

Monday, April 18, 2005 10:03 AM
April is a great time of year to visit Florida theme parks. It's a perfect spot of beautiful weather between March break and summer peak season.

Like any park visit, you should prioritize. If you arrive at the park within an hour of gate-open, try to ride Montu and Gwazi first, then Kumba. You can probably re-ride these later, but you may have to miss other attractions.

I had a great time visiting 10-6 on a weekday in January, riding all the coasters and water rides, but I opted to miss every show and the train ride past the animals.

Keep in mind, that if you have the time, BGT has a 2nd day free policy.

Monday, April 25, 2005 1:24 PM
I visit Busch Gardens Tampa Bay about six times a year and it can be done in a day. Most of the time, other than Gwazi, have great dispatch times with excellent capacity and efficiency. I have never seen a team move faster than on Kumba. They seem to have the train ready to go a leaving the station while the train ahead is traveling through Cobra Roll. Montu always seems to have a wait no matter what though, if it is running three trains, a front seat ride is a must. Gwazi seems to be the only coaster that doesn't run efficiently, the load/unload proceedure takes way too much time than needed. The average time from when the train stops to dispatch is about 160 seconds, which is longer than the ride itself. The park is prettiest in Florida and probably I ever visited. So you should have fun time and a lots of great photos to share when you come back.

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