Florida Feb 2nd-12th

It has been about 7 yrs since my last visit to Florida and my wife's first time. We bought the Flex Tickets for unlimited use to 6 parks.

We arrive at our hotel next to Busch Gardens on the morning of Thu Feb 2nd after an entire days drive. We got checked in and went to the park. No lines at all.

We started with Cheetah Hunt. It is a fun coaster. But, I consider it a nice family addition to the park after such rides like Montu and Kumba. It is not very forceful. We rode it a few times during our stay there. I love the layout of the ride.

We worked our way around the park as a loop getting the coaster credits done first for Leslie. Both Montu and Kumba were kicking a$$. Kumba is still one of my favorite coasters. I love the intensity it still dishes out! As mentioned in someone elses trip report, Gwazi Tiger side is down until sometime in March for rehab.

Fri, we went to Lowry Park Zoo (which included coaster credit), for a few hrs. We went to Clearwater to Celebration Station to get their kiddie coaster and then stopped at Marine Aquarium to see the dolphin, Winter, from the movie: Dolphin Tale.

Sat took us back to Busch. We had a couple of tours scheduled we were looking forward to. First was the Endangered Species tour. It was a 45+ minute tour in which we rode in bed of truck out onto safari and fed the giraffes and got to see most of animals out there. Also got to see couple of older cheetahs that are retired in seperate section. The second tour was behind the scenes of the orangatangs & tigers. Very cool! I think it is great that the Busch parks are providing these tours.

Rest of the day was checking out various shows and animal feedings.

Sun - Busch for final day of Tampa part. We did the Roller Coaster Insider tour whcih was of Montu. We got to go below and see various parts from the ride and the 4th train, whcih was completely stripped down for rehab. We then got to take the stairs up the mid-course block brake and stand directly underneath the level where the train comes through. Very cool perspective! Highly reccomend this. One of the guides talked about expanding the tour similar to the one provided at Busch Williamsburg. He said it is about ready with some final tweeking. Waiting for approval of riding cart to top of SheiKra. Should be online soon. Being Superbowl Sunday, the park was dead.

Another great time at Busch. I really love this park considering so few coasters. Great shows and then the animal experiences.

Mon we headed to Orlando and stopped at Aquatica (Sea World's waterpark). We were there for about 2 hrs and really enjoyed it. We then got checked in hotel and walked over to IOA. Made sure we rode Spider-Man since it was closing on the 8th for the upgrade. Park had light crowd with no waits. Only crowd was at Harry Potter. Even then wait for Forbidden Journey was almost a walk-on.

Tue & Wed were spent at the 2 Universal parks. Checked out most of the shows and attractions, even doing the water rides. Crowds were still light both days.

Thu & Fri we went to Sea World. Manta is awesome ride! Did about everything there was to do. We also did the Beluga Whale Experience. This was an incredible experience indeed! Putting on a wetsuit and being next to trainer as we plaed with one of the whales.

Sat & Sun were back to both Universal parks. They were busier. So, we did some more shows and just relaxed walking around.

All in all, we had a great trip. Lights crowds to allow us to do all attractions and shows without running around.

Any questions, just post. I didn't want to go into so many boring details and make a mile long trip report. :)

Jerry - Magnum Fanatic
Famous Dave's- 206 restaurants - 35 states - 2 countries

I got in hurry as I was writing report during break at work. I did want to mention what is going on at Sea World. The Shamu exhibit is being renovated. So, at the moment, there is no underwater viewing or Dining With Shamu. It is expected to be done later this year. They have a new Turtle Trek exhibit opening this year and Antarctica opens next year.

Jerry - Magnum Fanatic
Famous Dave's- 206 restaurants - 35 states - 2 countries

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