Florida Guide > Other Parks
A return to Busch Gardens
It’s been almost ten years since we visited Busch Gardens even though we have been to our villa in Florida every year. Somehow there always seems to have been something new at Universal or Disney and we always run out of time but this year we made a conscious effort to visit and see how it’s changed.
We were quite a mixed party this time; Elderly mum with dementia, sister who doesn’t like rides and me and brother in law with five ‘kids’ between 20 and 27 ! ! Busch Gardens seemed to be a good choice as Mum and sister could concentrate on the wildlife and the rest of us could do the rides, meeting up in the middle of the day for lunch.
After enrolling at guest services (I need to use a wheelchair when walking or standing for long periods and the ride accessibility programme is very good) we tried to head straight for our first coaster but were stopped in our tracks by the amazing site of a cheetah being fed not eight feet away – there are lots of other feeding times around the park and we were so pleased we hadn’t missed this one. We spent a while looking at the hippo’s, elephants, birds and all manner of other animals about the park before we decided we couldn’t wait any longer for the roller coasters.
We scheduled a time and place to meet up for lunch and headed off for a few rides.
My mum and sister carried on walking round the park looking at the animals. They managed to get in another couple of ‘Meet the Keepers’ slots which they both found very interesting. It would actually be possible to schedule a whole day around these events if you wished and they cover a wide variety of animals from giraffes to tigers and elephants to Alligators!
It was soon time for lunch and we ate at The Dragon Fire Grill where there was a choice of Chinese, Indian and American fare, tasty and quite reasonable. Unfortunately we were just too late for the Treasures of The Mirage show which was just ending as we arrived – it looked very colourful and I’m sure mum in particular would have loved it. After we had eaten it was time to plan the afternoon. ‘The Youngsters’ went off to try more rides and my sister and mum decided to head over to Moroccan Palace for the Ice show. They later told us all about the acrobats, skaters and even animals taking part. It sounded wonderful and I was sorry we’d missed it but we also had a great time on the rides. We found there was a good variety of rides with lots of thrills; something for everyone.
By four thirty, we had met up together again and we decided to have one last look around and a last couple of rides before we headed back to the villa. I would have loved to have see one or two of the shows; we also all would have liked to go on the Serengeti safari (you do need an extra ticket for this at around $29 per person). We all agreed though it had been a fabulous day and we will definitely make time to return next year.
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Page added on: 31 October 2016
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The following photos have been submitted by our villa owners for this article.