Busch Gardens Tampa
Tampa Bay, Florida
January 28 2013
It sucks having a birthday in January while living in the Midwest
because it's kind of hard to have a birthday party at a park when it's seven
below zero and there's snow everywhere. That kind of spoils the festivities.
When we planned our Florida trip the idea was to be in Florida with my parents
and at a park for my birthday. As soon as Brian (aka: Waterboy on
the Negative-G Forums) heard
that we were doing Busch Gardens Tampa for my forty-first birthday he decided
to join us for a couple of days of our trip. Mike was already down
in Florida for January so not only did I have a park for my birthday but
I also had two of my closest friends making the visit to Busch Gardens even
I last visited Busch when I was nine years old back in 1981. The highlight
of that trip was riding Scorpion and completely falling in love with that
ride. It has taken me thirty-one years to get back down here to Busch
Gardens Tampa and I was ready to go as soon as they dropped the ropes and
opened the park.
"Cats and dogs living together...mas hysteria" - Dr. Peter Venkman - Ghostbusters
No it was not the end of the world with a giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man
rampaging through town that made this cat, well a cheetah and dog living
happily together in one of Busch Gardens enclosures. There's a simpler
explanation. You see it turns out that cheetahs; which are endangered,
have an extremely hard time dealing with captivity. Pairing a cheetah
with a dog calms them and makes them happier. Most of the cheetahs
you see in captivity were found abandoned by their mothers and if they are
paired with a puppy it helps them socialize. So dogs aren't just man's
best friend they're also cheetah's.
There are going to be a lot of animal photos in this update as Busch Gardens
Tampa Bay as it's now called is themed to Africa and all of the various
wildlife found on that continent.
Throughout the years Busch Gardens name has changed a bit. When the
park opened in 1976 it was known as Busch Gardens: The Dark Continent.
Later it was known as Busch Gardens Africa before switching to just Busch
Gardens Tampa Bay for a name a few years ago.
Following Mike's intense power walk we quickly found ourselves the only
ones at Cheetah Hunt so we had a nice empty train for a nice little "Zen
Ride" to start the day.
Cheetah Hunt has no lift. It is all about the launches, three of them
along the rides 4,429 feet of track including one that sends you quickly
out of the station through a helix to kick all the action off.