Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Tampa, Florida
December 21, 2020
Page One

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Busch Gardens Tampa, Tampa, Florida

Florida is full of amazing parks.  Most of them I have been to and some of them I have not (Universal Islands of Adventure and Legoland).  When planning out my Florida trip for this year the one park that I was most itching to visit was one that I have had memories of for most of my life.  That park was Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.  My first visit to Busch Gardens Tampa was on what could be called my first theme park trip back in 1981.  On that trip my family went to Walt Disney World, Sea World and Busch Gardens Tampa.  Back then we literally hit everything in Orlando before piling back in the tiny 1980 Toyota Corolla and heading back north.  There were so many wonderful memories from that trip that have stuck with me through the years that Busch Gardens Tampa is perpetually on the top of the parks I want to visit.

My second visit to Busch Gardens Tampa was in 2013 and it was just as memorable as my first one.  On that visit I got to fulfill a lifelong dream of riding coasters on my birthday with friends (I was born in January....not a time of the year to ride coasters in Illinois).  I was able to share the first looping coaster that I loved with my son Bond who loved it as much as I did.  That visit cemented Busch Gardens Tampa Bay as the perfect theme park with amazing rides, fantastic shows, landscaping and theming that take you away from the real world and so much more.

The Cheetah Hunt roller coaster at Busch Gardens, Tampa, Florida

Here is a slight word of warning before we proceed.  For this my third visit to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay I was alone.  The park was empty in the morning so I was able to ride like nuts and then the park filled up in the afternoon.  In addition to that the weather was perfect and was absolutely perfect for photography. 

What I need to warn you is that I took a lot of photos.  I mea a LOT of photos.  Now I can take 400 pictures in a day at a park and turn out a 20 page trip report with 100 photos in it.  By the time I hopped in the van and headed back to my parents place at the end of the day at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay I had about 1,200 photos between my big camera and my GoPro.  About 80% of them were awesome which made pairing the remaining 900 extremely hard.  With the help of my wife Carrie she helped me pair them down some more and we for them down to 165 photos for 33 pages.  Needless to say if you want a pretty in depth look at Busch Gardens Tampa then you found what you are looking for.  Read on.

The Cobra's Curse roller coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa, Tampa, Florida

Getting to the park nice and early as soon as the rope dropped I was off and going to get my rides in.  My plan was to head straight for Cobra's Curse as it doesn't have the biggest rider capacity and it was new for me.  So I headed right past Cheetah Chase and right up the elaborately themed queue only to find that the ride was not ready to open. 

This turned out to be a good thing as they gave me a jump to the head of the line pass to use later in the day.  By the time Cobra's Curse opened Busch Gardens Tampa was already full as a result the line for this coaster was about two hours in length.

The inverted Montu roller coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa, Tampa, Florida

Denied at Cobra's Curse and with the crowd all at Cheetah Chase I headed deep into the heart of Egypt to ride Montu.

The Montu roller coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa, Tampa, Florida

Starting ones day with a coaster all to yourself is really a wonderful thing.

One of the many positives for Busch Gardens is the park is very pro-GoPro and you can use them on rides if properly secured.  My GoPro is a bit dated (it is a Hero4) so it doesn't have all of the image stabilization to create amazing on ride videos but it is still useful to get fantastic still photos of Busch's coasters and rides.


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Paul B. Drabek