When visiting Orlando, Florida (USA) there is a tendency to go with the two theme park mammoths of Walt Disney World and/or Universal Orlando. However, if you have been to Orlando before, you will know that this barely scratches the surface of what is on offer.
So on a recent visit to the Sunshine State, the #NInja decided to give some of the other parks / attractions in the area a blast and see how they fair in comparison!
Fancy a break from Orlando, then there is no better place to go than Busch Gardens. Located in Tampa, an hour’s drive on the I-4 from the Disney/Orlando area, Busch Gardens opened in 1959 (NInja fact; that’s actually years before any of the Orlando theme parks opened).
Busch Gardens is a hot spot for thrill seekers, given its array of roller coasters to choose from.
Busch Gardens has an African theme, and once you enter the park, you can work your way around Egypt, Edge of Africa, Nairobi, Pantopia, Congo, Jungala, Stanleyville, Bird Gardens and Morocco. There is also the Serengeti Plain, which can be viewed by train or the Skyride.
As well as this, younger visitors can get their kicks at the Sesame Street Safari of Fun.
Some of the best roller coasters that you will experience throughout your holiday in Florida will be done right here at Busch.
This NInja’s personal favourites are SheiKra, Cheetah Hunt, Montu, Kumba and Cobra’s Curse. That’s five coasters spread across this exhilarating park. That moment on SheiKra when you are looking down and dangling over the track’s drop is something that has to be experienced first hand. At the time of its construction, it was America’s fasted and tallest dive coaster!
Away from the coasters, another heart stopping, gut-wrenching ride is Falcon’s Fury Drop Tower. It reaches a maximum height of 335ft, making it North America’s tallest free-standing drop tower. The free fall takes about five seconds, meaning you reach a speed of 60 miles per hour as you plummet. If that’s not NInjatastic then I don’t know what is!?!
Don’t be fooled into thinking that if you’re not a huge roller coaster fan (and why not!??) that there is nothing for you at Busch Gardens.
Firstly, for all those water ride fans, there’s the Congo River Rapids and the Stanley Falls Flume Ride. So dress light and go get wet!
After that, the list goes on as to what is available at Busch, with various rides, walk-through exhibits and experiences on show. The Serengeti Express Railway Track Ride, Jungle Flyers Swing ride, Tree Top Trails, Lory Landing Walk-Through Exhibit, Skyride, Aviary Walk-Through Exhibit, Sand Serpent Roller coaster, Animal Nursery Walk-Through Exhibit, Grand Caravan Carousel, Wild Surge Drop Tower, Myombe Reserve Walk-Through Exhibit, and the Edge of Africa Walk-Through Exhibit to name but a few.
As touched on earlier, there is also the Sesame Street Safari of Fun. This is where the younger NInjas amongst you can enjoy kid-friendly rides, water fun and adventures with Sesame Street characters! As the Busch Gardens website itself states, you can fly through the desert with Grover, climb in Elmo’s Tree House, and splash in Bert and Ernie’s watering hole. A trip to this safari will leave kids with a life time of memories.
Dining in Busch is also a joy to behold. With the Serengeti Overlook Restaurant, with views that’ll live long in the memory, to Dragon Fire Grill & Pub, Zambia Smokehouse, Garden Gate Cafe and Zagora Cafe Bengal Bistro. And that’s just the start. No matter what your preference is, it’s catered for at Busch.
Another NInja tip is that given Busch Gardens location, you can spend all day at the park, having the time of your life, and then head into Tampa and take in a ball game. The Tampa Bay Rays baseball team play in the nearby Tropicana Field. So check their schedule and you may be able to take in 2 American past times all in one day.
So be smart like a NInja, book your tickets and get yourself along to Busch Gardens on your next trip to Orlando. You will not be disappointed!
To read the #NInja Verdict on Seaworld please CLICK HERE
To read the #NInja Verdict on Aquatica please CLICK HERE
To read the #NInja Verdict on Discovery Cove please CLICK HERE
In summary, the choice on offer with these parks is certainly comparable to the Disney and Universal products. There is so much variety in what they can offer, and whilst they may not have the polished shine or magic of Disney, they will more than fill your day with bundles of hours of fun for kids and adults alike.
The best value ticket for visiting these parks is the 3-Park Seaworld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens Ticket, or the Discovery Cove Ultimate Package. The 3-Park ticket offering 14 days unlimted entry to those 3 parks when guests book and visit before 31 December 2019. Tickets also include free parking at the 3 Parks.
The Discovery Cove Ultimate Package includes a one day reservation at Discovery Cove (with 30 min dolphin swim experience, all meals, snacks and beverages included) plus 14 days unlimited entry to Seaworld, Busch Gardens and Aquantcia Orlando
The biggest selling point however is the ticket price – offering you entry to Seaworld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens for 14 consecutive days from only £110 per adult or £106 per child. This stacks up very well against the more premium priced Disney and Universal ticket entry and allows for many repeat visits over 2 weeks.
For more information on Seaworld Paks please visit http://www.seaworldparks.co.uk or for ticket purchases, visit http://www.attraction-tickets-direct.co.uk – or why not visit your local #NInja travel agency who can help plan your perfect Orlando holiday.
The NInja Verdict Junior #NInja Review – Port D’es Torrent, Ibiza Jul 18
The NInja Verdict #NInja Verdict – Aquatica Orlando, Florida Nov 18
The NInja Verdict New Years Eve – where are the most #NInjatastic destinations??? Dec 17
The NInja Verdict #NInja Destination Review – Providence, Rhode Island Nov 17
The NInja Verdict #NInja Verdict – Discovery Cove Orlando, Florida Nov 18
The NInja Verdict #NInja Review – Universal Orlando Resort Apr 17