Wonderpup & I visited Busch Gardens Tampa this weekend. It was Wonderpup's first visit and my first since the fall of 2001. The park opened at 9:00... we got there around 9:15. It was busy, but not overly crowded. The longest wait all day was 15-20 minutes from the front row of Montu (the 3rd time I rode it).
Onto the photos!
Wonderpup found a horse his size!
The flamingos were having their breakfast (note the keeper in the background)
Flamingos are Wonderpup approved
First ride of the day...
I was a little scared, but I got the courage to do the front row first time out. Of course I got stuck with an end seat, which made it extra freaky. The view at the top of the lift hill is amazing though. You can see the downtown Tampa skyline and the bay. But they won't let you take loose articles on any of the coasters so nothing gets lost. You have to rent a locker nearby the coasters to store your stuff. The lockers are 50¢ a pop, which really isn't too bad. Anyhow, Sheikra was awesome. I went right back on and tried the back row.
Next up, we hit the newest area of Busch Gardens...
A hint of what we'll see...
The kids's climbing area in Jungala
Had lunch at the Zambia Smokehouse near Sheikra. They have BBQ ribs, chicken, salmon... you get the idea. I got the quarter chicken (it comes with fries & a dinner roll) and some warm bread pudding topped with hot caramel sauce for dessert (you don't find that very often). It was pretty good too.
From there, we visited...
Wonderpup met a freaky-eyed giraffe
We were going to do the Rhino Rally, but it was a 30 minute wait.
This bird was following the tortoise around like he was its bodyguard
More crazy flamingos
The world-famous Budweiser Clydesdale horses
This year is Busch Gardens Tampa's 50th birthday! The park first opened as a brewery tour, gardens and aviary back in June 1959. They had a little exhibit about the history of the park across from the Crown Colony House restaurant.
Crown Colony House
Ok onto more coasters...
This one of my favorite coasters
Next up, we visited the Edge of Africa area.
Wonderpup got hungry...
Meerkats are freaking hilarious.
On the way out of Edge of Africa, I spotted...
Two baby bunnies!
Random details on a wall in the Egypt section
Another clydesdale horse
Rode both sides of Gwazi. It's a dueling woodie coaster. I forgot how rough it is. I could still feel my brain rattling around in my head even after I got home. They really need to do something about that. I love the speed, but that rough ride... ouch.
Guys were lining up to play this game over by the Gwazi coaster. It's a 3 point shoot-out. If you get 15 points, you could win your choice of an iPod Touch or a Playstation 3. Highest I saw anyone get while I watched was 7 points.
The park closed at 7:30 that day. That was fine with me as I was pooped after almost 10 hours. I took one more spin om Sheikra, then headed out around 7:00.