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  1. #1

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    Aimster gets WILD at Busch Gardens

    Not THAT kind of wild! Get your mind out of the gutter.

    Yesterday (6/20), I braved the heat and headed to Busch Gardens. Was supposed to meet up with a group of friends, but they all wimped out or couldn't make it. Wasn't about to let them ruin my fun, so I went by myself.

    First stop, KaTonga!



    I had been wanting to see this show and I was not disappointed. It was very good. Was hoping to catch another performance later in the day, but never made it back to that area of the park again until later.



    KaTonga consists of stories from African animal folklore. The first story is about a monkey, the second about a catepillar, the thid about a frog and the final story is about a crane. A nice mix of live actors, puppets and some special effects.





    I loved the frog story the best. It was really cute and just fun.







    The park was open from 9am-10pm. I got there around 10am and the temp was over 90. So I just took my time strolling around. I have a FL resident Fun Card (pay for a day, come back all year), so I can come back as many times as I want the rest of the year.

    Over by the Montu coaster:


    The Edge of Africa is a self-guided walking tour where you can see various animals, like...

    Meerkats


    Giraffes


    Lions (passed out asleep)




    Hippo


    The Desert Grill is a cafeteria-line style restaurant and features sandwiches, salads & pasta. A new stage show began there within the last month called, "Dance to the Music". It's a celebration of... disco. Total cheese-fest but a lot of fun.





    The Bee Gees (this had me seriously laughing... all I could think of was "The Barry Gibb Talk Show" sketch from SNL)


    Over at Jungala (the new area that opened last year), this tiger had the right idea of beating the heat:


    This girl was a total ham. She kept pacing back and forth and would come right up to the windows. She looked like she wanted someone to play with, as she sometimes went up to the tiger tunnel to see if any of the tigers in the other area (tigers live in distinct social groups) were around.


    The later she cooled off in the water.




    Lorikeets!






    Flamingos are weird.


    Decided to ride the train around the park. It was cool because it goes way out to the back of the Strengeti area and you can see more animals.

    Baby zebra!


    My camera died after this pic:


    Only coasters I rode were Kumba and Montu. After my ride on Montu, we were waiting to go back to the load station and apparently they ran into a mechnical problem because they had to manually release the restraints and since it's a suspended coaster, they brought out a platform for us to stop onto because we were around 2 feet off the ground. The guy next to me was freaking out and I was in near hysterics over the situation.

    As night fell, the park began it's "Summer Nights" events & activities. They had some DJ's around the park spinning tunes and some shows. One was this magician named Darren Romeo. He's called "The Voice of Magic". Why? He sings! It was kind of bizarre. I'm not a big magic fan, but I saw the show and it wasn't bad. One trick/illusion he did was the balnce/impale on the sword one, but when he "comes back to life" after he was impaled with the sword, he started singing. It was so absurb that I just about lost it laughing. Apparently this guy had a cameo in "High School Musical 2" too.

    Other nighttime shows they had were a juggler/comic that included audience participation and a doo-wop show (which is also offered during the day).

    After nearly 12 hours in the park, I was a sweaty mess and decided to head for home. I'll be at the park again in a couple weeks... David Cassidy is performing there on July 3rd!

  2. #2

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    Re: Aimster gets WILD at Busch Gardens

    Great TR aimster! I have to get back to Busch Gardens next trip to Florida, only went there once in 2002, I'm overdue. I'm glad you still went and had a good time.

    LOL those lions are such show offs! I was thinking the same thing about the BeeGees SNL skits before I read your comment.

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    Re: Aimster gets WILD at Busch Gardens

    Wow! What beautiful animals. Those lions certainly weren't shy, were they? LOL




  4. #4

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    Re: Aimster gets WILD at Busch Gardens

    I keep applying for jobs, one nearby Busch Gardens. Such an incentive! Thanks for sharing.

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    Re: Aimster gets WILD at Busch Gardens

    Busch Gardens really is a great park. And this year is their 50th anniversary. I didn't realize they've been around that long! It started as a beer garden and bird aviary and expanded from there. There's a small exhibit on the park's history by the Clydesdale barn & Crown Colony restaurant. Simple, but nice. They have some costumes from some shows that have been at the Moroccan Palace Theatre along with a video show clips of the shows, plus a bunch of other stuff. Nice to take maybe 10-15 minutes and look at everything. Amazing how the park has progressed over the years and how they've been able to expand with the little amount of space they have (there's literally houses across the street at the back of the park).

  6. #6

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    Re: Aimster gets WILD at Busch Gardens

    GREAT pictures of the animals! Glad you were able to have a great time.

  7. #7

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    Re: Aimster gets WILD at Busch Gardens

    Quote Originally Posted by aimster View Post
    Busch Gardens really is a great park. And this year is their 50th anniversary. I didn't realize they've been around that long! It started as a beer garden and bird aviary and expanded from there. There's a small exhibit on the park's history by the Clydesdale barn & Crown Colony restaurant. Simple, but nice. They have some costumes from some shows that have been at the Moroccan Palace Theatre along with a video show clips of the shows, plus a bunch of other stuff. Nice to take maybe 10-15 minutes and look at everything. Amazing how the park has progressed over the years and how they've been able to expand with the little amount of space they have (there's literally houses across the street at the back of the park).
    Busch Gardens in terms of geography alone, is like Disneyland. With people on all four sides crowding in. I personally think they do a great job of keeping out the outside world, I think I've only noticed a few times where I could see cars driving by through a fence.

    Otherwise, I love Busch Gardens, I think their animal paths are up there and sometimes better than DAK. And the kids playgrounds, they totally have Disney beat.

    Here are some of my favorite pics:
























    Not to mention the Tiger Encampment by Jungala. I love the overhead walkway and the tube you can get into and be right inside the tiger's den. It's really awesome, they did such a great job.










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    Re: Aimster gets WILD at Busch Gardens

    Oh I could have easily spent hours watching the tigers at Jungala. Watching people's reactions when they go into the pop-up and see how close the tigers are, especially if one is laying right on top of the pop-up (which has been the case my last 2 visits), is priceless, if not down-right hilarious. Some people just totally freak out.

    Oh and I went totally ape over watching the otters swimming. They're so freaking CUTE! I want an otter. LOL!

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    Re: Aimster gets WILD at Busch Gardens

    Fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing. The more I see of this park, the more I want to visit.
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    Re: Aimster gets WILD at Busch Gardens

    Nice pictures! Love the animals ones!
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    Re: Aimster gets WILD at Busch Gardens

    Great pics Aimster and are you going to see David Cassidy? ~swoon~

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    Re: Aimster gets WILD at Busch Gardens

    Gina, I'm definitely planning on going July 3rd to see David Cassidy. It'll be a total cheesefest, but in a good way. I'm going to the beach the day before (my work is relocating the office to the beach for one day... I have the weirdest job), so hopefully I won't be too worn out from that for another day out. At least I'll have 2 days to recover before back to work.

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    Re: Aimster gets WILD at Busch Gardens

    Not THAT kind of wild
    (Quietly leaves thread)
    j/k!!!

    Wow, awesome pictures! Thank you for sharing!! the lion pictures cracked me up..Perhaps one day i'll see a lion awake at a zoo..they're ALWAYS asleep when i go..
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    Re: Aimster gets WILD at Busch Gardens

    Quote Originally Posted by aimster View Post
    Gina, I'm definitely planning on going July 3rd to see David Cassidy. It'll be a total cheesefest, but in a good way. I'm going to the beach the day before (my work is relocating the office to the beach for one day... I have the weirdest job), so hopefully I won't be too worn out from that for another day out. At least I'll have 2 days to recover before back to work.
    I'll be looking forward to seeing your pics of David C.

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    Re: Aimster gets WILD at Busch Gardens

    Quote Originally Posted by aimster View Post
    Busch Gardens really is a great park. And this year is their 50th anniversary. I didn't realize they've been around that long!
    I remember as a kid going to see the one in Van Nuys, about 50-60 miles NW of Disneyland, in Southern California. There's still a Budweiser plant there. The park here closed in the early 70's. Not nearly as expansive as what you see now in Florida, of course, but I remember it being fun nevertheless.
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

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