Learning and Busch Gardens

August 16, 2014

Disclaimer: I was given four admission tickets by Busch Gardens, free of charge in exchange for this review through their partnership with MomCentral.  All opinions are mine based on my experience. I was not compensated monetarily for this review.

Visiting Busch Gardens was part of our “summer fun” bucket list.  We decided to go yesterday despite the light rain in the morning.  The weather forecast had indicated scattered showers, but really its August in Florida, which means afternoon showers are a given.  As we got closer to Tampa, the rain seemed to get a bit stronger, but we were determined and we were not turning around.   Once we got to the park, the rain had stopped and blue skies were all around us!  We decided to pay the extra $5 for preferred parking just in case we had to leave the park in a hurry due to inclement weather.  Coming to the park, I had not printed my tickets, so I went to the window and showed my email ticket confirmation to the attendant.  She instructed me to head directly to the entrance where the tickets could be scanned directly from my phone. I’m so used to having paper tickets, and then having to carry them all day.  I was very happy I wouldn’t have to do that today.

Busch Gardens

Yep, it was that easy.  Just place your phone below the scanner and poof!  You are in.  That’s your ticket.  As soon as we passed the turnstiles we got our little paper maps.  The girls just love looking at them and “planning” their visit.  However, did you know Busch Gardens has their own app?

Busch Gardens

You can use the app to find your way through the park much like you would use a map.  The app will also let you see showtimes, dining and shopping options as well as habitat information and my two favorites: restroom facilities and a car locator!  When you are traveling with children, knowing where the closest restroom facility is a necessity.  Also, as I’m getting older, I sometimes can seem to remember where I’ve parked.

Cheetah Hunt

The girls were most excited about riding Cheetah Hunt, so we went straight to that ride as soon as we got in the park.  We were able to get in line and ride it without much waiting.  It’s awesome to see that they have Quick Queue which allows you to reserve your spot in line without having to wait in line.

As we walked through the park I was surprised by all of the phone charging stations available.  There were cute little tables and chairs conveniently located for those of us who are always accustomed to carry their phone chargers.  On this visit, however, I did not carry my charger so I was a little bummed.   That is until I found this in Nairobi!

Busch Gardens

It’s a locker for your phone! You can open it by swiping your credit card and inside there’s a charger! Ta da! Problem solved.  I was able to charge my phone while we got a bite to eat.  Thank you, Busch Gardens!

As the day progressed, the rain kept coming until all rides where temporarily closed.  We continued through by taking little walking breaks under cover.  That’s the great thing about Busch Gardens, even when it rains, you can still discover many hidden attractions.  Did you know Busch Gardens now has a Surgical Suite as part of their attractions?

Busch Gardens

The Surgical Suite is right across from the Elephant habitat in the Animal Care Center.  Last time we were there, this part was under construction.  While we were there, they had just finished doing surgery on an anteater and they were getting ready to do surgery on a hawk!

Busch Gardens

Another great spot to weather the rain is the tiger habitat.  We stayed there for a while watching the tigers.  After the tigers, we strolled down to Jungala to visit the Orangutans.

Jungala, Busch Gardens

Give an interactive experience to my kids and they’ll love you.  This one had a lot of fun looking for these “screens” throughout the park.

blue billed duck

On our way out, we stopped by the aviary in the Bird Gardens section and spotted these little blue billed ducks.  I just love the color combination on them.  Although the rain prevented us from riding more rides, our visit to Busch Gardens was still great because of all of the learning possibilities this park offers.  While one my children fell asleep on the way home, the other one couldn’t wait to get home and recreate the habitats she had just seen.

While playing with her, it was evident to me that all of those “interactive” play stations throughout the park really were teaching her about the animals at the park.  As a parent, I couldn’t ask for more.  A fun day became a learning day!

When was the last time you visited Busch Gardens?

What’s your favorite part of the park?

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  • Reply Stacey August 16, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Sounds like a great day! We are passholders forever but haven’t been in a while. Will have to check out the new app & those phone stations are a brilliant idea! Thanks for sharing
    Stacey recently posted…Vote for Dahlia At DuskMy Profile

    • Reply xiomeeks August 17, 2014 at 2:04 pm

      Yes, I’m looking forward to going back for Howl-o-Scream later this fall.

  • Reply Alli August 18, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Wow! Busch Gardens has come a long way since my kids were growing up – phone charging stations – yippee! My kids always loved that place and the one in Virginia. You brought back such fond memories and now I’m thinking that we need to take the grands.
    Alli recently posted…The Pedicure from HellMy Profile

    • Reply xiomeeks August 20, 2014 at 10:13 am

      I’ve never been to the one in Virginia. Hopefully one day I’ll make it there.

  • Reply Karon August 18, 2014 at 11:33 am

    I’ve never been to Busch Gardens, but have always wanted to go. Now I have a “must see” list of things to see once I finally visit the park!
    Karon recently posted…Top 5 School Lunch Nutritional HacksMy Profile

  • Reply Amy Albers August 18, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Looks like a great day! I’ve got a couple of animal lovers that would be so happy at Busch Gardens!
    Amy Albers recently posted…Summer In The City at The High Museum of Art, AtlantaMy Profile

  • Reply Karon August 18, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    I’ve never been to Busch Gardens, but hoping to go soon. Now I have a “must see” list for when I make it there.
    Karon recently posted…Top 5 School Lunch Nutritional HacksMy Profile

  • Reply Paris (My Big Fat Happy Life) August 18, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    I have always wanted to visit Busch Gardens! I think my daughter would love this park and it’s going to have to be added to our list for our next trip to Florida.
    Paris (My Big Fat Happy Life) recently posted…Dinosaur Swamp Small World PlayMy Profile

  • Reply Reginia Cordell August 18, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    I am familiar with the Busch Gardens brand but I’ve never been. I thought they were amusement only but seeing the other exhibits makes it even more interesting. I like the charging stations; very practical.
    Reginia Cordell recently posted…Hotels in London; Hotel RussellMy Profile

  • Reply Aria August 18, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    what a wonderful trip! I’ve never been to busch gardens but I have always wanted to go to the one in Williamsburg, VA. Actually gonna make that a reality within the next few years…but Disney is first!!!

  • Reply Sarah August 19, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    What a fun park! It almost seems like a nice mix of a theme park and a zoo. That says something that you guys were still able to have fun even with the rain, too!
    Sarah recently posted…August Julep Maven Box Reveal- Get Your First Box FREE!My Profile

  • Reply Katherine G from La La Land Mommy August 21, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Busch Gardens sounds like a great place. I’ve been wanting to visit for awhile. This makes me want to go more. It really looks like a fun place.
    Katherine G from La La Land Mommy recently posted…Marriage & Relationships: Life Is Too Short To Stay AngryMy Profile

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