I’m thrilled to be an ambassador for Busch Gardens Tampa this year. As part of that my family and I get to visit the park and share some tips and ideas for making the most of your trip. During our most recent trip I couldn’t help but think about how awesome Busch Gardens is for families with young kids. Here are some of my observations…
1) Complimentary stroller parking rocks! When we pulled in just a few moments before opening time the nice gentleman at the parking booth asked if we wanted stroller parking. Frugal mama that I am, I immediately said, “No, thank you.” But then he said, “Are you sure? It’s free and available to the first to arrive.” Say what?! Sure! So we made our way much closer to the front entrance and were able to avoid getting everyone and our stroller onto the tram. While they do make the tram ride as convenient as possible, this little perk is definitely a bonus for families visiting with young kids, strollers, and all that gear!
2) Sesame Street Safari of Fun is awesome! Seriously! I think my girls would have stayed there ALL day. In fact we spent most of the morning in that area of the park and then circled back after much pleading and begging to enjoy Safari of Fun all over again before leaving for the day. The children’s rides are perfect for young kids. And if you have an adventurous little one, you’ll definitely want to ride Air Grover, the beginner coaster. But it is fast, so be prepared. Elmo and his friend also do the “A” is for Africa show in the area regularly. It’s just long enough for little ones and includes all sorts of fun songs and audience participation.
3) Well-placed kid entertainment throughout the park means families don’t have to split up as much to enjoy all the park has to offer! While a designated place for the kids is super helpful, there is also so much more of the park to see. I was really happy to find that there are additional kid rides, sandboxes and entertainment stops in almost every area of the park. This meant we had something to do while others were riding grown-up coasters, and we were never too far from something exciting and engaging for everyone in our group.
4) Animal exhibits provide great learning opportunities and wow factor moments! Kids love animals, and at Busch Gardens there are SO many to see. Throughout the park you’ll find tigers, kangaroos, gorillas, cheetahs, hippos, zebras, giraffes, lions, elephants and more. And if you are traveling during the school year, I think you can definitely count this as an educational field trip. 😉
5) Friendly, helpful staff make for a pleasant experience for everyone! This one is definitely a bonus for all visitors, but when you are traveling with young kids a friendly staff can make a huge difference in your overall experience. Nobody had any idea we would be writing about our experience at the park, and honestly at every stop throughout our day the staff were so kind and helpful. In Safari of Fun, all of the staff were so kind and friendly to the kids, and they took time to interact with and encourage kids as they got on and off the rides. Now it may have been because we traveled during off season and we weren’t fighting the heat and crowds of the busy season, but I’m confident that welcoming nature is a part of the park’s atmosphere.
Have you been to Busch Gardens Tampa? What are your favorite perks for families with young kids? What do you look for in any theme park visit with young kids?