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Busch Gardens Celebrates Global Tiger Day

Tiger Day at Busch Gardens

Photo Credit: Connie and Carl Pulvermacher

For the second year in a row, Busch Gardens has hosted a celebration around Global Tiger Day. This year, on July 29, 2014, guests attending this Central Florida theme park will be able to meet Tiger Keepers and participate in fun activities dealing with these large cats. What’s even better is that a portion of proceeds when buying tiger-related merchandise goes to the SeaWorld Busch Gardens Conservation Fund.

As few as 3,200 tigers live in the wild today. That is due in part to the fact that they have lost 97% of their habitat. Several tiger conservation efforts are supported by the SeaWorld Busch Gardens Conservation Fund in an effort to help preserve their habitat and prevent poaching.

One of the species included in the conservation efforts are the Malayan Tigers. Last year three cubs were born at Busch Gardens raising their population to 63. Attending this theme park and seeing these beautiful cubs can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Although they are no longer cute and little, these cubs will soon be old enough to do their own part to help protect their species. The Malayan Tiger cubs named Cinta, Bundar and Rukayah are part of the Species Survival Program (SSP). The SSP promotes a healthy managed tiger population, and even hopes that in the future, some of these tigers could be reintroduced into the wild.

Look for Busch Gardens to participate in this event year after year. The theme park participates in over 120 Species Survival Programs, which you can learn more about through their blog. ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: If you love elephants, be sure to purchase tickets to this theme park and attend it on August 9 when they will be celebrating their own special date for World Elephant Day.

New Attraction at Busch Gardens Coming This Spring

This Spring travelers to Central Florida will be able to experience many new attractions. One of the most exciting new-comers will be Falcon’s Fury at Busch Gardens in Tampa set to open May 1 (or soon thereafter). It will be one of the first of its kind, and tourists and thrill-seekers will “flock” to this Florida theme park to try it out.

Falcons Fury

Rising 335 feet up in the air, the Falcon’s Fury ride will be North America’s largest drop tower! At the top, you’ll be able to see everything in the theme park, from above. Falcon’s Fury is higher than the SheiKra roller coaster! Once riders get to the top, their seats will pivot 90 degrees so that you’ll be facing downward to the ground. Then you and 31 other passengers will drop vertically traveling downward like a falcon at 60 m.p.h. with a 3.5 G force! A thrill for any ride enthusiast.

If you’ve been to Busch Gardens before, you might remember the portion of the theme park where this new ride will be. Currently, Timbuktu is the surrounding land, however, the entire area is being re-themed into an imaginary land called Pantopia. Falcon’s Fury will be the main attraction in this new land, and will be supported by all new food and shopping venues, as well as a renovated indoor theater. Other existing rides within the land of Pantopia include The Scorpion, the Phoenix and the Grand Caravan Carousel.

Pantopia - new land at Busch Gardens

ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: Busch will not be using Quick Queue (its front-of-line ticket option) for Falcon’s Fury at first. If riding this new attraction is the main reason for visiting this theme park, skip this additional cost. If visiting later in the Spring or Summer, be sure to see if Busch Gardens begins accepting Quick Queue for this new attraction. Until then, plan your day around this ride as lines are sure to be long, especially when it first opens and on the weekends.

ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: The new land of Pantopia is a very interesting concept, which is worth reading before visiting this Central Florida theme park. Find out how to unlock Pantopia before you arrive. You’ll have a better understanding of the lay of this new land to help make the most of your theme park visit.

Busch Gardens Christmas Town

Busch Gardens has been transformed with lights as far as you can see, and from now until December 23rd, you can purchase discounted evening tickets to experience Busch Gardens Christmas Town. From 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on select evenings, this Tampa-area theme park is transformed into a holiday wonderland of wintery surprises and all things Christmas.

Busch Gardens Lights

Seeing is believing, and there is plenty to see at Christmas Town. What you won’t believe is that kids’ tickets start at just $10! It’s an experience the entire family will enjoy.

Lights, Sights & Nights!

There are different sections you’ll want to experience. A nostalgic area (town) Holiday Hills will remind you of the good ol’ days. New areas such as Christmas Time Terrace and Mistletoe Memories will surprise you with new experiences. Christmas Time Terrace is located in Jungala where a 40-foot Christmas tree comes alive every fifteen minutes with spectacular dancing lights. If you’re at the park with your sweetheart, check out the Mistletoe Memories garden where romantic flowers and sparkling white twinkle lights fill the trees overhead and set the scene for sweet moments with loved ones.

Plenty of other lights are also on display throughout the Central Florida theme park, and the sights from atop many of the rides are spectacular (not all rides are open for this special event). Other sights include a life-size representation of the Holy Nativity, made from nothing but plants! ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: Want to step into a larger-than-life-sized greeting card? Head to Jingle Bell Junction, just one of the many perfect photo opportunities that exist for you and your family. Want to play in the snow? Yes! A real snow area is located within Christmas Town and includes eight slides and an area to practice your snow ball accuracy. Other sights not to be missed are the spectacular shows including:

  • Angels of Peace: A Christmas Journey on Ice
  • Carol of the Bells
  • Christmas Time Terrace Light Show
  • Elmo’s Christmas Wish
  • Hallelujah Showcase
  • Madagascar Live! Operation: Christmas Vacation

Of course a night like this just wouldn’t be complete without visiting the ol’ jolly man himself. Kids of all ages will appreciate visiting Santa Claus in his private study and having their photo taken by a professional photographer in this lovely Christmas setting. Mrs. Claus is there too, baking holiday treats for everyone. Where are the elves? Making presents of course! Gift purchases at Busch Gardens are sure to be a hit on everyone’s list. Christmas Town has everything from collectables to toys, apparel and more. If you are a pass member, you’ll save 10% when you shop at the park. Many gifts can be purchased online as well.

Christmas Town has plenty of places to eat at. From snacks to full holiday meals, feast on all of your family’s holiday favorites. Savor traditional holiday turkey and mashed potatoes or enjoy hand-carved ham on a warm pretzel bun and turkey pot pies. Start a new tradition with tasty treats including peppermint cotton candy, and handmade s’mores and Christmas Town’s signature Elf Munch.

An evening in Tampa at Busch Gardens Christmas Town is a great way to spend time with your family.

Cheetah Hunt now open!

Cheetahs are the fastest land animal, accelerating up to 70 to 75 mph in short bursts, and now Busch Garden’s Cheetah Hunt is the longest roller coaster in the state!  (Disney’s Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom comes in a close 2nd.)  At 4,429 feet long, this new ‘cheetah simulator’ ride will launch riders at speeds up to 60 mph, and up to a height of 102 feet!  This new coaster doesn’t use the traditional chain lift to pull the cars up to the top, but rather a “LSM” system, which means it will use ‘linear synchronous motors’, a series of electric magnetic motors, to propel the coaster cards at different bursts of speed.  The 3 minute, 30 second ride carries 16 riders per train, and can take up to 1,370 riders per hour.  Another thing that makes this ride different is the smaller height requirement, only 48 inches, rather than the coaster standard of 54 inches, so younger kids will be able to ride also.

Opening day was Friday, May 27th, in time for the Memorial Day weekend, but there were some glitches Friday so it was not opened until the afternoon.  But those riders who finally got on were not disappointed.

Along with the new ride is the Cheetah Run, a new animal experience where guests can watch real cheetahs in motion.  The opening day bugs seemed to have been worked out and I’m looking forward to testing the new ride in person, happy hunting!

Cheetahs are coming to Tampa!

Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay is working on a new Cheetah attraction, expected to open in the spring of 2011.  This new attraction will feature an Animal encounter area called Cheetah Run, as well as a ‘cheetah-like’ coaster called Cheetah Hunt. Some people feel the name Cheetah Hunt is a contradiction to the conservation efforts of Busch Gardens.  But, the actual concept of the coaster is not to hunt a Cheetah, but to feel like a Cheetah on the hunt – fast, sleek, graceful, and powerful.

The Cheetah is the fastest land animal and can reach speeds of 70-75 MPH.  This amazing animal can also sprint from 0 to 64 MPH in three seconds!  That is faster than most high-performance cars!  Busch Gardens is trying to imitate the animal for this ride and will accelerate you, via electromagnets, to almost 40 miles per hour in just a few seconds!  To mimic the Cheetah, the design of the coaster will have several launches, a watery encounter, trenches, an inversion, and a period of weightlessness.  Some features already at the park will be used for this ride, including a monorail station that has been closed since 2000.

At the Cheetah Run encounter, you’ll be able to see the animals up-close and watch them running and sprinting.  This will be a great opportunity to see such a remarkable animal.  I can’t wait to check out the coaster!  Keep checking our website for updates on when this new attraction will open.