Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Every single night from the 17th November to the 31st December you can celebrate the holiday season at Busch Gardens with Santa, Rudolph and more!

Each night, enjoy millions of twinkling lights and visits to Santa’s House presented by Coca-Cola®. Plus, beloved characters from the television special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” return for some festive fun. Enjoy Yuletide shows, delicious holiday treats, your favourite thrill coasters in the dark. Christmas Town is included with admission.

CHRISTMAS TOWN VILLAGE

Inside Christmas Town Village, shop for the perfect gifts, enjoy Yuletide carols and marvel at model trains that encircle a miniature Christmas city.

SHOWS & CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

Busch Gardens beams with twinkling lights and yuletide shows during Christmas Town! Enjoy world-class ice skaters, melodious tunes, and even your favorite Sesame Street characters at one of our many shows!

This year enjoy a delightful new show featuring contemporary music that celebrates the traditions of Christmas. It is called ‘Christmas Is…’ and is located inside Dragon Fire Grill.

This new show joins a great line up of returning favourite shows;

Christmas from the Heart – Rejoice in the glory of the season in Christmas from the Heart, the contemporary Christian gospel celebration located inside the Stanleyville Theater.

Carol of the Bells – Busch Gardens’ Serengeti Overlook Restaurant sets the stage for Carol of the Bells, featuring tens of thousands of Christmas lights choreographed to seasonal music.

Christmas On Ice – The creators of the award-winning Turn It Up! capture the holiday spirit as world-class skaters celebrate the many wonders of Christmas in the family favorite show, Christmas on Ice.

Three Kings Journey – Located in the Bird Gardens, the Three Kings Journey Show unites magical voices in perfect harmony, unfolding the famed journey to the humble town of Bethlehem.

Elmo’s Christmas Wish – Visit Sesame Street Safari of Fun to join Elmo, Cookie Monster, Zoe, Rosita and Grover as they learn the meaning of Christmas in Elmo’s Christmas Wish.

Christmas Town Band – The Christmas Town Band brings a classic Christmas to life with a jazz-inspired twist. Set on the Zagora Patio, this band embodies the true merriment of the season.

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

NEW! Congo-Stanleyville Walkway – Journey through our awe-inspiring light tunnel connecting the Congo and Stanleyville areas; this breathtaking pathway is the perfect place for this year’s holiday photo.

Stanleyville – Immerse yourself in the lavender glow of Christmas lights and the splendor of Christmas from the Heart.

Morocco – Family and friends will cozy up to brave the chill in the air along the Morocco pathway. The frozen sights sparkle and shimmers in the night as a live angel sculpture welcomes guests, and brilliant white garland wraps the front of the Moroccan Palace; home to the Christmas on Ice show.

Cheetah Walkway and Plaza  Larger-than-life nutcrackers, exotic decorations and intricate animal patterns create the kind of Christmas found only in nature! Cheetah Hunt® walkway welcomes guests to Florida’s only triple-launch coaster and the iconic Serengeti Overlook Restaurant and Pub, featuring special holiday fare and the Carol of the Bells light show.

Flamingo Way – When it’s warm in December and there’s more sand than snow, celebrate a Floridian Christmas with a touch of the tropics in the Flamingo Way. Guests will be tickled pink as they encounter decorated palm trees and a flock of festive flamingos created from thousands of twinkling pink lights.

Bird Gardens – This poinsettia parkway blooms with hundreds of traditional holiday flowers. Make a family memory with breathtaking pictures in front of an enormous tree made entirely of beautiful red poinsettias, or meet the enchanting Poinsettia Princess for the ultimate family photo opportunity.

MEET & GREETS

Rudolphs Winter Wonderland – Experience the world of Rudolph come to life. Meet and take photos with Rudolph and friends, joined this year by Sam the Snowman, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster.

Santa’s House Presented by Coca-Cola – Step into Santa’s house to share your Christmas wish and take holiday photos with Santa Claus and his team of hardworking elves.

NEW: Brunch With Santa – Enjoy a brunch buffet featuring a photo opportunity with Santa Claus and a selection of seasonal offerings! Brunch is served between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays during Christmas Town. Guests make their way to the Serengeti Overlook Restaurant at their leisure during this open-seating experience. Enhance your experience with the options of endless mimosas or a Bloody Mary bar.

Busch Gardens is one of my fave parks anyway but Christmas at Busch Gardens looks even more awesome! Check out the opening times;

Smiles Included,

Abby

 

What can we expect from the SeaWorld parks in the next couple of years?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Lets take a look at all of the confirmed and rumoured attractions coming to the SeaWorld parks (SeaWorld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens) in the next few years!

What? Infinity Falls Where? SeaWorld When? 2018

This was supposed to open in summer this year however we are still patiently awaiting the chance to be able to ride this awesome raft attraction! It’s going to feature the worlds tallest river rapid drop of 40ft!

What? Tigris Where? Busch Gardens Tampa When? 2019

We cannot wait for this new coaster!  It’s going to be Florida’s tallest launch coaster and will feature a TRIPLE LAUNCH with both forward and backward motions.

What? Sesame Street Land Where? SeaWorld When? 2019

Sesame Street is set to transport  guests into the colourful and creative world of Sesame Street through immersive theming, character interactions and interactive play.

What? new coaster Where? SeaWorld When? 2020 (rumour)

There are lots of rumours flying around that SeaWorld’s next big attraction is going to be a coaster (first once since Mako which opened in 2016) the coaster is rumoured to be similar to Wave Breaker Coaster at San Antonios SeaWorld! If this one is true then i’m all for it!

What? Gwazi revamp Where? Busch Gardens Tampa When? 2020

When Busch Gardens announced Tigris the other day they also let slip a little secret which is that Gwazi is going to be revamped into a ride that will make you want to ‘hold on to your seats’ Yippeeee!

What? water coaster Where? Aquatica When? 2020

Water Country USA Williamsburg is building a brand new water coaster for 2019 called Cutback. Behind The Thrills have said that the slide is said to be making it’s way to Orlando, with a much tighter and quicker footprint. Instead of huge sprawling track, it will double on itself and be located in between the two wave pools. :O

SeaWorld really know how to bounce back don’t they! I hope the rumours are true too!

Smiles Included,

Abby

Sesame Street Halloween Fun at SeaWorld and Busch Gardens

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Sesame Street is coming to SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa for a Halloween season of not-too-spooky fun for families this autumn.

Guests of all ages can join everyone’s favourite furry friends from Sesame Street as Count von Count, Elmo, Abby Cadabby and others take to the stage in ‘Sesame Street’s Countdown to Halloween’ show, where the Count is feeling lonely and it’s up to the audience and the loveable monsters from Sesame Street to get him into the Halloween spirit. Batty bats and spooky skeletons join the fun in a song-filled stage show that invites families to dance, play and sing along.

Pets Ahoy is getting its own seasonal twist and you will even have the chance to meet a mermaid in the mermaid grotto. It starts on the 22 September and children can dress in Halloween costumes and take part in fun-filled trick-or-treating in the park.

At Busch Gardens, Sesame Street Kids’ Weekends are also returning every weekend in October, including half term. Children are again welcome to dress in Halloween costumes and dance along as Count von Count serves as master of scare-emonies to lead his Sesame Street pals through his favourite tunes in the new stage show.  There will also be autumn-inspired activities at Gwazi Field in Busch Gardens, including a hay maze, pumpkin ring toss and much more.

Dining with Characters 

Families can even opt to dine with Sesame Street characters at both theme parks. At Busch Gardens, the ‘Lunch with Elmo and Friends’ buffet every Saturday and Sunday during the Halloween season will let children enjoy hugs and high fives with sing-a-longs, dance parties, and special photo opportunities.

At SeaWorld, ‘Count von Count’s Spooktacular Breakfast’ features a delicious buffet enjoyed with the furriest characters in town. The breakfast is a fun-filled experience sure to delight kids and parents alike.

Character dining requires an additional reservation.

Smiles Included,

Abby

 

 

NEW Ride coming to Busch Gardens in Spring 2019!!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

YES, DOUBLE YES AND YES AGAIN! Busch Gardens Tampa have announced a brand, spanking new coaster coming to their park in the spring of 2019 (which now can’t come quick enough!) We love coasters here at OAT and Busch Gardens is one of our fave parks so this is just fabulous news all around.

Get ready to take on Tigris.. It will be Florida’s tallest launch coaster and will feature a TRIPLE LAUNCH with both forward and backward motions. You will be catapulted through twists and drops, a 150ft skyward surge and not to mention a heartline roll! (think barrel rolls) Oh yeah.. did i forget to say that you’ll be experiencing all of this at over 60mph!

Riders on Tigris will travel more than 1,800 feet as they race along steel track designed to mimic the awe-inspiring agility of the world’s most powerful cat – the tiger.

Complete with orange track and black framework we can see the layout of the track in some images below:

I not only love the fact we are getting yet another coaster but I love the theme. If you’ve been to Busch Gardens you will know that lots of their coasters are based on animals (think Falcons Fury, Cheetah Hunt and Cobras Curse) and I think a tiger themed coaster is a perfect addition.

Due to this image we think it is going to be a bit like Tempesto at Busch Gardens Williamsburg where riders start off by launching straight up and then rolling backwards through the loading area to then be launched forward again.. Take a look for yourself:

Pretty coooool huh?

Above is an image of the heartline roll – it looks as though you’ll be ‘rolling’ all the way up, along and then back down!

Here’s a concept of the ride cars complete with tiger stripes. In the above images it looks as though there is going to be 3 cars of 6 seats on each train meaning 18 riders will be able to ride each train.

Where do we think the new coaster is going to go?

Well we reckon one of those 3 places.. 1 & 2 obviously because there is space there and 3 because that water ride has been closed since 2016 ‍♀️ Where do you think it will go?

Either way we are super excited for Tigris to open!

UPDATE:

Smiles included,

Abby

 

Abby’s Pre-Orlando Adventure

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Its nearly time…….

If you watch our bi-weekly Facebook Lives you’re bound to know that i’m due to go on a ‘Super Fam’ trip and in particular, how excited I am about it! Well it’s time and i’m finally leaving tomorrow to embark on what is sure to be the best trip EVER.

If you follow our Facebook or Instagram accounts you’ll be seeing loads of videos and photos from yours truly over the next week including all things Disney, Universal and SeaWorld. Before I start packing (yes I know I’ve left it very last minute) I thought I would give you guys a run-down of what my trip is going to involve.

Soooo.. I arrive in Orlando at 5pm -ish on Sunday and by 9.30pm i’ll be at Universals Halloween Horror Nights!! Nothing like throwing us in at the deep end aye?! I’m absolutely terrified but also mega, mega excited for this (I do feel sorry for the people who are going to have to keep picking me up off the floor in the houses though) The house i’m most excited for is SAW: The Games of Jigsaw, SAW hasn’t featured at HHN for 8 years now and i’m pretty eager to see what’s going to be involved this time around.

For the first few days i’m going to be staying at Universals Cabana Bay Beach Resort which I’ve heard is very nice indeed. 😛 On my first full day i’ll be visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley, Hogsmede Village and Universal Studios. I’m absolutely buzzing to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – I’ve heard so many amazing things about it and I just can’t wait to see it all for myself and i’m especially excited for  Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™.

On to the next day.. On this day I will be visiting Volcano Bay in the morning and Universals Islands of Adventure in the afternoon, woooo!!! I can’t wait to ride Krakatau™ Aqua Coaster and teeny bit scared to do Ko’okiri Body Plunge™ I feel like this is going to be a fantastic morning and I can’t wait to get loads of snaps of the Volcano! For Islands of Adventure I’ve been warned not to wear white tops or any denim and this is because i’m bound to get ABSOLUTELY SOAKED on the water rides.. Hopefully it’s a warm day (oh I forgot to mention, the weather forecast for next week is BEAUTIFUL.) Oh i’m also very eager to ride The Incredible Hulk Coaster We have a surprise evening with Universal on this day and i’m super excited to see what this is going to be, of course, i’ll keep you updated!

Day 4 is the day i’m most excited about… anyone who knows me will understand why. Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to swim with a dolphin and now i’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to do it YAY!!! If you haven’t guessed already, i’ll be visiting Discovery Cove in the morning. I’m not going to lie there will probably be some tears buy hey, who cares it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity! After Discovery Cove i’ll be travelling over to Busch Gardens where I cannot wait to ride all the big coasters and ALL of the pressure is on me to ride Falcons Fury.. i’ve got this!

On day 5 i’ll be visiting SeaWorld in the Morning , Aquatica in the afternoon and back to SeaWorld for the evening! 😉 Very excited to ride Manta and Mako at SeaWorld as everyone in the offices always raves about how good they are. Especially excited to be lucky enough to ride them in the dark also! Psyching myself up for Ihu’s breakaway falls at Aquatica!

I’ll be staying over night at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, ready for day 6.. On day 6 i’ll be visiting EPCOT in the morning and Animal Kingdom in the afternoon. Can’t wait to visit all of the different countries at EPCOT and i’m so buzzing for Pandora – The World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom, the reviews i’ve read about Avatar – Flight of Passage have all been great so I cannot wait to experience it for myself too.

On the 7th Day i’ll be off to Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom, I am really looking forward to seeing Cinderella’s Castle, meeting all of the characters and getting to experience the iconic rides and attractions such as The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. I also hope I get to watch Happily Ever After, could possibly shed a tear or two here as well!

On my last day I get to go SHOPPING at the Orlando International Premium Outlets and the Florida Mall, I’ve got all my pennies saved up for this I’m just hoping i’ll have enough room in my suitcase!! After that it’s home time 🙁 🙁

Only 1 more sleep to go and i’ll finally be off!! If you would like to follow my action packed week make sure you keep checking our Facebook and Instagram as i’ll be trying to post as much and as often as possible.

See you all soon!!

Smiles Included,

Abby

 

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment’s Retired Attractions

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Of course, we have looked at Disney and Universal’s retired attractions so there is only one other place to look…SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment! Anheuser Busch (better known as Budweiser, Abby’s favourite drink) bought SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment in 1989.

During the ownership time’s of Anheuser Busch, there was a hospitality lounge where you would get free beer samples and be able to see Clydesdales whilst sipping your beer!

In 1992 they introduced their first simulator ride to SeaWorld Orlando, Mission: Bermuda Triangle, based on the real life Bermuda Triangle (Devil’s Triangle). This was then re-themed into Wild Arctic which was combined with the amazing animal exhibit when you exit the ride. Here you can view the gorgeous Beluga whales and walruses.

Wild Arctic is also known for having seasonal changes every so often including turning into The Polar Express at Christmas time! Although this wasn’t seen last year, you never know if it will return! I hope so because I love The Polar Express!

SeaWorld used to have a fairly large penguin habitat which was upgraded into Antarctica: The Empire of the Penguin a trackless dark ride in 2013. You’ll meet Puck the Penguin and be able to follow him on his adventures around the Antarctic. You can even choose whether you would like a ‘mild’ or ‘wild’ experience!

Once you disembark from the ride, you’ll enter into the breathtaking penguin exhibit. When I say breathtaking, it literally will take your breath away with the freezing cold as well as the beautiful penguins! Some might call this a ‘2 for 1’ attraction, with the ride and the animal exhibit. Another 2 for 2 attraction is Manta. It opened in 2009 and has one of, if not the smoothest tracks in the world and is a one-of-a-kind ride with riders taunted by a head-first, face-down inverted nose dive. At the end of the ride you have the Manta Aquarium and the Stingray Lagoon.

SeaWorld is also known for it’s many stunning shows. The most popular and well known show has got to be One Ocean where you can capture Orca’s performing the most amazing flips and somersaults. One Ocean opened in 2011 after Believe was there from 2006.

Over in Tampa Bay, you can visit Busch Gardens which is also part of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment!

Python was the park’s first roller coaster that opened in 1976 with corckscrew and U-turns. Python was demolished in 2006 to make way for Jungala.

Busch Gardens also had African Queen Boat Ride which closed in 1989 to make way for Tanganyika Tidal Wave which is still in the parks to date so you can get a soaking on a hot, sunny day!  Crazy Camel was a coaster that closed in 2003 to be replaced by Sand Serpent which is also still around today.

Sandstormer was an oribter ride that was running from 1980 all the way through to 2013 before they took it down to make way for Falcons Fury which opened in 2014. Not only that, but there was Rhino Rally that opened in 2001, another water boat ride but this one was closed down for Cheetah Hunt to open in 2011.

The one ride that most people know about closing down in 2015 has to be Gwazi. I think me and Gwazi had a love hate relationship like most people! At 90 feet tall it was the park’s only wooden roller coaster!

 

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment also own Aquatica and Discovery Cove however Aquatica being their newest park, nothing has yet been replaced and Discovery Cove is already perfect just the way it is! 🙂

What else can you think of that’s no longer at any of these parks that maybe you’re happy are no longer there, or that you’re sad to see them gone?

Smiles Included…

Louise

 

Top Secrets at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Hey Thrill Seekers,

We’re coming to the end of my secret stories on the parks but before we go, we’ll take a look at Busch Gardens. Just like at SeaWorld, Busch Gardens cater for everyone! It’s probably the best park for thrill seekers and animal lovers! Although it’s about an hours drive from the other parks, it’s so worth it!

The thrill seekers have so many coasters at Busch Gardens including Falcon’s Fury, Cheetah Hunt, SheiKra, Montu, Kumba, Scorpion an the new Cobra’s Curse! Could you want anymore coasters in one park?! You’ve also got Congo River Rapids and Stanley Falls to cool you down with a bit of a splash too.

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For all you animal lovers, Busch Gardens give you the chance to get up close and personal with some of the most beautiful animals in some once in a lifetime opportunities. Walkabout Way is just like being in Australia with all of the kookaburras, kangaroos and wallabies. Not only that but you can also hand feed the kangaroos and wallabies! Be sure to check out the feeding times in the morning when you enter the parks.

kangaroos

Serengeti Safari is a well known attraction at Busch Gardens but a lot of people still don’t know that there is an amazing feature on this safari where you can hand feed giraffes! That’s right..they will come over to you on your safari truck and eat right out of your hands!

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Over at Jungala you can see some the most breathtaking endangered animals such as Bengal tigers and orangutans. You can even soar through the trees on Jungle Flyer. If you enter Jungala from the bridge and look closely at the water rocks you’ll see the word ‘Jungala’! 😉

Just to show you even more of the care that they take over their animals, their Animal Care Centre is right inside the action in the park. You can go into the centre at any time of day (inside park opening hours of course) and if you’re there at the right time, you might even be able to watch the treatment. This could be anything from an x-ray to surgery!

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Busch Gardens really is an incredible park that you will never forget!

Sadly, we have come to the end of our secrets but be sure to let us know of anything else that you find on your holidays!

Smiles Included…

Louise

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Busch Gardens 3rd Annual Food and Wine Festival

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Food, wine, animals and rides – I personally can’t think of a better combination.. Well, as long as the animals aren’t drinking the wine and you don’t go on a ride straight after eating 😉

Busch Gardens annual Food and Wine festival will be on every Saturday and Sunday from the 4th March until the 30th April. The festival area will be open from midday until 9pm and the headline concerts will start at 7pm. The whole 9 week festival will be jam packed with chart topping artists and enough food and drink to keep even the hungriest of people satisfied.

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‘From family-friendly animal encounters and crafts to festival games and live entertainment, the Busch Gardens® Food & Wine Festival is filled with exciting experiences around the park that pair perfectly with your culinary adventures.’

Loads of huge names will be taking centre stage each weekend and the headliners will begin at 7pm over on Gwazi Field. Some of the many artists include:

  • Sat 4th March – Daughtry
  • Sun 5th March – Andy Grammer
  • Sat 11th March – Goo Goo Dolls
  • Sun 12th March – Kool & The Gang
  • Sat 18th March – Young the Giant
  • Sun 19th March – Jason Isbell & John Hiatt Trio
  • Sat 25th March – NBC’s The Voice finalists Craig Wayne Boyd & Adam Wakefield
  • Sun 26th March – El Gran Combo
  • Sat 1st April – DNCE
  • Sun 2nd April – Walk Off The Earth
  • Sun 9th April – Daya and Matt Nathanson
  • Sun 16th April – Newsboys
  • Sat 22nd April – Gilberto Santa Rosa
  • Sun 3rd April – Lynyrd Skynyrd

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Here’s just a snippet of what food and beverage is going to be on offer..  duck tacos, lobster ravioli, bacon mac & cheese, brown sugar rubbed pork belly, banana foster panna cotta, gator bites, and cabernet-filled chocolates – as well as an expanded selection of wines, craft brews and cocktails. YUM!!

Don’t forget that this great event is included with your admission ticket for Busch Gardens – food and beverages are not included and will be available at extra fee’s.

So if you’re heading on down to Busch Gardens between the 4th March – 30th April then make sure you don’t miss out on this four senses masterpiece – my mouth’s watering just at the thought!

Smiles Included,

Jess

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POV Video Of Busch Gardens Cobra’s Curse

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Busch Gardens Cobra’s Curse opened this month and is getting lots a really positive reviews. The family spinning coaster is a great addition to a park that already boasts some of Florida’s best thrill rides including SheiKra, Falcons Fury and Montu.

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Today we were given access to this awesome POV video of Cobra’s Curse, check it out and let us know what you think.

Are you ready to take a spin on Cobra’s Curse?

You can purchase Busch Gardens Tickets directly from Orlando Attraction Tickets.

Smiles included

Jamie

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Today Busch Gardens Tampa Unveils Cobra’s Curse

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Today is the day you can take a spin on Busch Gardens new multi directional coaster Cobra’s Curse, the parks first spinning attraction is aimed at families and features an 80 foot tall Snake icon!

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The ride was open to the media last week and first reviews have been extremely positive;

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Cobra’s Curse Facts

Maximum Speed: 40 mph

Ride Length: More than 2,100 feet of track, 70 total track segments

Ride Duration: More than three and a half minutes

Seats: Up to 8 trains at a time, with 8 riders per train

Height Requirement: 48 inches to ride alone, 42 inches with parent or guardian

Ride Experience: The Cobra’s Curse ride experience unfolds in chapters: First, you will be facing forward for the first third of the ride and then be turned backwards for the second segment. Finally, for the final third of the ride, you’ll free spin into frenzy.

Queue Line: The air-conditioned queue line features an exhibit with live snakes, interactive elements and projection mapping technology to tell the story of the Snake King.

Snake Icon: 30,000 lb. in weight, 80-feet tall, Four-foot-long fangs, Three-foot-wide eyes.

This massive structure was constructed of nine stackable pieces. It has an internal steel spine and an outer shell composed of carved foam and fiberglass.

First Vertical Lift: The first experience on this ride is a lift that is one of a kind! This vertical lift functions in a similar way to an outdoor elevator and will take riders up in their coaster car to put them face- to-fang with the 80-foot Snake King.

Second Vertical Lift: The three-and-a-half-minute ride will also feature a second inclined lift that positions riders or the free-spin finale of the ride.

Location: Egypt area of Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay

You can purchase Busch Gardens Tampa Tickets directly from Orlando Attraction Tickets. If you’re heading to the park today please let us know what you thought.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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