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News & Rumors


Busch Gardens Tampa
Tampa, FL
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment



----    THE LATEST BUZZ    ----
    (12/8/16) Busch Gardens Tampa Closes Two Animal Attractions (MORE...)
    (11/16/16) Busch Gardens Tampa Wins Applause Award (MORE...)
    (11/9/16) BGT Raises Height Restriction On Phoenix (MORE...)
    (10/13/16) Sesame Street Kids Weekends (MORE...)

Ride Rehabs - The following information is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.
Cobra’s Curse - NOW CLOSED through Feb 2
The Count’s Rally - Jan. 23 through Jan. 27
Elmo Safari-Go-Round - Jan. 24 through Jan. 30
Stanleyville Log Flume - Feb. 3 through Feb. 17
Skyride - Feb. 27 through Apr. 7
Wild Surge - Apr. 3 through Apr. 14
Snuffy’s Elephant Romp - Apr. 7 through Apr. 21
Bush Flyers - Apr. 24 through Apr. 28
Phoenix - May 1 through May 19
Sheikra - May 30 through June 9


icon_STOPGeneral Park News - (1/4/17) For a limited time, guests can receive an Adventure Island Fun Card FREE with the purchase of a Busch Gardens Fun Card, which lets guests pay for a day and visit both parks through Dec. 31, 2017. For details on this and the return of the free Preschool Card offer click here.
    (12/8/16) According to what I'm hearing from Busch Gardens Tampa sources the park has closed down the Jambo Junction and Curiosity Caverns walk-through animal attraction areas. For the most part the Jambo Junction area is being forced to close (for now at least) due to the elimination of a large portion of the "Zoo Education" staff during Tuesday's layoffs. I'm told that the area already had a wall put up in front of it by Wednesday.
    Curiosity Caverns on the other hand closed about a month ago and has nothing to do with the layoffs. I'm told that there was enough damage due to age that needed addressing as well as a complete and extremely costly replacement the attractions cooling and heating systems. In the end it was decided that the attraction would be retired due to age and most of the animals have already been transferred out already. Given that it was located next to Jambo Junction, there is some speculation that the two sites could be combined and repurposed for something entirely new in the future.
    (11/16/16) Congratulations goes out to Busch Gardens Tampa who was honored with being the 2016 Applause Award recipient.
    "With a unique mix of world-class attractions, outstanding animal exhibits and strong seasonal events, Busch Gardens Tampa is not just one of the leading destination parks in North America, but also a favorite amongst Florida residents. Busch Gardens Tampa has through continuous re-investments, attention to guest value and a focus on employees as the primary source for long-term success, established itself as one of the beacons of the global attractions industry", says Andreas Veilstrup Andersen, President and CEO, Liseberg Group and Chairman of The Applause Award Board of Governors.
    The Applause Award is only given out once every two years to one of the world's theme parks. Sister park, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, won the Applause Award back in 2002. Over the years several Central Florida area theme parks have won the award including the very first going to The Magic Kingdom in 1980, Epcot in 1986, Universal Studios Florida in 1994 and Islands of Adventure in 2006.
    (11/9/16) While it doesn’t seem to be listed on the park’s official website, as any information at all about the Phoenix ride at Busch Gardens Tampa seems to have been removed for the time being, Screamscape has confirmed with the park (and park guests who first reported this to us) that the height restriction on Phoenix has been increased from 48” to 54”.
    According to Busch Gardens Tampa, “park leadership did make the decision to increase the height restrictions for this particular ride, safety is our top priority.”  Quite often these kind of changes stem from updated safety guidelines from the manufacture, much like the ban on single riders that was added to Chance ferris wheels a few years ago. In this case however, Busch Gardens informed Screamscape that “our decision was made based on a combination of safety requirements by the manufacturer guidelines and our park safety protocols.”
    (10/13/16) Busch Gardens Tampa is adding Sesame Street characters to the park during the daytime for the Halloween season as part of “Sesame Street Kids Weekends”. The limited time event takes place in the park’s Safari of Fun kids area on Oct. 22-23, and Oct. 29-30, featuring hay maze, animal meet & greets, a character parade and candy stations for kids to trick-or-treat at.
    (10/10/16) The annual holiday tradition, Christmas Town, returns to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay with more than two million twinkling lights, festive treats, holiday entertainment and unique attractions, including the all-new addition of the beloved Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Christmas Town will take place on select nights at BGT from Nov. 25 to Dec. 31.
    New this year is "Rudolph’s Winter Wonderland" where guests can meet several of the characters from the beloved Rudolph show (Rudolph, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius or even The Bumble) as well as play various holiday games or enjoy yummy treats.
    You can also enjoy "Santa’s House presented by Coca-Cola" where you will visit the North Pole home of Santa and the elves who are busy preparing for Christmas. You may get a chance to visit with Santa in his study as well.
    Fan favorite shows will return once again including: Christmas on Ice, Carol of the Bells and the Holiday Hills Brass Band.
    (9/29/16) Good news for Kumba fans, as I’m told that Kumba actually did reopen on Sunday. Looks like the rehab just needed a couple of extra days to finish up.  From what I’m told, it is running quite well right now too.
    It is also worth mentioning that Busch Gardens Tampa will put on Christmas Town on select dates from Nov. 25 through Dec 31 this year. "Busch Gardens Tampa Bay transforms into a wonderland of entertainment and attractions, holiday shopping, festive treats and more than two million twinkling lights. New in 2016, the Christmas cheer begins with the all-new Rudolph’s Winter Wonderland where guests can meet Rudolph, Bumble, Yukon Cornelius and other characters from the classic family Christmas television special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. It continues at Santa’s House presented by Coca-Cola, where Santa himself takes a break from his busy holiday schedule to meet and take photos with families in his private study. Guests will also have the opportunity to experience some of Busch Gardens’ most popular thrill rides, including Cheetah Hunt, SheiKra, Falcon’s Fury™ and the newest family spin coaster, Cobra’s Curse."
    Then in early 2017 the park has released the concert line-up for the Real Music concert series taking place Monday through Saturdays from Jan. 9 to Mar. 4:
Week of January 9 – Shirley Alston Reeves: Original Lead Singer Of The Shirelles
Week of January 16 – The Diamonds
Week of January 23 – The Platters
Week of January 30 – Fernando Varela
Week of February 6 – Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
Week of February 13 – Beginnings: The Ultimate Chicago Tribute Band
Week of February 20 – Micky Dolenz
Week of February 27– Lee Greenwood
    (9/27/16) Can anyone tell us if Kumba has reopened? It was closed for annual rehab and supposed to reopen after Sept 22, but a park guests who visited on the 23rd said that Kumba was still closed and park staff could only tell them that it will be closed "longer than anticipated". If it opens, please do let us know.
    (8/5/16) Sometimes we publish stories of cheer and joy... others about thrills... and others about the joys of being scared on rides and haunts, but then there are the really dark articles. Not just the ones about people getting hurt... which are sad.. but then there is the next level of darkness. This is where we drop down to the lowest level of humanity... into a world full stupid and cruel inhabitants, where logic no longer make sense and the use of the word "human" becomes a bit of a stretch.
    Unfortunately this is where we are going today as a recently released 45-year old convict by the name of Joseph Corrao visited Busch Gardens Tampa with family members. For entirely unknown reasons Corrao suddenly reached into the park's flamingo exhibit and grabbed one of the parks more well known Flamingos, a 19-year old Chilean pink Flamingo by the name of Pinky, and then hoisted the bird over his head and hurled it violently into the ground as hard as he could.
    Unfortunately, Pinky's injuries were so severe, with one leg damaged to the point of nearly being completely severed off, that the park staff had no choice but to euthanize Pinky. Corrao has been arrested and charged with "aggravated cruelty to animals". Unfortunately, Corrao has a history of this kind of behavior, having been charged with  "aggravated assault on animals" back in 2013, and having just been released from prison in 2015 after a 2-year stretch for "aggravated assault" and "fleeing from officers" as the most recent offences in a criminal history that stretches back 20 years.
    (8/3/16) Busch Gardens Tampa has opened the new "Rising Tide Conservation" exhibit, a 270-gallon aquarium housing aquaculture fishes, live coral and snails. This non-profit collaborative effort was initiated by SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment in 2009 and focuses on methods to successfully breed saltwater reef fish to provide alternatives to collecting them from the wild.
    Rising Tide Conservation partners with public aquariums, research facilities, pet-industry professionals and saltwater aquarium hobbyists to protect coral reefs by developing sustainable aquaculture methods.  The collection of marine tropical fish can cause damage to both the reef and the fish it sustains.
    Busch Gardens Tampa has been establishing the tank system for nearly two years. The aquarium will display several marine fish that Rising Tide Conservation has successfully bred, including the first successful aquaculture of Yellow Tangs, which was done in conjunction with the Oceanic Institute of Hawaii Pacific University.
    Guests can visit the exhibit by the conservation windows located to the right of Jambo Junction in the Nairobi area of the park. The exhibit is open daily during park operating hours.


icon_STOPFall 2016 - Howl-O-Scream 2016 - (10/3/16) Screamscape was invited to the fantastic ScreamCam haunt preview event at Busch Gardens Tampa where we sent Keith down to be the next victim...errr... honored guest, to preview one of their brand new haunts this season called Motel Hell. Looks like he really got a thrill out of this one... check it out below and then be sure to check out for all the latest details on this year's haunt event, available dates and you can even buy tickets in advance.

    (9/15/16) A fun advertisement for Howl-O-Scream Evil Encore has now been posted., Check it out below!

    (7/20/16) Busch Gardens Tampa has confirmed another returning haunt for this year's Howl-O-Scream event... Unearthed.
    (7/13/16) BGT has confirmed that Circus of Superstition: The Last Laugh will return to Howl-O-Scream this fall.

    (7/4/16) I thought I mentioned this before, but seems I only mentioned it on social media... but Busch Gardens Tampa and Williamsburg have posted their initial theme for this year's Howl-O-Scream event which they are calling Evil Encore. No details are posted on the individual park pages other than event dates for 2016. (BGW seems to have all their shows and mazes from last year listed however still...) With a name like Evil Encore however, it does sound as if 2016 may be a throw-back themed event, perhaps bringing back Icons and popular mazes from the past once again.


2017 - Nothing is known yet at this time...


2018/2019 - New Coaster - Rumor - (9/9/16) Is BGT planning on adding a new coaster in the near future? Early sources tell us that the park has been in talks with B&M about adding a new coaster as early as 2018. With so many B&M coasters already in the park (Dive Machine, Looper, Inverted) and with a B&M Flyer and Floorless coaster also nearby at SeaWorld Orlando, about the only B&M design the company has not yet built in the region would be a Wing Coaster. Personally, I'd also love to see this come out as a Launched Wing Coaster design since the park has so many standard lift coasters.




Track Record

Busch Gardens Tampa
Tampa, Florida
SeaWorld Parks & Ent.

Abbreviation: BGT
Opened: March 31, 1959

Tickets: as of 1/7/16
Adults (10+): $99
Child (3-9): $94
Parking: $18
Open: Year Round

Fun Facts:
- The park was previously used the subtext of calling it “The Dark Continent”
- Python was removed in the fall of 2006.

Newest Developments:
2016 - Cobra’s Curse and Rising Tide Conversation exhibit

2015 - Colossal Curl opens at Adventure Island

2014 - Falcon’s Fury

2013 - Madagascar Live

2012 - Iceploration

2011 - Cheetah Hunt, Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy, Millennium Flyer trains added to Gwazi

2010 - Sesame Street Safari Of Fun & Sesame Street 4D, Animal Connection & Walkabout Way

2008 - Jungala and
Jambo Junction

2007 - SheiKra goes Floorless




Park Concerts & Special Shows



Copyright © 1996 - 2017 by Lance Hart &  All rights reserved.