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News & Rumors


Busch Gardens Tampa
Tampa, FL
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment



----    THE LATEST BUZZ    ----
    (3/6/17) Food and Wine Festival Schedule and More (MORE...)
    (1/26/17) What May Be Coming in 2018 and 2019
    (12/8/16) Busch Gardens Tampa Closes Two Animal Attractions (MORE...)
    (11/16/16) Busch Gardens Tampa Wins Applause Award (MORE...)

Ride Rehabs - The following information is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.
Sand Serpent - NOW CLOSED through ????
Skyride - NOW CLOSED through Apr. 7
Big Bird’s Whirly Birdie - Mar. 27 through Apr. 7
Snuffy’s Elephant Romp - Apr. 17 through Apr. 21
Bush Flyers - Apr. 24 through Apr. 28
Phoenix - May 1 through May 19
Sheikra - May 30 through June 9
Gwazi Gliders - June 5 through June 9
Hippos of the Nile - June 12 through June 16


icon_STOPGeneral Park News - (3/6/17) The Busch Gardens Tampa Food and Wine Festival is now open, and our friends at Midway Mayhem stopped by the check it out this week and report back with a rundown.
    I've also got the rundown of the park's concert schedule... sorry to say that I missed posting it before the first weekend was under-way, but here it is:
Saturday, March 4: Daughtry
Sunday, March 5: Andy Grammer
Saturday, March 11: Goo Goo Dolls
Sunday, March 12: Kool & The Gang
Saturday, March 18: Young the Giant
Sunday, March 19: Jason Isbell & John Hiatt Trio
Saturday, March 25: Craig Wayne Boyd & Adam Wakefield
Sunday, March 26: El Gran Combo
Saturday, April 1: DNCE
Sunday, April 2: Walk Off the Earth
Saturday, April 8: Hunter Hayes
Sunday, April 9: Daya & Matt Nathanson
Saturday, April 15: The Band Perry         
Sunday, April 16: Newsboys
Saturday, April 22: Gilberto Santa Rosa
Sunday, April 23: Lynyrd Skynyrd
Saturday, April 29: Bachata Heightz, Justin Quiles, Milly Quezada
Sunday, April 30: Tribute Bands performing the best of Jimmy Buffet, Queen, Bon Jovi & Prince
    In one final bit of news, I was also informed that the former Jambo Junction area was to reopen over the weekend in a reduced format, though our source wasn't sure if they would change the name or not. Did anyone happen by to see if this really did happen?

    (1/31/17) Anyone know what's up with Sand Serpent (Mack Wild Mouse) at Busch Gardens Tampa?  The schedule of ride rehabs on the park's website added Sand Serpent earlier this month and has been updated to only say that it is now closed for annual maintenance until "TBD". Sounds like something either went wrong, or something was unexpectedly discovered as being wrong, that will take much longer to fix an anticipated.
    (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.
    (9/29/16) 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


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


icon_STOP2018 - Walkabout Way Expansion - Rumor - (1/26/17) I'm hearing that the park may be planning an expansion to the Australian themed Walkabout Way animal area of the park for the 2018 season.


icon_STOP2019/2020 - Resort Hotel - Rumor - (1/26/17) Screamscape sources tell us that Busch Gardens Tampa is once again making plans to build their very own resort hotel on the property. I'm told they are hoping to open it by 2019 if the planning goes smoothly, though they have a few sites they are considering. The obvious one is to take up a large site along McKinley Drive right smack in the middle of the savannah where the railroad already curves away from McKinley which would give the resort the most room here, as well as providing some stunning views to the guests. Another site being heavily considered instead however is the corner property of the park where McKinley and Bougainvillea intersect, which is currently used as a backstage area for the park. If they go for this site, obviously whatever is back there would have to be moved to new facility elsewhere in the park, or moved off-site (if possible). In addition to those two primary sites, they have also earmarked a couple of other sites directly to the west and north of Adventure Island as possibilities as well.


???? - 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 or 2019. 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



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