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Busch Gardens Tampa – Good Things To Know About ...


Access for the Disabled

Handicapped parking spaces are provided directly in front of the park's main entrance for those with a valid permit. Otherwise, physically challenged guests may be dropped off at the main entrance. The entire park is wheelchair accessible and companion bathrooms are dotted about the park. Some physically challenged guests may not be able to experience certain rides due to safety considerations. An "Access Guide" is available at Guest Relations near the main entrance.

Wheelchair and ECV rentals are handled out of a concession next to the Jeepers and Creepers shop in Morocco. Wheelchairs are $15 a day. Motorized carts are $45. ECVs are popular, so get there early to be sure you get one.

Animal Observation

Busch Gardens does an excellent job of displaying its animals in natural settings. One consequence of that is that they can sometimes be hard to see. So if spying out elands or catching a glimpse of a rare rhino baby is important to you, consider bringing along a pair of binoculars. They will come in handy on the Skyride, the Trans-Veldt Railroad, and even at lunch in the Crown Colony House restaurant.

Babies

Diaper changing tables are located in restrooms throughout the park. A nursing area is located in Sesame Street Safari of Fun.

If you don't have your own, you can rent strollers at the concession next to Jeepers and Creepers in Morocco. Single strollers are $14.02 for the full day with tax, double strollers are $18.69.

First Aid

First aid stations are located in Timbuktu behind the Desert Grill restaurant and in the Skyride building in Cheetah Hunt. If emergency aid is needed, contact the nearest employee.

Getting Wet

The signs say, "This is a water attraction. Riders will get wet and possibly soaked." This is not marketing hyperbole but a simple statement of fact. The water rides at Busch Gardens are one of its best kept secrets (the mammoth roller coasters get most of the publicity), but they pose some problems for the unprepared. Kids probably won't care, but adults can get positively cranky when wandering around sopping wet.

The three major water rides, in increasing order of wetness, are Stanley Falls Log Flume, Congo River Rapids, and the absolutely soaking Tanganyika Tidal Wave. (The Swamp Stomp section of Sesame Street Safari of Fun can also get tykes very wet.) Fortunately, these three rides are within a short distance of each other, in the Congo and Stanleyville, allowing you to implement the following strategy:

First, dress appropriately. Wear a bathing suit and T-shirt under a dressier outer layer. Wear shoes you don't mind getting wet; sports sandals are ideal. Bring a tote bag in which you can put things, like cameras, that shouldn't get wet. You can also pack a towel and it's probably a good idea to bring along the plastic laundry bag from your motel room. Plan to do the water rides in sequence. When you're ready to start, strip off your outer layer, put it in the tote bag along with your other belongings, and stash everything in a convenient locker. There are lockers dotted throughout the Congo and Stanleyville. A helpful locker symbol on the map of the park will help you locate the nearest one. Now you're ready to enjoy the rides without worry.

Once you've completed the circuit, and especially if you rode the Tidal Wave, you will be soaked to the skin. You now have a choice. If it's a hot summer day, you may want to let your clothes dry as you see the rest of the park. Don't worry about feeling foolish; you'll see of plenty of other folks in the same boat, and your damp clothes will feel just great in the Florida heat. In cooler weather, however, it's a good idea to return to the locker, grab your stuff, head to a nearby restroom, and change into dry clothes. Use the plastic laundry bag for the wet stuff. The alternative is to buy a Busch Gardens poncho (they make nice souvenirs and are readily available at shops near the water rides) and hope for the best. This is far less fun and you'll probably get pretty wet anyway.

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