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Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens used to have the unique selling point that it had animals, but all that changed when Disney opened Animal Kingdom.

Advertised as "From Wildlife to Wild Rides", Busch Gardens is a combination of Theme Park and Safari Zoo. The park has some world class thrill rides for those who seek an adrenalin rush, but there is also plenty to satisfy those with more sedate tastes.

I know there will be many who disagree, but I'm not sure that I'd make the trip to this one as it's a good hour each way on Interstate 4 (I4) and that's if the traffic isn't too bad. Most of the rides are very similar to ones at Disney and Universal, and it will take a very full day to see everything once you get there. Everything is themed around an African Adventure although some of the theming only stretches as far as the name they've given to the roller coaster!

Tanganyika Tidal Wave is a peaceful jungle journey aboard a 20-passenger boat which all climaxes with a sudden plunge down a 55 foot drop! You will get wet on this ride, but it soon dries in the Florida heat (Similar to Jurassic River Ride at Disney).

Stanley Falls - This is a log flume ride (similar to Splash Mountain at Disney) - although it's OK, it doesn't compare with the entertainment of Splash Mountain. All together now "Zippady doo dah, Zippady day ...."

Kumba - is a typical high adrenalin roller coaster with plunges turns and twists that will leave you wishing you hadn't had that extra gator nugget for lunch.

Gwazi -This is a traditional wooden roller coaster, although it has also been described as a bobsled with 7,000 feet of track!

Montu - A roller coaster where your legs hang free (like Duelling Dragons at Universal). Vertical loops and speeds in excess of 60 miles per hour are certainly thrilling, but be prepared for long queues if you want to ride this one.

If white knuckle rides don't do it for you, there is still plenty to see and do.

The Serengeti Railway travels around the park, and as it makes several stops you can either use it as a sight seeing trip to view the free-roaming herds of African Animals, or purely as a transport system to get around the park, whilst Skyride allows you to get a bird's-eye view of everything.

If you fancy getting closer to the animals, Rhino Rally is an off road adventure safari that will bring you into contact with some of the African Animals living here, whilst Edge of Africa is a more traditional safari trip, and probably as realistic as it gets unless you actually travel to Africa.

For details of opening times and special events, visit the theme park web site by clicking on the logo at the top of the page.

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