Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Busch Gardens Treat!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends! We definitely did, but I'm still taking it all in so don't have any pictures uploaded yet. Instead, I thought I'd share some fun pictures from our day trip to Busch Gardens Tampa on Sunday.

Tim texted me on Friday asking if I'd want to go to Busch Gardens on Sunday, the day before Christmas Eve. He had gotten two half off coupons for day tickets, so I of course said I would want to go! We hadn't been to Busch Gardens since August of 2008, when Tim took the day off of work to take me as a treat before the first day of my new job. That was after we had been dating about a month. What a guy!

We love going to theme parks, but we just don't do it that much because of cost and time. This seemed like the perfect opportunity! We also invited his youngest brother to come with us; his brother is a theme park expert and knows all of the ins and outs of Disney, Busch Gardens, and Universal. He has a season pass so he was up for it too! We all had so much fun together, and because we got there right when it opened, we had free reign of the place for the first couple of hours we were there. We rode two of the most popular rides twice each without waiting in line. Lines slowly started forming after a couple of hours, but we needed to do our due diligence and wait in at least a few lines. 

It was fun to go right before Christmas, because even though I've never been to Disney for Christmas, Busch Gardens does it up pretty big. Alex (Tim's brother) was kind enough to be our photographer every once in a while.
Cheetah Hunt is the newest ride, and we waited in line for it once before technical difficulties turned us around. We eventually went back and waited for about 45 minutes. It's a good ride, but it's more focused on speed than height, and I love those stomach turning drops on some of the taller roller coasters.
I loved seeing the animals! I'm not sure why, but they were all so interactive on Sunday. Maybe it was because it was cooler or because it wasn't overly crowded, but they came right to the glass or to the people feeding. It was so much fun!
Had to take the opportunity! Roll Tide!
We had to get one of Tim in front of Timbuktu! Busch Gardens Tampa's theme is Africa, so there are all different countries and cities of Africa built around the park.
I took plenty of opportunities to be silly and pose! I also wore my Garmin and tracked the mileage when we were walking outside, because I always wonder when I leave these kinds of places how far we've walked. Now I know! We tracked around 3.2 miles.
Tiger upclose! 
This was the coolest part! He jumped up on the glass to say hello! I was so glad to have my camera out, because I couldn't believe it! You hardly ever see these big animals so close to the glass, much less jumping up like this! Thank goodness I saw the movie Life of Pi. This made me want to pet the tiger, but after seeing the movie and seeing Pi have the same feelings and then barely be able to survive in the boat with the tiger, I was reminded that these animals are not for cuddling. 
We didn't stick around for it, but Busch Gardens started a night celebration for the holidays this year called Christmas town. It's a separate ticket, and we decided to opt out. Yelp had an elite event there, so I did see pictures and it looked nice. Kat, Beka, and Caroline all had great recaps of that event.
I have decided that this is my favorite roller coaster, called Sheikra. This is the massive drop, and there is another just this steep but about half the height. Both of them leave your stomach at the top while you drop. When we went on this one I had forgotten about the huge drop, and I was saying to Tim and Alex as we were climbing the hill that I'd meant not to go on this one and didn't realize this was the drop one. Oops. Too late!
Sesame Street Christmas decorations!
We happened upon the kangaroo feeding, which happens three times a day. Their tails are strangely long and fat.
We stood in line for Cheetah Hunt, that I had mentioned before, ate lunch, then headed out!
It was a great day at Busch Gardens! I loved going at Christmas and spending the day with Tim and his brother. It was chilly so the park wasn't overly crowded.
Are you a theme park fan?
What is your favorite?
Do you ride roller coasters?

12 comments:

Kat @ S and F said...

We loved Cheetah Hunt and definitely want to go back for the yearly Fun Pass!

Hallie @ Life:Oceanside said...

sooo jealous! I wanted to do Christmastown this year, but we just didn't have the time:/ We better go this weekend before our fun passes expire!

LOOOVE Sheikra! :):)

glad you guys had such a great time:)

Beka said...

I can't wait to use the passes Mike bought me for my birthday next year! Busch gardens is 1 of my favorite places! I can't believe how close you were to that beautiful tiger!!

still being [molly] said...

SO FUN!! i love busch gardens!! i used to go ALL THE TIME in college because the one in Williamsburg, VA was RIGHT next to where i went to school!!!

Taylor said...

I haven't been to Busch Gardens since I was 17! I'm more of a Disney person, but I love the roller coasters in BG! Sheikra was amazing!! I remember it was pouring rain when we went so the park was super empty. Rain doesn't scare away Floridians!

runningbetty said...

My family loves theme parks. Despite the heat and long lines, we still feel like we are away from reality when we go to Disney.
We like fast rides and loved Cheetah Hunt when we went to Christmas Town! http://runningbetty.com/christmas-town-busch-gardens-tampa

My favorite ride is probably Rockin' Roller Coaster at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
I bought texting gloves this year, looks like you did too!

Meghan said...

This post brings back so many memories! I was there when I was a kid and LOVED it! Looks like you guys had a great time!

Meghan said...

This post brings back so many memories! I was there when I was a kid and LOVED it! Looks like you guys had a great time!

PavementRunner said...

You were super close to the animals... very cool. Looks like you both had fun.

Lindsey @ Let the Light Shine said...

Looks like you had a super fun day! Our Busch Gardens also has a Christmas Town. I need to go one year!

Leah said...

Fun! We are doing yearly passes in the spring for Avery and we can't wait to do Christmas Town next year.

Meghan @ Shine On said...

I love everything about roller coasters, so that photo is AMAZING. You two are one good lookin' couple! Love all of the photos, lady!