Take a Walk on The Wild Side at Busch Gardens Tampa (Part 4)
An Orlando-Area Attraction Reviewby Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 10-15-2015
In the final part of this series of articles looking at Busch Gardens Tampa, we’re heading into the last areas of the park that we’re yet to explore, at the western side.
Busch Gardens - Walkabout Way
The beautiful theming of Walkabout Way.
We made our way over to Stanleyville via the Skyride, and when you arrive that way, the first attraction you see is Stanley Falls Flume. As the name suggests, it’s another of the park’s water rides, and this is one where you’re likely to get drenched as you head down the final 40-foot high plunge. I have to say that, while it was a hot day when we visited, there is still no way you’d ever catch me on that thing!
Stanleyville’s other water ride is literally just opposite on the other side of the walkway, although it’s a little more hidden away. Tanganyika Tidal Wave does exactly what the name suggests, it creates an amazing tidal wave as the ride vehicles make their final descent. Even if you don’t plan on going on it, it is something you have to see. You can watch safely from the side, or the really brave ones can even stand on the bridge in front of the final drop, and get drenched to the skin! My husband braved that, although in fairness, as he was carrying a camera, he did duck behind the glass wall that offers protection from the tidal wave at the last second.
If you do have youngsters in your party who want to get wet, Stanleyville is a great place to take them, as they can also get drenched by SheiKra, the headline coaster in this part of the park, which makes its way round through an underground tunnel before it splashes down, soaking a huge area around it. Luckily, it is fairly obvious where the water will go, so you can avoid it, but we certainly saw a few kids loving the rainstorm it creates!
We next moved over the bridge across the Serengeti Railway into Lory Landing, a wonderful aviary filled with colorful birds, which is actually part of Bird Gardens, appropriately enough. However, it’s a bit weird to say it’s part of Bird Gardens, as it’s really on its own; the next area you come to is Sesame Street Safari of Fun. As the name suggests, this is the area that will appeal most to kids, based on the popular TV series. As we don’t have children, I wandered around just to see what it was like. It’s beautifully themed, with familiar characters everywhere. It immediately strikes you as being larger than life, with walkways high above you and fun play areas all around. I can imagine that this would be a huge attraction for younger members of the family, and probably the only issue you’re going to have is actually getting them out of there, as no doubt, they’ll be having so much fun.
Then you’re back into Bird Gardens again – I did warn you that the layout of the park at this point is a bit bizarre. The other major attraction here is Walkabout Way, which highlights the animals of Australia. I personally really enjoyed this, as I don’t know about you, but the zoos and safari parks we tend to visit don’t seem to concentrate much on creatures like this. As a result, it was a real pleasure to wander through here, seeing wallabies, most of whom were just lying around, exhausted by the heat no doubt, and emus, strutting around as if they own the place. There were also plenty of birds to see, and some shady areas, which was a pleasant respite from the sun outside.
One thing that was really nice about this attraction was that you really felt transported to another part of the world. Busch Gardens obviously tries to do that throughout the park, but as I’ve mentioned before, with the coasters dominating the landscape, the theming is never quite completely immersive. However, here, on the southwestern fringe of the park, there were no thrill rides in sight, and no noise from them, and it was only then do you realize what a difference it makes not to see and hear them.
Bird Gardens then leads back into Morocco at the front of the park, and with that, our day trip was over. We’d visited most parts of the park, only missing Egypt, which is home to another of Busch Gardens’ coasters, Montu. Although we didn’t go on many rides, and we’re not fans of thrill rides, there was still plenty to entertain us for the day. If you’re animal lovers like us, then there will still be lots for you to see and do at this park, and we always feel after we’ve been here that it’s worth a visit, and the drive out here. It’s not a must-do for us every time, but it’s always great to get back there.
Busch Gardens – SheiKra
SheiKra splashes down.
I hope this series of articles may have encouraged some of you to try the hour or so drive over to Tampa, as Busch Gardens is certainly well worth a visit.
Updated 10-15-2015 - Article #1229
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.
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