Wednesday, 26 October 2016
Following on from my Universal Studios blog post, today I'm sharing what I got up to at Busch Gardens during my recent trip to the US, as well as a couple of my top tips when it comes to what to see and do at the Tampa theme park.
So let's take a trip to Busch Gardens;
Much like with Universal Studios, it had been quite a few years since my last trip to Busch Gardens, so I was very excited to make my return this year. It's worth bearing in mind, if you're staying in central Orlando, that Busch Gardens is about an hour away, taking the I-4 Wast. This also means that the weather can vary rather drastically between the two cities, as we learnt on our recent trip through.
When we left Orlando, at around 10am, the sky was blue and there was hardly a cloud in the sky. As we headed further West, the skies got darker and at one stage all we could see was dark grey sky. A few moments later torrential rain hit. This was a little disheartening as the last thing you want to happen when you're planning a trip to a theme park is a storm or heavy downpour to occur but we checked the weather online and it said that the storm should pass within the hour.
By the time we'd parked, the rain was very light, that light that it felt quite nice on my bare skin in the hot Floridian heat. We boarded the little trolley that takes you from the parking lot to the park and by that time the rain had completely stopped. As we headed through the turnstiles we were notified that all of the rides had been stopped and would remain off until the impending storm had passed. This is totally understandable when you consider the fact that almost every storm includes thunder and lightning in Florida. As a result, I took the opportunity to take the majority of my photographs, especially as the rain never restarted.
I headed straight to the Myombe Reserve to hopefully catch a glimpse of some gorillas and chimpanzees. I was a little worried that all of the animals would have taken shelter because of the storm but within minutes these three came straight up to me.
It was absolutely unreal witnessing them playing and having their lunch.
What I love about Busch Gardens is that no matter where you are or where you look, there's always something incredibly beautiful to look at. This little area in the Myombe Reserve was too beautiful to ignore.
I also got the chance to see one of the giant tortoises having his lunch too.
I then stumbled across this wonderful topiary display and just had to take the opportunity to create this photograph. I also took this as a chance to showcase my jungle inspired outfit.
I donned my great palm print jumpsuit which I picked up from Next in this year's Summer sale and paired it with my beloved leopard print/cat ear hat, which I actually found in the kids department at Marks & Spencer, my brilliant Hotter Tourist sandals* and my matching palm print backpack from Zara.
As soon as the rides were back up and running, we headed straight for the Nairobi Train Station to board the Serengeti Express train.
This has and probably always will, be my favourite thing to do at Busch Gardens. What I love about it is the fact that you can ride the train right around the park, taking in the sights of both the animals and the theme park itself. It's also perfect for taking a little break from the Floridian sunshine, especially when the sun is beating down on you as you head through the park.
After riding the train right round and spotting some zebras, giraffes, antelope and ostriches, we headed through another one of my favourite parts of the park. Something about that sign just takes me back to childhood trips and again, like most things in Orlando (Walt Disney World, Universal Studio, even some of the malls), makes me feel about ten years old in the best of ways.
Pantopia is another firm favourite of mine. I could have literally taken about a million photographs and probably nearly did, just in this area alone. From the bright colours to the intricate mosaic tiles and surrounding wildlife, it really is a treat for the senses. That and the fact that there are quite a few restaurants and cafes nearby, means it smells incredible too.
Let me know if you'd like to see more of the photographs that I took in Pantopia as I could quite easily dedicate an entire blog post to just that.
As it quickly became apparent, Busch Gardens love a good topiary and so do I, especially when they take the shape of majestical animals such as these.
Whilst most of the rides were a little out of my comfort zone I did have quite a few shots on the U-Banga Banga bumper cars (that name still makes me smile). Maybe they were even enough to make me look into finally booking some more driving lessons. More on that at a later date. I also spent all of my spare change and quite a few dollars, playing arcade games. After watching Adventureland, I will never again fully trust the arcade, even if I did have a whole lot of fun shrieking and shouting as the grabber machine picked up, only to coincidentally drop just before falling down the chute, cuddly toy after cuddly toy. I mean, there were Boo The World's Cutest Dog toys I wanted to win.
By the end of the day the sun was shining, I'd seen so many spectacular animals and had had a brilliant day out. Even though it is a theme park, it's quite nice to take some time away from Orlando and explore different parts of Florida. If you can, I'd definitely recommend making a trip through to Busch Gardens and if you're an adrenaline junkie/the exact opposite of me, it's a must-visit with some of the biggest and best coasters in the US.
A big tip for those of you planning a trip to Orlando/Busch Gardens, Florida Tix have some pretty amazing deals on tickets (this isn't a sponsored post or anything, they just do and it's where we got our tickets from) so be sure to get them bought before you fly out so you don't have to pay gate prices.
Would you like to visit Busch Gardens one day? Or have you visited before? If so, what did you think of the park? And would you like to see more photographs/blog posts on Busch Gardens?
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