Uncover The Truth: Is Busch Gardens Really Worth A Visit?

  • By: pdstamp
  • Date: January 17, 2023

Busch Gardens, located in Tampa, Florida, is an hour’s drive away from Walt Disney World. When you are on a tight schedule, every single day counts.

This begs the question, is Busch Gardens worth the visit?

Busch Gardens is absolutely worth it, especially if you are a fan of big roller coasters or animals. The amusement park has many attractions for the entire family and is cheaper than Walt Disney World.

In this article, we’re going to go over the nuances of hopping over to Busch Gardens, whether the journey is worth it, what’s the best time to go there, and whether Disney is affiliated with the amusement park. 

Is Busch Gardens Worth It?

Yes, Busch Gardens is absolutely worth it. This is because it hosts a great variety of animals spanning over 200 species, thrilling roller coasters, water rides, and tamer attractions for the little ones. Here are a few reasons why we find Busch Gardens worth the one-hour journey.


Busch Gardens is reasonably priced. Compared to Walt Disney World, it’ll look like an absolute steal. You can opt for a single ticket but that’s not where you’ll get the best deal. Instead, you can opt for four-park tickets, which lets you explore Aquatica, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, and Adventure Island.

One point to note, though, is that Busch Gardens definitely lacks the magical experience that the Disney parks are known for.

So, if you were expecting that – you’ll be thoroughly disappointed. That doesn’t mean Busch Gardens is bad, though, not by any sense of the imagination. But, we feel like Walt Disney World, while pricier, also offers a lot of unique experiences that you cannot get anywhere else. 

The Animals

Busch Gardens doubles as a humane-accredited zoo with rhinos, giraffes, zebras, lions, gorillas, and sloths present in the Gardens. It is also an excellent place for kids to gain valuable educational information about wildlife through the several animal-themed attractions present within the park.

Adult Oriented

Busch Gardens is an adult-oriented amusement park.

Don’t get me wrong; there are entire sections for kids. But, if you are in the mood for thrilling roller coasters, Busch Gardens has got you covered. While Disney offers more variety, we felt like Busch Gardens provided teens and adults with a lot more dopamine-inducing roller coaster rides.

Great Food

Compared to Disney, Busch Gardens offers cheaper meal plans. There’s one major difference: you cannot bring your own food at Busch Gardens while you can in the Disney parks. So, if you are a fan of packing lunches, you’ll be at a significant loss.

However, if you like dining out, Busch Garden’s meals are great; we were thoroughly impressed with their quality even though we had them in multiple locations. But, once again, we were at the mercy of the meal plans as we couldn’t bring our own meals to the amusement park.

Does Disney Own Busch Gardens?

No, Disney does not own Busch Gardens. Busch Gardens is owned and operated by SeaWorld Parks & entertainment. It was opened in 1959, about four years after the first Disneyland in Anaheim, California. 

The park has gone through several changes over its long history. For instance, since Disneyland’s popularization, it has bettered itself in establishing an overarching theme. It mainly focuses on high-intensity roller coasters and its “African Safari” attractions that pay heed to the zoo within the park hosting several animals. 

Check out this YouTube video that shows a complete walkthrough of Busch Gardens.

Is One Day Enough At Busch Gardens?

Yes, one day is enough at Busch Gardens, given that you arrive in the morning and leave later in the night. We recommend heading to the queue at 9:15 AM, with the park opening at 10 AM sharp. You’ll be able to stay at the park till 6 PM. In our opinion, that’s more than enough for you to visit all the attractions in the park.

However, if you do not want to speedrun the entire experience and visit the plethora of animals in the park, then two days should be more than enough for the entire experience. If you are making the trip from Disney, we feel like Busch Gardens is a nice change of pace – so two days doesn’t seem all that bad.

Busch Gardens has a lot more to offer than just roller coasters. One day is more than enough if you are in the mood for some high-intensity action. But, if you genuinely want to take in everything the park has, then two days should suffice.

What Is The Least Busy Day At Busch Gardens?

Like all theme parks, Busch Gardens is the least busy in the mornings on Mondays and Tuesdays. This is because most tend to plan their vacations / visits to theme parks near the weekends. So, you’ll see the least amount of rush right after it.

Hotter Florida days tend to see lower amounts of rush too. While the park has plenty of spots to cool off from the shining sun, we recommend packing some sunscreen, especially if you plan to visit during the summers! 

What’s The Busiest Time Of Day At Busch Gardens?

You’ll see the most amount of rush during the afternoon, with it increasing up until closing time. This is because most visitors (especially locals) tend to come once the Florida heat has simmered down and their kids are free from school.

Therefore, if you do plan to visit, we recommend taking more of the popular rides like the Montu and Cheetah Hunt before 2-3 PM.

You’ll be able to skip most of the queues at this particular timeframe. If you reach the afternoon, you’ll notice a major surplus of families making their way towards these rides first, filling up the queues quite quickly.

Final Thoughts

Disney is a magical experience. However, Busch Gardens is worth the visit if you have a day or two to spare, especially if you are into more thrilling rides. Couple that with the fact that it isn’t very expensive and hosts multiple animals – and it turns into an absolute no-brainer as to whether you should visit. 

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