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Old 24 Aug 21, 09:51 AM  
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The First Trip 1993 – Day Fourteen – Busch Gardens – 23rd September 1993

For the last full day of the trip we debated whether to revisit one of the Disney parks for a second time to use up our final day on the ticket, but we decided we had seen everything and went for a trip to Busch Gardens in Tampa. I don’t remember the trip down to Busch Gardens but we obviously must have got down there.

Again, since 1993 the park has transformed out of sight. In those days it was a brewery and nature reserve in effect with a few rides thrown into the mix, but when the Anheuser Busch family sold the park and the brewery disappeared, it slowly became the park we know today. Gwazi now stands on the site where the brewery stood

I remember that we parked across the road and took a trolley to the entrance and there were loads of parakeets flying around in the trees above the ticket booths. We paid for tickets and again we grabbed a map to look for somewhere for breakfast. We found a cafι serving breakfast and sat on some seats outside but found the area mobbed with birds and squirrels, so we ate quickly and headed into the park.

Brand new for that year was Kumba, which had literally been completed and opened the month before and the Myombe Reserve which was also new for the Summer. We decided to wander through the Reserve and passed by a pond full of Alligators on the way, some of them huge. The Reserve was just as it is today, lots of low land gorillas and a long walk through the forest. We emerged at the other end and there was a house that contained loads of snakes on display and then a compound with elephants. We got the train from here that took us across the Savannah and round to Kumba and this area of the park.

Kumba was and still is in my mind a great coaster and there was no queue at all. We rode it three times in a row before heading over to the Congo River rapids. We got absolutely soaked on this and sat in the sun to dry off a bit after we disembarked

We went from there into another part of the park which had a pirate boat ride, one of those that went side to side and left your stomach at the top of each swing, a 3D cinema experience of some kind and some smaller coasters. From here we went on a log flume and then onto something called the Tidal Wave ride, which was just a boat that climbed a huge hill and then came down into a lake of water. Kids were stood on a bridge and were getting drenched as the boat came down. For the second time that day we were totally soaked.

We passed and walked through a bird aviary where you could get food and the birds would land on you to eat and then we walked down to the brewery. This was a huge building and was a fully working brewery. You went up a huge set of stairs and literally had a tour of a brewery, learning about the art of making beer and seeing the process in action. At the end of it, there was an area where you could drink as much of the stuff as you liked. We had a few glasses of Bud and then headed back to the car as it had taken a full day to get around this huge park.

We headed out of the car park and for the first time we got lost on the way back to the I4, a feat we managed to do at least twice on subsequent trips. We got back into Kissimmee and headed to a pizza place we had seen a few days before, grabbed pizza and a few cold drinks, headed back to the hotel and tried to pack a few things into our cases before falling into bed. And with that, our final day of the holiday was over.
Trip report 1993: The First Trip 1993
Trip report 2008: The Stacey J Aswad Memorial Tour
Trip report 2013: What No Stacey?
Disneyland Paris 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2014
Florida 1993, 1997, 2008, 2013
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Old 24 Aug 21, 11:03 AM  
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Join Date: Oct 09
Tip... dont go on the water rides just before watching the ice show, believe me you freeze to death 😂🥶
My best memory of BG is my husband winning an enormous stuffed white tiger and our skinny little daughter carrying it around the park , it was huge they also did a gorilla as well , when we got off the plane at Manchester there were loads of them on the conveyor belt. Those were the days when you didnt pay excess baggage
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