It's no secret that the trio and I L.O.V.E Busch Gardens. I've been taking them since they were babies, and we all know the park like the back of our hands. We go every opportunity that we can.
This year Busch Gardens is helping to push away the screen by implementing a new campaign: getting your family together, getting outside, and getting active!! Those three things are the driving factors of our family, and when Busch Gardens offered us the opportunity to come and explore the park during Spring Break, we jumped on the chance! We had hoped we'd be able to make it over to the Easter exhibit, but the park was PACKED, so we weren't able to do that part, but we did explore some new (to us) areas of the park that we haven't done in quite a long time! My son has special needs, so he is eligible for a special needs pass that allows us to not have to wait in lines for the rides. If the wait is long, we get a fast pass to come back at a designated time, so we wait like everyone else...just not in a line.
There are some things that we do in a specific order though, and we kept to that tradition.
Stop 1: Cheetah Hunt to get our time for the Fast Pass.
Stop 2: Treat for the kids. Treat is ALWAYS a Churro.
Stop 3: Beer. Trio gets their treat, mama gets hers. Since I'm gluten free I had a Woodchuck Cider. It was SO GOOD
Stop 4: The skyride. And we get a round-trip and come back and it's usually time for our Cheetah Hunt ride!
Stop 5: But not this time...because of the crowds at the park, we still had some time before our turn on the Cheetah, so we went and explored Egypt. It's been a long time since we've looked at King Tut's tomb, but it was cold outside and Haley knew a lot of interesting facts about the Boy King, so off we went! And yes, I was so cold that I wore gloves and pulled out a Bondi Band to keep my head and ears warm.
Stop 6: After Egypt we went and walked through The Edge of Africa. We saw lots of great animals, and the hippos were totally hauled out! We saw them from the skyride, but it was hard to see them from the exhibit.
Stop 7: CHEETAH HUNT!! We finally had our 90 minutes pass, so off we went for our favorite ride!! The girls rode together, and I rode with Ronin. That's typically how it goes, so no big surprise there!
We're happy when we get on Cheetah Hunt and we're happy when we get off and ready to explore more of the park!!
Stop 8: Cutting back through Edge of Africa, and making a pit stop at Rhino Rally (thanks again Fast Pass!!) we came out at the hippo playground. The trio have loved this little playground since they were wee-ones, and they still love it now as elementary aged kids!
Here is Haley at age 2 1/2 playing on the Hippo's!
Stop 9: After playing for a bit, we decided to stop in to the new animal care hospital. We've been in twice before and they have always had something cool going on, but today it was empty, just us and Emily the animal hospital guide. We stayed and chatted with her, and we told her all about how much Ella loves snakes, and wouldn't you know it...she called the herp caretaker and they brought in a boa just for us.
This snake was a female, full-grown, named Zeus. They named her before they realized he was she. Why they just didn't change her name to Hera, I have no idea.
Stop 10: TIMBUKTU!! I love this land. Scorpion, Octopus, Sand Serpent, Merry-Go-Round, and Fest Haus, and then a quick jaunt up the "hill" to the bumper cars!!
This was the FIRST time all 3 were tall enough to ride the bumper cars WITHOUT me!! Ronin was just giddy with the freedom of driving his own car and chasing after his sisters.
A picture truly is worth a thousand words. This pictures makes my heart swell. This is what Busch Gardens is all about!! Spending quality time with your family, watching your little ones explore and be active, and spending time outside.
If you are local, you should really invest in a Busch Gardens annual pass. There is so much to do at the park, and even though we are seasoned experts, we pick and choose what we are going to do, and no visit is ever the same. The kids are still talking about what fun we had, and are excited to go back again soon, and so am I. Fun for the kids, fun for the mama. It's a win/win.
P.S. If I could just offer two bits of advice for Busch Gardens PR people...1) you need to have a Busch Gardens mom's panel that offers tips and tricks to making this a stress-free adventure and 2) you need to have a run through the park; a family fun run and a 10K would be perfect
**Disclaimer: Busch Gardens provided me with passes to explore the park during Spring Break. All opinions are my own. And my opinion is that Busch Gardens is the BEST family friendly park in Florida, hands down. No tears were shed in the exploring of this park. And they serve beer."