As I mentioned in my Residence Inn Review yesterday, we headed to Tampa a couple weekends ago for some family fun at Busch Gardens. We have had annual passes for a while, and this year we vowed to use them more than once!
After a late night of goofing off in the hotel, the kids were up bright and early, ready to head out to Busch Gardens on a beautiful, sunny day. It was a little cool out when we left the hotel, but we knew the sun would warm things up. Nothing like "winter" in Florida!
Busch Gardens was only a short ride away, and we got there early enough to snag a stroller parking spot! (When you go to Busch Gardens with kids, ALWAYS ask for stroller parking. They have a limited amount of spots available right up by the park entrance, so it is basically getting preferred parking for free. They run out pretty quickly, though, so get there early.)
Once we were inside the park we walked around and checked out some of the animals, and of course, snapped a couple of photos.
On our way into the park, we measured both kids against the height chart to see which rides they could ride. Rylie had just passed the 42" mark, so she was able to ride more rides this time. She was so excited that she would get to ride her first upside down roller coaster! As soon as we told her about the Scorpion, she was ready to ride!
My child is absolutely fearless when it comes to rides, and she did not hesitate to take off with Brian to get in line. Bryce and I stood there waiting patiently for them to come roaring by on the coaster, and I caught this shot of them at the highest part of the loop. Rylie is in the back car! And BTW...this was the only time she actually held on. Her hands were in the air for all subsequent rides. Crazy girl!
She had so much fun on the Scorpion and wanted to go again, so I went with her the next time. It was so fun listening to her "wooooohoo!" all the way. She loved it!
After Rylie's two rides on the Scorpion, it was Bryce's turn to pick a ride. He chose the "hanging buckets". We all piled into the Skyride and rode around the park.
After the Skyride, we had lunch outside. I love that Busch Gardens and SeaWorld parks have introduced more allergy-friendly dining options for those with food allergies like Rylie. In fact, one of the restaurants we got food from was the "dedicated restaurant" for allergy-friendly dining. While I made a conscious effort to read about this new initiative while we were there, I honestly can't remember all of the details. Next time I will bring the pamphlet home with me so I can tell you more about it.
After lunch, Brian and Rylie took off to ride some more of the "big rides", while Bryce and I boarded the train. We took the train over to the closest stop to Sesame Street Safari of Fun and Bryce had fun riding some of the kiddie rides there. He especially loved the swing ride, which he ended up saying was the only ride that was fast enough for him. Poor guy...he will have to wait another couple of years before he can ride with his sister.
After a few rides, Bryce wanted to climb around in the nets. We were still waiting on Rylie and Daddy to catch up with us, so he had some fun climbing.
While Bryce was playing around in the nets, I received this picture from Brian...
Apparently they had gone on the Congo River Rapids ride a couple of times, and on the last ride, they got completely soaked!
Once Rylie had some dry clothes on, she wanted to go on the Air Grover roller coaster, which, up until that day, had been her favorite.
After riding the Scorpion, though, all of the sudden the Air Grover coaster wasn't so exciting. "Psshh. That was slow."
The kids goofed off in Sesame Street for while longer while we waited for my mom to get there. She was going to come meet us so that Brian and I could ride some of the "really big" roller coasters. Bryce had fun playing in the huge sandbox, while Rylie flipped around in the big bounce house.
Rylie and Brian took off to climb around in the tree house, while Bryce and I rode the up and down elephants...again.
My mom arrived and wanted to take the kids to a show, so they had one last ride on the swings. This was, in fact, Rylie's VERY LAST ride on the swings. She actually had to take off the shoes she was wearing and put her flat flip flops on just to squeak in under the maximum height requirement. She doesn't look too big for this, does she? LOL
Brian and I headed straight over to the Cheetah Hunt roller coaster once my mom and the kids took off. That is our favorite coaster at Busch Gardens! Unfortunately, the line was crazy long, so that is the only one we got to ride that day. The kids wanted to head back to the hotel to go swimming, so we met back up with them and headed out. We will definitely be going back soon for an adult-only day!
I rode back to the hotel with my mom and Rylie, and from what I heard, Bryce didn't even make it out of the parking lot with his eyes open. He had too much fun!
To see how we spent the rest of our weekend, make sure you check out my post about the Residence Inn that we stayed in. It involved swimming...in February! If you happened to see my Winter in Florida post, then you already know we had a splashing good time!
Disclosure: This post was not sponsored by Busch Gardens in any way. I just like to share our adventures!
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