With some of the best roller coasters and most immersive animal encounters in Florida, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is one of the can't-miss stops for any Central Florida vacation. But did you know you can get even closer to the animals, see backstage areas and even climb to the top of one of the tallest roller coasters too? With these special add-on tours, you can go behind the scenes at Busch Gardens!
Roller Coaster Tour
One of the most unique tours you can book, the Roller Coaster Tour, is only available for a limited time. During your two-hour tour you will get an inside look at some of the newest and most exciting coasters at the park, including Tigris and Cobra's Curse. Learn about the mechanics of these popular thrill rides as you get an up-close look at the stations, coaster trains and more. Plus, you are also invited to walk to the very top of SheiKra, towering 200-hundred feet above the ground! This bird's eye view allows you to see for miles in every direction, while also learning about how the coaster works. It's the perfect tour for any coaster fanatic.
Of the more than a dozen tours available at the park, the Serengeti Safari is the most popular—and for good reason! This special tour takes you out into the 65-acre Serengeti Plain in an open-air touring vehicle. On your 30-minute trip you'll encounter animals like zebras, ostriches, rhinos and antelope up close. Your expert field guide will lead the tour and explain how the park cares for these animals as well as how they behave in the wild. One of the highlights for the safari, is the opportunity to hand-feed a giraffe! It's a magical moment that your family will never forget.
Keeper for a Day
While some tours are shorter, and a wonderful compliment to the regular attractions that can be found at the park, the Keeper for a Day tour is a much more involved, 6.5-hour experience. This is your chance to get an inside look at what it's like to be an animal keeper at Busch Gardens and how to care for exotic species. The tour starts in the morning where you'll help feed the giraffes and antelopes. In the afternoon you'll learn about how to care for a variety of other animals, including their diets, behavioral patterns and much more.
NEW Animal Encounters
These new tours take between 30 and 45 minutes each, but they're some of the easiest ways to have an unforgettable up-close experience during your visit. The Cheetah Encounter allows you to meet a real-life cheetah in person and join in on a training session with the animal keepers. The Sloth Encounter is one of the park's newest and cutest tours. Get up close and see multiple sloth species, plus you may have the opportunity to interact with one of the sloths as you learn about conservation for these adorable creatures. The Rhino Encounter takes you on an exciting off-road journey where you'll get nose to "rhinose" with one of the largest land animals in the world.
Animal Insider Tours
Lions and Tigers and Penguins, oh my! The Insider tours usually last about 30-minutes long, and each allow you to get close to, and learn more about, a different animal. There is a tour where you can explore a warm-weathered African Penguin habitat, another where you can go behind the scenes of the Malayan and Bengal tiger exhibits of Jungala, and there's even a tour where you can help feed the gorillas in the Myombe Reserve. Other tours, like the Heart of Africa tour allow you to explore multiple animal exhibits including lions and hippos. The best part about these tours is that there are often spaces available on the day of, so you may be able to book one while inside the park! Just visit the Serengeti Outpost in Nairobi to see what might be available.
Most tours can be booked ahead of time and some of the longer tours, like the Keeper for a Day experience, require reservations be made ahead of time. Most of these tours are available as add-ons, but you'll still get regular theme park admission to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay to participate. Be sure to get your theme park tickets here for the best deals around!