With over 200 different amazing animal species and some of the greatest thrill rides in the country, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay offers a little bit of something for everyone. While everyone knows and loves the popular rides like Cheetah Hunt and SheiKra, and the walk-through animal exhibits like Edge of Africa and Myombe Reserve, there's still so much more you might be missing. Here are the top 5 underrated attractions at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.
Serengeti Express Train
You might've seen the train traveling around Busch Gardens Tampa Bay on one of your visits, but if you haven't ridden it yourself, you're missing one of the best experiences in the entire park! With stops in the Congo, Nairobi and Stanleyville areas of the park, this relaxing train ride can take you through the Serengeti, with some of the best views of the animals you can get. On the train you're able to get much closer to the large free-roaming herds of African animals, including giraffe, zebra, antelope, ostrich and much more, than any of the regular viewing areas or walking paths allow.
Don't walk by this massive aviary located between Sesame Street Safari of Fun and Stanleyville. With a wide array of beautiful birds to see, including hornbills, pheasants and many more, as well as opportunities to feed some of the feathered friends, this walking path offers a relaxing escape from the hustle of bustle of the rest of the park. With tranquil waterfalls and serenading bird calls, you might forget you're at a theme park for a minute. Be sure to purchase a cup of nectar on your way into the habitat so you can hand-feed the lorikeets. Get your camera ready because these colorful birds will perch right on your hand!
While the larger roller coasters at the park get most of the attention, the modest Sandserpent coaster in Pantopia is definitely one you should not overlook. This "wild-mouse" style roller coaster packs a big punch in a small space. With exciting tight curves, sudden drops and crazy corkscrews, this 5-story tall attraction is one crazy ride. With a height requirement of only 46 inches, it's a coaster families can enjoy together, and it usually has much shorter lines than some of its bigger brothers around the park.
One attraction you should always make a point to visit on every trip to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is the Animal Connections hub, located in Nairobi across from the train station. Many of the animals that call this area home may change from time to time, so you never know who you might run into next. You will however almost always discover adorable, slow-moving sloths, and if you're lucky you may get to see one up close with an Animal Ambassador interaction. You may also have an opportunity to hand-feed one of the more than 20 pink flamingos that inhabit the area. It's a great place where kids can learn more about animals and conservation, and where you never know what you're going to see.
Tiger Trail at Jungala
Get up close to a 500-pound Bengal tiger, from the safety of a special glass turret of course! While most folks are watching these incredible animals from the Tiger Lodge across from the exhibit, there's also a gorgeous walking path called the Tiger Trail that passes behind the area. With a dense jungle bound suspension bridge and up-close observation areas, it's not only the best way to see these magnificent big cats, but it's a fun little excursion as well. And every kid (and big kid) loves poking their head up, right into the middle of the tiger enclosure, in that neat glass bubble! Makes for some amazing photos too, so don't miss it.