Lion, Tigers, and Coasters….Oh My!

You saw Monday’s post that we watched the Discovery Shuttle launch and then spent some time at the beach (Joe’s favorite thing to do in the world!).

So Tuesday was AMAZING too!!  Dad has been waiting all year to take us to Busch Gardens, so we packed up and headed over to Tampa on Tuesday morning.  It took about 2 hours to get there, and cost a pretty penny (like any amusement park), but it was so worth it!!!  This is hand’s down the most amazing amusement park that I have ever been to!!!  We spent over 8 hours there and still didn’t see/do it all.  For those of you who don’t know, Busch Gardens is like the zoo and Six Flags all rolled into one, but a million times nicer.

When we got there my nerves were getting the best of me about riding the big coasters.  I knew that if I would just get on one I would feel so much better, so the very first thing we did was jump on the Montu Coaster – one of the tallest and longest inverted coasters in the world!

After this ride my tummy butterflies felt so much better.  We then walked around and looked at some of the amazing animals:

I just have to say that this park is so incredible!  The landscaping is perfect, the animal exhibits are spacious and have so many “look outs” for you to see the animals clearly.  For once, I felt like these animals might just have it better here in captivity than in the wild.  The cages were clean and the animals seemed happy. I even saw some animals that I had never seen before, like a Hyena and a Beba.

After we calmed our nerves from the Montu, dad started wanting to ride the prize coaster of the park:
I was terrified!!!  This thing goes so high!  I can’t even describe it, so here is how Busch Gardens describes it on their website:
“It’s not a dream – or a nightmare. It’s SheiKra: A fierce, floorless, blazing-fast thriller in the heart of Busch Gardens.  After a 200 foot climb, this cunning coaster takes you just over the edge of a true 90-degree drop. And stops. For 4 seconds, you find yourself looking down – straight down – at the ground below as you’re held suspended above it.  Then, you plunge straight toward the ground, racing at speeds of more than 70 miles per hour. An Immelmann loop and a second vertical dive into an underground tunnel end with a surprise twist for those who look on – because with SheiKra, even they cannot escape.”

So I told dad that if he wanted me to ride it, we better just go and get it out of the way….oh mercy!  I screamed, I cried, I shook with fright, but I survived. And here is the picture to prove it:

After Sheikra we went to have some yummy lunch.  We needed to do something calming after lunch so we rode the train around the park…amazing views!
We saw all sorts of animals including the giraffes, zebras, and even a baby rhino!  We rode for over 35 minutes and had time for our food to settle…then it was off to Stanley Falls.
We got a little wet, well I got a little wet…Joe got soaked!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
After Stanley falls we attemped to ride Kumba, but it was closed for “technical difficulties” so we passed on that.  We stopped by to make sure we got to see the Orangatangs and the Tigers….beautiful! 
 

 
 Finally, We walked down into the Lori House and played with the birdies and then we went to the KaTonga show. I was sad about the Lori House because the birdies had been eating all day and weren’t hungry, we couldn’t get any to land on us, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. :0)  Below you can see a couple of clips from the Katonga show….SPECTACULAR!!!  Usually the “shows” at theme parks are so cheesy…but thie was amazing.  The set, constumes, story, and actors were all excellent!  It was a great end to a long day! It was long day, but soooo much fun!  I would do it again everyday if I could!!  Can’t wait to go back next year!

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