Enjoy the quieter side of Busch Gardens
Yes, there are places to chill in Busch Gardens
Animal exhibits can be a lot quieter than the rest of the park
The Skyride provides a dose of chill that’s 500 feet in the air
Other quieter spots can be found on the park map.
Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay is known for its exciting thrill rides including multiple high-profile, adrenaline-pumping roller coasters. But what if you don’t want to have the experience of having your stomach in your throat and your heart beating a mile a minute? Is there a quieter way to enjoy the park? There sure is. We’ve got the details.
Focus on the animals
Thrill rides are only part of the experience that Busch Gardens visitors can have. There’s a whole other part of the park that offers the chance to see more than 12,000 animals, often viewing them in unique ways. These features of the park are typically much quieter than areas with exciting rides. That’s partially because in many cases, close animal proximity to noise from these rides (noise like guest screams at the top of a roller coaster) would be stressful for the animals.
There are some particularly relaxing places to view park animal activity. A walk through the Edge of Africa section of the park will allow you to see big game animals including lions and hippos. The Myombe Reserve can also be a quiet, relaxing place to spend some time and it offers you the chance to get up close with some of the world’s largest primates, gorillas.
Another low-key way to experience the animal exhibits at the park is to hop onto the Serengeti Express. This is a smooth, open-air train ride that takes you through the area of the park that’s known as the Serengeti Plain.
During the half-hour train ride, visitors will be able to see herds of large game animals including giraffes, zebras, antelopes, and ostriches. They’ll also be able to get off of your feet and relax to the steady movement of the train cars.
One last idea for a relaxing animal experience is a visit to Lory Landing where parkgoers have the chance to hand-feed lorikeets — small, colorful birds that are members of the parrot family. It is hard not to be relaxed when you’re in the presence of so many birds. Better yet, when they perch on your hand to feed, it can be a particularly beautiful, relaxing moment.
Take a break on the Skyride
One of the most chill spots in Busch Gardens is also one of the highest — along the Skyride. There’s nothing more relaxing than slowly progressing across the park in a comfortable gondola, seeing the entire area from 500 feet above the ground.
The rocking motion can be particularly calming, and if you’re lucky you’ll get an additional breeze to make the ride even more pleasant. If you’re looking for an extra dose of chill, you can take the ride more than once, or any time that you need a break.
Want to find your own chill spots? Use the park map
The park map can help visitors customize their experience for maximum relaxation.
Still not sure where you want to go? The park has its own map, and you might be able to use it to find your own oasis of calm. For example, you might find a specific area of the park’s animal exhibits to be more relaxing than the ones we’ve listed here.
Or, if you’re with kids and you need a moment off of your feed in a stationary place, you might use it to locate a show that keeps everyone in one place and seated for a half hour. The map can help you customize your experience and find your own spots to take a break.
A deeper dive — Related reading from the 101:
- The best uncrowded beaches in North America | Vacations 101
It’s nearly impossible not to find your chill on these remote beaches.
- How to manage stress when symptoms become physical | Living 101
Use these tools to chill when stressful moments threaten to overwhelm you.