Busch Gardens Tampa is one of the most exciting, diverse, and unusual amusement parks in the United States. A hybrid amusement park and zoo, it offers plenty of things to see and do. If you like thrill rides and roller coasters, you won’t be disappointed. Families with young kids can also find plenty of activities that are just the right age fit. Believe it or not, if someone is looking for a slower day but still wants to find something interesting, the park has that as well.

With this many options, it can be tricky to plan your day without getting overwhelmed or stressed out. We’ve got some expert survival tips that can help, no matter what you want to do.

Know what everyone wants out of their day, and use the map to plan

The first step towards having a great day is to really be sure you know what everyone wants. It sounds simple, right? And sometimes it is if everyone is basically similar and has the same goals for the kinds of rides they want to go on and things they want to see. However, if you have some people who love roller coasters and others who like animals, or if you have a mix of very small children and teens in your group, everyone isn’t likely to want to do the same thing.

If you like thrill rides and roller coasters, you won’t be disappointed. Families with young kids can also find plenty of activities that are just the right age fit. Want a slower day, but still something interestint? The park has that, too.

One of the best ways to deal with this kind of situation is to talk about things upfront and compare what you want to do to how things are laid out on the park map. This doesn’t have to be a hard conversation to have, but if you skip it, then things at the park can quickly get harder than they have to be. People get hot and frustrated, arguments start, and confusion happens. Start a conversation early you can head off any confusion and make a plan to enjoy your day.

When you stop for food, consider a dining pass

If you want to keep your energy high so that you can enjoy the park, you’re going to have to build in time to stop for food. When the time comes to eat, there are a lot of great options for where to go. A time-honored favorite, Zambia smokehouse offers great barbeque and the option to enjoy it while seated just in proximity to one of the park’s largest roller coasters. Sure, it is loud from time to time, but it’s also very cool.

As you’re considering food, keep in mind that one of the most affordable and easiest ways to eat in Busch Gardens is to use the park’s dining pass. It adds $40 to every adult ticket price and $20 to every child’s price, but it means that you’ll have access to any of the park’s food whenever you’ve worked up an appetite and you won’t have to worry about your wallet.

Bypass the lines and make the most of your time at the park

Jeremy Thompson/Flickr

Like a lot of other amusement parks, Busch Gardens offers a way to bypass most of the lines at the park. Their program is called a Quick Queue pass and it offers front of line access to some of the park’s busiest thrill rides including Falcon’s Fury, Cheetah Hunt, SheiKra, Stanley Falls Flume, and Congo River Rapids — to name a few. The pricing for this pass varies depending on when you use it, but it is one perk that’s well worthwhile.

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