By Jaimz Dillman
Photos and Video by Ellie Logan
As the pumpkins are packed away and snow flurries begin, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay goes from scary to merry welcoming in the holiday season with a clear focus on what’s coming in the new year.
Stuart Clark, president of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island shared some upcoming offerings from Sea World Parks and Entertainment. “Whether you’re a thrill ride person, a zoo person, or just someone who likes to spend time with their family, we’ve got something for everyone.” said Clark. “Christmas Town will run from November 11th all the way to January 7th.”
Included offerings are holiday decor, Santa’s North Pole Experience, Christmas on Ice, themed food and beverage items above and beyond the usual cookies and hot chocolate, and of course- the big man himself.
But that’s not all. Past the new year, big plans are in the works to keep the adventure park’s focus on family-friendly shows and rides. Beyond being holly and jolly, improvements are being made throughout restaurants and restrooms as a commitment to keep things moving forward.
And what’s a thrill park without the rides? The park’s 10th coaster, Phoenix Rising, was announced by Vice President of Engineering and General Services Eric Elliot, slated to open in 2024. The suspended coaster will be in the Pantopia area overlooking the Serengeti Planes. Over 1,800 feet of track will reach 44 miles per hour and have a height requirement of 42”. said Elliot.
Kangaroos and Wallabies will have some fancy new digs with Kangaloom in the western section of the park. A lush, green environment will benefit the animals as well as guests allowing for interactive experiences.
Choreographer Christy Morgan shared Turn It Up Remix will be back this Spring in the Morroco Palace Theater and a new production is planned for the summer of 2024. “We have world-class ice skaters and will continue focusing on their exciting skill level.” Said Morgan.
Animal Tales at Pantopia Theater will be a live animal show rotating different critters and the zoo team sharing their stories in an effort to highlight Busch Garden’s Zoological team conservation efforts all around the globe.
Sister water park Adventure Island isn’t being left out either. Elliot said, “For the 4th straight year of approvements and additions at the water park, Castaway Falls is the new family play area.” An expansion opening at the beginning of the 2024 season, over 100 water elements will be available for guests to enjoy as well as four slides.
With all that’s already existing at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island, plus all the newly announced enhancements, it may just be time to start eyeing an annual pass. After all, they also said plans have already been finalized for Howl-O-inScream 2024.
All info can be found at buschgardens.com