This website may include sponsored content and affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure for more information.
As always, thanks for supporting Atta Mama.


Kicking Off Summer at Busch Gardens® Tampa!

Ah, summer in Florida… where the heat means business and shade is hard to come by. Since I’ve lived here all my life I know that the easiest thing to do is to stay inside under an A/C vent or park a fan in front of your bed… where you’ll lay forever alone and dying from sweat. (My mom calls this “melting.”)

But you never have fun if you do that huh?

The truth is, as parents we just have to buck up and venture out into the world because keeping kids inside all day just is not happening. Not when school gets out and everything looks beautiful under the vibrant sun. Thus, I’ve declared this summer the Summer of Splash Pads!

One of our favorite splash pads is the one hidden in Sesame Street Safari of Fun at Busch Gardens Tampa. It’s sort of out of the way from the main path (in other words, you have to plan to go there) which is nice because it’s not really too crowded. We like to go early in the day so we have even more time to enjoy ourselves while it’s only mildly scorched.

Busch Gardens Tampa #sponsored splashpad fun

Busch Gardens Tampa #sponsored splashpad family fun

We just roll up our pants (or plan ahead an d wear shorts) and dive right in helping Anders explore the water wonderland. He’s a pretty boring baby though. He’ll totally park and play with the same geyser for 20 minutes.

Busch Gardens Tampa #sponsored splashpad

That’s just who he is though. And we don’t mind because that means we can relax under the umbrellas and enjoy each others company. Since Gaia was spending this particular weekend wishing her step-family farewell, it was almost like a date for me and Hutch.

Of course since Gaia wasn’t with us we didn’t really have an excuse to break off and take turns riding rides either. But we did take our time in the park. We made sure to spend a couple of cycles in the splash zone by my favorite ride, Sheikra.

Busch Gardens Tampa #sponsored Sheikra splash zone

I visited Sheikra when it opened with my dad. It’s one of my favorite memories waiting in line for this thrilling roller coaster to open. And I am definitely undecided on waiting to ride Falcon’s Fury™ as well.

Busch Gardens Tampa #sponsored Falcon's Fury

Falcon’s Fury™ is the tallest freestanding drop tower at 355 feet with a 90 degree mid-air turn! WAT?! I just don’t even know if I can handle it, guys. Hutch will be there for sure, but I’m such a chicken when it comes to that “Where’d my stomach go?” feeling.

I do love Pantopia though.

Busch Gardens Tampa #sponsored Pantopia

Pantopia is right in the middle of Busch Gardens Tampa and it’s so bright and cheerful. The decorations are actually really freaking amazing and there are beautiful murals everywhere you look. I was telling Hutch during our “date” how I want to decorate our room Pantopia style. It’s that good. And the food smells amazing! Next time we go we plan to dine there, for sure.

We took the train all the way around the park before leaving so Anders could nap. It was the first time I’ve taken the Busch Gardens train and I have to say I really liked just hanging out and checking out the safari animals. It was a very relaxing end to our summer kick-off weekend.

We plan to head back for the Summer Nights celebration, an explosive encore at Busch Gardens Tampa. At Summer Nights, diving face down on a 335-foot drop tower takes on a whole new meaning when you do it IN THE DARK! Plus, Cheetah Hunt after dark gives the graceful predator a new twist, and Kinetix returns for a rock-fueled blast of music and acrobatics every night on the Gwazi Park stage. That, however, is an occasion worth ditching the kids for. Don’t you think?


Disclaimer: I am a Busch Gardens® Tampa 2014 Ambassador on behalf of Mom Central Consulting. I received admission into the theme park above for free in exchange for my honest post based on my experience at Busch Gardens Tampa. All stories and opinions are 100% my own. I shall not tell lies!



  1. melissa bartmess says:

    It’s been forever since I’ve been to Busch gardens. Might have to go when I come get Gaia later this summer.:)

  2. Ah, I want to go back to Busch Gardens….. I haven’t been since I was a kid! Now that we’re expecting our first child, we can’t wait to plan trips like this.

  3. I have never been to Florida and I have never been to Busch Gardens. Clearly, I need to add both on my bucket list because that looks like a ton of fun!!

  4. I went as a real little kid, but I don’t remember it one bit. It looks like it’s a lot of fun to go. Thanks for giving us the pictures to feel like we were a part of your trip with you.

  5. Love Busch Gardens! Even more than Disney!

Speak Your Mind