Plan to spend all day at this theme park, a winning if somewhat odd combination of thrill rides, animals, faux European villages and well-tended landscaping. But it all works! For 18 consecutive years, Busch Gardens, has won quite a few “Most Beautiful Theme Park” awards.
Sesame Street Forest of Fun is a new attractions introduced in 2009. The furry television stars of Sesame Street sing and dance, then meet the kids for hugs and photos. A dancing water fountain anchors the forest so it’s best if kids wear bathing suits and bring a change of clothes.
Tweens and teens tend to go for the gut-wrenching thrills delivered by the Gardens’ roller coasters. Griffon, among the world’s tallest floorless coasters, drops riders from 205 feet at speeds of up to 75 miles per hour. And Alpengeist, a tall, twisting coaster that flips riders six times, hurtles them forward at speeds of up to 67 m.p.h.
Bald eagles, Clydesdale horses and gray wolves live at the park, along with other animals. Also new are the park’s Behind the Scenes tours, one of which takes you into the stables to get hands-on with the grand horses. At Wolf Haven, another program, discover how wolves learn, then help train them by delivering a command! When Kashmir, a savvy blue-eyed female, responded to our command to ring the bell, we were thrilled.
“London Rocks” is a new, 25-minute musical spectacular showcasing the evolution of British rock and roll. The show debuts at the Globe Theater at the Gardens in 2014. The park has a renovation of the English village in the park to welcome the show planned.
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