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Busch Gardens

Elephant wash at Busch Gardens

An hour’s drive from Orlando down to Tampa, this excellent zoo-come-theme park boasts some fabulous (and quite dynamic) rides, plus shows and animal encounters. The SheiKra 'dive-coaster' (one of only three in the world, and a larger-scale version of Alton Towers' famous Oblivion) is the outstanding highlight, but there are another five great coasters (don't miss Kumba, Gwazi and Montu), several water rides and a host of smaller-scale rides for children.

The shows include A is for Africa, featuring Sesame Street favourites, while in 2011 KaTonga will be replaced by an all-new Ice Show.

The unique Rhino Rally is the best of their animal-themed attractions. Edge of Africa and the Myombe Reserve are other highlights, and you will need a full day here at most times of the year to enjoy the park to its full.

Time needed: 1 day



Park round-up