On Florida’s Gulf Coast — and a little over an hour west of Orlando — is the African-themed Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay.
BUSCH GARDENS, TAMPA BAY
At Busch Gardens, not only can you and your kids meet and greet animals, you can take a “safari,” ride roller coasters and watch stage shows and other live entertainment. Some park highlights include Jungala, which is a three-story-high playground with ropes, crawl tubes, mazes and even a zip line. And the Sesame Street Safari of Fun features kid-size rides, water fun, shows and adventures that celebrates the spirit of Africa. (There will even be some Sesame Street characters there for your kids to meet, like Big Bird and Bert and Ernie.)
They also have three roller coasters of note: SheiKra, a floorless dive coaster that goes 200 feet up, 90 degrees straight down; the wooden roller coaster Gwazi that reaches 100 miles an hour; and Kumba, a steel coaster.
Florida residents can get a FunCard — just pay for a day, and come back for more fun throughout the year.
Address: 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa, FL 33612