Busch Gardens Tampa News & Notes – February 2017

Check out the News & Notes for February 2017, with a review of some of the recent changes and news from Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, along with a look at the month ahead!

Looking Ahead

Pass Member Instant Rewards: For February 2017, Pass Members can pick up a free lanyard (while supplies last) at Marrakesh Market near the park entrance. Pass Members can also save 50% the regular price of single day tickets for guests (available through May 31st). For more details on these and other current offers, visit the Pass Member website.

Scheduled Refurbishments: SandSerpent is closed indefinitely. Stanley Falls (log flume) will be closed through the 24th. Skyride will close near the end of the month, on February 27th, and it scheduled to remain closed through April 7th. While these dates are taken directly from the park’s website, they are subject to change.

Pass Member Entry Changes

Annual pass members who haven’t visited Busch Gardens yet in 2017 will notice some changes to entering the parking lots and the park itself. All through January, parking attendants were informing pass members they would need to begin showing photo identification along with their pass beginning in February.

At the park entrance, ambassadors have begun using handheld machines to scan passes and take photos of annual pass members when entering. This will replace the previous method of using the turnstiles where the pass had to be scanned, and a finger scan taken and verified. The new process is significantly faster for entry into the park.

Cobra’s Curse Refurbishment

A several week refurbishment just wrapped up on Cobra’s Curse, the newest roller coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa. We spotted workers replacing motors on the traditional lift hill in mid-January. Cobra’s Crypt, the ride’s exit gift shop, and most of the pathways around the coaster were closed during the refurbishment.

Walking Around

Preparation is well underway for the 3rd Annual Food & Wine Festival, which kicks off in March. Booths are already being set up in the event area next to Gwazi, and the Octopus and Spirit of Spring topiaries are being brought to life by the park’s horticulture staff.

Speaking of topiaries, spotted this one which looks new along the path in Bird Gardens near the larger butterfly topiaries across from the flamingo habitat. The frog looks to be leaping out to catch its next meal.

Utility work has been underway along the service road that runs next to Pantopia.

The memorial bench for Pinky, the flamingo killed in a senseless attack by a park guest last year, has been moved from outside the now closed Jambo Junction to the overlook near the flamingo habitat in Bird Gardens.

Marrakesh Theater is once again behind walls after being used during Christmas Town to showcase local choirs.

Bengal Bistro, the counter service restaurant in Jungala, has been closed on some slower weekdays days this past month. A sign out front suggests guests try Dragon Fire Grill or Zambia Smokehouse instead.

A short wall has been added to the planting bed on both sides of the bridge connecting Bird Gardens and Stanleyville. It helps block the view of the street and service area below.

For the latest on Busch Gardens Tampa and other theme parks, attractions, dining venues and more across the region, be sure to follow Touring Central Florida on twitter @TourCentralFL & @androckb, and give our facebook page a like.

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