Check out the News & Notes for May and June 2018, with a look ahead at what’s happening at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, along with a review of some of the recent changes and news from the park. In this edition: May is a month full of special events, beer is making a big comeback, and a review of recent rumors and speculation surrounding what might be coming in 2019.
Pass Member Instant Rewards: For May 2018, pass members are eligible to receive two different discounts: $10 off the All-Day Dining Deal and $10 off the Animal Care Center behind-the-scenes tour. In June, pass members can pick up an exclusive lanyard for free, while supplies last. For more details on these and other current offers, visit the Pass Member website.
Special Events: Sesame Street Safari of Fun Kids’ Weekends take place each Saturday & Sunday from May 5 to May 20. Run for the Fund 5K takes place on May 19. Jack Hanna visits on May 26 & 27, and Guy Harvey will stop by the following weekend, June 2 & 3. Summer Nights kicks off on June 15. For more on these events, see the details in the article below.
Scheduled Refurbishments & Closures: Phoenix and Jungle Flyers are closed until further notice. Kumba is currently under refurbishment through May 18. The Count’s Rally will be closed May 29 – June 8. Hippos of the Nile (Sesame Steet) will be closed June 11 – 15. While these dates are taken directly from the park’s website, they are subject to change.
Month Full of Events
This next month at Busch Gardens Tampa is full of special events on the weekends, starting with Kids’ Weekends in Sesame Street Safari of Fun and wrapping up with visits from Jack Hanna and Guy Harvey.
The first three weekends of the month will be all about kids, with a special event held in Sesame Street Safari of Fun each Saturday and Sunday through May 20. Look for special character parades and interactions, special games, a dance party, and more in the area.
On May 19, the annual Run for the Fund 5K will be held at the park benefiting the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund. The course starts and ends in the parking lot, and takes runners through most of the park. There will also be special photo ops and animal ambassador encouragement along the route.
Memorial Day weekend will see the return of “Jungle” Jack Hanna, when on May 26 & 27 he will give several presentations at Stanleyville Theater, included with park admission.
As May draws to a close, the first weekend in June brings Guy Harvey back to the park for two days of autograph signings and other special events.
For more details on all of these events, visit the park’s website.
#BeerIsBack at Busch Gardens
Beer is back at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay this summer, in two very big ways. Guests of age can grab two free beers at Garden Gate Cafe, just like in the old days when the location served as the Hospitality House during the Anheuser-Busch days.
Also, an exclusive Brew Club was introduced on the the second floor of the Serengeti Overlook, where guests can join and receive their very own stein which is stored at the club during the year.
Read more about the new Brew Club, the free beer promotion, and see pictures from the big announcement in our recent article.
Project 2019 Speculation
The rumors have been swirling as of late about what might be coming to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in the way of a new attraction in 2019. While some enthusiasts have jumped on the RMC Gwazi bandwagon, sources tell Touring Central Florida the next project is much more likely going to be located where the former Tidal Wave attraction is still standing. In fact, in just the last couple of weeks, a permit has been filed for demolition of Tidal Wave. You can read more about that here.
Catch up on all of the latest speculation on what might be coming for 2019 at Busch Gardens in our recent article.
The welcome and thank you signs that lined the curve just after the tunnel under McKinley Avenue have been removed. They featured the words welcome and thank you in various languages. No word on if they will return in the future.
Just inside the park’s gates, there is a project going on this week to replace some of the concrete in front of the Adventure Outpost.
Two new directional signs have popped up in Edge of Africa on either side of the main splits in the pathways for the different exhibits. The faux wood fixtures feature carved reliefs of the different points of interest.
In Nairobi, the male Asian elephant Spike recently departed for a new home at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. You can read more about his move in our recent article.
Phoenix, the swinging inverting ship attraction in Pantopia, closed abruptly in mid-April and is now listed as closed indefinitely on the park’s website.
The three point shoot game near the entrance to Gwazi Park recently got all new graphics. They replace the former theme, which included the Gwazi lion and tiger head logos.
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.