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Old 05-19-2019, 09:59 AM   #1
Jedimom3
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Default Sea World and Busch Gardens questions

Hi, I have a couple of non Disney park related questions.

There's a chance DH and DS will meet family in July in Orlando this summer. (DD and I can't go due to her starting marching band practice )

his family are not doing any theme parks, but are staying near Sea World. DS LOVES all the crazy coasters, so thinking just he and DH could do Sea World. Anyone have any experience there? how are the 3 big coasters? and any opinions on what else to do at Sea World, if they should get the express pass /quick queue passes, etc. DS will be 12, so probably not wanting to do Sesame Street and all that.

Now, next summer , we hope to have a long June vacation, and are considering going to Busch Gardens Tamps. Looking for any opinions/advice on that park in the summer. Are lines bad? where to stay? is it worth the drive over? etc. Both kids love coasters, but what else is there. Have watched some TIm Tracker videos, so seems there is something like a safari area, and lots of animals to see??

Thanks for any opinions/guidance.
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Old 05-19-2019, 10:46 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Jedimom3 View Post

his family are not doing any theme parks, but are staying near Sea World. DS LOVES all the crazy coasters, so thinking just he and DH could do Sea World. Anyone have any experience there? how are the 3 big coasters? and any opinions on what else to do at Sea World, if they should get the express pass /quick queue passes, etc. DS will be 12, so probably not wanting to do Sesame Street and all that.
We were there maybe 3 or 4 years ago for my niece's birthday. We stayed at the HGVC by Sea World using our points. The coasters are excellent. The one I remember best is Mako (3 times ). There are like 3 serious free-fall drops where you are not in the seat ans pushing up against the restraint (memory seems to say that it was just a lap belt, but not sure). MY sister-in-law, who loves coasters, was done after one as she doesn't like the "floating" part. I don't remember the other two as well, but did enjoy them,

They have a second park, which is more of a beach/water park and we did that one day as well.

We did Busch Gardens a couple of years before that. One high coaster that I recall. Lots of foliage around the park to walk through. Very lush.

Cheers.
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Old 05-19-2019, 11:26 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jedimom3 View Post

Now, next summer , we hope to have a long June vacation, and are considering going to Busch Gardens Tamps. Looking for any opinions/advice on that park in the summer. Are lines bad? where to stay? is it worth the drive over? etc. Both kids love coasters, but what else is there. Have watched some TIm Tracker videos, so seems there is something like a safari area, and lots of animals to see??

Thanks for any opinions/guidance.
I can’t help with sea world but I went to Busch Gardens last September. We ended up getting day tickets with unlimited QS dining for the day for about the same money as a one day ticket. You can stay at some nearby hotels and get the free quick queue but I stayed at Kidani and drove down for the day. Preferred parking is not much more than regular parking, but is much closer.

We loved the big coasters and the quick queue. The staff were “interesting”. Many were on their phones and they could not load our party correctly a number of times. My family had to wait for me to complete the attraction after they did.

We also liked the QS plan. Some options were better than others but you could get an entree, drink and appetizer or dessert every hour. Starbucks was also buy one get one 1/2 price with the plan.
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Old 05-19-2019, 12:00 PM   #4
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Check out Tim Tracker on you tube. He films on the coasters at Sea World. They look like a lot of fun, just not for me anymore.
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Old 05-20-2019, 08:34 AM   #5
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We have passes to SeaWorld so have been there several times. They have three pretty good coasters (Mako, Manta and Kraken) and two water rides (Journey to Atlantis and Infinity Falls). Lines are pretty much hit and miss, if you are on a slow day don't try to get in line when the big shows let out then the waits can be down to 10min or less. Several times we have been able to circle the rides and walk to repeat the ride. If it is crowded then the lines can be more like 45min, I don't think I have seen them over an hour but once a line gets over 15min I don't pay much attention because I am not going to wait.

In may opinion the Staff is not nearly as good as at Disney, basically for the most part they don't seem to want to be there and aren't real motivated to keep things moving. I also think they could learn a few things from Disney about design of loading areas, it just seems way too easy to slow down the process.

Food wise I would suggest either the BBQ place or the bar by the lake I think it is called the Flame Craft or something like that.

Beside the typical SeaWorld animal stuff they also have a very nice stage and at times have decent performers. Unlike the EPCOT concerts, bands at SeaWorld play a single set which is a format I prefer. We recently saw Post Modern Jukebox there and their set was about 90min. They do sale prefer seating but I would skip that, all of the seats are plenty good enough.
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedimom3 View Post
Hi, I have a couple of non Disney park related questions.

There's a chance DH and DS will meet family in July in Orlando this summer. (DD and I can't go due to her starting marching band practice )

his family are not doing any theme parks, but are staying near Sea World. DS LOVES all the crazy coasters, so thinking just he and DH could do Sea World. Anyone have any experience there? how are the 3 big coasters? and any opinions on what else to do at Sea World, if they should get the express pass /quick queue passes, etc. DS will be 12, so probably not wanting to do Sesame Street and all that.

Now, next summer , we hope to have a long June vacation, and are considering going to Busch Gardens Tamps. Looking for any opinions/advice on that park in the summer. Are lines bad? where to stay? is it worth the drive over? etc. Both kids love coasters, but what else is there. Have watched some TIm Tracker videos, so seems there is something like a safari area, and lots of animals to see??

Thanks for any opinions/guidance.
We enjoy SeaWorld - my Orlando trips are generally 100% Disney or SeaWorld/Universal - My recommendation would be to splurge for a day at Discovery Cove (not a theme park so maybe the boring family members like to swim with dolphins!-) they used to give free admission for a week to Sea World/Bush Gardens with Discovery Cove admission (perhaps still specials to allow for this)

Sea World/Busch Gardens was better when owned by Anheuser-Busch (Free Beer!) - as with most things in life, the Hedge Funds took the fun out of the experience (Blackstone) - AB sale to In-Bev resulted in the sale of the Theme Parks to Blackstone to reduce debt associated with the AB purchase

The Coasters at SeaWorld are legit - Mako, Manta, Kracken

DAY RESORT ADMISSION + 2 PARKS
Enjoy a day at Discovery Cove, plus unlimited admission to SeaWorld and Aquatica during your vacation.$170.00 /ea

DAY RESORT ADMISSION + 3 PARKS
Enjoy a day at Discovery Cove, plus unlimited admission and free parking to SeaWorld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens during your vacation.$195.00 /ea.

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Old 05-20-2019, 02:52 PM   #7
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I just priced out Discovery Cove in July for some clients and the Dolphin Swim is $330/$360 with two extra parks (SeaWorld, Aquatica) and $355/$385 with three extra parks (SeaWorld, Aquatica, Busch Gardens). Prices vary depending on day of visit.

The $170 and $195 prices are only for day resort visits that do not include the Dolphin Swim, and are actually higher than that for July: $200/$230 with two extra parks and $255-$335 with three extra parks.

HTH!
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Old 05-20-2019, 04:28 PM   #8
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I just priced out Discovery Cove in July for some clients and the Dolphin Swim is $330/$360 with two extra parks (SeaWorld, Aquatica) and $355/$385 with three extra parks (SeaWorld, Aquatica, Busch Gardens). Prices vary depending on day of visit.

The $170 and $195 prices are only for day resort visits that do not include the Dolphin Swim, and are actually higher than that for July: $200/$230 with two extra parks and $255-$335 with three extra parks.

HTH!
That's good info - My first trip to Discovery Cove was an American Express special - $160 with Dolphin swim - unfortunately I spent the day in the parking lot on work conference calls - we went back in 2017 (off season February) it was more expensive

Unfortunately Disney, Universal and Seaworld Parks are all deploying the same strategy of making these vacations as expensive as possible -
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:41 PM   #9
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That's good info - My first trip to Discovery Cove was an American Express special - $160 with Dolphin swim - unfortunately I spent the day in the parking lot on work conference calls - we went back in 2017 (off season February) it was more expensive
$160 is such a great price for that experience. I loved it when Amex used to have good offers like that. We used to do fun USOpen stuff with AmEx offers. I barely see any good perks anymore. Now I get like Teleflora or Omaha Steaks offers.
LOL

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Unfortunately Disney, Universal and Seaworld Parks are all deploying the same strategy of making these vacations as expensive as possible -
I was thinking the *same thing*.
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