As the temperature continue to rise all across the sunshine state, it becomes obvious to most visitors that the best time to be outside isn't during the heat of the day, but during the slightly less humid time after dark. Busch Gardens® Tampa is celebrating its Pass and Fun Card Members with Sidewalk Safari Nights, a two-weekend member appreciation event on Fridays and Saturdays, June 13-14 and 20-21.
From 7:30p.m. to 11p.m., Busch Gardens Pass and Fun Card Members will be able to ride their favorite coasters at night and get an up-close look at some of the park’s animal ambassadors. Members will also get a special look inside two of the park’s most popular shows, Iceploration® and Burn the Floor: Untapped. Plus, attendees will have the chance to learn some fiery dance moves from the cast of Burn the Floor: Untapped.
Members will also meet the stars of Busch Gardens’ hit TV series The Wildlife Docs at the park’s state-of-the-art Animal Care Center, among other activities each event night. In addition to allowing access to events such as these, annual passes, which include unlimited admission throughout the year, free parking and no blackout dates, are the best value for Florida residents and start at just $13 per month with EZpay.
For those of us without the benefit of annual passes to the park, the event kicks off in earnest on June 28, and runs through August 17. With the newly-opened, reimagined land Pantopia™ and the return of fan favorites like the energizing acrobatics show Kinetix and fireworks every night, Busch Gardens® Tampa amps up the excitement during Summer Nights® in 2014. During this special celebration, guests can take advantage of extended park hours, special entertainment, high-energy DJs and the thrill of riding world-class coasters in the dark.
Gwazi Park heats up with Saturday-night concerts during Summer Nights. In addition to pop, R&B, alternative and Latino music artists, guests can indulge in summer-favorite grilled food items and a selection of craft beers. Concerts are included with daily admission or any annual pass. The full concert area is open to guests and located just behind the Gwazi rollercoaster. Concerts will take place at 8:30 p.m., immediately followed by a grand fireworks finale. Note: concerts will take the place of Kinetix on Saturday nights only.
Starting this summer, this theatrical “tail” haphazardly finds a couple of stage hands in the spotlight as the human stars in an all-animal production that features both domestic and exotic animals in the newly-renovated Pantopia Theater.
Celebrate the perfect end to the evening with an amazing fireworks finale. Busch Gardens lights up the sky every night of the event with an incredible aerial display set to popular music. The best views are in Gwazi Park, right after the nightly Kinetix show, but the fireworks are visible from all over the park.
Set in the heart of Busch Gardens, Pantopia™ gets even hotter at night with exciting entertainment, and fan-favorite rides, including Scorpion, Phoenix and the Grand Caravan Carousel. Sensational new dining options satisfy sweet-and-salty cravings with a variety of fresh-rolled pretzels and craft beer selections at Twisted Tails Pretzels, and delicious snow cones and smoothies at Lynx Frozen Treats. For mouth-watering, savory selections stop by the all-new Dragon Fire, Pantopia’s™ open-fire grill showcasing ribs, sausages and kabobs.
The award-winning Kinetix show returns to Summer Nights with its rock-fueled blast of music and acrobatics. The show’s energizing performances include live musicians, singers, dancers and artists from around the world. Their thrilling performance, along with modern music and pyrotechnic effects, will pump up the crowd every Sunday through Friday in Gwazi Park at 9 p.m. Gates open at 8 p.m., so arrive early to ensure a good spot and enjoy the Party Starters’ pre-show interactive games and dancing.
Park hours for Summer Nights are extended until 9 p.m. Summer Nights is included with daily admission or any annual pass. For a more convenient way to purchase tickets, you can now take advantage of the all-new “Select Your Day, Select Your Savings” ticket offer. This new pricing lets guests choose between a weekday visit or an “any day” visit, both offering great savings. Guests have the flexibility of being able to use their tickets up to one year from purchase, but what they might enjoy the most is the convenience – buy online, print tickets at home and go straight through the turnstiles.
Event dates, times and details are subject to change. You can also be the first to know about new events, special deals and future announcements by following the park’s blog. You can also “like” the Busch Gardens Facebook page, and follow Busch Gardens on Twitter and on Pinterest.
Be sure to subscribe to this column, and travel to some of the greatest local getaways around, all from the comfort of your desktop (or laptop, or PDA, or smartphone!) If you have a favorite local attraction you'd like to see profiled, please let me know. Also, be sure to follow me on twitter, and read my articles about motorsports,HOAs,elections, and restaurants.