Busch Gardens

Last updated
Busch Gardens
New Busch Gardens Logo.svg
Location Williamsburg, Virginia, U.S. (Busch Gardens Williamsburg)
Tampa, Florida, U.S. (Busch Gardens Tampa)
Theme Animal park
Owner SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
OpenedMarch 31, 1959;62 years ago (1959-03-31) (as Busch Gardens Tampa)
May 16, 1975;45 years ago (1975-05-16) (as Busch Gardens Williamsburg)
Operating seasonMarch – December (Busch Gardens Williamsburg)
Year-round (Busch Gardens Tampa)
Website Official website

Busch Gardens is the name of two amusement parks in the United States, owned and operated by SeaWorld Entertainment. The original park is in Tampa, Florida, and the second park is in Williamsburg, Virginia. There were also previously Busch Gardens parks in Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California (1964–1979) [1] and Houston, Texas (1971–1973). [2] The "Busch Gardens" name was earlier used to refer to the gardens developed by Adolphus Busch near his home in Pasadena, California, which were open to the public from 1906 to 1937. [3] [4] [5]

Contents

The Busch Gardens amusement parks were initially developed as marketing vehicles for Anheuser-Busch and featured hospitality houses with samples of Anheuser-Busch products. They also included stables that housed many of the company's Clydesdale horses, which have been associated with Anheuser-Busch since 1933. Eventually, rides and attractions were added to the parks and over time were developed into full theme parks while still promoting Anheuser-Busch. Busch Entertainment Corporation, now called SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, was created as a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch Companies to run the various parks in 1959.

In 2009, InBev, the new owners of Anheuser-Busch, sold the amusement parks to the Blackstone Group. Blackstone has kept some of the popular traditions including a stable with Clydesdales; however, the Clydesdales are not affiliated with the beer company. [6]

Locations

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

SheiKra was the first "dive machine" roller coaster in the United States. SheiKraSeating8x3.jpg
SheiKra was the first "dive machine" roller coaster in the United States.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay opened on March 31, 1959 and has an African theme. The park was originally tagged "The Dark Continent." [7] The theme park is one of America's largest zoological institutions, with 335 acres (136 ha) and more than 2,700 animals. Attractions include: Montu, Kumba, Scorpion, Edge of Africa, Jungala, Sand Serpent, Congo River Rapids, Saga, Tanganyika Tidal Wave, Stanley Falls, Serengeti Railway, Phoenix, Sesame Street and SheiKra, [8] a vertical dive coaster which opened in 2005. In 2011, the park added Cheetah Hunt, a triple launch roller coaster. In 2014, the park added Falcon's Fury, an Intamin drop tower. In 2016, the park constructed Cobra's Curse, a steel roller coaster created by Mack Rides. [9] In 2019, the park opened Tigris, a steel launched roller coaster constructed by Premier Rides. In 2021, the park will open a new hybrid coaster by Rocky Mountain Construction on the site where Gwazi once stood. The park is some distance away from downtown, in central Tampa, near the limits of the city of Temple Terrace to the east of Tampa.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Busch Gardens Williamsburg opened May 16, 1975. With its European theme, the park was originally tagged "The Old Country." Attractions at this park include Alpengeist, Escape from Pompeii, Apollo's Chariot, Loch Ness Monster and Griffon. Added in 2007, the Griffon coaster had bragging rights as the tallest dive coaster in the United States. The park is divided into seven sections, each themed to a different European country. On July 25, 2009, Busch Gardens announced that the Big Bad Wolf roller coaster would be retired September 7, 2009, after 25 years of operation due to its "meeting the end of its service life." and was replaced with Verbolten - a New Multiple Launch Coaster that opened in 2012. Newly added in 2009 was Christmas Town, A Busch Gardens Celebration, with many themed holiday attractions and shows with eight million lights and a 50-foot Light Animated Christmas Tree. Also in 2010, the 3-D ride Corkscrew Hill was replaced by Europe in the Air, which itself was replaced by a new VR action ride called Battle for Eire in 2018. Also new for 2010 was illumiNights: A Busch Garden Encore, with many mini nightly country shows and nightly fireworks set to a special soundtrack which is available during the special event in many gift shops. In 2010, Busch Gardens announced a drop tower called the Mäch Tower which was set to open in late spring 2011 but was delayed due to train problems from Italy and opened in August 2011. Tempesto opened in May 2015, as it was part of an addition to the park's Italy section. InvadR, the first ever wooden coaster at Busch Gardens, opened in 2017.

Former parks

Busch Gardens in California

Long before the current Busch Gardens amusement parks, the name referred to the personal gardens of Adolphus Busch, co-founder of Anheuser-Busch. After becoming wealthy in the beer business, Busch purchased a winter home in Pasadena, California. He landscaped the 36 acres (15 ha) around his home with thousands of plants, as well as statues, waterfalls and walking paths. [3] He opened these "Busch Gardens" to the public in 1906. The gardens became a major tourist attraction, even after Busch's death in 1913 and prompted the Pacific Electric Railway to establish a stop for the gardens' visitors. [3] [4] The nearby Hollywood film industry used the gardens in many films, including Frankenstein (1931), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), The Adventures of Robin Hood (archery scene, 1938), [10] and Gone With the Wind (Twelve Oaks barbecue, 1939). [3] [4] Busch's widow offered the gardens to the city of Pasadena on multiple occasions for use as a public park, but the city never accepted the offer. [3] [4] Busch Gardens closed in 1937 and the land was later subdivided. [3] The area is now a residential neighborhood, though some of the landscape features of the Busch Gardens era remain. [5]

In 1954, a new brewery was opened in Van Nuys. The company opened one of the modern Busch Gardens parks at this site in 1966 that included boat rides, a monorail designed into a brewery tour, and free beer. The 17-acre (6.9 ha) amusement park was renamed Busch Bird Sanctuary in 1977 and closed two years later. [1]

Busch Gardens Houston

Houston's Busch Gardens opened in May 1971 and was closed within a few years. It was located adjacent to the Anheuser-Busch brewery, which opened in 1966. The 40-acre (16 ha) park had an Asian theme except for an ice cave with a temperature controlled environment for several varieties of penguins, polar bears and sea lions. [2] It also had its own 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge railway. [11]

Barcelona

Anheuser-Busch and Grand Tibidabo, S.A., owners of Tibidabo Amusement Park, in Barcelona, along with other Spanish investors, made plans to build a Tibi Gardens outside of Barcelona, Spain, in the late 1980s. [12] During construction, several of the Spanish investors backed out, and investors from The Tussauds Group stepped in. The park was renamed Port Aventura and when it opened in 1995 in Salou, Spain, Anheuser Busch had a 20% investment in the park while The Tussauds Group had 40%. [13] In 1998 the majority of Tussauds Group's shares in the park were sold to Universal. [14]

Unbuilt parks

Busch Gardens Dubai

In 2008, Busch Entertainment Corporation announced plans to open a new park in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in 2012. [15] It was going to be placed on a man-made island shaped like Shamu in Dubai with SeaWorld, Discovery Cove and Aquatica also being built on that island. The Dubai park would have added on a third park to the Busch Gardens brand. The plans have been shelved because of financial issues. [16] On February 4, 2009, Busch Entertainment announced that the Dubai plans had been canceled due to the global recession.

Free beer samples

After InBev sold the amusement parks in 2009 to Blackstone, many beer-affiliated traditions ended, including the tradition of offering free beer samples in their Hospitality Centers, and Brewmaster Clubs would come to an end in the parks. [17] [18] Also announced was that workers will not get two cases of beer a month for free, which they would receive under old parent Anheuser-Busch. [19] Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has again begun offering free samples in conjunction with limited-time promotions, most recently in 2019 as part of the park's year-long 60th anniversary celebration. Each guest may sample two seven-ounce servings of beer. [20]

See also

Anheuser-Busch owned several other parks. All of these, except Grant's Farm and the former SeaWorld Ohio, were sold to the Blackstone Group in 2009:

Related Research Articles

SeaWorld American theme park chain

SeaWorld is an American theme park chain with headquarters in Orlando, Florida. It is a proprietor of marine mammal parks, oceanariums, animal theme parks, and rehabilitation centers owned by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. The parks feature orcas, sea lion, and dolphin shows and zoological displays featuring various other marine animals. There are operations located within the United States in Orlando, Florida; San Diego, California; San Antonio, Texas; later outside the United States such as Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and previously Aurora, Ohio. On March 5, 2007, SeaWorld Orlando announced addition of the Aquatica water park to its adventure park, which already includes SeaWorld and Discovery Cove.

Sesame Place

Sesame Place is a children's theme park and water park, located on the outskirts of Philadelphia in Middletown Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. It is the only theme park in the United States based entirely on the award-winning children's educational television program Sesame Street and includes a variety of rides, shows and water attractions suited to young children. It is also the first theme park in the world to become a certified autism center.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is a 335-acre (136 ha) African-themed animal theme park located in the city of Tampa, Florida. The park is owned and operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and has an annual attendance of just over 4.1 million a year, making it the second most visited among all SeaWorld Entertainment-owned parks behind SeaWorld Orlando, and eleventh overall among the 20 most visited amusement parks in North America.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg European-themed amusement park in James City County, Virginia

Busch Gardens Williamsburg is a 422-acre (1.71 km2) amusement park located in James City County, Virginia, United States. Located about sixty miles (100 km) northwest of Virginia Beach, the park was developed by Anheuser-Busch (A-B) and is owned by SeaWorld Entertainment. It opened on May 16, 1975, adjacent to Anheuser-Busch's brewery and near its other developments including the Kingsmill Resort complex.

Montu (roller coaster) Inverted roller coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa

Montu is an inverted roller coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa in Tampa, Florida. Designed by Swiss manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard, it is the park's second roller coaster designed by that company following the success of Kumba, which opened 3 years prior. When the ride opened on May 16, 1996, it was the world's tallest and fastest inverted roller coaster, a title it has since conceded to Alpengeist at sister park Busch Gardens Williamsburg. The ride stands 150 feet (46 m) tall and reaches speeds of 60 miles per hour (97 km/h).

SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld Orlando is a theme park and marine zoological park, in Orlando, Florida. It is owned and operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. When combined with its neighbor Discovery Cove and Aquatica, it forms SeaWorld Parks and Resorts Orlando, an entertainment complex consisting of the three parks and many hotels. In 2018, SeaWorld Orlando hosted an estimated 4.594 million guests, ranking it the 10th most visited amusement park in the United States.

SeaWorld San Antonio

SeaWorld San Antonio is a 250-acre (100 ha) marine mammal park, oceanarium and animal theme park in the Westover Hills District of San Antonio, Texas, on the city's west side. It is the largest of the three parks in the SeaWorld chain owned by SeaWorld Entertainment and one of the world's largest marine-life theme parks focused on conservation, education and animal rescue. The other SeaWorld parks are in San Diego, California and Orlando, Florida. It is a member of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA) and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

SeaWorld San Diego

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Iron Gwazi Hybrid roller coaster in Tampa, Florida, U.S.

Iron Gwazi is an upcoming steel-wooden hybrid roller coaster under construction at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay amusement park in Tampa, Florida. Originally built as a wooden, dueling roller coaster with two separate tracks, Gwazi first opened to the public on June 18, 1999. It was constructed by Great Coasters International (GCI) and was named after a fabled creature with a head of a tiger and a body of a lion. Accordingly, the two sides of the roller coaster's track were named "Lion" and "Tiger." Both sides of the roller coaster reached a height of 105.4 feet (32.1 m), with a maximum speed of 51 mph (82 km/h), and stretched over 7,000 feet (2,100 m) when taking both tracks into account.

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Sand Serpent Steel roller coaster

Sand Serpent is a Wild Mouse roller coaster located at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in Tampa, Florida. The ride originally operated at sister park Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia as Wild Izzy in 1996 and later as Wilde Maus from 1997 to 2003. When the roller coaster relocated to the current park, it was renamed Cheetah Chase from 2004 to 2011 before coming into its current name.

Amusement park accidents refer to serious injuries or deaths that occur at amusement parks. Many such accidents are reported to regulatory authorities as usually required by law everywhere. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission tracks statistics for all amusement ride accidents. Accidents listed here are caused by one of the following:

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SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, a subsidiary of SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., and formerly known as Busch Entertainment Corporation, is an American theme park and entertainment company headquartered in Orlando, Florida. The company owns and operates twelve recreational destinations in the United States, including seven theme parks and five water parks. Notable brands within its portfolio include SeaWorld and Busch Gardens. In May 2018, Themed Entertainment Association and the global management firm AECOM reported that SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment ranked ninth in the world for attendance among theme park companies, led by parks SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

Animal theme park

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Cheetah Hunt

Cheetah Hunt is a steel launched roller coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in Tampa, Florida. The roller coaster was manufactured by Intamin, and designed by Mark Rose and Busch Gardens executives. Cheetah Hunt opened to the public on May 27, 2011, alongside a cheetah exhibit called "Cheetah Run". The roller coaster reaches a height of 102 feet (31 m), with a maximum speed of 60 miles per hour (97 km/h), and a total track length of 4,429 feet (1,350 m).

Verbolten Roller coaster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Verbolten is a Zierer multi-launching steel roller coaster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia. The concept was jointly designed by the park's creative design team and by Zierer of Germany. "Verbolten" is a play on words of the German word "verboten," which translates to "forbidden" in English.

Sky Rocket II

Sky Rocket II is a steel roller coaster model made by American manufacturer Premier Rides. The first Sky Rocket II was Superman: Ultimate Flight at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, which opened on June 30, 2012, and the latest is Tigris at Busch Gardens Tampa in 2019. The ride model features a height of 150 feet (46 m), a length of 863 feet (263 m), a maximum speed of 62 miles per hour (100 km/h), and includes one inversion. The ride has been noted for its low-cost and small foot-print.

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PortAventura Park

PortAventura Park is a theme park located in the PortAventura World Resort, 85 km southwest of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, in the municipalities of Salou and Vila-seca, on the Costa Daurada. The park opened on 1 May 1995 under the management of the Tussauds Group which had a 40.01% share in the park, La Caixa (33.19%), Anheuser-Busch (19.9%) and FECSA (6.7%). It opened to the general public on 2 May 1995.

References

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  11. "WKT Locomotive Houston". Lagoon is fun. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
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  14. "Pearson Completes Tussauds Group Disposal". pearson.com. October 19, 1998. Retrieved October 18, 2018..
  15. Albright, Mark (February 28, 2008). "Busch plans four parks in Dubai". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on December 5, 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-04.
  16. Kassab, Beth (February 4, 2009). "No Busch Gardens, SeaWorld for Dubai". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on February 5, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-04.
  17. Garcia, Jason (January 6, 2009). "Last call for free beer tasting at SeaWorld, Busch Gardens". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on April 20, 2009. Retrieved June 3, 2009.
  18. Volkmann, Kelsey (January 5, 2009). "No more free beer at Busch theme parks". St. Louis Business Journal. Retrieved June 6, 2009.
  19. Eckert, Barton (January 5, 2009). "No more free beer at Busch Gardens Williamsburg". Washington Business Journal.
  20. Kennedy Wynne, Sharon (January 2, 2019). "Free beer is back at Busch Gardens for its 60th anniversary". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved May 15, 2019. The park offered the perk for 50 years when it was owned by Anheuser-Busch and ended the promotion in 2009