For our 10 year wedding anniversary, Stu's request was to "ride roller coasters without the kids." Well, ok.
I'm a Marriott Reward Member, so I booked a room at the Courtyard Marriott near-ish to Busch Gardens. On the suggestion of friends, I actually first booked us at the Epicurean in downtown Tampa. But we decided to be fiscally responsible and pay off some medical bills and go with the less expensive hotel. The Courtyard worked out perfectly. The location was WAY better than if we had been downtown. And the hotel itself was quite nice.
We sent the kids off to Tennessee with my parents. They flew Little Aunt Debbie home and spent some excellent quality time with cousins.
Stu and I bought our Busch Gardens tickets at Publix. We picked up the 2-Day, 2-Park tickets for $99 each. We figured since we were going to be there for 2 days we would not need the Quick Queue passes (that's like Disney's FastPass, except Busch Gardens charges $$ for the experience).
Buying the tickets at Publix worked to our advantage. We did not have to wait in any line at the Park. We simply went right in. If you're going, buy them ahead of time. Not only was the convenience nice, but we saved money doing it that way. A 1-Day pass is $79. So we got the second day for only $20. Not bad.
So, considering that I chopped our hotel bill in half by switching hotels and saved us money on Park Admission, Stu was feeling pretty good about the whole trip. Chalk that up as a win for me!
We lucked out completely on Friday. There was hardly anyone in the Park. It was amazing! We rode all - yes, ALL - of the roller coasters before noon! Seriously. We were shocked.
It was hellishly hot. But it is summer in Florida, so that was to be expected. We decided to wear bathing suits and dry fit clothing into Busch Gardens. I knew it would be HOT, and I knew we would want to ride the Congo River Rapids.
Day 1 Photos
Tomorrow, I will share my thoughts and descriptions of the roller coasters. And later in the week, I will tell you about our experience at Bern's Steakhouse in Tampa. Trust me, you do not want to miss that.