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|Location||Williamsburg, Virginia, U.S. (Busch Gardens Williamsburg), Tampa, Florida, U.S.|
(Busch Gardens Tampa Bay)
|Opened||March 31, 1959 (as Busch Gardens Tampa Bay)|
May 16, 1975 (as Busch Gardens Williamsburg)
|Owner||SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment|
|Operating season||March – December (Busch Gardens Williamsburg)|
Year-round (Busch Gardens Tampa Bay)
Busch Gardens is the name of two amusement parks in the United States, owned and operated by SeaWorld Parks & 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) and Houston, Texas (1971–1973). 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.
The Busch Gardens amusement parks were initially developed as marketing vehicles for
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay opened on March 31, 1959, and has an African theme. The park was originally tagged "The Dark Continent."
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.
Busch Gardens in California
Long before the current Busch Gardens amusement parks, the name referred to the personal gardens of
Van Nuys (1966-1979)
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 10-minute monorail tour of the brewery, and free beer. (Circa 1974, there was a second monorail “which passes through an enormous aviary.”) The park expanded by five acres in 1972 to a total of 22 acres. “The new section includes an exciting barrel flume ride; a huge, walk-through flight cage; a magic show; a special
show place for otters; penguin and sea lion programs; and an individual boat ride popular with young skippers.”
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
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. 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%. In 1998 the majority of Tussauds Group's shares in the park were sold to Universal.
Busch Gardens Dubai
In 2008, Busch Entertainment Corporation announced plans to open a new park in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in 2012. 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. 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. Also announced was that workers would not get two cases of beer a month for free, which they would receive under old parent Anheuser-Busch. 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.
Anheuser-Busch owned several other parks. All of these, except Grant's Farm and the former SeaWorld Ohio, were sold to the
- The San Antonio, Texas and Orlando, Florida.
- SeaWorld Orlando
- SeaWorld San Diego
- SeaWorld San Antonio
- Cleveland, Ohio
- Discovery Cove, an exclusive, reservation-only park in Orlando
- Sesame Place, a children's play park themed after the long-running public broadcasting show Sesame Street, near Philadelphia
- A second Sesame Place formerly operated in Irving, Texas
- Water parks: Aquatica in Chula Vista, California. (Formerly Knott's Soak City)
- St. Louis, Missouri, on land formerly owned by Ulysses S. Grant; home to some of the Budweiser Clydesdales
- ^ a b Roger Vincent (June 13, 2008). "Anheuser-Busch has deep ties to Southern California". Los Angeles Times.
- ^ a b "Houston Past: Busch Gardens (1971-1973)". Houstorian.wordpress.com. April 7, 2008. Retrieved 2013-04-07.
- ^ ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2019-03-27.
- ^ a b c d "Pasadena's Busch Gardens". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 2019-03-27.
- ^ a b Hemmerlein, Sandi (2018-01-08). "Was Pasadena Once Home to the '8th Wonder of the World'?". KCET. Retrieved 2019-03-27.
- ^ Dan Parsons and Tyra M. Vaughn (2010-03-04). "Clydesdales are back at Busch Gardens - Daily Press". Articles.dailypress.com. Archived from the original on 2011-08-11. Retrieved 2013-04-07.
- ^ "Busch Gardens, The Dark Continent, Tampa–exotic animals, thrilling rides, dazzling shows". The Milwaukee Sentinel. January 23, 1984. Retrieved 2009-06-06.
- ^ "Park Map | Busch Gardens Tampa Bay". Buschgardens.com. 2011-04-21. Archived from the original on 2011-11-24. Retrieved 2013-04-07.
- ^ "Busch Gardens' new Cobra's Curse ride coming in 2016 (w/video)". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2016-06-04.
- ISBN 0-440-17866-5.
Sunset Travel Guide to Southern California. Menlo Park, Calif.: Lane Publishing Co. 1974. p. 47. SBN 376-06754-3.
- ^ "WKT Locomotive Houston". Lagoon is fun. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
- ^ Richard Schweid (November 2, 1992). "Europe's Second Theme Park Planned in Spain". AP news Archive. Associated Press. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
- ISBN 978-1845932084.
- ^ "Pearson Completes Tussauds Group Disposal". pearson.com. October 19, 1998. Retrieved October 18, 2018..
- ^ 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.
- ^ 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.
- ^ 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.
- ^ Volkmann, Kelsey (January 5, 2009). "No more free beer at Busch theme parks". St. Louis Business Journal. Retrieved June 6, 2009.
- ^ Eckert, Barton (January 5, 2009). "No more free beer at Busch Gardens Williamsburg". Washington Business Journal.
- ^ 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