12 Best Busch Gardens Tips That You Must Know

In this guide, we will cover our best Busch Gardens tips to ensure that you arrive to the park extremely prepared, and know all of the 'hacks' to maximize your time and money. 

1. Do the Park Backwards

If you take a look at the Busch Gardens map, you'll notice that a lot of the most popular rides such as Kumba, Falcon's Fury & Tigris are located in the back.

Most visitors enter the park, and hang around the attractions closest to the entrance. 

busch gardens animals

By entering the park, heading to the back and experiencing the park from the back to the front, you'll deal with much less crowds & lines.

This will provide you a much better experience overall, as you'll ride more and wait less, and you'll be able to knock out your must-do rides early in the day as well.

2. Don't Pay Full Price

Save Money and Receive your tickets Instantly.

When you purchase Busch Gardens tickets with us, you can Save $28+ per ticket, and you'll also be able to skip the line by going straight to the gate.

You can learn more about our process and how we're able to do this through our Authorized Theme Park Ticket Reseller page.

3. Know About Quick Queue

If you plan on visiting the park during a weekend, you'll want to know about Quick Queue, and how it works.

Quick queue is essentially Busch Garden's fast pass system, that you can purchase at an additional cost.

It gives you access to a separate and faster line, in order to skip the regular line and spend more of your time riding your favorite rides rather than waiting.

busch gardens quick queue pass

You can receive a wristband or you can also have it on your mobile device as a Quick Queue eticket!

Most Quick Queue lines actually bring you right next to the rider loading station, which is a nice perk as there's much less walking (and waiting).

4. Know About the Rain Policy

If rain negatively impacts your visit at Busch Gardens in Tampa, you will be eligible to receive a complimentary visit to the park that must be used within 1 year of your visit.

This allows visitors to be at ease, ensuring that they will get their money's worth when they visit the park.

lightning and rain

You can read more about the Busch Gardens Rain Policy and how it works, where to get the complimentary ticket, and if add-on's are included.

5. Know About the Bag Policy

For both Busch Gardens locations (Tampa & Williamsburg), visitors are allowed to bring backpacks into the park, however the bags cannot have wheels. 

bringing a bag to busch gardens

You'll also be able to rent a locker and conveniently store your backpack and valuables inside of the locker, while you ride the rides or navigate through the park.

Inspection Entering the Park

Visitors should be aware that all guests, bags, packages and other items are subject to inspection, including metal detection or other screening measures before entering the park.

You can read more on the Busch Gardens Bag Policy page, where we detail whether you can bring them on rides, at Howl O Scream, and more.

6. Rent a Locker

Lockers can be some of the most valuable perks of a theme park.

busch gardens lockers

Whether you plan on bringing any items into the park such as a bag or purse, and decide that you want to ride any rides, you'll want to invest in a locker.

Lockers are available in the park and you can drop your clothes and bags off there, go on with the rest of your day, and conveniently return to change whenever you need to.

All day self-service lockers are available for rent in the Morocco section of the park, next to lost and found, and near the entrance.

You can rent a locker with a credit card or cash.

Types of Lockers

  • Standard - $15/Day
  • Large - $20/Day
  • Jumbo - $25/Day

7. Park Close to the Tram

Knowing exactly how Busch Gardens parking works will save you plenty of headaches.

For visitors to enter the park, they must park in the appropriate parking lot, and then be transported by the tram into the park.

save money busch gardens

The closer that you park near the tram, the shorter the walk will be. It may not be a big deal while entering the park, but after a long day at the park, visitors forget that they have a long walk back to their vehicles as well. 

Parking Cost

  • General Parking - $30
  • Preferred Parking - Starting at $35

8. Arrive Early 

busch gardens opening time

This will normally give you the edge on being able to head directly to your must-do rides & experiences, without dealing with the heavy lines.

Additionally, the park normally takes a few hours to fill up, which will give you a few hours of a more laid back experience.

Make sure that you know the Busch Gardens hours, as they are often different (either 10 am, or 12 pm) depending on the day which you are visiting.

9. Know the Best Shoes to Wear

The ON Men's Cloudflow sneaker and ON Women's Cloudflow sneakers are by far the best shoes for Busch Gardens, and it's not even close.


on mens cloudflow sneaker



on womens cloudflow sneaker
Their best features include:


  • Extremely comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Very durable
  • Great for both skinny and wide feet
  • Can serve as an All-purpose shoe
  • They feel like slippers
  • Great arch support

The normal foot pain that I grew accustomed to from other shoes were gone, and these ON shoes allowed me to fully enjoy my day, without worrying when my feet would hurt next.

Something to keep in mind is that although you're almost guaranteed to walk a lot at a theme park, you'll also be standing a lot as well (in lines for rides).

These ultra comfortable shoes have proven to me to be amazing for standing, walking and even running.

10. Consider an Annual Pass

If you love Busch Gardens, and are planning on visiting more than 2-3 times in one calendar year, you may want to consider purchasing an Annual Pass.

busch gardens annual pass

Not only can it save you quite a bit of money in the long run, but you'll get year-long access to the park along with additional perks.

There are a few different options that you can choose from that vary in perks, access and price.

Depending on which one you choose, perks can include discount on food and merchandise, discounts on Busch Gardens hotel stays, all-season parking, and photo upload options.

11. Go During the Week

To deal with less crowds, go during the weekday! Sounds simple right? Not quite.

The best days to go to Busch Gardens are Monday-Tuesday as these are typically the least crowded days.

busch gardens calendar

Most families have their days off on the weekends, and this is why weekends are usually the most busy at the park.

You'll also want to make sure that you're not going near a holiday or an event, for example Spring break, 4th of July etc.

Spend less time waiting in lines, and more time riding your favorite rides.

12. Download the Busch Gardens App

The Busch Gardens app is a must-have item for your visit.

busch gardens apps

You'll be able to plan your visit from the app, see the park hours, park map, see the showtimes, see the restrooms and much more.

The app makes it a seamless experience for visitors prior to the park, and when they're at the actual park.

Additionally, wifi is available for use at the park.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Days Should I Spend at Busch Gardens Tampa?

Ideally 2 days at Busch Gardens is a perfect amount of time to experience everything that the park has to offer. However, in 1 day you can knock out most of the popular rides, shows, and experience in the park.

How Long Do You Need at Busch Gardens?

4-6 hours is a great aiming point in order to accomplish most of the popular rides, shows, and experiences that the park has to offer. If you arrive to the park prior to its opening, you may even be able to do this faster.

What Can You Do at Busch Gardens if You Don't Like Roller Coasters?

There is plenty to do at Busch Gardens besides just roller coasters including feeding exotic birds, walking through animal trails & watching shows. Busch Gardens features 12,000 animals and 300 species. If you love animals, prepare to be amazed.

Related Articles

What is a Busch Gardens Fun Card Pass? 

Can You Buy Quick Queue at the Busch Gardens Park?

What is the Busch Gardens Rain Policy?

What is the Busch Gardens Bag Policy?