Real talk… on the morning of Day 3, we were dragging a little bit. But a bit of good news was the adrenaline rush we needed. Remember when we checked into the hotel on Day 1 and they did not have a second stuff giraffe for Stinky? Well, I emailed (and called) Guest Relations on Day 2 and they were nice enough to call back and let me know that one would be waiting for us at the park upon arrival. And for the inconvenience, they gave us eight Quick Que tickets. I must say Busch Gardens’ customer service is superb! That little gesture meant so much to Stinky, who was happy to have a little stuffed giraffe of his own.
And those Quick Que tickets came in handy. On Friday, the crowds were massive! In some areas, we were walking elbow to elbow and wait times were as much as 65 minutes. Ultimately, we let Stinky and Blinky choose their 4 top rides, divvied up the Quick Que tickets, and let them have at it.
After a late lunch, I had my heart set on riding the SkyRide again as well as the Serengeti Express Train. The preservation area was immaculate and animals roamed freely, some even coming very close to the train. We saw wildebeests, a mama and baby hippo, zebras, antelope, ostriches, elephants, and giraffes. The train conductor kindly told us about each animal and area as we rode through. It was very enjoyable.
The train ride was about 25 minutes long and ventured into each section of the park. I highly recommend it if you’re traveling with children.
Along the way, we met Princess Poinsettia. Blinky saw her the day before but was too focused on the next ride to be interested. Not so on Day 3. Even Stinky wanted in this go round.
We explored the three-story playground area – Treetop Trails – which was not a priority previously. Stinky and Blinky even stumbled upon a few cool rides like Jungle Flyers (soar 50 feet above Jungala’s village), and The Wild Surge (launch out of a 35-foot mountain crater up above a towering waterfall for a thrilling view of Jungala’s® village below). This area is a hidden gem. Kids frolicked carefree while weary parents sat on the ground grateful for the break.
By 6pm, the four of us were pretty exhausted, yet satisfied that we had fully enjoyed everything Busch Gardens had to offer. We decided to leave then, grab a quick bite to eat outside the park, then head back to the hotel for the first good night’s sleep in days.
Ours was not a traditional Thanksgiving, but its certainly one we’ll remember for years to come. The entire experience was wonderful and certainly one we’ll do again!
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