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Ride / Busch Gardens

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Busch Gardens is the name of a pair of theme parks in the United States that also function as zoos, featuring a variety of rides and attractions amongst the animal exhibits. The parks are owned by the SeaWorld Entertainment group, and were formerly owned by the Anheuser-Busch company.

The parks were originally created by Anheuser-Busch as a way of expanding their brand and showcasing their products to the public. Over time, it became less of a showcase and more of a theme park with the addition of numerous rides. A few decades later, the parks would be united under the same roof with SeaWorld when Anheuser-Busch purchased the company in 1989.

In 2009, Anheuser-Busch was bought out by InBev, who had no interest in running theme parks, and thus sold both Busch Gardens and SeaWorld to the Blackstone Group, who spun them off in an IPO in 2013.

The two Busch Gardens locations include:

  • Busch Gardens Tampa (located in Tampa, Florida): The first one to open, having first begun operation on March 31, 1959; making it one of the oldest theme parks in Florida. The park is themed around Africa, each of its lands representing a different part of its continent.
  • Busch Gardens Williamsburg (located in Williamsburg, Virginia): The second of the pair, it opened on May 16, 1975. Similar to the Tampa park, it too is themed entirely around a continent, in this case Europe, having lands based on England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Germany, among others.

Adjacent to both locations are water parks that, while not being connected to the Busch Gardens brand, are still a part of SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment. Tampa's water park is called Adventure Island, whereas Williamsburg's is known as Water Country USA.

Busch Gardens provide examples of:

  • Alliterative Title: Several of the attractions in the parks:
    • Carousel Caravan
    • Cheetah Chase
    • Cobra's Curse
    • Crazy Camel
    • Critter Castaways
    • Gladiator's Gauntlet
    • Kinder Karussel
    • Falcon's Fury
    • Gwazi Gliders
    • Monstrous Mamba
    • Rhino Rally
    • Riffle Rapids
    • Roman Rapids
  • Alternate Company Equivalent:
    • From 1977 to 1989, the Tampa park had the African Queen Boat Ride, which was more or less the same thing as the Jungle Cruise, being a water-based safari ride, abliet with several different live animals (which is ironically something the latter was conceived as).
    • Tampa also has the Skyride, a gondola-based attraction that's very similar to the former Skyway that the Disney Theme Parks used to have.
    • The Curse of DarKastle is a 3-D/dark ride hybrid, just like The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at the Universal Studios parks.
    • Also exists between the two parks; they have been known to add new, similar coasters at roughly the same time, just with different themes to fit their respective settings. Over 1997-98, each park added a family-friendly movie-based attraction featuring famous comic actors: Williamsburg got Pirates 4-D, a film starring Leslie Nielsen and Eric Idle, while Tampa Bay got Akbar's Adventure Tours, a motion simulator featuring Martin Short and Eugene Levy.
  • Animated Armor: The Curse of DarKastle contains a scene where several empty knight armors are brought to life and attempt to attack the guests.
  • Ancient Egypt: The Tampa park includes an Ancient Egypt themed area, which among its attractions specifically includes a roller coaster named after the Egyptian war god, Montu.
  • Ancient Rome: Festa Italia at the Williamsburg park is entirely themed around ancient Rome.
  • Ancient Tomb: In the aformentioned Egypt area, there used to be a walk-through attraction called Tut's Tomb, which had guests exploring an excavation of said tomb.
    • The back half of the motion simulator Akbar's Adventure Tours, also once part of the Egypt pavilion, involves a journey into one of these — and, to the horror of the host, there's an angry mummy afoot!
  • Artifact Title: The parks continue to called Busch Gardens, despite no longer being owned by Anheuser-Busch.
  • Belly Dancer: Performances can be seen in the Dragon Fire Grill restaurant in the Tampa Bay park.
  • Big Bad: Prince Ludwig of The Curse of Darkastle ride at Williamsburg.
  • The Big Race: The backstory of the former Rhino Rally ride at Tampa involved there being an annual race held between safari trucks.
    • Before Griffin replaced it, Williamsburg had the Le Man's Raceway.
  • Canada, Eh?: New France in the Williamsburg park is the "lumberjacks and fur traders" version of this (and also the only region of the park technically not based on a location in Europe). Unsurprisingly, it's where the obligatory theme park log flume ride is located.
  • Christmas Special: The parks' Christmas Town event, which adds in several holiday-themed shows along with a snow-filled play area. Similar to Sea World, starting in 2014 the parks would feature an area dedicated to Rankin/Bass Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer called "Christmas Town" where guests can meet Rudolph, Clarice, Bumble, Sam the Snowman, and Yukon Cornelius.
  • Darkest Africa: Tampa, being themed around Africa, for a while attempted to invoke a dangerous and thrilling feel to the park, at one point even giving the park's title the subtitle: "The Dark Continent". In more recent times it's since moved towards giving off a more friendly feeling.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: The Europe In The Air simulator ride at Williamsburg mostly shows clips of some of Europe's most notable landmarks, including the Roman Colisseum, Stonehenge, Big Ben, and of course, the Eiffel Tower.
  • Evil Laugh: Ludwig of The Curse of DarKastle twice.
  • Halloween Special: Howl-O-Scream, a haunt event hosted in the park that runs through September and October.
  • Haunted Castle: The plot of The Curse of DarKastle at Williamsburg has guests visiting one and coming into confrontation with the ghosts there.
  • Lighthouse Point: The main setting of the former R.L. Stine's Haunted Lighthouse 4-D show.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Ludwig, the villain of The Curse of DarKastle, is both a ghost and a werewolf, a rather different twist on things.
  • Oktoberfest: Played straight, as Williamsburg has an area that's outright named "Oktoberfest", which contains plenty of the typical German stereotypes.
  • The Old Country: The Williamsburg park is themed entirely around old Europe, and at one point was even called Busch Gardens: The Old Country.
  • One-Word Title: The parks really seem to like this trope, particularly when naming its coasters and other thrill rides.
    • Alpengeist
    • Glissade
    • Gwazi
    • Griffon
    • InvadR
    • Kaleidoscope
    • Katonga
    • Kumba
    • Montu
    • Pantheon
    • Phoenix
    • Python
    • Questor
    • Sandstorm
    • Scorpion
    • Shiekra
    • Tempesto
    • Tradewinds
    • Verbolten
  • Our Gryphons Are Different: Williamsburg has Griffon, a huge roller coaster themed around the mythical flyer, presumably based off of its classic appearance.
  • Paddleball Shot: Being in 3-D, The Curse of DarKastle makes use of this often, having stuff like knives and severed heads fly at the screen constantly.
  • Panthera Awesome: Tampa has a massive high-speed coaster themed around cheetahs, called Cheetah Hunt, and also has an RMC conversion known as Iron Gwazi, named after the mythical beast that has the head of a tiger and the body of a lion.
  • Portmantitle:
    • The Curse of DarKastle: Dark + Castle = DarKastle
    • Iceploration = "Ice" + "Exploration"
    • Skyride
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: In The Curse of Darkastle, Ludwig says one before forming a blue fireball in his hand and hurling it at guests.
    Ludwig: You have such hunger for my secrets?! Come, it shall be fed!
  • Pungeon Master: Prince Ludwig of The Curse of DarKastle.
    Ludwig: You'll soon be getting your just desserts. But I'm getting (ghost waiter lifts dome off of platter revealing Ludwig's head inside) ahead of myself!
  • Randomly Generated Levels: Verbolten has several different possible ride experiences inside the show building.
  • Savage Wolf: The former Big Bad Wolf rollercoaster in Williamsburg. Verbolten, its successor also contains a scene where the rider's car is chased by one of these as a tribute to the ride it replaced.
  • Scary Scorpions: Tampa's Scorpion coaster seems to allude to this, with it being an intense thrill ride.
  • Scenery Porn: Williamsburg has been regularly viewed as one of the most beautiful parks in the world.
  • Sorcerer's Apprentice Plot: Basically the plot of The Enchanted Laboratory of Nostramos the Magnificent, an old magic show that ran at the Williamsburg park from 1986 to 2000.
  • Spectacular Spinning: In The Curse of Darkastle, after Ludwig pulls your sleigh into the fireplace, the sleigh spins rapidly in pitch-blackness for about 20 seconds.
  • Stock Ness Monster: Williamsburg has a coaster that's outright called Loch Ness Monster.
  • Tagline: "Celebrate, Connect, and Care for the natural world through the power of entertainment."
  • The World Is Just Awesome: Williamsburg's Europe In The Air simulator is pretty much what it sounds like, being an attraction that shows you the many landscapes of Europe in a wondrous fashion.