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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 continue to run the parks to this day.

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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.

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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 with several different live animals.
    • 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.
  • Animated Armor: The Curse of DarKastle ride at Williamsburg 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: The Tampa park has several primate-themed exhibits, such as the Oragutan Outpost and the Myombe Reserve, the latter of which has both chimpanzees and gorillas on display.
  • Excited Show Title!: The former 3-D attraction, Sesame Street Presents Lights, Camera, Imagination!
  • 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.
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Dragons!: "Land of the Dragons", an entire children's area themed around dragons, can be found at the Williamsburg park and was at the Tampa park before being replaced with Sesame Street Safari of Fun in 2010.
  • 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
    • 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 formerly had a dueling coaster called 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
  • Pungeon Master: Prince Ludwig of The Curse of DarKastle.
    Ludwig: You'll soon be getting your just desserts. But I'm getting ahead of myself!
  • 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.
  • "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.
  • 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.


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