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3 Kids,My Castle and how many cupcakes?-Day 4 Busch Gardens

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Dizneyblonde, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. Dizneyblonde
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    Dizneyblonde Secret's Birthday Fairy!

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    3 Kids, My Castle and how many cupcakes?
    Day 4
    12th August 2009
    Busch Gardens
    The alarm woke us up this morning at 7am. So much for this naturally early waking up for the first few days! Feels like we’ve been here forever.
    We watched the tropical storm warnings and tracking systems on the weather channel while we got ready but today’s forecast was HOT HOT HOT as it always is when we go to Busch Gardens!
    We grabbed a quick breakfast and were over at Goodings by 8.20am to catch the BG Shuttle.
    Originally when planning this holiday we were supposed to be staying at the Orlando Metropolitan Express so I had booked our places on the BG shuttle leaving from the Universal car park at 8am. However as we had a last minute hotel change and we were now at the bottom end of I-Drive I decided it would be silly to go all the way to Universal . Jack found a shuttle timetable in reception and we worked out that the Universal bus was the same one that picked up at Goodings across from our hotel. I didn’t bother to ring up to change pickups as it’s always a ‘free for all’ anyway and we just turned up and waited with everyone else.
    There were LOADS of people waiting and most of them were British. I have to say I felt slightly embarrassed stood there listening to their language, stories of drunken nights and watching the way some of them treated their young children! I was horrified at the way one woman spoke to her little boy who was obviously tired and hot, the language she used made me go red and my two stopped their sibling bickering and looked the other way!
    As soon as the buses pulled in the crowds surged forward and as expected the ‘free for all’ began. Luckily my two had their Busch Gardens Shuttle training on the last trip so no one was getting in front of them. The driver was obviously used to all this as he stood there shaking his head and muttering to himself in what I think was Portuguese. We finally pulled away and for the whole journey I listened to more of the same as when we were waiting and unfortunately the worst culprits were a very loud Irish family who took over the whole bus with their language and shouting to each other across the aisles.
    Anyway we arrived to find Busch Gardens very busy! So much for my busy day guide saying Wednesdays were quiet! We only had our DC confirmation so we had to line up to get our day’s tickets. Luckily the driver had reminded us all to get our tickets for our return journey before we left the coach so we picked those up too. (free is you book a multi park ticket but you still have to get your return voucher or he won’t let you on the bus!)
    I had booked the Jungala Tour and surprised the kids with it at Christmas so next stop was to book in. A few weeks before we left I had received and email saying that they had changed the tour slightly and that it was now cheaper so I also reminded them that I was due a refund :D I got $29.01 back on my card.
    Busch Gardens was filling rapidly and getting hotter by the minute so we went straight to Gwazi before the lines got too long. We put the camera and bag in a locker where we intended to leave it until lunchtime and I took some money and my credit card out to tide us over until then should we need to get anything. While we were stood in the queue we saw the advert for Quick Queue which was $14.95. I would normally begrudge handing over more money to do something that I’d already paid for but standing in line in the intense Florida heat made me go all funny and I agreed to buy them after riding Gwazi as there was so much we needed to get done in one day. Gwazi has to be one of the best rides ever! Despite the fact that I thought my head was going to fall off and that at any moment I could fall out of my seat the three of us laughed all the way around. The kids even held their hands in the air which did nothing for my heart rate!
    My legs were like jelly when we got off and asked an attendant where the nearest Quick Queue selling point was. We then headed over to Sheikra (which is a fair distance) as it made sense to buy the QQ at the point nearest to the ride we would be doing next. I asked the assistant for 3 QQ passes and handed over my card. It wouldn’t process. She tried again, and again but handed the card back to me saying it wasn’t valid. I had been sent a new card just before we left home but assumed that as the old card didn’t expire until September it would still be ok to use. Obviously not! My new card was back at the hotel so we traipsed back to Gwazi to collect my bag and travellers cheques.
    By now it was 11.30am and boiling so the QQ passes were becoming essential. We returned to the shop by Sheikra and paid for the passes, quickly dropped off the bags in another locker and headed for the Sheikra line which was nonexistent! Typical as I’ve just paid nearly $50 to get us on quicker!
    I enjoyed Sheikra a lot more than in 2007 as we didn’t have to wait in line for so long but by the time we got off the wait was half an hour so I grinned knowing we could do it again later with our QQ passes.
    The next few hours were spent rushing from one ride to the next to try and fit in as much as possible before our Jungala tour.
    The QQ turned out to be money well spent as the water rides had long and hot lines and we managed to walk past everyone on all of the others while they wilted in the heat. We got soaked!

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    Busch always seems such a big park to me and is always really hot. I always spend a fortune on drinks here and today was no different . We decided to buy the refillable cup again and filled it up many times throughout the day.
    The QQ pass only allows you to ride each attraction once which I thought was a bit of a rip off but as it turned out we didn’t have time for any more than that and wouldn’t have achieved as much as we did without it.
    We stopped for lunch at the Bengal Bistro at 1.30pm, after collecting bags and cameras, so we were in the right area when it was time for our tour. The lunch was expensive and the portions were not the usual American standard but they stopped rumbling tummies!

    Continued...
     
  2. Dizneyblonde
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    Dizneyblonde Secret's Birthday Fairy!

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    We met our guide at the Tiger viewing area and were soon following her backstage to the area where they keep the Tigers at night and during the day when it’s not their turn to be out.
    The tour was fantastic and we took loads of photos.

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    There were a couple of ‘know it alls’ in our party who had ‘been there and done that’ before but we had plenty of opportunity to ask questions and get a close look. We saw the keepers interacting with the tigers and they showed how they do training sessions with them to make it easier to care for them and look after their medical needs. I could have stayed there all day and got quite emotional at being so close to my favourite animal but it was soon time to move on to the Orang-utan section and we did the same sort of thing there watching the trainer interact with the female who was very cute!

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    We spent far longer with our guide than we should have done and she was fantastic. It was a very memorable time and it was quite touching when we were all asked to put a memory bead on their fundraising mural when we finished (each party was given a fridge magnet with the beads attached as part of the tour package)

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    Continued...
     
  3. Dizneyblonde
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    Dizneyblonde Secret's Birthday Fairy!

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    We were now left with 3 hours to do the rest of the park. Using the rest of our QQ tickets we managed to do everything we wanted except Sheikra again. We grabbed a drink first and I sat and watched the kids in the Timbuktu area as I don’t do the Pheonix pirate ship thing!
    From here we went straight over to do Rhino Rally and to my delight the water part was actually working! We haven’t seen this work in the last 3 visits we’ve had and the kids couldn’t remember it so we all enjoyed it, especially Jack as he was chosen to be the navigator.
    We grabbed another refill on the way over to Montu which we all love.

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    We had to wait a bit to ride despite our QQ passes as someone had just deposited their lunch in the front row of seats and all over the floor. The staff cleared it up without a fuss but there was water everywhere when they’d finished and we had to wait while they sent the train round a couple of times to dry off!
    We love Montu so much we decided to use our bonus QQ and do it again.
    I was determined to see some more of the animals while we were here as we always miss them to do the rides so we had a wander around Edge of Africa and got some great shot and film of the hippos and giraffes.

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    We finished of the day by riding Lion and Tiger on Gwazi before refilling our cup with an ice and heading over to the coach which left dead on 7pm
    We had an exhausting day and it was very hot but thanks to the QQ we managed to do most of it in the 8 hours we were there.
    It rained heavily on the way back and we saw a lot of lightening in the distance. Jack started to feel unwell and was very sleepy so we decided not to go out or dinner as planned. Jack stayed at the hotel so he could have a bath and get into bed while Robyn and I went to Walgreens for some supplies. We picked up ham, bread, crisps, coke and ice cream so that we could have a picnic but when we got back Jack was asleep so Robyn and I sat in bed and ate ours!

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    We were both bathed and in bed by 11pm ourselves as we were shattered and didn’t even bother getting our stuff ready for Aquatica the next day. We fell asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow but I was woken up at 11.30pm by someone knocking at the door and trying to get it! Luckily I used every lock there was and the safety bar so they gave up. I was sure it was just someone getting the wrong room and I was so tired I went straight back to sleep!

    Spends
    3 x QQ passes at $14.95 - $47.98 inc tax
    Total - $47.98

    Food
    Lunch
    3 x tender platters @ $8.49 -$25.47
    1x refill $1.79
    Total -$29.17 inc tax

    Drinks
    1 x refill cup $7.16 inc tax
    2 x refills @$1.92 in tax - $3.84
    1 x ice refill - $3.20
    Total - $14.20

    Walgreens picnic
    2 x pint ice cream – 2 for $4
    Loaf bread - $1.99
    9oz ham - $2.50
    2l Pepsi – 99c
    3 x crisps at $1.29 each
    Plastic cutlery – 99c
    2 x Cheese sticks - 2 for $1
    Total – $15.34 inc tax
     
  4. Britchick
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    Britchick Serious Forum Regular

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    they probably added up the first and last 2 numbers to remember their door number :tongue::taunt:

    how much was the tour?
     
  5. Shellyamc
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    Shellyamc Serious Forum Regular

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    Hooray!!!! Sounds great so far and I'm loving the pictures!!!


    moremoremoremoremoremore..
     
  6. Isafari
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    Isafari Wild Animal Expert

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    Brilliant day :thumbsup: We put our memory bead in the eye if the leopard....where did you put yours?
     
  7. Jodie
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    Jodie Addicted to Mickey

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    A lovely, but exhausting day. I love BG.
     
  8. Dizneyblonde
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    Dizneyblonde Secret's Birthday Fairy!

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    It's one of the ones in the close up picture.
    It's in the hand of a monkey.:thumbsup:
     

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