12 Things To Do With A Preschooler At Busch Gardens

When my husband first had the idea to take our daughters (ages 8 and 4) to Busch Gardens for my oldest’s birthday, I wondered if there was enough for us to do for a full day. It had been more than 10 years since my last visit, and all I could remember were the awesome rollercoasters. Not a fit for my 8 year old who doesn’t do fast and my dare-devil 4 year old who is just 42 inches tall. After spending a full day at Busch Gardens I was thrilled to discover how much the park has to offer kids of all ages and interests. There are lots of things to do with a preschooler at Busch Gardens.

Busch Gardens Preschool Pass
Although my list focuses on the preschool age, nearly all of the items were also a perfect fit for my 8 year old who has no interest in rollercoasters. Thanks to Busch Gardens for providing park tickets for our adventure.

If you are going with a preschooler, be sure to check out Busch Gardens Preschool Pass. The Preschool Pass offers free admission for kids up to five years old. 

12 Things To Do With A Preschooler At Busch Gardens

Front Row Parking – The best tip I received before we arrived was from my cousin who clued me into Busch Gardens’ stroller parking. When paying for parking ($18 per car), let the parking attendant know you have a stroller and you will be directed to “follow the blue line.”

Instead of parking and taking a tram to the park entrance, you will be directed to park in one of the first few rows so you can walk with your stroller directly to the entrance. No folding your stroller for the tram ride. Awesome perk for families.

Note – There is limited stroller parking, so if you arrive later in the day it could be full. 

Gwazi Gliders – The very first ride we encountered was the Gwazi Gliders and both girls were thrilled to climb onboard and ride while mom and dad watched from below. They felt like such big girls riding “alone.” My favorite part was that the seat belts must be unlocked with a key, so kids cannot get loose on their own. 

Busch Gardens Gwazi Gliders
Explore The Wild Life – The only kid-friendly thing I remembered about Busch Gardens were the many animal exhibits, and 10+ years later the animals didn’t disappoint. On the Serengeti Plain, hundreds of animals including rhinos, zebra, antelope, giraffe, wildebeest, birds and more roam free in a 65-acre natural habitat. (Best seen by Sky Ride and Train, see below.) For a more unique encounter, Jambo Junction offers animal meet and greets or visit the Walkabout Way for a chance to feed kangaroos! 

Busch Gardens Kangaroo
Choo-Choo – Climb aboard the Serengeti Railway for a chance to explore the Serengeti Plain. This relaxing ride makes stops at three train stations throughout the park, so you can hop on and off as you please. Or take a round trip ride all the way around the park to see all of the animals. 

Sky Ride – My favorite Busch Garden memories include a ride on the Sky Ride. I am so glad this high-in-the-sky ride is still running. The gondola lift style cars glide smoothly over the Serengeti Plain providing a birds-eye-view of the animals below. Each cable car holds up to three adults and one child. 

Note – Each ride is one way, so you either need to stand in line twice or walk back to get your stroller. 

Busch Gardens Sky Ride
Sesame Street Safari of Fun – In addition to family-friendly rides throughout the park, there is an entire area dedicated to preschool play. The Sesame Street Safari of Fun is home to pint-sized rides, a climbing area, a splash pad, meet and greets and more. And everything is sized for the preschool crowd – there is even a kid-size roller coaster. 

Note – While older siblings can join in the fun on several rides, a couple of rides have height maximums that kept my 48 inch daughter watching from the sidelines. 

Busch Gardens Sesame Street Safari of Fun
Show Time – Sit back and relax as you take in a show. In addition to a show starting Elmo and friends, little ones will enjoy the ice show, Iceploration, and animal show, Opening Night Critters. Inside Dragon Fire Grill, guests will find Italian, American, Southwestern and Asian cuisine as well as a stage show featuring belly dancers. 

Get Wet – Although it was too chilly the day we visited, Congo River Rapids is a fun way to cool off on a hot summer day — you will get wet. Twist and turn down the river as you experience the thrill of rapids, and get drenched in the process. Riders must be 42 inches to ride.  

Bumper Cars – Sometimes old-fashion fun is still the best kind of fun. My daughters experienced their very first bumper cars at Busch Gardens and they were all smiles and giggles as they rammed full speed into mom and dad. Must be 42 inches to ride with mom or dad and 48 inches to ride alone. 

Busch Gardens Bumper Cars
Grand Carousel Caravan – In addition to the mini carousel in Sesame Street Safari of Fun, there is also a full-size carousel in Pantopia where kids and adults can climb aboard a traditional carousel for a spin. A must-ride attraction according to my kids. 

Upside Down – For our daring 4 year old, the highlight of her day was learning she was tall enough at 42 inches to ride Scorpion. Not only was it her first upside-down roller coaster, it was also my first upside-down roller coaster back in the ’80s. Although the thrill aspect of the ride didn’t faze her (she loved going upside down), it is a rougher ride than some of the newer coasters, and she didn’t love getting jostled so much. But it was still her first upside-down coaster! 

(That’s me in row six.)

Busch Gardens Scorpion
Special Souvenirs – Like any theme park Busch Gardens has its fair share of shops filled with souvenirs of all kinds. While we did get each girl a special stuffed friend for a birthday treat, we typically opt for the collectible pressed pennies and the old-fashion plastic molds. My girls love to fill their pressed penny book with pennies from everywhere we visit and the plastic molds were always a special treat when I was a kid. Look for several penny machines and plastic molds throughout the park.

(For those who don’t know, you have to hold your mold upside down for a minute while it hardens.)

Busch Gardens Plastic Animal Molds
Note – If you are celebrating a birthday be sure to pick up a free birthday button at the front of the park.

Busch Gardens Birthday Button
Everyone had a great time at Busch Gardens, so much fun mom and dad didn’t even miss the roller coasters! There are so many things to do with preschool kids at Busch Gardens. I am sure we didn’t even do it all. What are you favorite rides and attractions for preschoolers at Busch Gardens?

1 thought on “12 Things To Do With A Preschooler At Busch Gardens”

  1. Lovely Busch garden where your kids can enjoy with their friends. Good idea and your children are beautiful! Busch Garden offers attractions for all ages. This Kid-Friendly Attractions will give your children hours of fun, designed just for them. Of course your kid will enjoy.


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