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