A little closer to home.

busch

Most of my travel posts will be about our 2014 Europe trip, but today I wanted to talk about a place a little closer to home.

While Disney World will always and forever be the most magical place on earth to me, my husband and I also have passes to Busch Gardens/SeaWorld and this last weekend we took an impulsive trip to SeaWorld to celebrate my husband winning a competition he was in.

We have never really considered getting Disney World passes because they run about $500 each. We’d love to have them at least once before we move our of Florida, but until we do, the Busch Gardens & SeaWorld annual pass is much more affordable, and through J’s work, we get significant discounts off the full price.

J loves Busch Gardens because it has several roller coasters, including Sheikra, an intense freefall ride that makes my stomach roll over, drop, jump, and then roll over again. I refuse to ever ride it again. I do love the animal exhibits though — you get a zoo and a theme park in the same place!

But of the two parks, without a doubt I prefer SeaWorld. I love the dolphin and killer whale shows so much — I could seriously sit and watch every show they play all day. But if I did, I would miss other amazing things — like feeding dolphins, like we did on this last trip. We were too mesmerized to take pictures (and too cheap to buy the ones the photographer took) but it was incredible. I have now fed and petted a dolphin. Check that off the bucket list. 

We also got the souvenir cups that both parks offer, that once you pay the initial $6 for the cup, every refill is only 99 cents (not including J’s  discount). It pays for itself SO quickly if you have passes. They also have the amazing new Coke machines that have every flavor combination you can imagine. I recommend raspberry lemonade.

Last December, we also went to SeaWorld’s Christmas party (no extra charge!) and it was great. They had a Polar Express ride, hot chocolate, ice skating show (my weakness), a Christmas killer whale show, and a Christmas tree light show. I have a thing about Christmas — the thing being that it’s my favorite holiday and I look forward to it every year starting December 26th. Nothing can top Disney’s Very Merry Christmas Party, but this one was delightful as well!

Anyway —  if you’re in the Tampa/Orlando area and can’t afford a Disney pass, consider a Busch/SeaWorld pass! Especially if you have a friend who works there who can get you a discount. 😉

Blue Horizons

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