Below are noteworthy events from Busch Gardens Tampa’s history that occurred in the month of January.

Specific Dates:

  • 1st – (2012) Coca-Cola becomes the “Official Refreshment Beverage” of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, which includes Busch Gardens Tampa. The 10-year agreement replaced Pepsi products with Coca-Cola brand beverages at all locations in the park. (SeaWorld Parks 12/16/2011)
  • 1st – (2019) Park begins the Year of Beer offering guests 21 and over two free samples of beer per day through the end of the year. (Twitter 1/1/2019)
  • 2nd – (2019) Park offers BOGO Fun Card offer, where guests can purchase a 2019 Fun Card for Busch Gardens and receive an Adventure Island Fun Card for free. (Twitter 1/2/2019)
  • 3rd – (2016) Last operating day for Sifting Sands, the play area, and Pyramid Joe’s concession stand, both located in the Egypt section.
  • 4th – (2016) The entire Egypt section of the park is temporarily closed as part of the Cobra’s Curse project. Sifting Sands and Pyramid Joe’s are removed. Montu goes through a refurbishment, which includes repainting much of the track.
  • 5th – (2014) Pele, one of the park’s female gorillas, delivers a stillborn baby.
  • 5th – (2015) Three admission offers are released including: free Adventure Island Fun Card with purchase of Busch Gardens Fun Card (adults $95, children 3 to 9 $90; offer available through March 2); free Preschool Pass for children 5 and younger to Busch Gardens and SeaWorld (registration originally available through June 30, extended to July 1); Any 2 Parks for $99 valid through May 22, 2015 at Busch Gardens, Adventure Island, SeaWorld, or Aquatica. (Press Release, Twitter 2/25/2015, 6/29/2015, 7/1/2015)
  • 8th – (2018) The Busch Gardens Discovery Guide app receives a major update and becomes a streamlined version of the current website, removing most of the features it previously had (including wait times and Quick Pay). (Twitter)
  • 11th – (2019) Park announces return of Preschool Card, allowing guests age 3 to 5 free admission to Busch Gardens and Adventure Island through the end of 2019. Registration was required by May 19. (Twitter 1/11/2019 & BG Free Preschool Card)
  • 12th – (2008) Jambo Junction officially opens to guests.
  • 14th – (2010) Hard Hat Tour for media & invited guests held to show progress on Sesame Street Safari of Fun.
  • 16th – (2011) A male Mexican beaded lizard named Gaspar is born.
  • 16th – (2017) Stewart Clark becomes President of Busch Gardens & Adventure Island, replacing Jim Dean who held the position since 2010. Clark was previously the Vice President of Discovery Cove. Dean moves to President of SeaWorld, Discovery Cove, and Aquatica in Orlando. (Press Release)
  • 17th – February 1st – (1982) Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales visit park with appearances from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. (Ledger 1/15/1982)
  • 21st – (1984) Park hosts Super Bowl fan party from 8 p.m. to midnight. The separate ticket event features games, special activities and four rock bands including the Bobby Friss Band and the Critics. Park attractions also open. Tickets available in advance at Camelot Music stores for $6.95, at the gate for $7.95. (Ledger 1/13/1984 & 1/20/1984)
  • 21st – (2011) Tony nominee and American Idol finalist Constantine Maroulis visits the park along with cast members from Rock of Ages show performing at local venue. (Busch Gardens 1/21/2011)
  • 22nd – (1985) Eagle Canyon habitat opens.
  • 23rd – (2012) Animal Care Center officially opens to guests.
  • 24th – (2011) The Busch Gardens twitter account (@BuschGardens) changes to tweeting only about the Tampa park. (Busch Gardens 1/24/2011)
  • 25th – (1980) Timbuktu officially opens to guests, with new rides, the Festhaus, a dolphin show, and more.
  • 25th – (1986) SimSim, a male gorilla, is born at Yerkes Primate Center. He was moved to Busch Gardens’ Myombe Reserve in 1992.
  • 26th – (2018) After previously stating it would not be offered in 2018, the park announces the return of the Preschool Card.
  • Registration was required by May 20. (Twitter 1/12/2018, 1/26/2018, 5/19/2018)
  • 27th – 29th – (1978) The Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales visit the park, on display throughout the weekend and also on parade daily.
  • 27th – (2012) Female giraffe born to Jafari & Cupid.

During the Month:

  • 1972 – Admission listed at $2 for adults, 50 cents for children under 12. Parking is free. Open daily, hours 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. (Ledger 1/28/1972)
  • 1980 – Admission listed as $9.35 per person, with children ages 3 and under free. (Lakeland Ledger 1/26/1980)
  • 1981 – Admission listed as $10.10 per person, with children under 3 free. Parking is $1. (Ledger 1/9/1981)
  • 1982 – Park launches new “Adventures with Animals” learning program aimed at area youth groups. Cost is $2 per child. (Ledger 1/15/1982)
  • 1982 – Late in the month, admission listed at $11.50 + tax per person, with children under 3 free. Parking is $1. Regular hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Ledger 1/29/1982)
  • 1984 – Advertisement for park as Busch Gardens, The Dark Continent with 17 rides including Congo River Rapids, The Python, and Monstrous Mamba. (Milwaukee Sentinel 1/23/1984)
  • 1984 – Near the end of the month, admission listed at $13.50 per person, with children 2 and under admitted free. Parking is $1. Regular park hours of 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. (Ledger 1/27/1984)
  • 2001 – Fun Card returns for second season, available for Florida residents for the price of a single day admission – at $47.95 for adults, $38.95 for children age 3 to 9 (+ tax). Allows unlimited admission through December 26, 2001 with exception of April 13 – 15. Offer available through April 6. (Ultimate Rollercoaster 1/7/2001)
  • 2003 – Admission listed at $51.95 for adults, $42.95 for children ages 3 to 9, plus tax. (Lakeland Ledger 1/17/2003)
  • 2011 – Busch Gardens Tampa launches its own official blog. (Busch Gardens 1/24/2011)
  • 2012 – The 2012 Fun Card was priced at $79.99 for adults and $71.99 for children age 3 – 9. A free Preschool Pass for Busch Gardens and SeaWorld was introduced for Florida residents age 5 or younger. Stroller parking and a price reduction of kids’ meals to $5.99 were also part of the promotion. (Press Release)
  • 2013 – New mobile website is launched with new features, including geo-location capabilities and streamlined mobile purchasing. (Busch Gardens 1/17/2013)
  • 2014 – Park designates January as Pass Member Appreciation Month. Special offers include Bring a Friend Free ticket with online registration and a 30% discount on food, beverage and merchandise. Sterling Value pass members could also receive a free dessert with entree purchase at Zambia Smokehouse. (Busch Gardens 1/2/2014)
  • 2016 – New “Choose Your Adventure” ticket option for tourists for Busch Gardens Tampa, Adventure Island, SeaWorld Orlando, and Aquatica. Online advance pricing is $79 for one visit, $99 for two visits, $109 for three visits, or Length-of-Stay ticket for $139 which provides 14 days of unlimited admission to each of the four parks plus free general parking at each location. Florida Resident offer valid through February 29, 2016 for BOGO Fun Card, where guest received free Adventure Island Fun Card with purchase of Busch Gardens Tampa Fun Card. (Busch Gardens 1/5/2016)
  • 2017 – Park offers BOGO Fun Card, where guests could purchase a 2017 Busch Gardens Fun Card and receive an Adventure Island Fun Card for free. Offer available through April 30. The park also announced the return of the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Preschool Card, where guests five and under could receive free admission from January 4 to December 21, 2017. (Busch Gardens 1/6/2017 & Twitter 4/30/2017)