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

Specific Dates:

  • 1st – (1976) Python, the park’s first roller coaster, officially opens to guests in the Stanleyville section of the park (later Congo, present day Jungala).
  • 4th – (1997) Edge of Africa officially opens to guests.
  • 4th – (2018) Guest struck by stray bullet believed to originate from celebratory gunfire outside of the park. (ABC Action News 7/5/2018)
  • 6th – (2014) Cheetah Hunt was featured in an episode of Insane Coaster Wars on Travel Channel.
  • 7th – (2015) A male white-bearded wildebeest is born at the park.
  • 8th – (2012) Insane Coaster Wars series debuts on Travel Channel, with SheiKra and Montu featured in the first two episodes.
  • 10th – 12th – (2014) Coca-Cola visits the park as part of their Share A Coke campaign, where guests could get a free personalized mini-can of Coca-Cola in the Gwazi Plaza area. (Twitter 7/10 & 7/12/2014)
  • 10th – (2015) Two admission offers introduced: $15 Busch Bucks with purchase of 2015 Fun Card available through September 7; Pass Members & Fun Card holders can bring two friends for $25 each through August 16, 2015. (Press Release & Twitter 8/29/2015)
  • 14th – (2017) A new design for the Busch Gardens Tampa website debuts. (Twitter 7/14/2017)
  • 15th – (1998) A press event is held to announce the addition of Gwazi, which would open the following June.
  • 17th – (2011) A female eland calf is born.
  • 18th – (2015) A female Grant’s gazelle is born at the park.
  • 20th – (2015) Park announces that TripAdvisor recognizes Busch Gardens as one of the Top Amusement Parks in the World, and an award from USA Today 10Best Reader’s Choice poll for Iceploration in the category of Best Amusement Park Entertainment. (Press Release)
  • 22nd – (2020) Park offers complimentary single-day admission for U.S. veterans and up to three dependents. Tickets are valid through November 11, with online registration required by August 12, later extended to August 30. (Twitter 7/22/2020, 8/10/2020 & BGT Veteran Discount)
  • 24th – (2006) A man dies from an apparent heart attack after riding Gwazi.
  • 25th – (1957) Anheuser-Busch announces it will build a new brewery in Tampa, having purchased a 160-acre tract of land on the former Henderson Airport site.
  • 26th – (1977) Congo area officially opens, including new Claw Island, African Queen Boat Ride, and Swinging Vines attractions, along with Python and Monstrous Mamba that opened in previous year.
  • 26th – August 1st – (2010) AAA Members received early admission to the park. (Twitter 7/22/2010)
  • 26th – (2018) Park announces the extension of the free beer promotion through August 24, 2019. It was previously scheduled to end on August 11. (Twitter 7/26/2019)
  • 30th – August 3rd – (1983) Helga Steinboch Studios of Vienna, Austria, demonstrates 19th century craft of enameling daily at noon, 2, 4, and 6 pm. (Ledger 7/29/1983)
  • 30th – (2012) A male eland calf is born.
  • 31st – (2020) USA Today’s 10Best Awards for several categories are announced, with the park winning several including #1 Best Non-Roller Coaster Ride for Falcon’s Fury, fifth-best amusement park in the country, and ninth-best roller coaster for Montu. (Twitter 7/31/2020)



During the Month:

  • 1972 – Admission listed as $3.75 for adults, $2.50 for children age 6 to 11, and $1 for children under 6. Parking is free. Open daily, hours 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Ledger 7/2/1972)
  • 1973 – Admission listed at $4.25 for adults, $3 for children age 5 to 11, and free for children under 5. Parking is free. Summer hours of 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Ledger 7/6/1973)
  • 1976 – Admission listed at $6.50 for adults, $5.50 for children age 4 to 11, free for children under 4. Summer hours are listed as 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, with return to 6 p.m. closings after Labor Day. (Ledger 7/16/1976)
  • 1977 – Joe Fisher is general manager. Hours are listed as 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m through September 5. Admission listed at $7 for all ages with children under 3 admitted free. Prices for various food items include 35 to 50 cents for cold drinks, 35 cents for popcorn, 50 cents for french fries, 50 to 65 cents for ice cream, $1.25 for a slice of pizza, $1.35 for a hamburger and fries, $2.50 to $2.75 for sandwich platters with potato salad. (St. Petersburg Times 7/29/1977 & Ledger 7/15/1977)
  • 1978 – Admission listed at $7.25, free for children 3 and under. Parking is $1. Summer hours are 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Ledger 7/14/1978)
  • 1980 – Admission listed as $9.35 per person, with children under 3 free. Parking is $1. Summer hours are 9:30 a.m. to dusk daily. (Ledger 7/4/1980)
  • 1981 – Park hours over summer are 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., part of new summer night lighting program, which runs through August 23. Annual pass cost $30. (Temple Terrace Beacon, 7/23/1981)
  • 1982 – Admission listed at $11.75 per person, children 2 and under free. Parking is $1. (Ledger 7/9/1982)
  • 1992 – Park hours were 9:30 to at least 6 p.m., with later hours for the summer. Daily admission is $26.95 plus tax, $22.95 plus tax for children age 3 to 9. Parking is $3. (The Morning Call, 7/19/1992)
  • 2014 – Busch Gardens Discovery Guide app updated to include Quick Pay, which allowed guests to connect a credit card and use the app to pay at most culinary and merchandise locations at the park. (Busch Gardens 7/21/2014)
  • 2015 – Early in the month, new signage in the entrance plaza is installed designating three different zones. Zone A includes the self-service kiosks on either side of the courtyard, Zone B includes the main ticket booths an EZ Pay windows, and Zone C encompasses the bag check and entry gates. (PATP 8/2/2015)
  • 2015 – Several weeks of particularly rainy and stormy weather caused frequent attraction closures and even early park closings of 9 p.m. instead of midnight on July 24 & 25. (PATP 8/2/2015)
  • 2017 – The park updated its smoking policy to prohibit the use of marijuana anywhere on the property. (Twitter 7/21/2017)