Busch Gardens is the name of two amusement parks in the United States, owned and operated by SeaWorld Entertainment, a division of Blackstone Group. One of the parks is in Williamsburg, Virginia, and the other is in Tampa, Florida. There were also previously Busch Gardens parks in Pasadena, California (1905–1937), Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California (1964–1979) and Houston, Texas (1971–1973).
Busch Gardens parks were initially developed as marketing vehicles for Anheuser-Busch and featured hospitality houses with samples of Anheuser-Busch products. They also included stables that housed many of the company's Clydesdale horses, which have been associated with Anheuser-Busch since 1933. Eventually, rides and attractions were added to the parks and over time were developed into full theme parks while still promoting Anheuser-Busch. Busch Entertainment Corporation, now called SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, was created as a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch Companies to run the various parks in 1959.
Busch Gardens Tampa
Busch Gardens Tampa opened on March 31, 1959, and has an African theme. The park was originally tagged "The Dark Continent." The theme park is one of America's largest zoological institutions, with 335 acres (136 ha) and more than 2,700 animals. Attractions include: Rhino Rally, Montu, Kumba, Scorpion, Gwazi, Edge of Africa, Jungala, Sand Serpent, Congo River Rapids, Tanganyika Tidal Wave, Stanley Falls, Serengeti Railway, Phoenix, also a new Sesame Street, and SheiKra, a vertical dive coaster which opened in 2005. In 2011, the park added Cheetah Hunt - a triple launch roller coaster. The theme park is some distance away from downtown, in central Tampa, near the limits of the City of Temple Terrace to the east of Tampa.