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Day Trip: Adventure Island

Adventure Island, not to be confused with Universal’s Islands of Adventure, is Busch Garden’s water park and is a great time.

Quick Info:
Location: 10001 N. McKinley Drive, Tampa, FL 33612
Admission: Ages 3 and Up $54.99 | Children 2 and Under FREE
Hours: Varies (check on website), Open Seasonally
Phone:  813-884-4FUN
Website: https://adventureisland.com/tampa/

Quick Tips:

  • Always buy your tickets online as they are always more expensive at the gate.
  • If you live in the Tampa area and plan on going a few times then you should get the annual pass.
  • If you only plan on going once and don’t have a specific date in mind, keep you eye on their website as they offer deeply discounted flash deals every once in a while.

It took me a number of years to finally make my first visit here because I was so enamored by Busch Gardens across the street, but eventually I went, found it was awesome, and am now a proud annual pass holder.

A few highlights of the 30 acre water park: the Colossal Curl, Rambling Bayou, Runaway Rapids, and Splash Attack.

Colossal Curl—the Colossal Curl is the newest slide to join the water park, and it is massive. It is a tube slide that seats up for four people and boasts funnels and twists and turns. This is the current king of Adventure Island.

Rambling Bayou—I’m a sucker for lazy rivers, and the Rambling Bayou is no different. It lazily meanders throughout the park for a glorious half mile. I like that I can use this as a lazy way to get to the various slides located around the park.

Runaway Rapids—this is my favorite part of the park, partly because it is plain fun and partly because my boy loves it so much. There are five water slides, but to get to them you have to swim through a pool, “climb” up a water mountain, and then chose which path to pursue to find your preferred slides. Slides #1 and #2 an adult is allowed to go down with their child. On slides #3, #4, and #5 you are on your own.

Splash Attack—this attraction is purely for the kids. It’s a water fort/structure that allows the kids to climb up through different elements, shoot water at each other, and go down water slides.

This is certainly a seasonal day trip, as the park is closed winters and only open weekends during the off-season. The time it shines is during its Island Nights celebration during the heart of the summer, in which the park is open until 9:00pm every single night. Starting at 5:00pm there is live music, stilt walkers, sand sculptures, and other stuff too depending on the night. Yes, in my humble opinion, the Island Nights celebration is the best time to attend.

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