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  • Busch Gardens Tampa is a 335-acre 19th century African-themed animal theme park located in the city of Tampa, Florida. It opened on March 31, 1959 as an admission-free hospitality facility for Tampa Anheuser-Busch; in addition to various beer tastings they had, a bird garden and the Stairway to the Stars which was an escalator that took guests to the roof of the brewery. Busch Gardens continued to grow, and in 1965, opened the 29-acre Serengeti Plains, which allowed the African wildlife to roam freely. It continued to focus on its tropical landscape, exotic animals, and amusements to draw visitors. Busch Gardens began charging admission as the entertainment became more complex, with extra fees for the thrill rides, such as the roller coasters for which Busch Gardens is now known. Alongside sister waterpark Adventure Island, Busch Gardens is the anchor of Tampa’s 365-acre amusement multiplex. Currently Busch Gardens competes with other such parks in Florida and charges comparable fees. The park is operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, majority owned by the private equity firm Blackstone Group. Busch Gardens is currently accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

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Freebase Commons Zoos and Aquariums /zoos

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