As a veteran of Busch Gardens (and all the rest of the Central Florida theme parks), I like to travel light. There are a few things I always bring because they make life much easier. Here are three necessities for spending the day at Busch:
1) Quarters for the lockers. You cannot carry things on the major coasters. Sure, there are places to leave your items while you ride, but are you really going to leave your cell phone or other equally valuable items in unattended bins? You can put things in your pockets, but unless you have cargo shorts with fasteners, you run the risk of losing them. Instead, bring along some quarters for the lockers near SkeiKra, Montu, Cheetah Hunt, and the other big rides. You can always get change for paper money, but I find it much easier to have the quarters on hand.
Depending on what you put in the locker and you strategy for the day, you can leave things in a locker near one ride early on and return for them later. For example, we sometimes start on SheiKra and stash our things in a locker over there. Then we ride the other rides, go back for one last SheikRa ride, and pick our items up. There are also all-day lockers at the front of the park that cost a little more and let you open them as many times as you wish for that price.
I keep my necessities (money, park pass, drivers license) in a lanyard, which you can wear on the coasters if you tuck it into your shirt.
2) Water bottle. It’s expensive to buy drinks at a theme park. I love sports drinks but hate paying several dollars for something I can get for a buck at Publix. There are plenty of fountains throughout the park, but on a hot summer day you sometimes get thirsty when none is handy. I resolve this by bringing a water water and refilling it throughout the day. There are small ones that fit nicely in your pocket; if you bring a big one, you’ll have to leave it in a bin at the coasters. The only drawback is that the water gets lukewarm as you carry it around, but any liquid tastes good when the temperatures are in the 90s. When I want something really, really cold, I treat myself to one of those pricey beverages.
3) Rain poncho. They sell these in the park, but you won’t necessarily be near a store when it starts raining. Wal-Mart, Target and similar stores sell them very cheap, so I always stock up and have them on hand for sudden showers. They’re also handy if you get a sudden desire to ride a water ride without getting soaked to the skin.
In addition to a poncho, I try to be ready for the rain by wearing flip-flops so I won’t have wet, squishy shoes if it pours, since ponchos do little to protect your feet. The only problem with that strategy is that you have to take off shoes without fasteners when riding SheiKra and Montu, so be aware of that inconvenience. When the weather is nice, I like to come to the park in my comfy Skechers, with a spare pair of flip-flops in the car. We have Platinum passes, so we get to park near the entrance. If the weather starts looking iffy, I return to the car and switch my shoes.
Maybe you don’t need to worry about stashing your belongings while riding coasters because you’re on the timid side. Click here to read about what Busch Gardens has to offer you. Click here to read more of my articles, and click here to follow me on Twitter. Click here to sign up for my pets newsletter if you love animals, and click here for my Pet Supplies & Product Reviews site on About.com. I’ve taken over 80 Disney cruises and can book yours and give you a special stateroom credit. Visit www.dclexpert.com.