Busch Gardens vs SeaWorld

Have any of you been to either of these parks while on a Disney World vacation? We’ve been to Disney and Universal many times, and were considering keeping our options open to possibly trying one of these two on the next Disney trip. I am aware of the distances between both parks and Disney, so that is not an issue. In your opinions, are they worth a trip, and if only able to choose one, which would you say is a better park?

We used to do these YEARS AGO. Personally I think Sea World has been given a bad wrap so - glad that you are supporting them. I remember Sea World being very clean and fun. I also remember having a blast at Busch Gardens.

Give them a shot. I would think SW is closer so if given the two perhaps that one. But we used to do them and always liked them. I think it is fun to mix it up.

I have never been to either, but always see the signs on the highway and wonder if they’re worth a try.

Sea World is a lot of fun we went a few years ago. You must see the walrus show.

Went to both last July

For me seaworld is a big part of the orlando experience and we would always go. First time we’ve been to busch gardens

They were both great and it’s possible to get fast passes for both which helps ensure you can do everything you want without queues

One tip is to stay at renaissance seaworld for this part of the trip

A very short walk across the road to seaworld and also a short walk to a shuttle to busch gardens and this shuttle is the closest to busch gardens

We also did discovery cove which is also brilliant but very expensive

And we did universal 2 nights

We fit in lot into a 11 night holiday but these places are all great and wouldn’t want to miss them

If you do only have time for one then I say seaworld

Been to both, I’m more of a coaster girl so I’d pick BG. The rides at SW are great but there aren’t many.

Been to both. We like SeaWorld better, but Busch Gardens is great, too. We are into marine and wildlife, and think the ‘lower key’ atmosphere at SeaWorld mixes better with WDW than Busch Gardens does when done as part of a larger mixed vacation. BG does have an excellent safari (additional cost- worth it IMHO), but is more focused on typical amusement park rides once you get beyond that. They do have additional ‘zoo like’ offerings- but they are fairly similar to the offerings at AK (which is one of the reasons the AK was built in the first place- to keep the tourist dollars at WDW). SW has a better mix of marine life shows and exhibits mixed in with typical amusement park attractions for our tastes. Even though we are less than an hour away from BG, and it is about 2 hours to SW- we would still go to SW if we could pick only one (luckily we don’t have to). Both are excellent- and it comes down to your personal tastes- so research the offerings at the parks and pick the one YOU think will be best.

I love them both. Both have rides and animals; BG has more rides, SW has more animal shows. If you’re going to AK, you may be disappointed in the BG animal enclosures - except for the tigers, which are much easier to see at BG. You can also pet a kangaroo. But BG definitely wins for coasters and thrill rides. Of course SW is 20 min from WDW and BG is 90…

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Any suggestions regarding how many days at BG and SW? I see a 3 day ticket in which I can break it up between the two?

Were it me, I would go 2 at BG and 1 at SW.


I agree.

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Thanks! I think that changes what airport I will fly into. It may mean three resorts but I am ok with that.

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I was looking into the prices, and for a little more, you can add the dining plan for SW. I’ve never added a dining plan at Universal or Disney. Is it worth it there? What about their version of express pass is it worth it? I’m only asking because I have no idea what crowds and lines are usually like. I don’t think there is a crowd calendar, or way to check wait times. Unless I’m wrong.

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For future reference, on Black Friday (they call it ‘Blue Friday’)- they have a ‘buy one get one 1/2 off’ on all day dining. It has come up for the past couple of years along with a bunch of other Blue Friday specials. Good to keep this information in your ‘back pocket’ for future trips. Won’t help anyone with an upcoming trip- but it is good to at least know about it for future trips.

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BG and SW both have massive play areas for children if you are travelling with younger ones. There are huge climbing nets, special rides , splash zones etc. DD loved them and it provides an opportunity for one parent to go on a few of the bigger rides whilst they play :slight_smile:
BG has more ‘big’ coasters than SW, but SW has the best IMHO

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I’m really glad to see people wanting to go to SW. I remember it being a lot of fun and the company does a lot of wonderful conservation work.

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Re how many days at each park

I would get express passes at each one and do one day each park

Other things we paid extra for that were brilliant were the tiger encounter at busch gardens. That was amazing

And lunch with shamu was also brilliant

You certainly only need 1 day at each park with the fast passes and a plan

I certainly wouldn’t do 2 days at busch gardens due to the travelling there and back

If budget is an issue maybe just express pass busch gardens out of the 2 of them as less rides to worry about getting on at seaworld

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We are planing a Busch Gardens diversion trip this summer. Can you tell me more about the tiger encounter? We did the whale encounter at Sea World and that was pretty awesome.

We went to both the last time we were in Florida. We only needed one day at each. As pp have said BG has more thrill rides for sure. The drive down was not a big deal. We also did the safari and got to feed the giraffes which was amazing!!

Yes we also did the safari and fed the giraffes. Which Is great as well.

With the tigers you go inside their indoor enclosure and are literally a couple of metres from them. Their handler gives a great talk and then takes you through numerous interactions that the handlers have with each tiger daily to keep them healthy and monitor them etc.

You then watch them being fed and get to see their huge size when they stand on their rear legs etc

It was very special to see and really interesting. Very impressive the amount of work and thought that goes into how they are looked after etc. It lasts about 30 minutes. Very good relationship between the handlers and the tigers as well.

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