It was Busch's first theme park, followed by Busch Gardens Los Angeles in 1966, Busch Gardens Houston in 1971 and Busch Gardens Williamsburg in 1975. (The Houston park closed in 1972 and the LA park in 1976, though both operated in a diminished capacity for a few years after those park close dates.)
But the Tampa facility wasn't the first "Busch Gardens." The original Busch Gardens was just that, a garden, though an elaborate 36-acre one, that stood on the Busch family property in Pasadena, Calif. Located in the Arroyo Seco just south of the Rose Bowl, the Busch garden eventually was subdivided now includes private homes as well as parkland. (You can find photos of the original Busch Gardens here and here.)
Anyway, you get the Pasadena info, 'cause that's where I am. If anyone in Florida is at Busch Gardens in Tampa today and would like to post an account of how the park marked the anniversary, please do in the comments. Thanks, and happy birthday, Busch Gardens!
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