Our "which is better" vote for the day also functions as a proxy battle over the better brand in the SeaWorld Entertainment portfolio, so let's throw that question into the mix, as well. The two parks stand next to each other on the most recent TEA/AECOM attendance list, at numbers 10 and 11 among North American parks. As corporate siblings, you can buy a variety of multi-day tickets and passes that will get you into both. So for many visitors, this isn't an "either/or" question but rather one of "which one first?"
But I am going to ask you to pick one.
Will it be SeaWorld Orlando with collection of marine mammal exhibits... or Busch Gardens Tampa and its African-themed collection of land animals? The convenience of SeaWorld's location between the Universal and Disney resorts... or the chance to get away to Tampa and maybe the nearby Gulf coast beaches across the bay? Or, should we just acknowledge what's the real draw for most visitors these days and ask whether you prefer SeaWorld's or Busch Gardens' roller coaster line-up?
Both parks offer music, food, and beer festivals throughout the year. Both offer Sesame Street-themed lands for the kids. Both have worked hard since getting abandoned by former owner Anheuser-Busch to appeal to locals as well as tourists by holding the line on admission and pass prices. And both had highly anticipated coasters ready to open before the world shut down, with Premier Rides' Icebreaker at SeaWorld and the record-setting Iron Gwazi from Rocky Mountain Construction at Busch Gardens.
But each park has its own, unique atmosphere, helping them to win loyal fans who, I hope, will be eager to argue on behalf of their favorite in the comments.Tweet
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