Tampa's Adventure Island Moves to Year-Round Operation

September 8, 2021, 2:17 PM · Busch Gardens Tampa Bay's Adventure Island water park now will remain open year round, the park announced today.

The park will be adding heaters to help ensure that its pools, lazy river and water slides remain comfortable throughout the year. Previously, Adventure Island had closed in the winter, but its new schedule will make Busch Gardens Tampa Bay a two-gate destination all year long. That could help the parks' visibility with both locals and tourists who visit central Florida during the winter months.

Busch Gardens Tampa will open its long-awaited Iron Gwazi roller coaster next February, so having Adventure Island - and its heated water attractions - open at the same time could help drive attendance during what is normally a slower time of year, between the Christmas and spring break holidays.

Adventure Island also announced today that it will open Hang Ten Tiki Bar on Friday. The park's first full-service bar will offer sparking and frozen cocktails, more than 20 international and local Florida-distilled rums, local craft beers, as well as non-alcoholic juices that can be served in souvenir Tiki cups.

Hang Ten Tiki Bar
Photo courtesy Busch Garden

Bar bites will include a Tiki Man soft pretzel, empanadas, and a smoked fish dip with pineapple relish. Adventure Island is located across McKinley Drive from Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and last year opened the Solar Vortex dual-tailspin water slide.

Ticket Icon To buy discounted tickets to Adventure Island and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, please visit our authorized partner's Adventure Island tickets and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay tickets pages.

Replies (6)

September 8, 2021 at 3:04 PM

I'm not sure if there's really that much demand to maintain a year-round schedule in Tampa. I can see the Orlando water parks staying open year-round to encourage multi-day visits even during the cooler months, but there isn't the same tourist base in the Tampa area. Also, won't this undercut Aquatica with a number of locals from Tampa/St Pete now with a closer water park option?

September 8, 2021 at 3:38 PM

Russell -- I thought the same thing. A million years ago, when I worked at Wet 'n Wild, we were often closed ten or more days a month during the winter months due to poor weather and very low crowds. Disney always closes one of their parks for rehab during the winter months when crowds are sparse. I just cannot see the demand for a year-round water park in Tampa, and one that will compete with their sister waterpark during the colder, more sparsely attend months of the year.

September 8, 2021 at 3:53 PM

I think this comes down to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay not wanting to be the last single-gate theme park in central Florida. Heck, even Legoland Florida is adding another gate with Peppa Pig next year. From a promotional standpoint in this ultra-competitive market, it's better to tell consumers that you're planning to be open every day than making people wonder when your season starts.

September 8, 2021 at 8:37 PM

1. Tampa/St Pete has plenty of tourists in the winter months (it has beaches that Orlando doesn’t)
2. Although the beach may be warm enough the water may not, so an option to spend a day at a water park nearby is viable esp with kids
3. Most people from the local area aren’t going to Orlando water parks - free beach vs $ water park is an easy choice

September 9, 2021 at 6:39 AM

The water may be heated, but the air isn't.

And if you've ever been to Adventure Island on a very low crowd day, staffing is bare minimum. Good luck getting something to eat. And it isn't uncommon for a few of the smaller slides to not even be open during the first and last hour of operation.

September 9, 2021 at 9:44 PM

Except the average daytime temp in tampa in January of 70 seems downright balmy for northerners with plenty of times it’s in the 80s.

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