Following announcements made in September 2009, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay officially opened their new 2.5 acre kids play land called Sesame Street Safari of Fun where whole families can experience all the fun of the Sesame Street characters with an African theme, in March 2010.
Many of the popular Sesame Street characters are there including Elmo, the Cookie Monster, Ernie, Bert and Big Bird and if you fancy a photo with one of the characters then head for the photography studio meet and greet at “Big Bird’s 123-Smile with Me”.
Sesame Street Safari of Fun is located on the site of the former Land of the Dragons children’s play area. Most of the former rides have been re-themed and the whole area enlarged.
Safari of Fun Thrill Rides
One of the main attractions is a new children’s junior roller coaster called “Air Grover” with mini dives, twists and turns themed on the Sahara desert. Air Grover is also suitable for adults who wish to accompany their children. You can also purchase photos of your ride.
Child minimum ride height is 38 inches (97 cms) and maximum is 56 inches (142 cms). Children under 44 inches (112 cms) must be accompanied by a responsible adult, 14 years or older.
Safari of Fun Water Attractions
If your kids enjoy water and which kids don’t, then there is both “Oscar’s Swamp Stomp” and the 3,000 square foot splash area, “Bert & Ernie’s Watering Hole” with bubblers, geysers, water cannon, jets and dumping buckets.
For a little relaxation, “Slimey’s Sahara Sand” is a sandy beach oasis where parents can relax in desert surroundings whilst the kids play.
As well as the water play areas there is also “Zoe-Patra & the Hippos of the Nile”, a flume ride down an African river complete with views of the pyramids.
Child minimum ride height is 36 inches (91 cms) and maximum is 56 inches (142 cms).
Safari of Fun Other Rides
Most other rides are for children up to a maximum height of 56 inches (142 cms) but on many rides they can be accompanied by an adult.
For more sedate and drier attractions you can ride on “Elmo’s Safari Go-Round” carousel with lion, zebra and buffalos instead of horses. Child maximum height is 56 inches (142 cms). Children may be accompanied by a responsible adult, 14 years or older.
“Snuffy’s Elephant Romp” is a Dumbo style round and round, up and down ride. Child maximum height is 56 inches (142 cms). Children may be accompanied by a responsible adult, 14 years or older.
“The Count’s Zambezi Rally” is a children’s car ride that takes you through desert and tribal trails. Maximum ride height is 56 inches.
“Rosita’s Djembe Fly-Away” is a swing ride through the African jungle. Maximum height is 42 inches (107 cms).
“Big Bird’s Whirly Birdie” is a ferris wheel ride. Child maximum height is 56 inches (142 cms). Children may be accompanied by a responsible adult, 14 years or older.
In “Elmo’s Treehouse Trek”, kids can play hide-n-seek in a three story treehouse. You can get a good view of the whole of the Safari of Fun from the top.
“Cookie Monster’s Canopy Crawl” is a net climb play area. Child maximum height is 56 inches (142 cms).
Safari of Fun Entertainment and Shows
In “Telly’s Jungle Jam” kids can explore shapes, sounds and shadows in an engaging play area.
At “Big Bird’s 123-Smile with Me” you can meet and greet with all your favourite Sesame Street friends and get a photo.
The “A is for Africa” show takes place at the Sunny Day Theater featuring many of the Sesame Street characters, but with an African flavour.
Lastly, at the theatre in Timbuktu you can see the 4-D film, “Sesame Street presents Lights, Camera, Imagination!” featuring Elmo, Cookie, Big Bird and other Sesame Street characters. Enjoy the special effects like wind, water and surprises that will make you jump out of your seat as they try to save the Sesame Street Festival.
Safari of Fun Food and Merchandise
If you are looking for safari inspired gifts then there is both “Abby Cadabby’s Treasure Hut” and the “Cookie Monster’s Trading Post”.
There are no full-service restaurants in Sesame Street Safari of Fun but at “Snack-n-Getti Tribal Treats” you can pick up a snack and there is outdoor seating available.
If you enjoy character dining, then close to the Sesame Street Safari of Fun there is an opportunity to “Dine with Elmo and Friends” on selected days for breakfast or lunch at an outdoor dining facility.