Busch Gardens Africa’s next door water park is a winner, and if your only shot at a water park is during a visit to Tampa, you shouldn’t be disappointed. While Adventure Island can’t match the exquisite themeing (let alone the dolphins!) of the newer Aquatica, it runs a not-too-distant second. The compact grounds are cunningly and beautifully landscaped. It’s an older park, of course, so some of the trees have had a chance to grow and provide wonderfully shady areas.
Categories like this are slippery, but if Aquatica can be considered a “family park,” Adventure Island appeals more to teens and young adults. That’s largely because it’s rides are, on the whole, zippier than those Aquatica has to offer.
And, while the rides are extremely well designed, the emphasis here seems to be on the action rather than the aesthetics. It’s a great place to sample the essence of the water park experience.
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