60 years of thrills: These vintage photos of Busch Gardens Tampa show how far the park has come

This year marks the 60th anniversary of Busch Gardens Tampa, which is an incredible milestone for a park that started off as a brewery with a few birds. These historic photos from the Florida State Archives, date back to 1960 and give us a rare glimpse into what would eventually become a world-class theme park.

All photos via Florida Memory 

Scroll down to view images

Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

At a time when local-based reporting is critical, support from our readers is essential to our future.


Aerial view overlooking the Busch Gardens amusement park and the Anheuser-Busch, inc. brewery in Tampa, Florida. 1960.
Aerial view overlooking the Busch Gardens amusement park and the Anheuser-Busch, inc. brewery in Tampa, Florida. 1960.
Norma Lado feeds birds at Busch Gardens during the Tri-city Suncoast Fiesta. 1960.
Norma Lado feeds birds at Busch Gardens during the Tri-city Suncoast Fiesta. 1960.
Garden walk at Busch Gardens. 1959.
Garden walk at Busch Gardens. 1959.
Entrance to Busch Gardens. 1979.
Entrance to Busch Gardens. 1979.
Tourists taking pictures at the entrance to Busch Gardens. 1976.
Tourists taking pictures at the entrance to Busch Gardens. 1976.

Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

At a time when local-based reporting is critical, support from our readers is essential to our future.