Busch Gardens in Tampa Is Now Home to a New Baby Echidna

Many who enjoy roller coasters, waterparks, and the opportunity to marvel at remarkable animal species do so at the reputable Busch Gardens. The animal theme park is home to more than 200 animal species that reside in specially-made habitats. Now, visitors to this 60-year-old theme park can enjoy meeting its newest addition – Sydney, the baby echidna!

Serengeti Express - a park heritage railroad attraction going through Busch Gardens What Is an Echidna

Also known as a puggle or a spiny anteater, an echidna is a rare animal species and is native to Australia. It’s a relative of the platypus and shares a similar reproduction process, being one of the rare mammals that lay eggs. The echidna is certainly an interesting sight, having spines akin to that of a porcupine, a pouch in which they keep their babies as they mature, a bird-like beak, and a long tongue like an anteater.

Sydney the Echidna at Busch Gardens Sydney and her mom, Adelaide, now reside in the echidna habitat in Busch Gardens and can be seen by visitors to the animal theme park. Sydney was roughly two pounds heavy at 7 months old. The species itself usually ranges from 4 to 10 pounds and grows to be between 12 and 17 inches. They feed on ants, termites, larvae, earthworms, and other insects.

What Else Can Busch Gardens Offer

As one of North America’s largest zoos, this theme park spans over 335 acres of land. Thousands of animals live there in large and unique habitats. Visitors can see lions, tigers, giraffes, primates, penguins, kangaroos, and many other amazing species. The park also has an extensive and rich bird habitat.

Busch Gardens Tampa Florida FL Armor Games Company Trip Giraffe Feeding SheikraOther Fun Attractions

Besides seeing all the majestic animals, visitors to these gardens can also enjoy exciting rides and dine in excellent restaurants within the park. Those seeking a thrill can take a ride on SheiKra, which is the first dive coaster in North America, or one of the other amazing roller coasters. The theme park also hosts a number of events dedicated to music, food, and holiday themes.

An ‘Elf’-Inspired Hotel in Rochester, Michigan Welcomes Guests

‘Elf’ is one of the Christmas movies that people look forward to watching during the holidays. It spreads Christmas cheer and is hilariously funny. Now, people get more into the holiday spirit by staying in a hotel room that was created in honor of Buddy the Elf. The Royal Park Hotel located in Rochester, Michigan is now offering a fully decorated “Elf” suite for the holidays.

Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf The “Elf” Suite at the Royal Park Hotel

Since 2020 has been such a tough year for everyone, the Royal Park Hotel thought that it would be a cool idea for people to get some extra holiday cheer by offering this Christmas experience. The room was designed to include many movie references from the Christmas comedy “Elf” which was released in 2003. Buddy the Elf, who is the main character, is played by Will Ferrell. A large sign that reads “Santa I know him,” is hanging right over the bed in the suite. There are tons of other decors, including over 5,000 feet of paper snowflake garland that was made by hand.

Aside from helping guests escape for the holidays, the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester, Michigan also donates 10% of the proceeds from the “Elf” suite to Rochester’s The Big, Bright Light Show.

The Full ‘Elf’ Experience

Guests have the chance to dive into this complete holiday experience, which includes food that was inspired by Buddy the Elf, like his four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corn, and maple syrup.

What guests of the "Elf" suite at the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester, Michigan receive upon arrival.When the guests arrive at the “Elf” suit at the Royal Park Hotel, they’ll receive chocolate-covered marshmallow snowballs, maple toasty tarts, and elf munch which consists of Chex mix with chocolate, marshmallows, and candy canes.

The Royal Park Hotel partnered up with Maker’s Mark, so aside from the many Buddy-themed decorations, there is also a Christmas tree that is decorated with Maker’s Mark paraphernalia.