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An Insider's Look at Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival - Tampa, Florida

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

Every year Busch Garden hosts a Food and Wine Festival in the Springtime. This festival is known for its delectable food items, unique drinks, live performances, and main concerts. Let's take a closer look at what to expect during your visit to Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival!

Is the Food and Wine Festival included with admission to Busch Gardens?

Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival photo opportunity with a wine glass exerting wine in a spiral with the wording Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival in front and pink / purple flowers on the bottom
Yes! The Food and Wine Festival is included with your regular park admission to Busch Gardens.

Is the Food and Wine Festival every day in the Springtime?

No, in specific this year it only runs on the weekends from March 10 - May 21. Moreover, the food and beverage locations open at noon and close at 10 p.m. on Saturdays and 9 p.m. on Sundays. While headline concerts start at 7 p.m. on Saturdays and at 6 p.m. on Sundays. (Some concerts are available on Friday, check out the Busch Gardens website for more details about those dates.)

Will the same food items be available the entire time?

Wooden sign that reads Welcome to our Gourmet Gardens EST. 1959 with grape vineyards painted on it and the Busch Gardens logo
No. Between March 11 - May 4, they had the regular Food and Wine Festival menu from different parts of the world like the Americas, Africa, Morocco, and Europe. From May 5 to 7, they had a Cinco De Mayo menu, which included certain items from the first part of the festival and various Mexican delights like a churro sundae! Now May 8 through May 22, they have Viva La Música! During this part of the festival, you can enjoy various Hispanic foods and desserts. Don't worry the churro sundae is still available!
Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival sign with two wine bottles on each side with wine coming out of it spiraling out

What food items and drinks can I expect at Viva La Música?

Check out the Busch Gardens website for all the specific details, but here are a few items you can expect to find!

Food items:

- Chimichurri Beef Skewer, first image above
- Mojo Pork Taco, second image above
- Pina Colada Trifle, third image above
- Beef Empanada
- Ropa Vieja
- Arepas
- Mojo Pulled Pork and Chicharrones
- Arroz con Leche
- Tres Leches Cake

Drinks:

- Latin Wines
- Cocktails like Tequila Mule and Mango Mojito
- Dos Equis XX Lager Especial
- Modelo Negra
- Guava Margaritas

Are there any deals for purchasing multiple food and drink items at the festival?

Yes! Before purchasing your food and drinks, buy a Food & Wine Sampler Lanyard. You can get the lanyard online, in the mobile app, at Guest Relations, or at select culinary locations during the event. The 10-item sampler costs $70 plus tax and fees, and the 15-item sampler costs $85 plus tax and fees. If you are a Busch Garden Pass Member, you can purchase an 18-item sampler for the price of a 15-item sampler.

Are there any other Busch Gardens Pass Member benefits?

Yes! Pass Members receive a discount up to 20% at all locations offering sample-sized food, wine, and beer tastings, depending on the Pass tier when they do not use the Food & Wine Sampler Lanyard. Pass Members can also enter the concert venue 30 minutes before when the regular guests can. These perks are not for Fun Card holders, only Pass Members.

Are the concerts included with admission to Busch Gardens?

Yes! All concerts and live performances related to the Food and Wine Festival are included in your park admission. These concerts are approximately 60 minutes long, and the live performances happen in segments throughout the day near the Festival Grounds.

How do you get the best seats for the concerts?

You can purchase VIP Seating for the best seats! These can be bought online, in the mobile app, or at Guest Services. Prices start at $49.99 per person and vary depending on the performer. VIP Seating comes with one complimentary beverage and access to a private VIP bar! You will also be able to enter 30 minutes early compared to the regular guests when you purchase VIP Seating.
Bench seating and VIP seating in front of the concert stage at Busch Garden Food & Wine Festival before the crowds

Besides VIP Seating are there seats or only standing room?

On the field you will find bench seating, but it is filled on a first-come, first-served basis. There is plenty of standing room in the second half of the field and some more benches in the back if you cannot get a seat in the front half. Unfortunately, you cannot bring your camping or foldable chairs to the concert venue, but blankets are welcome.

Who will be performing during the Viva La Música part of the Food and Wine Festival?

Viva La Musica concert options for Saturday, May 13, Sunday, May 14, and Saturday, May 20 all in 2023
- Saturday, May 13 - Toño Rosario
- Sunday, May 14 - Grupo Niche
- Saturday, May 20 - Elvis Crespo
- Sunday, May 21 - Luisito Ayala and Puerto Rican Power
These are the headliners for the concerts, but there will be plenty of other live performers throughout the day.

How about the rest of the park?

The rest of the park is operating like normal so you can enjoy the rides and the Food and Wine Festival all on the same day. If you are not looking for thrill, hop on the Serengeti Express and take a scenic ride through the Serengeti by train. An update from my Christmas Town at Busch Gardens post a few months ago is that SheiKra and Congo River Rapids are both open again from their winter maintenance, and the all-new Serengeti Flyer is now open! Also, if you are not feeling the Food and Wine Festival and/or the kiddos rather not partake, you can purchase the All-Day Dining pass or buy the individual meals when needed. The Elmo and Friends area is open with fun rides, cool activities, and a fun show, perfect for the kids (and kids at heart to enjoy)!
DLT! with Telly Monster in the Elmo and Friends section of Busch Gardens

Thinking of going to Busch Gardens for their Food and Wine Festival and do not already have an admission ticket?

Consider getting the Tampa Bay CityPASS! You can get admission to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, The Florida Aquarium, ZooTampa at Lowry Park, and two other attraction visits of your choice (from a listing). The listing comprises the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, The Tropics Boat Tours Dolphin or Sunset Cruise, the Museum of Science & Industry, and the Glazer Children's Museum. Adult ticket prices are $139, and Children (3-9) ticket prices are $124. These are a bargain since a one-day ticket to Busch Gardens starts at $99.99, and that price is typically a weekday price.

Screenshot of the Tampa Bay CityPASS

In purchasing the CityPASS, we saved money on these 5 visits, skipped the ticket counter, and increased our flexibility as we did not have to reserve a spot for most of the attractions. Everywhere we go, even when we are local, we search for discounted ticket packages like CityPASS to get the greatest bang for our buck and visit the most well-known attractions in that area!
Disclaimer: As an affiliate of CityPASS, I may receive monetary compensation if you purchase through the links in this blog post. However, I want to make it clear that this will not come at an extra cost to you. Your use of the links will help support my blog and allow me to continue creating high-quality content for you. Thank you for your support! Want to purchase the Tampa Bay CityPASS to visit these amazing attractions and save over 50% at 5 Must-See Attractions? Click the below image to do so!

Check out our monthly tip blog post regarding CityPASS (and Go City) here for more details on what they are, what's the difference between them, where you can use them, and how to use them!

Bon Appétit, Rock On, and Enjoy your time at Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival

DLT! in front of the Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival sign holding the Food & Wine Food Sampler Lanyard
This festival is perfect for foodies, wine connoisseurs, drink aficionados, dessert fanatics, music lovers, and theme parkgoers! You will find something for everyone here, and it is a great place to hang out alone or with friends and family. Have you been to Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival? Make sure to let us know in the comments below. If you haven't yet, make sure to share your experience on social media and tag us on our Dale, Let's Travel! pages. Speaking of social media... don't forget to follow us! 😊


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* This article is not sponsored by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. or any of the other businesses mentioned above or their affiliates. However, as previously mentioned, Dale, Let's Travel! LLC is an affiliate of CityPASS and may receive monetary compensation if you purchase tickets using the above affiliate link. *
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