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Annual Bier Fest returns to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay on August 13th

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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is bringing back their annual Bier Fest to the Tampa theme park on Friday, August 13th, 2021. This will be the 4th year this event runs and highlights craft beers from Florida and beyond.

There will be an all-new beer trail, weaving through the park’s iconic coasters, local live music, and animal habitats while incorporating fan-favorite restaurants and outdoor culinary stations, including the new Giraffe Bar. This year, park guests can take a new adventure each Friday through Sunday from August 13th to October 31st.

Beer fans can enjoy over 50 varieties of IPAs, wheat ales, stouts, and more. This year’s event shines a spotlight on breweries that bring flavor to Florida and beyond, with iconic local, regional and national brews incorporated into new shareable samples at over a dozen culinary locations.

Highlights include the Brews & Chews with Funky Buddha Brewing, pair a “Hop Gun IPA” with Busch Gardens’ new Drunken Shrimp Papaya Salad that will feature beer-battered and golden fried shrimp topped with Tajin and Thai chili Buddha dressing.

Pub Grub featuring Alcatraz Brewing: Enjoy a “2 X IPA” with pepper-smoked chopped brisket poutine, including beer-battered French fries smothered in blue cheese, caramelized onions, and chipotle BBQ sauce.

Garden Gate featuring Anheuser-Busch will pay tribute to the theme park’s roots and features the return of fan-favorite Mojo-roasted heritage pork pub chip nachos topped with pepper jack mornay cheese and a savory avocado crema.

Kraft-Heinz Kitchen featuring Sierra Nevada Brewing will bring a tantamount of flavor packed into the new High Altitude Smoked Elk Jalapeño Sausage Chili topped with a drizzle of Kraft-Heinz cilantro sour cream.

Beer will be featured from Big Storm, 3 Daughters, Motorworks, Cigar City, Coppertail, Yuengling and more.

There will also be new sangria and mimosa bar pairs with the whiskey-inspired gourmet cupcake flight fresh from the park’s bakery for the perfect dessert combo.

For those not interested in drinking, several festival locations will feature non-alcoholic beverage options as well, including at the new Giraffe Bar. Barrilitos strawberry hibiscus or watermelon Agua Frescas will offer a chance to cool off on summer days and guests can enjoy Serengeti views from panoramic windows or the open-air patio.

The most economical way to enjoy the fest is to purchase a Bier Fest Sampler Lanyard, which start at $ 49.99 for a 8-sample punch card. Busch Gardens Pass Members get an exclusive offer of 15 items for the same price as a 12-item Sampler to enjoy three extra samples for free.

Consistent with CDC guidance, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay recommend that guests wear face coverings while indoors.

Carlos Eats

August 31, 2021 |

My journey through Busch Gardens Christmas Town 2018

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Full disclosure: I was given complimentary tickets to Busch Gardens Christmas Town in exchange for an article about my experience at the annual event. Any opinions expressed are my own and do not represent Busch Gardens or any other entity.

My family and I hit the road on Saturday for an evening at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay for their annual Christmas Town event.  The weather on Saturday was perfect for a day at a theme park. It’s normally hot whenever I visit theme parks, but it was in the mid-60s on Saturday.

Instagram Photo

Immediately upon entering the theme park we encountered a few of the local workers dressed in excellent holiday outfits which made for great photo ops. If you are trying to take some family photos, Christmas Town is filled with props and characters to help build some great memories.

We decided to hit the ice skating show first called “Christmas on Ice”. I tried to hit this show last year, but arrived too late to enter the show. You need to arrive early if you want to watch this show, I recommend 30-40 minutes before the show at the minimum for good seats. 

“Christmas on Ice” was a really great show with some exceptional ice skaters and plenty of different themes that can appeal to families, couples, kids, and various groups. I really enjoyed this show and recommend it to anyone visiting Busch Gardens during Christmas Town.

Instagram Photo

After the show we made our way over to the Christmas Village. They relocated the village this year to the lanes by Gwazi due to construction in their old zone. There was a good number of food and drink options, but it did feel slimmed back a little.

I had a turkey panini that was excellent here, however there was quite a line and wait for food, which was definitely frustrating. I also tried the Chicken N Waffles, which were delicious but went a little too heavy on the apple butter.

I recommend hitting up Christmas Village earlier if you’re going to get food because some booths were overwhelmed by crowds and didn’t seem to have a proper system in place to handle them. It have also been the fact that the booth I was mainly at was making mac and cheese grilled cheese sandwiches, which may be logistically difficult. 

A nice added feature was wine tastings and a whiskey addition, which gives you some liquor options unless you to venture over to Dragon Fire Grill & Pub or one of their other restaurants for some libations (we eventually did). 

After we grabbed some food, we wandered over to the Serengetti Overlook Restaurant to watch the Carol of the Bells light show which is always fun and great for kids. After that we ventured back and headed towards the Sing-a-Long Train which is always one of my favorite things to do at Christmas Town and great for when you’re tired of walking and need a break.

We wanted to hit up Santa Clause and Rudolph but the wait times were over an hour so we decided to skip it since we didn’t have much time left until the theme park closed. Busch Gardens does sell priority access to these areas for $ 24.99 for those who would rather pay to skip the line. 

One thing we didn’t see this year that I expected to see was the snow machines, which I appreciate quite a bit living here in Florida. Hope those come back in the future. 

Instagram Photo

Overall, my family and I had a great time at Busch Gardens Christmas Town. The lights were beautiful and we enjoyed all the Christmas trees and cheer as well as all the photo opportunities to make some memories. Christmas Village could be improved a bit more logistically, but it was still enjoyable overall.

I recommend getting there early so you can get the most out of it or return back multiple times if you are a passholder and take your time going through the areas of the park and enjoying the holiday spirit.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Carlos Eats

November 19, 2018 |

Busch Gardens Christmas Town starts November 17th

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Are you feeling the holiday spirit? It’s 67 degrees today in Tampa and I am already sipping on an eggnog latte. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will bring back their annual Christmas Town series starting this Saturday, November 17th.

Christmas Town favorites will return including Santa’s House presented by Coca-Cola and Rudolph’s Winter Wonderland.

New for Christmas Town this year:

  • Brunch with Santa: Christmas-themed dining experience for the whole family. Some items on the menu include fried chicken and waffles with apple butter, butternut bisque with cinnamon cream, and chocolate cake with raspberry sauce. Santa Clause will make an appearance with a photo opportunity. Adults can enjoy unlimited mimosa and “Build-Your-Own-Bloody-Mary” upgrades. The event will occur on select dates at Serengeti Overlook Restaurant 
  • “Christmas Is…” holiday show at Dragon Fire Grill joining Christmas on Ice, Elmo’s Christmas Wish, the Holiday Hills Band, Carols of the Bells light show, and Christmas Town Sing-A-Long Train
  • Christmas Town Village will be located in a new location this year. Find it inside the Gwazi Pathway with holiday merchandise and treats for-sale. The Jingle Bell Express miniature train will be in town. Winter whiskey and wine tastings will be available for adults of age. 

My favorite part of Christmas Town is all the lights and of course the snow. The holiday train is also something I really enjoy. It really gets you in the mood for the holidays.

Here is the schedule for Christmas Town 2018:

 Find more information at ChristmasTown.com.

Carlos Eats

November 15, 2018 |

Busch Gardens Christmas Town now open

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This is a sponsored post for Busch Gardens about their annual Christmas Town event. I visited the theme park with media passes to experience the event for a first-hand account. Opinions are my own and do not reflect those of Busch Gardens.

Thanksgiving has passed and the holiday season has finally started. Busch Gardens is now running their annual Christmas Town event from now until January 6th. January 1st to January 6th will have a new Three Kings Day Celebration.

See a calendar with the schedule for Christmas Town: http://bit.ly/2jZURf9

The winter event features tons of photo opportunities for families, couples, and friends.

You’ll find Christmas characters spread throughout the theme park including Santa Clause, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and others. The park penguins are on-display and there is also a Sing-A-Long Express Train running with holiday songs playing on-board.

Shows and musical events include Christmas on Ice, Carols of the Bells, and the Holiday Hills Brass Band. The Christmas on Ice show is quite popular and actually fills to capacity so I would recommend showing up a little before the showtime to make sure you get a seat.

Busch Gardens added more food items to the menu including mini doughnuts and a number of other specialty items.

The prices vary but each thing will probably run you anywhere from $ 4-$ 10. They are selling sampler packs and if you’re planning to hit a number of booths, it might be an economical option for you and your group. The food stands and theme park restaurants are also open with some specialized items added.

I think a cool addition to think about for the future might be to add a food truck park with snow around it or maybe an ice bar with adult beverages.

The theme park rides are also open which leaves a ton of things to do. My favorite was the Cheetah Hunt which zooms past many of the lights and Christmas trees as pictured above.

I would recommend showing up earlier so you can have time to get on rides and also enjoy all the Christmas festivities before the theme park closes. We did enjoy a ride or two during our visit but chose to spend more of our time looking at the lights and enjoying the holiday additions.

The lights have really become more impressive in the last few years and it will certainly give you a piece of the holiday spirit. I loved the Christmas trees and displays. This unusually chilly weather lately will also enhance it. I recommend visiting Busch Gardens Christmas Town if you’re looking for a special night out with the family, a date, or a night with some friends.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Christmas Town Santa

Christmas Town is included with Busch Gardens admissions tickets.

For a limited time, guests can pay for a day and get two parks now through 2018 FREE. Guests can enjoy unlimited admission to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay through Dec. 31, 2018 and to Adventure Island through the 2018 season.

For more information visit Busch Gardens online at: http://buschgardens.com/tampa/events/christmas-town/


Carlos Eats

November 27, 2017 |

Orlando man accused of attacking Pinky the Dancing Flamingo at Busch Gardens; bird had to be put down

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A family’s trip to Busch Gardens in Tampa has resulted in the father going to jail after he allegedly attacked Pinky the Dancing Flamingo, according to officials, which resulted in the animal’s death.

  • Due to the severe injuries, the flamingo had to be put down
  • Orlando man charged with aggravated cruelty to animals

On Tuesday, at around 6:44 p.m., Joseph Anthony Corrao was with his family at Busch Gardens Amusement Park’s Jambo Junction animal viewing area when for some reason he allegedly reached into an animal pen and picked up a flamingo, stated Stephen Hegarty, public safety information coordinator for Tampa, in a statement.

In front of other park goers, the 45-year-old Corrao allegedly threw the bird, identified as Pinky the Dancing Flamingo, to the ground. According to Hegarty, due to the “excessive force” of the attack on the bird, the flamingo had to be euthanized.

"Pinky was immediately transported to the park’s Animal Care Center where veterinarians made the decision to humanely euthanize her based on the severity of her injuries," Karen Varga-Sinka, publicity and communications senior manager for Busch Gardens Tampa Bay & Adventure Island, told this station.

"Pinky was a beloved member of the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay family and made many appearances on behalf of the park’s conservation and education efforts. She will be sorely missed," she added.

The Orlando man was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony, according to Hegarty.

He has bonded out of jail earlier Wednesday morning.

Below is a video of Pinky and how people will remember the dancing flamingo best.


Bay News 9 – news

August 3, 2016 |

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

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Visit with Santa at Busch Gardens Christmas Town through Dec. 31

Visit with Santa at Busch Gardens Christmas Town through Dec. 31

 

Start a family tradition by visiting the million twinkling lights, holiday shows and even Santa himself at Busch Gardens Christmas Town through December 31. The kids will be delighted with all the colorful lights, holiday music, arts and crafts and the smells of the season. Live performances include We Three Kings, Christmas on Ice and Elmo’s Christmas Wish. Christmas Town is included with admission to Busch Gardens. Celebrate the holiday wonderland of wintery surprises and all things Christmas.

Visit www.christmastown.com for more information.

 

 

 

 

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Tampa Bay Metro Magazine & Blog

December 20, 2015 |
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