Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT BGA Discussion Thread)

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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT BGA Discussion Thread)

Postby jedimaster1227 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:58 pm

A few weekends ago I had the chance to visit Busch Gardens Tampa for the Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival... Along the way I enjoyed the park's many animals, fantastic rides and lots of tasty food and drink options! This event really brings out the best in this park and adds another option when it comes to ways to enjoy your time here. We also were able to check out the park's newest ice skating show, Turn It Up, which was well worth the visit!

The Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival continues to run for the remaining weekends in April, so if you have a chance to get out to the park, I highly recommend it! Between the rides, shows, animals and delicious food and beverage choices, you'll definitely not be disappointed!

Check out the following link for the delicious full event menu: https://buschgardens.com/tampa/events/food-and-wine-festival/cabins/
It was so busy on the day we visited that we had to park at Adventure Island and shuttle over.
Special roaming characters are out and about during the Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival!
And there are special photo ops throughout the park!
This used to be the Marrakesh Theater where many shows had been performed over the years. The theater is now walled off from guest view.
No new activity at Gwazi these days...
Gwazi is still totally visible from all angles in the park.
The Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival brings with it several neat topiaries.
There's also this living statue that is fun to watch.
New this year is addition of pieces created live throughout the park by local artists.
They really do spruce up some of the less-frequented sections of the park for this event!
Another topiary in the park.
It isn't a visit to Busch Gardens Tampa without a stop at Walkabout Way!
I love seeing the kangaroos and joeys in the Kangaloom!
Friendly emus!
Just hanging out...
What's this?
Tree creatures!!!
And they do a special rope drop ceremony for the opening of the Food & Wine Festival area in Gwazi Park!
This path has been used for events like the Food and Wine Festival, Howl-O-Scream and Christmas Town over the years and it provides an up-close view of the former Gwazi dueling wooden coasters.
Tourist topiaries!
New this year was the addition of artists creating new large scale works of art live throughout the festival.
The bison slider with sriracha ketchup was our absolute favorite dish of the event!
Still so strange to see the coaster not actively running anymore...
The track has definitely seen better days.
Lots of tasty options to choose from along the Food & Wine Festival path!
Set up similarly to other theme park food & wine festivals, you order from ahead and bring your receipt to the counter for your item to be served fresh.
Lots of great beer, cider and wine choices throughout the event as well!
The permanent pavilion in Gwazi Park (often enclosed and used for Howl-O-Scream mazes in September/October was being used for concert merchandise and additional beverage options!
More live art to watch come to life!
Even more...
Frog legs and hush puppies!
Steak and a delicious cauliflower cake!
Also new for us this visit was "Turn It Up," the park's newest ice skating show.
The show is a modern take on ice skating with the focus being highly choreographed scenes set to popular music across different genres.
The sets are just as dynamic as the skaters dancing in and around them.
Definitely an enjoyable show and a great break from the Florida sun!
Well worth your time if you're at the park!
Busch Gardens Tampa is known for their animals too!
You can't visit Busch Gardens Tampa and not stop by Falcon's Fury...
Or should I say, drop in!
Some of the Jungala attractions had quietly closed, but have since reopened after a short downtime.
Sheikra is still one of my favorite coasters in all of Florida.
Some delicious lamb chops!
And a light and fluffy duck bao bun for good measure!
Coca-Cola is a big partner of the SeaWorld Parks and their presence at the Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival can definitely be felt...
Especially in the form of two new food booths with menu items infused with flavors created with Coca-Cola products. This Baked Brie was served with a Strawberry Fanta Coulis.
The Orange Fanta Whoopie Pie was a winner for us!
The Minute Maid Apple Glazed Pork Belly was perfectly cooked!
A local vendor had chocolate covered bacon available for purchase along the festival path!
A full list of the locations where food, drinks and merchandise can be purchased throughout the event.
Who knows if we'll ever see any life in this structure again...
Frozen jack & coke? Sold!
Goo Goo Dolls was set to perform on the evening of our visit.
Looking back at Gwazi one last time...
Last edited by jedimaster1227 on Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:15 pm.
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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT BGA Discussion Thread)

Postby Jcoaster » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:53 am

Great report!

That food really looks fantastic. That glazed Pork Belly :wtf:

I wish they would do something with Gwazi already. Its been a really long time for the coaster to just be sitting there dormant.
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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT BGA Discussion Thread)

Postby RAWKIN_coaster38 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:23 am

Great report! The food looks amazing and any event with wine in it is a win for me. =)

So are the Jungala rides open again? Good news to hear any part of it has reopened!
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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT BGA Discussion Thread)

Postby bgtlover » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:33 am

RAWKIN_coaster38 wrote:So are the Jungala rides open again? Good news to hear any part of it has reopened!

Tree Top Trails and Wild Surge were reopened during spring break (which ended yesterday technically) to help with crowd capacity. Jungle Flyers hasn't reopened. I see them being closed off again today and perhaps only weekends for the rest of the Food & Wine Festival at best. They still state on the park's website that they are closed.
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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT BGA Discussion Thread)

Postby Philrad71 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:38 pm

Great report, Adam...glad to see that this event looks as tasty as it was when we visited a few years ago.

Goo Goo Dolls showing some Buffalove in Tampa...cool!

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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT BGA Discussion Thread)

Postby cfc » Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:46 am

OK, I want some of that pork belly--now!

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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT BGA Discussion Thread)

Postby chickenbowl » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:20 am



Spray paint markers have shown up on Gwazi's supports. This is the same type of marker that was painted on Georgia Cyclone, Mean Streak, Hurler, and others.
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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT BGA Discussion Thread)

Postby boldikus » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:33 am


Why do I still have a donkey title???
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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT BGA Discussion Thread)

Postby coasterbill » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:04 am

... oh my

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Re: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (BGT BGA Discussion Thread)

Postby jarmor » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:28 am

"B&M will NEVER build a coaster over 300 ft..." until 2012
"Cedar Fair will NEVER build a coaster taller than MF..." until 2015


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