Celebrating Thanksgiving at Busch Gardens Tampa 2022

Happy Holidays! It’s time to celebrate Thanksgiving at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. If you don’t have any dinner plans, then I have a few fun ways to enjoy your holiday at the park.

Among the coasters and animals is one of the best fall festival dining experiences right here in Florida.

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Thanksgiving Day Busch Gardens with Blue Montu Roller Coaster

Thanksgiving Day Taste Of The Holidays Buffet

Before the pandemic, Busch Gardens usually offered a hearty feast for you and your family to compliment your Thanksgiving Day adventure at the Serengeti Overlook Restaurant.

Busch Gardens Tampa Serengeti Overlook Restaurant

This feast would include a special prix fixe feast with delicious sliced turkey and fixings, plus soups, salads and dessert options.

Busch Gardens Thanksgiving with delicious sliced turkey and fixings, plus soups, salads and dessert.

As a result of the pandemic, instead of enjoying a Thanksgiving Day buffet dinner at Busch Gardens Tampa, you can enjoy the holiday treats in Christmas Town Village.

So, be sure to look out for zebras, giraffes, roller coasters and more while enjoying your holiday feast.

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Cost of the Thanksgiving Day Holiday Treats at Busch Gardens

You can enjoy 8, 12 or Pass Member Exclusive 15-item Food & Beverage samples starting at $44.99 with your holiday sampler lanyard.

Busch Gardens Christmas Town with Deep Dish Chocolate Chips and Hot Cocoa
Photo Credit: SeaWorld Entertainment

Pass Members can save on this dining adventure. You can read more about Busch Gardens Pass Member perks here!

Holiday Menu at Busch Gardens

You can create your own holiday food touring experience for each person in your party with the menu below.

Busch Gardens Thanksgiving Tampa with Roller Coaster in the Background

Thanksgiving Day Taste of The Holidays Menu

COOKIES & COCOA

  • Fresh Baked Deep-Dish Cookies: Choice of M&M or Chocolate Chip
  • Specialty Hot Cocoa: Served in a Souvenir Cup, Choice of Peppermint or Gingerbread and Whipped Cream
  • MAKE IT JOLLY: Baileys Irish Cream, Kahlúa or Peppermint Schnapps

JACK FROSTY COCKTAILS

  • Christmas Town Punch: Cranberry, Orange, Tito’s Vodka NEW!
  • Mistletoe Margarita: Lime Sour, Cranberry, Milagro Tequila NEW!
  • Apple Brandy Hot Toddy: Brandy, Cinnamon, Honey, Lemon NEW!
  • Holiday Mojito: Cranberry, Mint, Flor de Caña Rum

HOLIDAY BREWS

  • Yuengling Hershey’s Chocolate Porter: Yuengling Brewing Co | Tampa, FL | ABV 5.4%
  • Dunder & Blixem Winter Ale: Big Storm Brewing Co | Clearwater, FL | ABV 8.8%
  • Winter Cider: 3 Daughters Brewing | St. Petersburg, FL | ABV 5.5%
  • Day Swim Coffee Porter: Coppertail Brewing Co | Tampa, FL | ABV 6.1%
  • Dragons Milk Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stout: New Holland Brewing Co | Holland, MI | ABV 11.0%

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DASHER’S DELI

  • Reimagined! Bison Burger: Cheesy Bison Burger, Bacon Onion Jam, Beer Cheese, Pretzel Bun
  • Totchos: Sweet Potato Tater Tots, Smoked Brisket, Bacon Onion Jam, Beer Cheese, Green Onions NEW!
  • Sea Salt Carmel & Brown Butter Bread Pudding: Jack Daniel’s Winter Jack Tennessee Cider Pipette NEW!
Busch Gardens Christmas Santa putting kids names on the list.

NICOLA’S WINTER DONUTS & BITES

  • Chicken & Donut: Buttermilk Crispy Chicken, Smoked Bacon Maple Glazed Donut, Mike’s Hot Honey Drizzle NEW!
  • Dulce de Leche Stuffed Donut Holes: Chocolate Sauce, Vanilla Whipped Cream, Candy Cane NEW!

POLAR PAVILION

  • NEW! Busch Gardens Coaster Tree Pretzel
  • Fresh Baked Deep-Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie
  • Specialty Hot Cocoa Topped with Whipped Cream

FROSTY FARE

  • Bison Chili Mac & Cheese: Gemelli Pasta, Sam Adams Beer Cheese, Parmesan Crumbs NEW!
  • Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie: Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Vanilla Whipped Cream NEW!
  • Loaded Mashed Potatoes: Red Bliss Potatoes, Heritage Smoked Pulled Pork, Green Onions, Hook’s Cheddar, Sour Cream, Chipotle Drizzle (REIMAGINED!)

FROSTY FLOATS

  • Gingerbread Ice Cream Cone: Gingerbread Ice Cream, Chocolate Sauce, Topped with Whipped Cream & Graham Cracker
  • Root Beer Float: Root Beer Ice Cream, Vanilla Coke, Graham Cracker, Whipped Cream
  • Fresh Baked Deep-Dish Sugar Cookie
Chocolate Chip Cookies for Thanksgiving at Busch Gardens Tampa

GARLAND GATE CAFÉ

  • Impossible™ Nachos: Blue Corn Tortillas, Smashed Avocado, Smoked Chipotle Sour Cream, Cotija Cheese NEW!
  • Savory Corn Dogs: Topped with Bacon Onion Jam and Mustard Aioli NEW!
  • Apple Cider BBQ Chicken Slider: Apple Cider BBQ Pulled Chicken, served on a Garlic Butter Bun NEW!
  • Beverages: Kahlua Frozen Eggnog, Craft Brews, Frozen Cocktails

BEIGNETS & COCOA

  • Chocolate Kahlua Beignets REIMAGINED!
  • Fresh Baked Deep-Dish Cookies: Choice of M&M or Chocolate Chip
  • Specialty Hot Cocoa: Served in a Souvenir Cup your choice of Peppermint or Gingerbread and Whipped Cream
  • MAKE IT JOLLY: Baileys Irish Cream, Kahlúa or Peppermint Schnapps

You can get more information on the Feast here!

What to Know Before You Go

Christmas Town Village at Busch Gardens Egypt Decor

What should I pack for Busch Gardens?

  • Comfy Shoes
  • Small Bag
  • Breathable Clothing
  • Sun Protection
  • Small Umbrella
  • Water
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Phone
  • Park Ticket

If you are wearing loose-fitting shoes, you should leave them at the loading platform. Any other loose articles can be placed inside any locker located throughout the park.

Get the full Theme Park packing checklist here!

How to Get to Busch Gardens Tampa from Disney World

  • Travel WEST on I-4 to I-75 (About 58 Miles)
  • Merge onto I-75 NORTH via EXIT 9 toward Ocala (stay on I-75 for about 3.74 miles)
  • Take EXIT 265 toward Temple Terrace (this exit is also the exit for the University of South Florida)
  • You will merge onto E Fowler Ave/FL-582 W via EXIT 265 and stay on here for about 4.65 miles
  • Turn left onto N McKinley Dr/County Hwy-585A (stay on here for about 1 mile)
  • Make a U-turn onto N McKinley Dr/County Hwy-585A
  • Arrive and park at Busch Gardens
Christmas Town Busch Gardens with wooden toy soldier
Christmas Town Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens Tampa Address

The address for Busch Gardens is 10165 N McKinley Drive Tampa, FL 33612.

Busch Gardens Tampa Hours

Busch Gardens usually opens at 10:00 a.m. and closes at 6:00 p.m. However, during the peak summer days the park may be open until midnight.

Busch Gardens Christmas Town Map 2020
Christmas Town Map Photo Cred: SeaWorld Entertainment

Remember when planning your trip, always check the park’s website or mobile app for the current hours and wait times.

Is Busch Gardens Busy on Thanksgiving Day?

Holiday peaks, crowd sizes, weather, and a few other factors have a lot to do with your Busch Gardens experience, including how long you’ll be waiting in line for your favorite rides.

Because of this, expect higher crowds on both Thanksgiving Day and the weekend following the holiday.

Thanksgiving Day at Busch Gardens Itinerary Just for You!

  1. Download and go over the park map.
  2. Plan to arrive prior to the gates opening.
  3. Check out the famous Florida gators in Morocco.
  4. Join the Cheetah Hunt.
  5. Ride Cobra’s Curse.
  6. Experience Montu.
  7. Have Your Thanksgiving Day Feast.
  8. Enjoy a stroll on the Edge of Africa or in the Myombe Reserve to relax.
  9. Take the Skyride over to the middle area of the park.
  10. Ride Sheikra.
  11. Conquer Tigris!
  12. Ride Stanley Falls.
  13. Conquer the Congo River Rapids
  14. Ride Kumba.
  15. Dive into the Scorpion Roller Coaster
  16. Ride the Phoenix.
  17. Experience the Sand Serpent Roller Coaster.
  18. Conquer Falcon’s Fury.
  19. Visit Christmas Town Village.
  20. Watch all the Christmas Town Shows.
Busch Gardens for itinerary planning guide
Plan out your day at Busch Gardens

Read the full Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Guide here!

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

After your Thanksgiving Day Feast, be sure to enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas at Busch Gardens.

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens with Lush Trees and Gold Bulbs

During the holiday season at Busch Garden’s you will be able to:

  • Watch world-class ice skaters
  • Listen to melodious tunes
  • Visit your favorite Sesame Street characters
  • Discover Christmas Town® Village
  • Shop for the perfect gifts
  • Taste special Christmas treats
  • Enjoy the model trains that encircle a miniature Christmas city
  • See Rudolph and friends, including Sam the Snowman, at Rudolph’s Winter Wonderland
  • Visit Santa’s House

This event is every night from November 13, 2022 – January 2, 2023 with holiday activities starting around the afternoon time.

Admission to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s Christmas Town is included with park admission.

Christmastown at Busch Gardens with Cheetah Hunt Roller Coaster and Tall Christmas Tree

Anyone with a ticket to Busch Gardens, a valid Fun Card or Annual Pass can enjoy this festive holiday event.

Learn more about Christmas Town here!

Final Thoughts on Going to Busch Gardens for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving at Busch Gardens Friends Making Toast

Overall, you’re going to have an incredible Thanksgiving holiday at Busch Gardens. Just make sure that you plan our your day in advance and don’t forget to partake in the Christmas Town experience.

Busch Gardens at Thanksgiving Day Dinner with Colorful Roller Coasters and Orange Pumpkins and Pumpkin Pie
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What are your Thanksgiving Day plans? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Happy Thanksgiving Hipsters!

NikkyJ

(Original Article Date: November 6, 2016/Updated November 3, 2021)

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