Celebrating Thanksgiving at Busch Gardens Tampa 2021

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.

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 this year, 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 5 samples for $34.99 or 10 samples for $49.99 with your holiday sampler lanyard.

Falcon's Fury Busch Gardens Tall rainbow color drop tower
Falcon’s Fury Busch Gardens

Pass Members can save up to 20% on this dining adventure. You can read more about Busch Gardens Pass Member perks here!

Holiday Menu at Busch Gardens 2020

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

Thanksgiving Day Taste of The Holidays Menu

COOKIES & COCOA

  • Fresh Baked Deep Dish Cookies: Chocolate Chip, M&M, Red Velvet
  • Specialty Hot Cocoa: Served withyour choice of Gingerbread or Caramel and Whipped Cream
  • Spiked Hot Cocoa

CLAUS’ BAKED GOODS

  • Festive Mini Donuts: topped with raspberry and white chocolate sauce and holiday sprinkles
  • Brownie S’more: Fresh baked brown, marshmallows, chocolate chips, graham cracker crunch and caramel sauce

JACK FROSTY COCKTAILS

  • Frozen Hot Cocoa: Topped with caramel sauce and whipped cream
  • Frozen Cocktails: Eggnog, Spiked Granny Apple, Peanut Butter Whisky S’mores

HOLIDAY CHEER

  • Holiday Brews: Yuengling Flight, Yuengling Hershey Porter
  • Cider & Mulled Wine
  • Red & White Wine

POLAR PAVILION

  • Fresh Baked Deep Dish Cookies
  • Specialty Hot Cocoa
  • Spiked Hot Cocoa
  • Frozen Jack & Coke
  • Red Santa-Gria 
  • White Santa-Gria 
  • Popcorn in a Souvenir Bucket
Busch Gardens Christmas Santa putting kids names on the list.

WINTER WAFFLES & BITES

  • Chicken & Waffles: Apple Butter Spread and Maple Syrup
  • Bison Beef Slider: Bacon and Onion Jam, Vintage Cheddar, Herb Mayo
  • Beer Cheese Soup: Topped with Sour Cream and Pretzel Croutons
  • Holiday Frozen Hot Cocoa: Topped with Caramel Sauce and Whipped Cream

HARVEST WAFFLE WONDERLAND

  • Chicken & Waffles: Apple Butter Spread and Maple Syrup
  • Harvest Cristo Slider: Brioche Bun with Turkey, Prosciutto, Swiss Cheese and Cranberry Jam

FROSTY FLOATS

  • Waffle Cone Delight: Gingerbread or Salted Caramel
  • Santa’s Sleigh Gingerbread Shake: Baked blondie topped with eggnog soft serve ice cream and caramel sauce
  • Holiday Sprinkled Sugar Cookie

HOLIDAY COMFORTS

  • Loaded Mashed Potato Bowl: Chicken N’ Gravy, Shredded Cheddar Cheese, Bacon Crumbles and Crispy Onions
  • Impossible™ Chili: Sour Cream, Cheddar Cheese, Fried Jalapeños and Micro Greens
  • Chocolate Explosion Brownie Bake: Chocolate Chip Infused Brownie with Cream Cheese Icing Drizzle, Caramel and Pearl Topping
  • Cinnamon Cranberry Mimosa

WINTER SWEETS

  • Churro Bites: Baked churros, caramel sauce and holiday sprinkles
  • Mini Apple Tarts: Freshly baked in house, served with whipped cream
  • Mini Cherry Tarts: Freshly baked in house, served with whipped cream

NORTH POLE BAKERY

  • Apple Cobbler Cake Cone: Fresh baked cobbler, caramel sauce and whipped cream
  • Pumpkin Spice Loaf: Stone Fruit Jam and Whipped Cream
  • Spiced Apple Cinnamon Loaf: Apple Jam and Whipped Cream

GARLAND GATE CAFÉ

  • Loaded Mac-N-Cheese: Creamy Cheese Sauce topped with Boujee Bacon and Onion Strings
  • S’mores Flatbread: Apple Butter, Crumbled Graham Cracker, Marshmallows, Cream Cheese Icing
  • Cinnamon Roll Flatbread: Cream Cheese Icing, Chopped Cinnamon Roll Bites and Fresh Blueberries
  • Chocolate Hazelnut Flatbread: Nutella, Fresh Strawberries, Caramel Drizzle, Powered Sugar

DASHER’S DELI

  • Smoked Pulled Pork Slider: Ale-Cured and Smoked Pulled Pork Slider, Sauerkraut, Mustard Sauce
  • Sausage Sliders: Onion Jam, Vintage Cheddar, Herb Mayo
  • Chocolate Explosion Brownie Bake: with Cream Cheese Icing Drizzle, Caramel and Pearl Topping
  • Frozen Hot Cocoa: Topped with Caramel Sauce and Whipped Cream

COCOA & COCKTAILS (STANLEYVILLE)

  • Holiday Brews
  • Fresh Baked Deep Dish Cookie
  • Specialty Hot Cocoa
  • Spiked Hot Cocoa
  • Chocolate Hazelnut

FROSTY FARE (CHEETAH HUNT PLAZA)

  • Hot Chicken Slider: Apricot and Serrano Glaze, Pickle Chips
  • Fish & Chips: Crispy Breaded Fish bite slider, Tangy Tartar Sauce & Lemon, Pub Chips
  • Fresh Baked Deep Dish Cookie: M&M, Chocolate Chip or Red Velvet
  • Specialty Hot Cocoa: Served in a Souvenir Cup your choice Gingerbread or Caramel and Whipped Cream
  • Spiked Hot Chocolate

You can get more information on the Feast here!

What to Know Before You Go

Busch Gardens Rides with colorful roller coasters.
Busch Gardens Rides

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.


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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.

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

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

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

  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 20, 2020 – January 3, 2021 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.

If you enjoyed this article, then you’ll love these:

Want more theme park tips? Check out the theme park tips page. If you’re thinking about going to Busch Gardens alone, then read the top 18 tips.

Happy Thanksgiving Hipsters!

NikkyJ

(Original Article Date: November 6, 2016/Updated November 19, 2020)

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