Coasters meet Cabernet at Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival

Last Friday, I got the opportunity to attend Busch Gardens Food & Wine Media Day. Since 2015, Busch Gardens has been serving up top entertainment and creative cuisine at this annual festival. Last year was my first time attending, and I think I went seven of the eight weekends (one of which I was out of town for). The only thing that could possibly make it better? Adding on a ninth weekend… & they did. I’ve highlighted some “things to know” about the event so you can have the recipe for a perfect day at the park (get it, recipe?).


  • Park hours are 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM, with the F&W Festival Walkway opening at 12:00 PM
  • Concerts are included with admission
  • Uber/Lyft is definitely the way to go if you want to enjoy a few cocktails here
  • 17 new dishes including a lobster tart, mango shrimp ceviche, AND an entire cabin devoted to tacos
  • Wider variety of vegetarian/pescatarian and gluten free options
  • New horticulture masterpieces aka larger-than-life topiaries including an orangutan who looks way too real
  • Concert time has changed to 7:00 PM
  • Band Perry, Hunter Hayes, Young the Giant, are you kidding me?! Full concert lineup here
  • There are now three tiers of VIP Seating, and they are 100% worth it for how close you can get to these artists!
  • Lanyard system– you can now buy in increments of 5, 8, or 12 punches. The greatest part is that it’s no longer food or drink specific so you could hypothetically get 12 servings of truffle fries or 12 servings of wine depending on the kind of day you’re having.

Cheers to lots of Food and Wine!!