We’ve had the privilege to be invited out to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay this weekend to check out the park’s brand new Mardi Gras event. We had a fabulous time checking out their food and drink offerings, which were all on point. A nice mix of entertainment and our usual dose of thrill rides made the day complete. Check out what Mardi Gras has to offer, and for the big coaster enthusiasts among us, we’ve got you covered with coaster shots as well.
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There’s no better arrival than gorgeous Montu roaring by as we made our way into Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. It remains one of the best inverted coasters in the country, many enthusiasts consider it to be by far the US’ best.
Let’s dive straight into Mardi Gras activities! This is the first year for Busch Gardens Tampa Bay to host this event, adding yet another stellar food festival to their extensive list of annual events. We were just at the park a few weeks ago to enjoy Christmas Town and all the delicious offerings accompanying the event. The classic Mardi Gras color schemes engulfed the ‘special events corner’ of the park, close to where the new-for-2021 Iron Gwazi roller coaster is located. You can click on each image and swipe to take a closer look!
While the event, in its first year, is not quite as big as events like Christmas Town, this corner of the park was home to plenty of entertainment. Offerings included live folk music, a colorful parade, and a jazz band. Along with all the good drinks this corner quickly turned into Party Gras for us.
The definite highlight of the event was the array of stellar food and beverage options. While lines for food stands did get a tad long at times (running out of highly popular items ’til they were restocked), the waits were worth it. We really enjoyed everything that we tried out. Sample with us:
Pro tip: get yourself a Food & Beverage Sampler punch card. They’re a great deal, and pass holders get additional punches! We started off with the Raspberry Haze Pilsner at booth 10! Smooth and enjoyable, and I feel like I can’t go to Busch Gardens and not have a beer of some sort! We quickly made it to the Jell-O shots! It is Mardi Gras after all! There are three types of Jell-O shots available, this red strawberry one comes in a flute with some beads, whipped cream and an edible sugar straw. My personal favorite was this Jell-O shot syringe, which comes in both lime and lemon flavors! The party continued with a Rum Hurricane! All three items were great and colored perfectly for the occasion. We also had a spiked coffee and amazing king cake cupcakes! These were some of the best cupcakes we’ve had at a theme park and perfectly foreshadow all the good food to come! A BIG highlight dish for me was the Impossible Jambalaya! Food events with good vegetarian options are important, and believe it or not, this was my first ever Jambalaya! Thanks for thinking of vegetarians/vegans Busch Gardens! (Also pictures is the delicious Green Fairy Frozen Margarita). Next up! Shrimp Po’ Boy! Absolutely delicious and came with Voodoo chips. We had to wait in line for a minute for the highly popular beignets. However, completely worth the wait! They come in portions of 5 beignets, and they’re delicious! They were so phenomenal that before leaving the park we had to come back and get more. We tried all three flavors; sugar, bourbon caramel, and bananas foster. All delicious, but the bourbon caramel was our favorite.
We visited on the first day and the event is off to an amazing start. There were lots of families and parties enjoying the Mardi Gras offerings and I think the popularity is already well-founded. The event is currently a nice size to enjoy for a few hours while taking a break from the thrills and is a perfect place to hang out on a busy Saturday. I would love to see even more food stands and entertainment offerings come to the park next year. We’ll probably be back a few times before the end of the event for some Mardi Gras and coasters. Speaking of which, enjoy a couple of shots from our day at the park below. More can be found on our social media channels. You can click on each image and swipe to take a closer look!
Thanks for joining us to Mardi Gras! Definitely check out this event, which runs through February 16th! If you like our content and are looking to support our website, consider shopping on Shop Coaster Kings! If you want to join the conversation, be part of the Coaster Kings Discord server! – For those that missed our brand new VelociCoaster and Ice Breaker updates, use the buttons below to navigate there.