The ever popular and super scrumptious Food & Wine Festival has returned to Busch Gardens Williamsburg for its fifth annual celebration. The event began on May 26 and will continue on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until July 2, 2017.
Despite that my family has been coming to Busch Gardens for years and it’s our favorite theme park; we had yet to attend Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival! We were excited to finally have the opportunity to visit the park during this years festival. We were invited to a special media event over the weekend in order to take mouth watering photos and provide information about tasty foods that will tickle your taste buds. We had the opportunity to attend a reception where we got to meet Chef Justin and learn more about the inspiration behind the selection of food and beverage at the festival.
The Food and Wine Festival is set up so that you can enjoy the park while indulging in culinary delight from around the world. There are 15 kiosks located through out the park that feature culinary cuisine regions that include; America Southwest, Asia, Canada, Caribbean, Crepes & Coffee, French Quarter, Germany, Hawaii, India, Ireland, Island Freeze, Italy, Mediterranean, Spain and Virginia. Each kiosks offers international food and beverage options that are sure to impress.
This is a amazing cultural and dining experience where you not only get to sample food but enjoy live music and watch cooking demonstrations. It’s great that the Food & Wine Festival is actually free! There is no additional fee to enjoy the cooking demonstrations; however, it does cost money to sample the food and beverage. Food & Wine menu items are smaller sample-sized portions and range from from $4 to $9 in price.
One of the best ways to enjoy the food and wine festival is by purchasing a pre-loaded sample card or hands free wrist band (which you can purchase at most of the kiosks located through out the park.)
- The Food Sampler Package costs $45. This package gives you the option to mix and match any 10 entrées, desserts, beers, wines or specialty non-alcoholic beverage from any of the kiosks.
- The Deluxe Food Sampler Package costs $60 and offers any 15 choices of entree, dessert, beer, wine or non alcoholic beverage for any of the kiosks.
- The Wine Tasting package is $15.95. Guests have the opportunity to learn about and taste four different wines from the region of choice– La Belle in New France, German Gifts in Germany or Bella Casa in Italy. This option includes a free souvenir wine glass.
- The Wine Tasting Trio is $31.95 and is a great way to taste a variety of wines. Try four different wines from all three of the wine tasting kiosks. Complementary souvenir glass with this pass.
- Other packages include Wine on the Rhine, Date Night Cruise and Pairing of Notes (a fine dining experience where you get to taste a six course meal.) Events Link
***Keep in mind: frozen beverages and cocktails are not included in packages. The passes must be used by July 2 and can’t be used for park food other than the participating Food and Wine Kioasks.**
The Food and Wine Festival is a lot of fun. We made sure to grab a Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival booklet; its kind of like a passport. Much like a scavenger hunt we explored the park and tried to stop at kiosks along the way to sample different cuisine. You can use the book to plan out what to eat as well as use it as a check off for what you’ve tried.
Playful Parent Top Five Favorite Entrees:
#1 Hawaii- Huli Huli Chicken is the perfect pairing of sweet pineapple and soy BBQ chicken served with orange and purple sweet potato salad.
#2 Spain- Chorizo Empanada is a tasty pastry pocket stuffed with spicy pork sausage paired with cilantro lime cream.
#3 Ireland- Bangers with Colcannon is a Irish sausage accompanied with mashed potatoes, cabbage, and Guinness gravy.
#4 Asia- Mushi-Gyoza is a steamed chicken dumplings with citrus ponzu sauce.
#5 Virginia- Bacon & Cheddar Hushpuppies- tasty cornmeal fritters with honey butter for dipping.
I also highly recommend sampling the infused hibiscus lemonade (Hawaii) and strawberry lemonade (Virginia.) All the desserts we tried were heavenly!
We had a great weekend getaway! This culinary experience was perfect for both adults and children. It’s a great way to learn about new cultures. If you have picky eaters go to Canada for macaroni n cheese. I attended the Food and Wine Festival with my sister and two boys ages 2 and 4. The adults in the party were thrilled to partake in culinary delight while the littles enjoyed the thrills of the park. It was a win-win for everyone.
More information visit: BUSCH GARDENS FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL LINK
Now that you know where to eat and play…don’t forget about the best place to stay! Marriott is our favorite hotel chain. After being spoiled by all the perks of Marriott we only stay at the Springhill Suites or Residence Inn in Williamsburg. The staff is courteous, rooms spotless and amenities perfect for families. Since both hotels are on the same property you can enjoy indoor and out door pools, basketball court and complimentary breakfast. This has been our choice hotel for over five years and always have a wonderful experience.
SpringHill Suites Marriott
1644 Richmond Rd.
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Win a Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival Pass! The pass includes admission to the park plus one Food and Wine Sampler ticket that allows you to try ten different samples! The winner will be announced on July 16, 2017 at The Playful Summer- Family Fun Night Event at the Blue Crabs Stadium. Winner does not have to be present to win.
-Like and share the Facebook post to spread the word.
-Comment your favorite ride at Busch Gardens on the Facebook post or on this article.
-Must be a Playful Parent fan to win.
-This contest is not Facebook affiliated.
***Thank you Busch Gardens for inviting my family to the Food and Wine Festival. Also a big thank you to Spring Hill Marriott for your hospitality and for partnering with The Playful Parent as the top hotel choice in Williamsburg. The Playful Parent was not paid to endorse these companies. I write recommendations based on my own experience to help make traveling easier for families.***