If you’re planning a trip to Busch Gardens soon, you might wonder whether an all-day dining pass is worth purchasing.
A Busch Gardens all-day dining pass is a popular add-on to the Busch Gardens theme park experience, but lots of soon-to-be visitors have questions about it. If you want to know about the costs, restrictions, inclusions, and whether it’s worth it or not, read on. We’ll discuss everything you need to know about this dining option.
About Busch Gardens All-Day Dining Pass
The Busch Gardens all-day dining pass allows you to enjoy multiple meals for one flat fee at both the Tampa, Florida, and Williamsburg, Virginia locations. There are certain restrictions, but the pass will cover all your food and beverage needs in the park. This means it can save you money while allowing you to enjoy many of Busch Gardens’ delicious offerings.
Cost, Inclusions, and Restrictions
A Busch Gardens all-day dining pass costs $50 for adults and $25 for children ages 3-9. It lets you enjoy a meal every 90 minutes at most of the park’s dining locales.
Each meal includes an entree, a side or dessert, and a non-alcoholic beverage. You can pick and choose what you order when, so if you want a side or dessert at one restaurant and a drink or entree at another, you can do that.
Children’s passes offer a children’s entree with a kid’s drink, plus a choice of side or dessert. Kids cannot order off the adult menu using their passes.
Most of the restaurants in the park accept the dining pass. However, there are some dining experiences that the pass won’t cover.
For example, Busch Gardens puts on a Christmas Town Holiday Dining event during the holidays. The treats and drinks they sell here and at other specialty dining areas aren’t covered by an all-day dining pass.
Certain snack stands and bar-style restaurants also won’t accept the dining pass. And each restaurant can limit which entrees are available via the dining pass.
Most visitors agree that the offerings at each participating restaurant are substantial and include popular items. If you’re dealing with a dietary restriction, though, the pass may not cover entrees that suit your needs.
Alcohol is another no-go on the all-day dining pass, and so is sharing food. If you sit down at any of the park’s eateries, each person in your party who chooses to eat must order their own plate. The park is strict on this; they will take your pass if you misuse it.
How You Use It
Using the all-day dining pass is very simple. When you arrive, you’ll receive a wristband that you must wear throughout the day. Then, when you get a meal, the restaurant will timestamp the band so that you can’t use the pass again for 90 minutes.
How To Purchase
There are several ways to purchase the Busch Gardens all-day dining pass. You can purchase it in advance using their website. You’ll also find it on Groupon and Undercover Tourist. Alternatively, you can buy it through the Busch Gardens app.
If you prefer to make your purchase in person, you can buy a pass at guest services or kiosks within the park.
Participating Restaurant Locations
As we mentioned above, not all park restaurants participate in the all-day dining pass program. However, your favorites probably do!
Below is a complete list of restaurants that honor the dining pass by park location. Note that some restaurants may not be open for the full hours of the park. So, if you have a favorite, be sure to check their individual hours before visiting.
- Zagora Cafe
- Oasis Pizza @ Serengeti Overlook
- Dragon Fire Grill
- Zambia Smokehouse
- Chick Fil A
- Das Festhaus
- Snack Hutte
- Marco Polo’s Marketplace
- Squire’s Grille
- Trappers Smokehouse
- Les Frites
- German Pretzels and Beer
- La Cucina
Pros and Cons
If you’re planning a day at Busch Gardens and considering the all-day dining pass, it might help to examine the pros and cons side-by-side.
Pro # 1: It Will Probably Save You Money
In all likelihood, purchasing a Busch Gardens all-day dining pass will save you money. An average meal at the park, including an entree, a side, and a drink, costs about $25. So, if you plan on enjoying lunch, dinner, and extra water, a soda, or a snack, you’ll save money with the pass.
There are exceptions to this, of course. If you only plan to spend a half-day at the park, have significant dietary restrictions, or just aren’t a big eater, the pass may not be worth the cost. But for most parkgoers, purchasing a dining pass is a budget-conscious decision.
Pro # 2: You Can Try Everything
If you purchase a pass, you can try everything you want without worrying about the expense. For the food lovers out there, this is a great deal! Assuming you’re spending a whole day there, you’ll have time to try something at each restaurant, allowing you to get a full park experience.
Pro # 3: You Don’t Have To Worry About Hydration
This is a particularly big pro if you’re heading to the Tampa location. A day at Busch Gardens can be hot, and staying hydrated is key. Accessing a fresh, cold bottle of H20 every ninety minutes is a game changer!
Con #1: There Are Limitations
Most park restaurants accept the all-day dining pass, but some do not. So, if you want to enjoy a specific dining experience or have a favorite eatery that’s not on the participating list, you may not want to invest in an all-day dining pass.
There are also limitations on certain menu items. Though the most popular items tend to be included, that doesn’t mean your favorite entree is. Also, if you have dietary restrictions, the included items may not work for you.
Finally, alcoholic beverages aren’t included in the pass. So, if you want to enjoy a craft beer with your pretzel or a cocktail with your dinner, you must pay separately.
Con #2: You Can’t Share
A pass may not work well for you if you’re a couple that likes to share one entree. There’s a strict no-sharing rule when using a Busch Gardens all-day dining pass.
The sharing rule also applies to all children over age three. If you’re used to splitting one entree between you and your four-year-old, you might run into trouble.
Con #3: It Is an Extra Cost
The dining pass saves families money but is still an extra cost. Though you can’t bring outside food or beverage into the park, there are ways to be even thriftier about your Busch Gardens adventure.
For example, some families bring their own food and picnic in the car. This option kills a lot of park time since you’ll have to return to the parking lot for meals, but it saves more than buying food in the park—even with an all-day dining pass.
Ultimately, deciding whether to purchase a Busch Gardens all-day dining pass will depend on your unique situation, wants, and needs. For example, those with dietary restrictions and wanting to partake in specific dining events may not wish to purchase an all-day pass.
That said, if you’re a food-lover who wants to experience (almost) all the culinary delights the park offers, or if you’re a family who knows they’ll need to eat at least two meals in the park, an all-day dining pass will probably pay for itself and then some. So, for most Busch Gardens visitors purchasing the all-day dining pass is a good decision.