Reservations Open for Williamsburg's 'Taste of Busch Gardens'

August 28, 2020, 1:50 PM · Busch Gardens Williamsburg will launch a new limited-capacity special event as it looks to stay open — at least in part — under Virginia's pandemic rules.

The Williamsburg park has been staging a "Coasters & Craft Brews" event and will expand that into an all-new "Taste of Busch Gardens" event, starting September 2. The new event will feature 15 new food and dessert items as well as more than 30 beers and 10 drink specials, offered at 10 kiosks around the park. In addition, the following rides will be open for event guests:

Food items will include Bangers & Colcannon, Gamba Fritters, and Mushi-Gyoza at the "Best of Food & Wine" kiosk in Ireland; Steak Chimichurri, Jerk Chicken Slider, and Risotto at "Chef's Choice" with Loukoumades at "Three Rivers Treats" in New France; and English, Irish, Italian, and German fries at "Old Country Fries" with Beignets, Cannoli, and a Cookie Dough Cone at "Decadent Delights" in France.

Tickets start at $44.99 and do not include food. An admission with a five-sample tasting card starts at $68.99 and the 10-sample option starts at $92.99. Parking is $25.

Admission is included with active Memberships, Annual Passes and Fun Cards. Those guests can buy a five-sample card for $30 or a 10-sample for $60.

Reservations are available on Busch Gardens' website for four-hour blocks, on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5-9pm, and Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day from 11am-3pm and 5-9pm. Taste of Busch Gardens runs through September 27.

Virginia has limited the size of public gatherings in response to the pandemic, which is why Busch Gardens Williamsburg and other theme parks in the state have not been able to reopen fully. However, Busch Gardens is limiting capacity to these events in order to reopen the park partially in compliance with state regulations. The other big theme park in the state, Cedar Fair's Kings Dominion, has announced that it will not reopen this year.

Busch Gardens' sister park in California, SeaWorld San Diego, this weekend is starting a Zoo Days: Bayside BBQ & Brews special event as a way to open in that state, which also has not cleared theme parks to return. However, California has approved zoos and outdoor restaurants to operate, so SeaWorld San Diego is going with those while keeping its rides and indoor attractions closed. Our travel partner has discounted tickets the San Diego event on its website.

Replies (1)

August 28, 2020 at 2:58 PM

FYI, the max allowable capacity in Virginia is 1,000, so expect reservations to fill quickly, particularly for the busy weekends. I'm guessing that BGW has been able to make ends meet during the Coasters and Brews event, which is why they are essentially extending dates with this new Festival through September.

For us it's still a tough sell given that guests can only attend for a 4-hour block. We live 2.5 hours away from the park, and traffic can be extremely unpredictable. I'd hate to make a reservation and find ourselves stuck on I-95 for an extended period, reducing our already limited 4-hours of park time. I also have yet to see any reports about the park experience right now to evaluate whether I'd be comfortable taking my family there (the luxury of SFA is that it's only @30-45 minutes away, so if we ever feel uneasy about the crowds and/or procedures, we can leave without wasting half a day). The increased list of rides available is tempting, but I'm still hesitant to try this yet.

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