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April 1, 2021

Spring Festival Must-Dos at Our Favorite Theme Parks

By Laura Byrne

Taste of EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival:

Just a short drive away from Tampa Bay is one of our favorites: the Taste of EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival (runs through July 5). We always leave this festival inspired to create our own themed garden! The new Prehistoric Plants garden was a hit, with mini plastic dinosaurs hidden throughout for you to find.

Some of our TOP Picks if you go with the kids:

  • Spike’s Pollen-Nation Exploration Scavenger Hunt: Pick up the card for $7.99 at the gift shops and search for Spike the Bee in the different gardens around the park!
  • Health Full Trail presented by AdventHealth: This area is located near Imagination. Though the playgrounds are closed, kids can play in the plant maze while parents grab a chair and relax.
  • The Goodness Garden Butterfly House presented by GoGo SqueeZ: This festival favorite is back and now located near The Land. Butterflies are everywhere. Enough said.
  • Yummy Treats: With more than 20 outdoor kitchens, there’s a fun treat for everyone, like The Citrus Blossom kitchen’s lemon orange smoothie served in a signature Orange Bird Sipper.
  • The Topiaries: Challenge yourself to spot as many of the 100+ topiaries scattered throughout the park that are snipped to look just like your favorite Disney characters.
  • Cool Gardens: There’s something inspirational about each of the 20+ gardens in the park. The Miniature Gardens near Germany feature a mini village. See if you can spot the mini Snow White! There’s plenty of activity, including live entertainment and mini character parades.

COMING SOON: Big news out of EPCOT: The opening date for the new Ratatouille ride in the France pavilion is Oct. 1 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resorts.

photo provided by Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival:

The sips, tastes and sounds are back at Busch Gardens! This year’s festival features 110 dishes and drinks, including 22 new menu items like the five-spice duck lettuce wraps with Asian pear coleslaw and plum sauce drizzle to meatless options like the Impossible® slider topped with caramelized balsamic onions and crispy jalapeños. If a cold brew is what you’re after, you can choose from a wide selection of beers, wines and cocktails—even sips from breweries from around Tampa Bay and Florida. One of the best ways to sip and taste your way through the festival is with a sampler lanyard with options of five, 10 or 12-item samplers available for purchase.

Perhaps one of the most exciting parts about this festival is that it brings live, outdoor music back after the pandemic silenced many live concerts. With limited capacity, socially distant concerts will take place at 5 and 7 p.m. You can also purchase VIP seating to secure your spot. The lineup includes:

  • Friday, April 2:       Sugar Ray
  • Saturday, April 3:    Sister Hazel
  • Saturday, April 10:   LOCASH
  • Saturday, April 17:   Tito Nieves
  • Saturday, April 24:   Starship Featuring Mickey Thomas

NEW: The Giraffe Bar recently opened at Serengeti Outlook at Busch Gardens with indoor and outdoor seating options that offer panoramic views of the Serengeti Plain. It’s a great spot to snag some appetizers with the kids while you enjoy a cold drink and keep an eye out for giraffe, zebra or ostrich.

Walt Disney World and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay both require guests to have a ticket or annual pass as well as a reservation for the day they want to attend. Face masks are also required for all guests ages 2 and older.

Originally published in April 2021

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