Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival is back, and it's packin' Flamin' Hot Cheetos street corn

But maybe don’t eat the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Elote street corn before riding the steepest and fastest hybrid coaster in the world.

click to enlarge Flamin' Hot Cheetos street corn - Photo via Busch Gardens
Photo via Busch Gardens
Flamin' Hot Cheetos street corn
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is about to have a tasty and thrilling spring break season.

The Tampa theme park will bring back its annual Food & Wine Festival on March 11 – the same day the long-awaited Iron Gwazi coaster  debuts to the public.

While you may need some food fuel or liquid courage before strapping into the steepest and fastest hybrid roller coaster in the world, it’s probably a better plan to wait until after that 91-degree drop to indulge.

Food & Wine runs through May 22 – that’s 11 weekends of specialty food and drinks and concerts, the longest run the event has ever had.

More than 90 dishes and drinks are featured at the 16 stations and bars situated around the park. Food & Wine even brings back three popular spots from the park’s Mardi Gras event – Nola Sweets, Hurricanes and Nola Eats.

A taste of some of the new offerings at this year’s Food & Wine Festival:

Iron Gwazi themed drinks:

- Iron Gwazi Fizz: gin, lavender, lemonade, Grenadine, Blue Curacao, soda

- Hybrid Heat: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, Disaronno, Coca-Cola

- The 91-degree Drop: Tito’s vodka, melon liqueur, Triple Sec, lemonade

Seasonally Inspired:

Impossible mini avocado slider: Smashed avocado, roasted garlic aioli, brioche bun Sour orange glazed burnt ends pork belly bites Toasted coconut lemon cheesecake mousse

All American Eats:

Game Time!!! Mini bison cheeseburger: With wild blackberry preserve, pinot noir caramelized onions and Midnight Blue 24K double chocolate whoopie pie: With marshmallow cream, chocolate drizzle and chocolate pearls

Springs Creamery: Sangria float: with Madagascar vanilla ice cream, club soda, brandy cherries and edible flowers

West Coast Catch: Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Elote street corn: With avocado lime crema, Tajin and Cotija Harvest chipotle BBQ shrimp tacos: With creamy ranch slaw, Pipian sauce and Cotjia Orange Flan

Xcursions cupcakes: Black berry pinot noir Orange creamsicle Strawberry short cake Havana (guava and cream cheese)

Yuengling Butchery:

Urban duck fries: With duck confit, parmesan cheese, fresh herbs and roasted garlic aioli Hawaiian BBQ pulled pork: With coconut jasmine rice, pineapple serrano relish and cilantro

As for concerts, here’s a look at the lineup for every weekend of the festival. Busch Gardens will add more details and acts closer to the festival start. March 11: Sean Paul

March 26: Scott Stapp: Voice of Creed

March 27: The Purple Xperience: Prince Tribute

April 2: Rodney Atkins

April 3: Air Supply

April 23: Kansas

April 30: 3 Doors Down

May 22: Tito Nieves

Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival is included with park admission, but food and drink purchases and special concert seating are separate.

The festival offers sampling lanyards that include 10- or 15-item samples and a package that includes reserved concert seating and a 5-item sampler lanyard. Busch Gardens pass members can also purchase an exclusive 18-item sampler for the same price as the 15-item lanyard ($80).

For more information, tickets and vacation packages, visit BuschGardens.com.

About The Author

Chelsea Zukowski

Freelance contributor Chelsea Zukowski is a Tampa Bay native who started her journalism career in 2014 at the Tampa Bay Times, working her way up from editorial assistant to entertainment reporter and copy editor. After four years in print, she moved on to broadcast as a digital producer with 10 Tampa Bay-WTSP,...
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