'Summer Nights' returns to Busch Gardens

By Ashley Carter, Attractions Insider
Last Updated: Saturday, June 17, 2017, 3:42 PM EDT

Get ready for a fun-filled summer at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

  • Summer Nights: June 16 - Aug. 6
  • Food, entertainment and thrill rides
  • New ice show "Turn It Up!"

Visitors can enjoy Summer Nights--the annual summertime event--now until Aug. 6.

This time around, it's been completely reimagined with all-new party zones, festive cuisine and a new ice show "Turn It Up!"

Three themed party zones are located throughout the park, offering visitors a place to eat, drink and dance. Fiesta Festa, which has taken over Cheetah Hunt Plaza, features Latin-inspired entertainment, cuisine (jerk chicken empanadas, slow roasted mojo pork) and several drink options. Over in Pantopia, visitors can enjoy a Hawaiian-themed party zone with huli huli chicken and barbecue ribs; tropical drinks and craft brews; and music. The Vibin' Village party zone in Stanleyville has African-inspired cuisine and entertainment.

"So for the entire family, we have an amazing night planned for you, all the way from adults to kids," Stewart Clark, president of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. "While the kids are out enjoying some of our amazing rides and Sesame characters, adults can literally just hang out in the Vibin' Village area or Fiesta Festa area."

For the first time this year, visitors can purchase a sampler lanyard to enjoy eight items at the party zones and other food locations throughout the park. Busch Gardens decided to offer the lanyards after receiving feedback from visitors.

"So what we learned here at Busch Gardens from our Food & Wine Festival is that sampler lanyards are a guest favorite," said Jamie Johnson, vice president of entertainment at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. "You can party your way around the park, and eat and drink to your heart's content."

Summer Night lanyards cost $34.99 per person. Discounts are available for Busch Gardens pass members.

The Moroccan Palace is home to a new ice show, "Turn It Up!" The 20-minute show features ice-skating, aerial performances and special effects set to contemporary pop music such as "Me Too" by Meghan Trainor and "24K Magic" by Bruno Mars.

With "Turn It Up," Busch Gardens has turned up the volume and "raised the bar."  

"We value the feedback from our guests so much, we've heard for a long time that they like high energy entertainment during the summer and that's what we've done with "Turn It Up," said Johnson.

It's being dubbed the "hottest show on ice."

Another highlight of Summer Nights is the chance to ride the coasters at night, including Cobra's Curse, Cheetah Hunt and SheiKra.

Other summer activities at the park include a patriotic celebration on July 4. Visitors can enjoy Independence Day with live entertainment, rides and special fireworks display that begins at 9:30 p.m.

During Summer Nights, the park will stay open until 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and until 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

For more information about the event at Busch Gardens, click here.

WATCH: Preview of Turn It Up, the new ice show at Busch Gardens:

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