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Ready to crank down the heat and turn up the fun? How does enjoying Busch Gardens Tampa Bay after dark sound? Whether you want to stick around after spending the day riding Florida’s best thrill rides and exploring animal exhibits or drop by in the evening after work, it’s a great idea! The additional entertainment of Summer Nights happens daily through August 11.

Extended hours and fireworks are offered every Friday, Saturday & Sunday nights until August 11, 2024 as part of Summer Nights. And it’s one of our favorite summer date ideas.

Equipped with delicious food and drinks, energizing entertainment, and a dazzling fireworks display, Summer Nights will leave you and your partner exhausted but fulfilled! Here’s what to expect, and what to know before you go.

Returning Favorites to Summer Nights

Returning from last summer’s debut is Icons, where guests can step into the world of musical icons with a review show at Dragon Fire Grill. Featuring live performances of fan-favorite hits inspired by musical legends, this show will have guests singing and dancing in their seat. And you can grab a snack while you’re here too!

Icons showtimes, subject to change: 12:30 pm, 2:00 pm, 4:30 pm, 6:30 pm

entrance to icons show
The Icons show at Dragon Fire Grill – Image by Molli Keller

Also back by popular demand is Cirque Electric. This revamped acrobatic show brings all-new music to the Stanleyville Theater for the summer! Witness the extraordinary talent of cirque-style performers undertaking edge-of-your-seat feats alongside an electric ensemble of dancers.

Showtimes, subject to change: 3:00 pm, 5:00 pm, 7:00 pm

Cirque Electric at Busch Gardens
Image Credit: Busch Gardens

Stop by Gwazi Plaza for the return of the fan favorite, Gwazi Rocks, featuring a combination of drums and dancers that had us tapping along and grinning from ear to ear.

Our Favorite Entertainment

When’s the last time you danced with your sweetheart? One of our favorite parts of Summer Nights was showing off our dance moves as a couple while jamming out to the Stanleyville DJ, featuring some hits that had us singing along at the top of our lungs.

Stanleyville DJ Dance Time at Busch Gardens Summer Nights
Stanleyville DJ Dance Time – Image by Molli Keller

We took some time to relax in the air conditioning of the beautiful Moroccan Theater for the new Rhythm of Nature ice-bound adventure. This show follows the brave young hero, Dakari, as they journey into a magical realm on a quest to uncover the wonders of the animal kingdom and embrace their destiny. Sounds pretty fantastic, right?

Showtimes, subject to change: 2:00 pm, 4:00 pm

performers during Rhythm of Nature Ice Show
Rhythm of Nature Ice Show- Image by Molli Keller

Summer Nights Fireworks

As the sun goes down, the park lights up with a dazzling display of colors and sound with the return of Summer Nights Fireworks Spectacular. From jaw-dropping colors to intricate patterns, the Summer Nights Fireworks Spectacular is awesome.

Don’t miss this dazzling show at 9:15pm or 9:45pm every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on the Festival Field, PLUS Thursday, July 4th.

Busch Gardens Summer Nights Fireworks Spectacular near roller coaster
Busch Gardens Summer Nights Fireworks Spectacular – Image by Molli Keller

Once seating starts, 30 minutes before the show, guests can rest on the provided seats. We brought the drinks we purchased along Festival Walkway, but Festival Field also has refreshments you can buy.

We loved the opportunity to play with glowing hula hoops and beach balls while waiting for the show to begin. The fireworks themselves were nothing short of amazing. It was a very romantic ending to an awesome date night!

Related post: 4th of July Fireworks and Events in Tampa Bay

Delicious Food and Drink Offerings

The new Red, White, and Brews menu had our mouths watering! Through July 7th, you will find booths full of delicious food and drinks lined down Festival Walkway on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights starting at 6pm.

Red, White and Brews sign at busch gardens tampa bay
Red, White and Brews – Image by Molli Keller

The booths include Off the Grille, From the Fairgrounds, Summer Street Food, and Food Truck Favorites. Each booth has a mix of food and drink offerings.

  • Off the Grille: Grilled Beef Kabobs, Fire Roasted Corn on the Cob, Sloppy Joe Dogs, 3 Daughters Beach Blonde, Keel Farms Watermelon Cider, Backyard Margarita Craft Standard Cocktail, Raspberry Riot Craft Standard Cocktail
  • From the Fairgrounds: Hushpuppy Dogs, Mini BBQ Pork Wings, Hidden Springs Orange Crush, Magnanimous Juice Lord, Mastry’s Breezy Tropical Blonde, Phoenix Rising Punch
  • Summer Street Food: Chicken and Waffles, Pulled Smoked Chicken Slider, Walking Pork Tacos, Yuengling Flight, Michelob Ultra, Golden Road Mango Cart, Copper Tail Free Drive
  • Food Truck Favorites: Mac & Cheese Egg Rolls, BBQ Chicken, Budweiser Light, Keel Farms Creamsicle, Blue Moon, Florida Avenue My Blue Boy

Some of our favorites were the Walking Pork Tacos and the Mac & Cheese Egg Rolls. The Walking Pork Tacos were a play on the common Walking Taco dish, except they featured Doritos instead of Fritos as the base.

Smoked Chicken Slider at Busch Gardens Summer Nights -
Smoked Chicken Slider – Image by Molli Keller

My partner and I are big cheese lovers, so we enjoyed the crunchy egg roll stuffed with cheesy macaroni and spicy cheddar sauce. We also tried the Backyard Margarita, which is a perfect mix of sweet and sour, as well as the Watermelon Cider, which is super flavorful and refreshing.

Four new cupcake flavors can be purchased inside the Xcursions store. I have a major sweet tooth so this was one of my favorite parts! My favorite was the Fried Oreo, yum!

Peach Pie Cupcakes at Busch Gardens Summer Nights
Peach Pie Cupcakes at Busch Gardens Summer Nights – Image by Molli Keller
  • Caramel Popcorn– a buttery yellow cupcake with a caramel center and white buttercream with caramel popcorn garnish
  • Fried Oreo– a chocolate cupcake with a white chocolate center and chocolate buttercream with fried Oreo crunchies
  • Cotton Candy– a fruity pebble cupcake with a pink cotton candy center and blue cotton candy buttercream with sprinkles
  • Peach Pie– a yellow cupcake with a peach center and white buttercream with streusel crumb topping
cheers with beer samples at busch gardens tampa bay
Busch Gardens Summer Nights – Image by Molli Keller

Free Beer!

Now that we’ve really got your attention, free beer has returned to Busch Gardens! For a limited time, guests 21+ can say “cheers” to summer. Naturally, you must be over the age of 21 to enjoy one complimentary 7 oz. beer per day.

Busch Gardens Pass Members over the age of 21 can enjoy two complimentary 7 oz beers per day at Orang Café in Jungala.

The 7 oz. ice cold draft will be available at the park daily from 11:00 A.M. until one hour before park close at Orang Café in Jungala.

Free beer returns to Busch Gardens Tampa this summer
image credit: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Tickets and Details

Summer Nights at Busch Gardens runs through August 11th and the park stays open until 10pm on Friday and Saturday, and 9pm Sunday through Thursday. All rides and animal exhibits were open during this time as well.

Busch Gardens Summer Nights is included with regular park admission.

Busch Gardens Summer Nights is included with regular park admission. Tickets and annual passes can be purchased here.