A picture of the artwork & holiday decor at Serengeti Overlook Restaurant at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

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Taste of the Holidays

I recently celebrated a birthday and I was lucky enough to get one of the gifts I most wanted.  And that was getting to enjoy Taste of the Holidays at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay theme park!

Taste of the Holidays buffet meal at Serengeti Overlook Restaurant at Busch Gardens

Taste of the Holidays is a buffet meal you can enjoy during the holiday season at Busch Gardens.  Busch Gardens is a wonderful place to visit during the holiday season.  That’s because they have their annual Christmas Town event.  Christmas Town is full of great holiday shows, lights, decorations, trees and more.  We go over the event here.  So visiting Christmas Town is already fun on its own.  But attending Taste of the Holidays makes it even better!

But more about Taste of the Holidays.  It is a buffet meal full of delicious food.  You get some seasonal favorites, like turkey.  You also just get great food!

Serengeti Overlook Restaurant

Serengeti Overlook Restaurant has a holiday buffet during Christmas Town

The event takes place at Serengeti Overlook.  Serengeti Overlook Restaurant is a restaurant at the top of the Sergenti Overlook building.  There is an elevator to get there in case you can’t do stairs (which I appreciated).  Because you are on the top floor, you get great views of Serengeti Plains.  This means you can eat your meal and watch amazing animals like zebras and giraffes while you eat.

You can see giraffes, zebras & other animals while you eat at Serengeti Overlook at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Although here is the thing.  You may not get a seat by the window.  When we arrived, we did not.  I was very disappointed since I really like the animals at Busch Gardens and it was part of the reason I wanted to do Taste of the Holidays.  But the staff was nice and I was able to switch.

So here are a few tips I can give you if you want to get a window seat:

  1. Arrive either ahead of time so you can get seated as one of the first.  Or arrive at an offpeak time.  For example, if you are going to lunch get there at say 2:00 PM because there will be less people seated and you are more likely to get seated.
  2. If you do show up and all of the tables by the window are taken, ask to wait.  This is what I wish I had done.  They will let you wait for a table.

If it is really crowded, though, and you don’t want to wait for a seat, you will still have a great time.  The decorations around the restaurant are beautiful.  I really like the artwork depicting some of the animals at the Serengeti Plains.  And the Christmas decorations up are great, too.

A picture of the artwork & holiday decor at Serengeti Overlook Restaurant at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Taste of the Holidays at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has beautiful Christmas decorations


A picture of the chicken, mac & cheese, roast beef & bread pudding available at Taste of the Holidays buffet meal

A picture of a dessert offered at Taste of the Holiday buffet meal at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Another reason you may not care if you get seated by the window is because of the food.  The food is really delicious.

Here is some of the food my family liked the most:

  • Chocolate Chip Bread Budding: This was the one that was the biggest hit for my family.  I had multiple servings.  Even my mother who doesn’t normally like sweet food loved it!
  • Fried Chicken & Chicken Strips
  • Roast Beef
  • Macaroni & Cheese

I did get disappointed when it came to dessert, though.  Loved the cupcakes!  Taste of the Holidays had advertised as having pumpkin cheesecake.  Since I love pumpkin and cheesecake, this was honestly one of the big reasons I wanted to do this buffet.  But I was offered a parfait and not the cheesecake, so I got very upset.  But then the chef actually came out and talked to my family and then got us the cheesecake.  I was incredibly impressed with this.  I had had bad experiences at restaurants – like way worse than this – and had the staff do absolutely nothing.  But the staff’s attentiveness at the situation ended up turning what might have been a disappointing experience into a highlight of my vacation.


Serengeti Overlook at night during Christmas Town. This is where you can enjoy a holiday buffet meal.

So even if the event was not exactly what I had pictured, this is definitely something I recommend.  The food is delicious and the atmosphere is wonderful.  And given all the food you get, the price is definitely affordable.  Please note, however, that you will need park admission in order to visit the restaurant.  But you can get great deals for Busch Gardens tickets by clicking here.

Now, if you are visiting on Thanksgiving or Christmas, you will need to book it in advance.  I don’t think I have to explain why demand is greater for this event on those days!  Click here to go ahead and reserve your spot.  Also, we go into more detail about the Thanksgiving Taste of the Holidays Event here.