Summer Nights 2017

Summer Nights 2017 at Busch Gardens Tampa was “reimagined” for the season with a new focus on an overall party atmosphere, special food & drink options, and the new Turn It Up! ice show at the Moroccan Palace Theater.

Fast Facts

Start Date: June 16, 2017
End Date: August 6, 2017
Location: Parkwide

Event Details

Summer Nights 2017 ran each evening from June 16 through August 6, with hours on Sundays through Thursdays until 9 p.m. and to 11 p.m. on Fridays & Saturdays. Shifting focus from fireworks and the performances of Kinetix, the park promoted Summer Nights 2017 with the new theme of “Party Louder, Play Later.” Guests were encouraged to share their experiences using #ShowUsYourSummer in posts on social media.

Along with night rides on the roller coasters, guests could also enjoy three new Party Zones around the park featuring live entertainment and special culinary options. Those zones were Vibin’ Village in Stanleyville, ¡Fiesta Festa! in Cheetah Hunt Plaza, and Luau in Pantopia. The culinary booths were scheduled to open as early as noon (see Guide and Menus sections below), with entertainment starting around 3 p.m. each day.

Vibin’ Village featured brightly colored decor with an African tribal theme, including a large DJ booth in SheiKra plaza. The emcee, along with “Party Starters” and stilt walkers, would lead guests in group dances. Nearby, the Tribal Eats booth served up a few African inspired dishes and a variety of beers and wines.

In Cheetah Hunt Plaza, ¡Fiesta Festa! brought Latin flair to the courtyard each evening. A DJ booth was tucked under the trees near the train tracks where party hits were played and guests were led in group dances. Party Starters and stilt walkers also joined in on the fun. The zone also featured two culinary booths and a tequila tasting under the canopy at Cheetah Gifts.

The last Party Zone was Luau, located in Pantopia in front of the theater. The theme, entertainment, and culinary options here were inspired by Hawaiin island life. There was no DJ here, with a focus on live entertainment instead. A host and musicians, usually a duo of drummers, would interact with the crowd. Stilt walkers & Party Starters would also join in the fun, sometimes having a “drum-off” with children. Two festival booths were located in the area, including one focusing just on drinks.

While not a designated Party Zone, Garden Gate Cafe also featured a small stage on the patio where various entertainment could be found at select times, including a steel drummer.

Much like the Food & Wine Festival held in the spring, a sampler lanyard was available for Summer Nights 2017 at Busch Gardens Tampa. For $34.99, guests could purchase the lanyard and receive eight food or beverage items from any of the participating Summer Nights locations. Pass member discounts applied.

Along with the main Summer Nights culinary booths in each Party Zone, there were several other locations near the zones and around the park that had special food & beverage items available for purchase or redemption using the sampler lanyards. See the full listings for all of the booths and additional Summer Nights Sampler redemption options in the Guide & Menus sections below.

For Independence Day, the park remained open until 10 p.m. and featured an extended fireworks show at 9:30 p.m. with a new patriotic melody with seating available in Gwazi Park. Prior to the fireworks, local band Actual Bank Robbers performed on the main Gwazi Park Stage beginning at 8:30 p.m. A Summer Nights Dance Challenge was also held.


Details for Summer Nights 2017 were released on May 24, with the park confirming that Kinetix and nightly fireworks would not be returning for the season.

On June 21, 2017, details were posted for the Fourth of July festivities, which included the only time fireworks were featured and Gwazi Park was used as part of the event.


A special printed guide was available for Summer Nights 2017, which featured a map of the park with the special food & beverage kiosks and other locations highlighted, along with a description of each Party Zone and information on the Sampler Card.

Click each thumbnail below to see the full-size image.


Each of the three Party Zones at Summer Nights 2017 featured at least one booth with special food & beverage items available beginning as early as noon each day. The items at the Summer Nights booths were able to be purchased a la carte or redeemed using the sampler lanyard. All items were available for one punch on the sampler lanyard, with food being the same size as purchasing out of pocket and drinks being served as a smaller sample size. Additionally, several regular culinary locations had offerings that were able to be redeemed for one sampler lanyard punch (see map in the Guide section above). Pass member discounts applied, and tax was not included in the menu price.

NOTE: The menus are copied directly from what was displayed at the park at the beginning of the event and include any spelling, grammar, or stylization errors that were present.

Tribal Eats (Vibin’ Village)

  • Chicken Mafi – $6.50
    • Grilled Chicken Skewer with Peanut Sauce, served with Basmati Rice
  • Tamarind Shrimp Cooler with Watermelon – $5.50
    • Cool and refreshing shrimp ceviche, flavored with tamarind and sweet watermelon
  • Smoked Chicken Pocket – $4.00
    • Slow Smoked Chicken served in a steam bun with harissa sauce
  • Graham Beck, Rose – $7.50
    • Pale pink aromas of raspberries, cherries. A lively mousse with red berry flavors offer a brisk yet delicate burst of flavors of fresh crushed berries and hints of oyster shell.
  • Graham Beck, Sauvignon Blanc – $7.50
    • Seductive flavors of gooseberry and passionfruit with notes of figs, lemon grass and capsicum. Following through is a delicious concentration of tropical fruit, nettles and cut grass flavors.
  • Graham Beck, Cabarnet Sauvignon – $7.50
    • Great complexity of black berry fruit, dark chocolate, plums and tobacco spice aromas with a rich juicy yet dense fruit core and firm tannins.
  • Rekorderlig, Strawberry-Lime Cider – $7.99
    • Rekorderlig Strawberry-Lime Cider perfectly embodies a Swedish summer with the authentic flavor of freshly picked stawberries. ABV 4.5% IBU 5
  • Traveler, Grapefruit Shandy – $7.99
    • Traveler Grapefruit Shandy is a deceptively delicious wheat beer made with real grapefruit. It delivers a bright and satisfying citrus aroma and flavor, then quickly disappears, leaving you searching for another. ABV 4.4% IBU 7
  • Lagunitas, Sucks Ale – $7.99
    • This beer is a ‘cereal medley’ of barley, rye, wheat, and oats. Full of complexishness from the 4 grains, then joyously dry-hopped for that big aroma and resinous flavor. ABV 8% IBU 63.21
  • Domestic Beer – $7.49
    • Budweiser, Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Light, Michelob Ultra
  • Coca-Cola Products – $3.49
    • Coke, Coke Zero, Diet Coke, Sprite, Fanta Pineapple, Fanta Grape, Fanta Strawberry, Fanta Orange
  • Dasani Bottled Water – $2.99
  • Smartwater – $3.99

Luau Landing

  • Huli Huli Chicken – $6.50
    • Hawaiian sweet and spicy marinated chicken with diced pineapple and jasmine rice
  • Hawaiian BBQ Ribs – $5.50
    • Our very own Gouchujang Sauce brushed on and grilled to perfection, served over Jasmine Rice
  • Pineapple Cheesecake Parfait – $4.00
    • Pineapple cheesecake mousse layered with pineapple chunks
  • Zonin, Moscato – $7.50
    • Fresh and pleasantly sweet with a taste that reveals its varietal characteristic. Fruity and very inviting, with intense scents of peaches and exotic fruit.
  • Zonin, Prosecco – $7.50
    • Very well-balanced and appealing, with the extremely delicate almond note that is typical of Prosecco.
  • Kona Longboard Island Lager – $7.99
    • Longboard Island Lager is a smooth refreshing lager fermented and aged for weeks at cold temperatures to yield its exceptionally smooth flavor. ABV 4.6% IBU 20
  • Pair O’Dice Clearwater Honey Cream Ale – $7.99
    • A Honey Cream Ale that pours a clear golden color with notes of orange and of honey on the nose. ABV 5% IBU 10
  • Aloha Traveler Pineapple Shandy – $7.99
    • Ahola Traveler is an American craft wheat ale made with real pineapple for a refreshingly vibrant drinking experience. ABV 4.4% IBU 7
  • Rekorderlig Wild Berries Cider – $7.99
    • Rekorderlig Wild Berries Cider is a contemporary cider with the flavor and fragrance of wild blueberries and raspberries. ABV 4.5%
  • Budweiser or Bud Light – $7.49
  • Coke, Diet Coke or Sprite – $3.49
  • Dasani Bottled Water – $2.99

Luau Landing Libations

  • Frozen Cocktails – $7.50
    • Blue Lemonade – Blue Raspberry Vodka blended with lemonade
    • Watermelon Margarita – Juicy and Sweet, just like eating a slice of ice cold watermelon!
    • Pina Colada – Traditional, delightful and refreshing!
  • Fresh Pineapple Delight – $13.99
    • Not valid for Summer Nights Sampler Lanyard
    • Fresh pineapple served with choice of Blue Lemonade, Watermelon Margarita or Pina Colada
  • Domestic Beer – $7.49
    • Budweiser, Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Light
  • Coke, Diet Coke, or Sprite – $3.49
  • Dasani Bottled Water – $2.99

Fiesta Flavors

  • Slow Roasted Mojo Pork – $5.50
    • Served with black beans and rice, topped with fried plantain strips
  • Chicken Empanandas – $5.25
    • Served with Roasted Habanero Sauce
  • Chicharrón – $4.00
    • Seasoned with Adobe Blend
  • Eppa White Sangria – $7.50
    • Organic superfruit blend of mangosteen, peach, mango and blood orange juices. Eppa White has nearly 3x the antioxidants of white wine, which is the result of using real organic superfruit juices. Deliciously refreshing flavors of peach and mango with bright citrus essences make for an easy drinking sangria
  • Eppa Red Sangria – $7.50
    • Organic superfruit blend of pomegranate, blueberry, blood orange and acai juices. Eppa Red has nearly 2x the antioxidants of red wine, which is the result of using real organic superfruit juices. Deliciously refreshing fruit and berry flavors with casual citrus essences make for an easy drinking sangria.
  • Modelo Especial – $7.99
    • Well-balanced taste and light hop character with a crisp, clean finish. Characterized by an orange blossom honey aroma with a hint of herb. ABV 4.4% IBU 18
  • Heineken – $7.99
    • ABV 5.0% IBU 23
  • Corona Extra – $7.99
    • The aroma is slight grain and more specifically corn. The taste follows with a corny malt base, no bitterness and a very subtle approaching tart on the end. ABV 4.6% IBU 19.3
  • Budweiser or Bud Light – $7.49
  • Coca Cola Products – $3.49
    • Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, or Fanta Pineapple
  • Dasani Bottled Water – $2.99

Fiesta Flavors Frozen Delights (Margarita Bar)

  • Mango Margarita – $7.50
    • Sweet, Tangy Mango Tequila Margarita!
  • Watermelon Margarita – $7.50
    • Frozen… Refreshing… Delicious
  • Sangria – $7.50
    • Traditional Sangria, Frozen and Refreshing

Tequila Tasting

The Tequila Tasting at Cheetah Gifts was available on Friday and Saturday evenings and was not included on the sampler lanyard.

  • 4-Sample Tasting & Souvenir Shot Glass – $19.95
    • Sauza Tequila, Lunazul Tequila, 1800 Tequila, Gran Centenario


Additional information and images on Summer Nights 2017 at Busch Gardens Tampa will be added in the future.


Busch Gardens Tampa Bay | Summer Nights – accessed 6/30/2017
Twitter – @androckb | May 24 2017 – accessed 11/15/2020
Twitter – @androckb | Jun 21 2017 – accessed 12/5/2020
Touring Central Florida | Jun 22 2017 – accessed 4/25/2019
Touring Central Florida | Jun 29 2017 – accessed 4/25/2019


Last update: December 9, 2020