Busch Gardens Meal Deal: Is it worth it?
We are avid fans of Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, VA.
It’s not only ranked the most beautiful theme park in the world year after year, it’s also got some of the best theme park food we’ve ever eaten!
If you’re planning a trip to Busch Gardens and wonder if you should add the Busch Gardens All-Day Dining plan, we’ve crunched the numbers and have the answer for you.
Originally published 2014. Updated 2023
What is the Busch Gardens All-Day Dining Plan?
To decide whether the Busch Gardens meal deal is worth it, you have to know what it is and how it works.
- If you purchase the Busch Gardens All-Day Dining Deal as an add-on, the cost is $49.99 per adult and $24.99 per child (ages 3-9). The Busch Gardens meal deal includes an entree, plus a side or dessert and a non-alcoholic beverage every 90 minutes. Guests receive a wristband to show at check out.
- If you purchase the Busch Gardens All-Day Dining Deal as part of a park ticket package — whether one, two or three days, adults can save a lot on the Busch Gardens meal deal. With the ONE DAY ticket with All-Day Dining, the Busch Gardens meal deal is only $38.99. With a two or three day package, the dining plan at Busch Gardens is only $27.50.
- Restaurants include: Das Festhaus, Marco Polo’s Marketplace, O’Tators, Squire’s Grille, Trappers Smokehouse, La Cucina, Les Frites, Snack Hutte, German Pretzels and Beer.
- Meal sharing is NOT allowed.
If you have a Busch Gardens Fun Card (good through Labor Day) or an annual pass (good for one year from date of purchase), the add-on option is the only one available to you. There is no season long dining pass at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.
CLICK HERE to compare all Busch Gardens ticket and dining plan options.
Is the Busch Gardens Meal Deal worth it?
So, we’re back to the big question: Is the Busch Gardens All-Day Dining Plan worth it?
Let’s look at a few of the menus.
These menus are from an earlier visit, and costs have only gone up!
Looking at these meals, they range in price from $8.99 for the Turkey Salad Wrap at Trappers Smoke House to $18.99 for any of the entrees at the Snack Hütte. And that’s not counting the drink and dessert!
Using the oven-roasted chicken at the Festhaus (first menu above), the cost of the meal is $12.99. The cheapest dessert is the cupcake at $2.99. Drinks aren’t listed, so let’s say they’re $2.00. Add that all up, and you pay $17.98 for one meal. If you eat three times during the day — remember, you can eat every 90 minutes — the total of a midrange meal would be $53.94.
So, even with the old menu prices, you save a few dollars — even if you pay $49.99 for the Busch Gardens meal deal dining plan.
With combo tickets that drop the All-Day Dining Plan to $38.50 or $27.50, the savings is incredible!
But what if you don’t plan to eat three meals?
Is the Busch Gardens All-Day Dining Plan a good value if you aren’t the type to eat three full meals a day?
Will lighter eaters save, too?
If you don’t think you can eat three full meals in one day, it might seem like the Busch Gardens meal deal is not a good value.
- But, would you drink multiple beverages if you didn’t have to pay $2 or $3 for each one?
- Or, mid-afternoon, would a nice fruit salad with a drink be a refreshing pick me up?
Since the Busch Gardens meal deal lets you make a purchase EVERY 90 MINUTES, you can use it to purchase just the food and drink you want. Skip the main dish during your afternoon snack. Head through the line to get a soda after you finish on Alpengeist.
Does snacking through the day make the Busch Gardens All-Day Dining Plan worth it?
Let’s say you arrive at the park at opening, and want a snack mid-morning. Get a fruit salad for $3.99 and a soda for $2. That’s $5.99. Then get the chicken dinner with cupcake and soda for lunch. That’s $17.98. Then, late afternoon, you get another salad and soda, for $5.99. And finally, in the evening, you opt for the Turkey Salad Wrap at Trappers Smoke House for $8.99 with another $2 soda for a total of $10.99. Add those all up and the total is $40.95.
Compared to the full price Busch Gardens meal deal add-on, you won’t likely save. But if you’re considering the Busch Gardens All-Day Dining Plan as part of a 1, 2 or 3 day combo ticket, you will save money over purchasing at the counter.
What else should I consider before purchasing the Busch Gardens Meal Deal?
The Busch Gardens All-Day Dining Plan DOES NOT include theme park favorites like cotton candy, funnel cake, kettle corn or ice cream. If a theme park visit just would not be complete without these treats, know you’ll pay separately for them.
The Busch Gardens meal deal DOES NOT include alcoholic beverages. You will pay separately for them.
Annual pass holders at the Unlimited, Premier and Platinum levels get a discount on food and beverage purchases of at least 10%. Consider if the $49.99 Busch Gardens All-Day Dining Plan add on is worth it when you would save on every purchase anyway. The food and beverage discount does apply to passholder purchases at the Unlimited (10%), Premier (15%) and Platinum (20%) levels.
So, is the Busch Gardens meal plan worth it?
In short, it depends!
I, personally, cannot eat enough in one day to justify the cost of the meal plan. I’m more likely to order a couple of salad meals at $12.49 each (probably only one) so I can get funnel cake and ice cream! I love funnel cake!
My husband would probably enjoy one big barbecue meal from Trappers Smoke House, but is not likely to eat two huge meals in a day. He likes ice cream!
My sons are in their early 20s, and they eat a lot, especially protein. They’d love the chance to eat a turkey leg or hot dog every couple hours all day long. For them, the all day dining plan would be a great “investment.”
But, if you enjoy large meals at theme parks and would eat either three meals at any price or at least two expensive meals, you will save money with the All-Day Dining Deal.
Honestly, there is no “one size fits all” dining plan. I hope this post helps you determine whether the Busch Gardens All-Day Dining Plan fits your family’s travel budget.
Save more on your Busch Gardens Williamsburg trip with these promotions:
As a Busch Gardens partner, I receive a small commission if you make a purchase through these links. There is no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting us by using our partner links.
- Busch Gardens Williamsburg Premier Annual Pass — Enjoy unlimited admission to eleven great parks including Howl-O-Scream, Christmas Town. Includes FREE Preferred parking, 6 FREE guest tickets, discounts & more.
- Busch Gardens Williamsburg Basic Annual Pass — Enjoy admission on select dates to Busch Gardens Williamsburg including Howl-O-Scream, Christmas Town & Water Country USA. Plus receive 5% off on park purchases.
- All other Busch Gardens Williamsburg Offers and Tickets — Which vary by season and time of purchase.
Learn more about Busch Gardens!
Read this post to plan your visit to Busch Gardens and Water Country USA. It’s got tips on all the new things happening in 2023!