Yesterday, About Theme Parks opened nominations for its annual Reader’s Choice Competition! Theme parks fans and employees may nominate for the following categories:
• Best New Theme Park Attraction of 2012
• Best New Theme Park Show of 2012
• Best New Roller Coaster of 2012
• Best New Water Park Ride of 2012
• Best Theme Park Halloween Event of 2012
• Best Theme Park Holidays Event of 2012
This year, there are two exciting NEW categories:
• Best Full-Service Park Restaurant
• Best Quick-Service Park Restaurant
Nominations will be open through Feb. 11, and voting will run from Feb. 19 through March 19, with winners announced March 27.
If you have a favorite theme park restaurant, this is the perfect way to let your voice be heard and share your appreciation for the dining location!
To nominate a park and to learn more about the awards program, visit The 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards for Theme Parks and Water Parks main page.
Asked by Anonymous
I’m not certain. Sadly, I’ve never enjoyed the BGW carrot cake. That being said, the recipe featured on Theme Park Foodie is the same recipe used at both SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. There may be a few subtle differences, but I definitely think the recipe will be similar and might be worth using.
Best of luck, and be sure to let me know how it goes if you decide to give it a try!
From May 4 - May 14, I will be live blogging/tweeting/pinning (this social media thing is getting exhausting) from Orlando! Confirmed visits include all four parks at Walt Disney World, and SeaWorld (including a Cinco de Mayo celebration at Viva la Musica). Potential site visits include Busch Gardens Tampa, Legoland Florida, CityWalk and Aquatica. Send me your photo and information requests, and I will be happy to oblige!
PS I’m sorry I’ve been quiet lately; grad school finals and whatnot! Don’t worry; I’m never on hiatus for long!
Today’s delicious recipe comes from Busch Gardens Tampa! One of the best desserts available in the park is the Carrot Cake, which is available at many counter-service dining locations. The cream cheese frosting and soft, decadent carrot cake are sure to make diners, young and old, “mmm” with delight!
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups salad oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 cup crushed pineapple (drained)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup pecan pieces
Dash vanilla extract
1. In a mixing bowl, add sugar, salt, and then add oil slowly
2. Add eggs, then flour and baking soda, whisk until smooth
3. Add remaining ingredients
4. Fill two, greased 9” pans lined with parchment paper until they are approximately half-way or three-quarters full
5. Bake at 350 degrees in a conventional oven for 45 minutes or until the top of the cake springs back when lightly touched
6. Let cool for 10-15 minutes, then remove from pans
7. Refrigerate if necessary
3 cups cream cheese
1 cup butter
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 teaspoons vanilla
1. Place butter and cream cheese at room temperature
2. Whisk butter
3. Add cream cheese and mix
4. Add powdered sugar slowly
5. Add vanilla and almond extract
6. Mix well, then scrape the bowl edges with a spatula to prevent sticking
7. Remove icing from bowl and refrigerate until ready to use
Recipe courtesy of Inside SeaWorld!
The Desert Grill at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is a great place to stop for lunch or dinner during a trip to the park. The food is reasonably priced and is included in the park’s All Day Dining Plan, and the dining area is air-conditioned and spacious. Diners can take in entertainment as they eat, as the restaurant features a stage and a number of different shows throughout the year.
The menu consists of heavier fare including ribs, a variety of pastas, sandwiches and select salads. The chicken fettuccine alfredo and the meatball sub are especially tasty, though they tend to feel a bit heavy for the hot Florida weather. While the entrees are delicious, the desserts steal the show. During my last visit, I enjoyed a cookies and creme cupcake that was too big to eat with my hands - I needed a fork and knife!
I highly recommend swinging by this restaurant if only to grab a midday snack and take a break in the air-conditioning. If you purchase the All Day Dining Plan, it is a great lunchtime option.
Category: Counter Service
Location: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Recommended: Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo, Meatball Sub, Cookies & Creme Cupcake