Food & Dining The A to Z List Travel

Upscale fun at Florida theme parks: Now is the time

The rooftop bistro at Universal's Aventura Hotel.
Luxury Living Tampa Bay

A to Z: duPont Registry Tampa Bay’s encyclopedia of luxury

“A to Z: The Ultimate Luxury Lifestyles List” is duPont Registry Tampa Bay‘s first-ever compendium of the best our region has to offer for fans of luxury living. The list is organized by category: D is for Dining, R is for Resorts, etc., and under each letter we single out top-of-the-line examples in the category. Return to dupontregistrytampabay.com throughout the summer to see the next letter on The List, or read the entire list (and the entire July/August issue) in its digital version, on a coffee table, or in a bookstore near you.

A to Z: T is for…. Theme Parks

Sure, theme parks appeal to all ages, but there’s plenty of upscale grownup fun to be had, too. 

A to Z: T is for Theme Parks

Walt Disney World right now is all about culinary adventures. The Edison at Disney Springs is a steam-punk fantasia of a restaurant, while Victoria & Albert’s at the Grand Floridian remains a 5-star destination. And then there’s the one and only Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Aug. 30-Nov. 12 — 75 days of deliciousness that you have to taste to believe. Yes, it can get pricey — first, there’s the cost of the Epcot tickets and after that all those mini-dishes to buy at the Global Marketplaces, and you’re going to want to attend one of the celebrity chef Sunday brunches with superstars from Top Chef and Iron Chef, and maybe you’ll want to try a food and wine pairing or an Eat to the Beat package with guaranteed concert seating. But it’s all worth it, take our word for it.

A to Z: T is for Theme Parks

Universal Orlando Resort added something new and intriguing to its hotel portfolio this summer — the Aventura Hotel, which reviewers are praising for its sleek, sophisticated and not at all theme-y vibe. There’s even a 17th-story rooftop bar. It’s not one of the hotels in Universal’s Premier group, however, so you won’t get certain valuable percs at the Aventura that you get when you stay at, say, Universal’s flagship Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. But if you want to try what’s new (and at a lower price point than Portofino Bay), the Aventura is a good bet.

A to Z: T is for Theme Parks

Don’t want to brave the I-4 trek to Orlando? Not to worry — Tampa’s own Busch Gardens is throwing a Bier Fest every weekend through Sept. 16, and it sounds mighty festive. Go for the VIP pass, which gives you 10 samples of food, wine, brew or cocktails at any Festival location. The app-sized food samples include tasty-sounding options like Reuben Croquettes, Duck Lollipops and the Holy Schnitzel Sandwich, and the beer list features more than 100 brews from around the world including lots of local favorites, like 3 Daughters and Cigar City. There are bourbon tastings, too; extra cost, but hey, it’s bourbon.

Want more A to Z?

Find the complete “A to Z List” in the July/August issue of duPont Registry Tampa Bay on a coffee table or in a bookstore near you.

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