Busch Gardens Tampa Bay to officially reopen to guests June 11

by Brittani Tuttle

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has received final approval to reopen to guests on June 11, after being closed since March 16.

busch gardens tampa

The park presented its reopening plan and was approved by Hillsborough County and Tampa Mayor Jane Castor before heading to the state for final approval.

As reported by 10 Tampa Bay, the park will reopen on Wednesday, June 10 for an employee appreciation day, and then to the public on Thursday, June 11—the same day as SeaWorld Orlando.

With their reopening, many changes will come to the parks, including:

  • All employees and guests ages 2 and up will be required to wear face coverings
  • Temperature checks will be required for guests and employees, with CDC guidance to be followed
  • Social distancing will be promoted throughout the parks with ground markings and signage
  • Contactless payments will be encouraged, like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay
  • Plexi-glass will be installed in high-traffic and close-contact areas
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be increased
  • Some areas will be changed to a single-direction walking flow for guests
  • Single-rider lines will be eliminated
  • Queues for rides will promote physical distancing
  • Some rides will receive modified seating to create distancing
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrances and exits of rides
  • Rides will be sanitized more frequently
  • Open play areas will be closed unless they meet distancing protocols
  • New protocols will be implemented on water rides
  • Some aspects of meet-and-greets and parades will be limited or removed
  • Character interactions and photo-ops will be modified for physical distancing
  • Spacing will be increased for touchless turnstiles at the park’s entrances
  • Seating layouts for restaurants will be modified for physical distances
  • Tables and chairs will be sanitized more frequently
  • At restaurants, condiment stations will be closed, eating utensils will be pre-packaged, and single-use products will be used
  • Traditional menus will be replaced with paper menus
  • Buffet-style dining will be altered or closed
  • More grab-and-go/pre-packaged food items will be available
  • Lines and shops will have markings to encourage physical distancing
  • Shops will have signs that show defined entry and exit points
  • All open animal viewing sports will have physical distancing markings
  • Some tours and interactions will be limited to one party at a time
  • Some animal interactions will be modified

In addition to these new protocols, there are changes coming for employees as well:

  • Employees who have flu-like symptoms will not be allowed to come to work
  • Employees are required to follow CDC guidelines for self-isolation and symptom-free periods before returning to work
  • All employees will receive coronavirus-specific training

To learn more about Busch Gardens Tampa Bay ahead of its reopening, visit BuschGardens.com/TampaBay.


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