Busch Gardens Tampa reopen plans receive county approval

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has been closed since mid-March in response to the coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy of Busch Gardens)

TAMPA, Fla. – Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s reopen plans have been approved by Hillsborough County officials.

What you need to know

  • Busch Gardens re-opening plans approved by county

  • New security measures, precautions have been developed for reopening

  • Face masks, temperature controls are required

The plans, which also include Adventure Island water park, include a number of measures taken to protect employees and visitors.

All workers and visitors must wear face masks to enter the parks. The facial mask requirement applies to visitors aged two years and older. Employees and visitors will also have to undergo temperature controls.

To promote social distance, signage and ground markings will be placed throughout the parks, including in lanes and shops. Seats in restaurants will also be rearranged to maintain physical distance.

Some driver lines are removed from attractions and the seats are adjusted. Specific protocols for water rides are planned to be implemented. Rafts, pipes and other moving vehicles in the water park are cleaned more often.

More intensive sanitary procedures will also be introduced, including regular cleaning of areas of high contact. Additional hand disinfection dispensers are installed in the parks.

“We are following CDC guidelines and advice from outside medical advisors to safely reopen Busch Gardens Tampa and Adventure Island,” Busch Gardens said in a statement. “We have developed a range of safeguards and safety measures, all designed to provide our employees and guests with a safe, healthy and clean environment. We hope to make official announcements about Busch Gardens Tampa and Adventure Island soon, as we continue to work closely with state and local officials. “

The plans for Busch Gardens, which do not include a reopening date, are still to receive approval from Tampa Mayor Jane Castor and ultimately Governor Ron DeSantis.

However, the plans are similar to those of parent company SeaWorld presented to Orange County officials on Wednesdays for the parks in Orlando. SeaWorld hopes to reopen SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica Orlando and Discovery Cove to the public on June 11. Those plans were approved by Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and have since been sent to the governor for approval.

Prior to closing in mid-March, Busch Gardens was getting ready to debut its new Iron Gwazi roller coaster.