Busch Gardens and the adjacent Adventure Island water park will reopen to the public on Thursday after nearly three months of closure, but with a new twist: Visitors will be required to make a reservation before they head to the parks.
The reservation website opens Monday.
SeaWorld, which is owned by the same parent company as Busch Gardens, will also open on Thursday and also use a reservation system to “help manage capacity so that guests can enjoy a safe and fun experience while maintaining physical distancing.”
Guests will sign up for a particular day, but won’t be limited to a certain number of hours at the park.
“Reservations are for the day, not a specific time. There will not be a time limit,” a Busch Gardens spokeswoman said.
The reservation requirement extends to passholders, who are used to unlimited admission.
Also new at the parks: All guests must wear a mask, have their temperatures taken to get in the park, and then practice social distancing once inside.
The Tampa parks also announced they will be closed some days. Busch Gardens will be closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays through August, and Adventure Island will only be open Thursdays through Sundays through the end of its season in October.
The reservation sites will go live at 10 a.m. Monday at the following websites:
- Busch Gardens Tampa: buschgardens.com/tampa/reservation
- Adventure Island: adventureisland.com/reservation
- SeaWorld Orlando: seaworld.com/orlando/reservation
- Aquatica Orlando: aquatica.com/orlando/reservation
- Discovery Cove: discoverycove.com
Florida’s theme parks closed on March 16 over growing concerns about crowds spreading COVID-19 as it reached a pandemic level. My mid-July, all the major parks are planning to reopen.