TAMPA, Fla. - After closing nearly three months ago because of the pandemic, Busch Gardens and Adventure Island will finally reopen Thursday, but it won't be business as usual.
As part of its new guidelines under the phase two of Florida's reopening plan, visitors cannot just show up, even if they are a season ticket holder. For the initial phase of reopening, Busch Gardens is going to be reservations only.
Reservations can be made online. The theme park is limiting its capacity so guests can spread out and maintain social distancing from others. Capacity will be limited for the pools and rivers at Adventure Island.
Guests will also be required to wear face masks, even on rides. The parks said anyone over the age of two will need one. The one exception is for water slides. Visitors will be temperature-screened at the front gates.
On reopening day, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay guests arrived for their reservation time Thursday morning.
Aside from the much smaller crowds, guests will also notice additional changes around the park -- some animal attractions, tours and raft rides will be limited to single parties. Free-play areas, buffet-style dining and single-rider lines have also been eliminated.
Busch Gardens officials also said there will be increased cleaning and hand sanitizer stations for guests.
Signs inside the park will include reminders for proper social distancing. (Busch Gardens)
Busch Gardens will be open Thursday-Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays through the end of August. Adventure Island will be closed Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Meanwhile in Orlando, SeaWorld is also reopening Thursday. Walt Disney World is waiting until next month to reopen. Both Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom won't reopen until July 11. Then, Epcot and Hollywood Studios will open four days later. Legoland Florida is already open.
For more information, head over to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay's website.