How many of you have been to Busch Gardens since their August reopening? Thoughts? Concerns? Comments?
This has been a tough year for the park. Usually by now we are well into the season. Actually, well into the season, end of season, and middle of Howl-O-Scream. Due to the pandemic closures the park has been getting creative in its operations, with their limitations being set at 1000 guests maximum, and limited operating days/hours, I feel they are doing the best that they can with the situation, and a pretty darn good job at it too.
If you haven’t been to the park yet, visit this link for info and what to expect for their Covid precautions: https://www.attractionchasers.com/reopening-busch-gardens/
Typically by now we are well into Howl-O-Scream. One of my favorite times of the year for Busch Gardens. Due to staffing and time constraints, as well as operations constraints, the first thing you will notice when you enter the park is their lack of decorations compared to the normal Howl-O-Scream. I have to stress that. Normal. Howl-O-Scream. Halloween Harvest, as this event is being called, is NOT Howl-O-Scream. It is more of a Halloween/fall festival. Actually more closely to a fall festival with some Halloween aspects added.
Currently the park is operating with three different time blocks, 11-3, 5-9, and 8pm-12am (Saturdays only).
What to expect of this special event….this time the park has opened up Italy, Festa Italia, and Oktoberfest, but has closed down France and New France. While Ireland is still open, Apollo’s Chariot, Tempesto, and Verbolten are now open too. I love the change in sections and rides.
During the daytime, kids can dress up in their costumes and participate in trick or treating and a pumpkin scavenger hunt. When the sun goes down, the park does have a small handful of scare actors roaming around to give guests the scares they crave this time of year. While there are no haunted mazes or scare zones, we found there was still plenty of roaming scare actors to make you jump.
Marco Polo’s Marketplace is open for dining, however, the park has kept their Food and Wine kiosks up and have added a few new foods to the menu. I HIGHLY recommend the Reuben sliders and German meatballs at the Vesuvius Grill near Escape from Pompeii. O’Tators in Ireland is offering fish and chips and shrimp po’ boys. While I have heard the shrimp po’ boys are supposed to be fantastic, our serving was nearly inedible with the bread being so hard you couldn’t even bite into it. The fried shrimp was nothing exciting, but the sauce that is used in the sandwich had a nice little kick to it. But I would recommend the Reuben sandwich any day. I would also recommend purchasing one of the sampling passes for $30 or $60 (slightly cheaper if you have a memebership). The punch cards are well worth the cost if you want to try the various kiosk foods.
Don’t forget, you do need reservations to visit the park. While most dates are full, keep checking as spots open when guests cancel their reservations. Passs holders and members get into the park for free, individual day tickets are still $50 and guest ticket cannot be used for these special events.