Another name change for the Busch Gardens theme parks?
Published: July 30, 2008 at 3:26 PM
The parks, originally known as Busch Gardens: The Old Country and Busch Gardens: The Dark Continent, respectively, were long known as Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. In 2006, Busch changed the names of the parks to Busch Gardens Europe and Busch Gardens Africa.
Of course, as many readers have pointed out, this created quite a bit of confusion. Theme park chains are opening parks all over the world, and Busch is no exception. One hears "Busch Gardens Europe" and expects it to be in, well, Europe.
So Busch is said to be mulling a change back to more geographically accurate names, such as Busch Gardens Williamsburg or Busch Gardens Virginia for the European-themed park, and Busch Gardens Tampa or Busch Gardens Florida for the African-themed destination. There is no comment from the official channels on these rumors, one way or the other, as of this point. (And yes, I've asked.)
Complicating this question is the recent sale of parent Anheuser Busch to Belgian brewer InBev. If InBev were to sell the parks to another company, would that buyer want to keep the "Busch" name on the parks? If there is a chance that it would not, why endure the hassle of and public confusion over a name change now, if the parks names might change again in a year or two?
And if the name change is to go through at the end of this season, would that indicate that the "Busch" name is likely to stick around -- suggesting that the might be something to the rumor of the Busch family buying control of the parks?
So many questions....