SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa will reopen tomorrow, Sept. 13. In an effort to boost attendance during a normally slow period of the year — further slowed by the hurricane and resulting power losses to millions of homes and businesses throughout the state — the two parks are offering a buy-one, get-one-free ticket deal for tomorrow through Sunday.
The single-day ticket offers are valid for Florida residents only, and must be purchased and redeemed between Wednesday, September 13, 2017 and Sunday, September 17, 2017. Full price adult ticket at SeaWorld Orlando is $99.99 (single-day ticket) and second single-day ticket to SeaWorld Orlando is free. Full price adult ticket at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is $104.99 (single-day ticket) and second single-day ticket to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is free.
"Floridians have been through a lot this past week. We’re pleased that this offer lets families, friends and neighbors take a break and reconnect for the day," SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment CEO Joel Manby said in a statement.
Like many in the state, Legoland Florida had lost power following the storm but today announced that it will reopen as scheduled on Thursday, Sept. 14. Legoland had been scheduled to be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday this week due to its seasonal schedule. Legoland's water park remains closed until further notice.
Even though the parks are reopening, it remains to be seen when the area's tourism industry will fully recover. An estimated 10 million people have been left without power in the southeast by Irma, and the Orlando International Airport is just beginning to resume service today, with many thousands of people whose flights were cancelled looking to get home. The logistics of getting back up to speed for one of the world's most popular tourist destinations are daunting, and that's before considering the PR challenge of letting potential customers know that the state is back open for business.
That said, the parks appears to have escaped any significant damage beyond the "arbage" of fallen trees and fronds that littered the resorts after the storm and a few torn or fallen signs. Not everything is 100 percent around the parks, but mid-September isn't exactly an "all hands on deck, full capacity" time of year, anyway. Crews will get the power back to other local customers, the airlines eventually will sort out their flight schedules, and destinations' PR machines will crank up to entice people to come visit. SeaWorld's even getting a jump on that with its ticket deal.
If you are in Florida, please let us know how things are going.
Would be pleasant if HHN queues are a little more manageable on Friday than a typical opening night though!
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.