Park of the Week: Islands of Adventure

Busch Gardens/SeaWorld parks announce temporary closures

March 13, 2020, 1:37 PM · Now all major theme park chains have announced temporary closures in an effort to halt the spread of the Covid-19 novel coronavirus.

SeaWorld just posted its announcement. The closures will start Monday and last through the end of the month. The SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks announced that they will pay their full-time Ambassadors during the closure.

I would be curious to hear from SeaWorld and Busch Gardens insiders what percentage of their park employees are part-time, if only the full-timers are getting paid.

This closure might effectively push back the debut of several new roller coasters that the parks had in testing, including Iron Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa and Emperor at SeaWorld San Diego.

This closure affects the following parks: SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa, SeaWorld San Antonio, and SeaWorld San Diego. The chain's other parks - Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Sesame Place - were closed for the season, though Busch Gardens Williamsburg was supposed to open this weekend. That won't happen now.

As of now, all the year-round Disney, Universal, Cedar Fair, Six Flags, and SeaWorld parks are closed, with many seasonal parks in those chains closing or pushing back their opening dates. For all the latest on travel-related coronavirus news, please check our daily news update.

Replies (6)

March 13, 2020 at 2:59 PM

Robert, do you think it’s likely that these closure dates will be extended beyond March 31st?

March 13, 2020 at 3:54 PM

I would not bet against it?

March 13, 2020 at 4:06 PM

I don't think anyone knows. Nothing of this magnitude has happened in the past 100 years and times have certainly changed in that span. This is the epitome of history in the making and how society and the powers that be deal with situations like this.

March 13, 2020 at 4:19 PM

No. Neither would I.

March 13, 2020 at 9:44 PM

This really comes at a bad time since the Seven seas food festival and Food and wine festival are in full swing right now. I had VIP for Yes/Alan Parsons next week at SWO but that is gone now. Seen Yes a few times but have never seen Alan Parsons and was really looking forward to it.

As of now the Three Dog Night concert is still on for Sunday at BGT and I have VIP for that show too. As long as the show is on I still plan on attending but am really interested to see what it will be like. Since Sunday is the last day they will be open for at least this month will it be super crowded or will people stay away? I will make sure to share what happens.

March 14, 2020 at 12:16 AM

On the closures, the key is number of cases in next few weeks. A big increase and they stay closed longer. Steady or decrease and things calm down but still uncertain right now to call either way.

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