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Monday, May 27, 2024

Busch Gardens launches new survey to learn more about how to reopen

Busch Gardens Williamsburg has launched a new online survey to learn more about potential guests' feelings regarding the pandemic and park attendance. (WYDaily/Busch Gardens Williamsburg Facebook)
Busch Gardens Williamsburg has launched a new online survey to learn more about potential guests’ feelings regarding the pandemic and park attendance. (WYDaily/Busch Gardens Williamsburg Facebook)

Busch Gardens Williamsburg has been fighting to reopen during the pandemic and has created a new survey to collect information from guests about how to reopen for the season.

The park closed in March due to the coronavirus and has remained shuttered since. Park officials have expressed frustration at Busch Gardens still being unable to operate under Gov. Ralph Northam’s Phase 3.

Entertainment locations such as Busch Gardens are only allowed to operate with a 1,000-person limit under Phase 3. But for Busch Gardens, a park which holds approximately 24,000 people, such a low amount of guests isn’t economically feasible for reopening.

Kevin Lembke, Busch Gardens Williamsburg president, said during a recent James City County Board of Supervisors meeting the park had already drafted reopening plans that include social distancing and sanitizing measures and would allow between 5,000 to 7,000 guests.

Lembke said the plans had been presented to the governor’s office but Northam has held close to the capacity restrictions.

Northam said during a recent news conference that amusement parks involve people touching various things and coming into contact with each other, which is why the capacity limits will remain. However, the governor pointed out the capacity limit might be raised when it is safe to do so.

But as Busch Gardens summer season comes to a close, there isn’t any idea of when or how the park will open.

Busch Gardens this week sent a “Busch Gardens COVID Sentiment Survey” to potential guests and community members asking them to share their thoughts on reopening the park.

The survey, which takes 10 minutes to complete, asks participants various questions about how frequently they visit theme parks, how concerned about the virus they are, and if they live under stay-at-home orders.

There are also questions about comfort levels and how soon people would intend to visit the park once it reopens.

The survey even goes in-depth to ask participants how much time they think needs to pass before they feel safe enjoying a list of 14 activities and locations, from beaches to shopping malls.

Other items include participants to select the necessity level of certain actions, such as creating virtual line waiting systems and requirements for guests to wear face coverings.

To take the survey, visit the Busch Gardens COVID Sentiment Survey online.


Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at

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