This weekend my nephew P and I headed to Busch Gardens Williamsburg for their Coasters and Crafts Brews event. We had a blast! And we wanted to give you guys an idea of what it’s like to be in the park during this strange time. Also I TRIED to get him to talk on the video- he refused!
If you would like to attend the Coasters and Craft Brews Event here are the remaining dates:
Aug 18 – 19, 5 – 9 p.m.
Aug 20 – 23, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and 5 – 9 p.m.
Aug 26 – 27, 5 – 9 p.m.
Aug. 28 – 30, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and 5 – 9 p.m.
Before You Enter the Park
There is signage everywhere warning you that in spite of the fact that Busch Gardens has done everything possible you are entering an area during a pandemic.
When you enter the parking lot at the tollbooth they give you a short list of guidelines- including social distancing your vehicle when you park. This recommendation was not observed by everyone but many people did. After we passed all the signage you see in these pictures they did a quick temperature check and the normal bag check/metal detector that Busch Gardens has always done and we headed in. I would say it added an additional one minute to the time it usually takes.
I also thought it was great that they did the temperature check in the parking lot and not at the actual entrance. So if you ended up having a temperature you didn’t have to walk ALL the way back to the parking lot and you were around minimal people before they had to turn you away.
This is a VERY common site inside the park. At EVERY ride these were before you got on the ride and after you got off the ride with constant reminders over the loud speaker to utilize them.
They gave visitors many opportunities to understand what would happen inside the park with rules posted in several locations.
The bridge heading into the park (which is the same bridge you must use to leave the park) has been divided so no one is walking on the same side.
You can see the green dots on the floor showing you how far to stay away from other guests. With the metal detectors and bag search now in the parking lot the scanning of the tickets has a much more open feel.
Once You Are Inside
P and I were attending the event “Coasters and Craft Brews” so the whole park wasn’t open- only about half the rides. Walking into England was surreal- the only shop open was the t-shirt shop immediately on your right and none of the restaurants were open (including the candy shop which kind of surprised me). But almost immediately you could see safety measures without it ruining the sense of magic I always get when I walk in the park.
These are on the ground throughout the park along with green dots. It’s a great reminder of social distancing requirements.
Even though we know he is tall enough it’s a right of passage to do the height check, which they have now changed to a more open format.
After getting through England we went over to Scotland to see the animals. The park is also requiring social distancing from the animals for safety reasons. For the first time in a while (atleast in my visits) they had someone in with the horses to make sure nothing happened.
Very clear directions everywhere you look!
Such beautiful horses!
As we got in line for Loch Ness Monster I was interested to see how the coasters would work. Of all the places where you could forget to social distance being in line for a ride could turn into one. Turns out it wasn’t a problem. And neither was being on the ride.
Every other row is closed and groups stayed away from each other.
P got to ride in the front of the Loch Ness Monster. And you can see how the riders are all spaced out on the ride.
Before and after each ride we grabbed some hand sanitizer!
You even social distance on the stairs!
It’s easy to know which seats are open and which are not!
Even the seats to see if you can fit comfortably on the ride get a cleaning!
How Safe Did We Feel With The Food?
For this particular event at Busch Gardens Williamsburg only two restaurants were open and we chose to eat at the Trapper’s Smokehouse. This was the ONLY place in the park where visitors just were not social distancing.
To be 100% clear the employees were absolutely being safe. Masks and gloves were everywhere. And P even made the note that when they were preparing food they were using utensils when on previous visits they had just used their hands to do things like grab salad from a bowl or move ribs around. Whenever it was possible they were being safe. Our tray we used was VERY hot and had obviously been run through a strong washing system.
One of the reasons I think people were forgetting to social distance is the menus. The Trapper’s Smokehouse isn’t huge and they don’t have any menus outside the room where they actually serve the food. And the font on the menus they do have isn’t that big. So as we were waiting in line we couldn’t make any decisions about what to get until we actually got inside and could see the menu. That pre-occupation I think made people forget to keep space. We made sure to keep six feet between us and the people in front of us but couldn’t do much about the people behind us.
I was very happy to see this change. Busch Gardens has always had their cutlery in a bucket with no plastic around it. The change to requesting wrapped cutlery is a GOOD one I hope they continue to do!
Someone was very excited to eat ribs for the first time ever!
And he ate every bite of it!