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Dec 23, 2011
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March 16th is what I am hearing for a Preview Day, March 23rd for public opening and March 25th thru April 7th, seems to be their Spring Break weeks, so they open up and immediately go to daily operation for Spring Break and then to weekends until May 24th.

This is what I've been hearing for an opening for 2013, any other rumors or thoughts about this?
 

Ziva

fancy cafe latte
May 30, 2011
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March seems really early, especially since the weather in Williamsburg is so unpredictable and the tourists don't generally show up until May. Are they moving towards year-round so soon?
 
Dec 23, 2011
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The park has always opened in March. This is their Spring season, which is basically kind of a get employees ready for the peak season (Summer) and gives many locals a chance to visit weekends in Spring. Plus, they have to get those Spring Break crowds.

As far as full year goes, it has been rumored by many sources however they have yet to do anything to show us it may be possible. The only thing they have done to make this possible is adding Christmas Town to extend their season, which could lead to an extension into other months. The problems they face with full year operation would be maintenance work, seasonal employee contracts, and actually getting people to visit in the Winter.
I am sure the first two are easier to deal with because Tampa handles those just fine, but that last one is very difficult. I am sure they could manage up a few crowds on certain days mostly composed of locals, but I'm not sure things would work out too well.
I do think they could get away with weekends for locals and have a smaller staff, and they just go for the locals that time of year. I mean yeah it could be cold but you will always have those crazy people who want to visit, or those troublesome teens who want a fun place to go, or something of the sort. These mainly consist of locals who purchase season passes, etc.
Still, weekends in January and February could work out, if they can get enough locals to visit and they use a smaller staff.

So in conclusion, no the park has not made any notion of going full year as of now, however they always open mid-March for their Spring season.
 

Ziva

fancy cafe latte
May 30, 2011
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Huh, for some reason I thought they usually waited until May. Thanks for answering my dumb question, PR!
 
Dec 23, 2011
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May just happens to be when things pick up and people tend to visit the park more, and the park goes daily and into peak season Memorial Day weekend. So it is natural to assume they open then, after all, the park's season used to be from Memorial Day to Labor Day, if I am not mistaken.

They extended into weekends in Spring first, then they added Howl-o-Scream, extended into weekends in September, and now they have added Christmas Town. I think it is just a matter of time before they add Christmas Town to the pass and extend into weekends in November. That way the season lasts from Mid-March to December 31st.
 
Sep 10, 2012
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Party Rocker said:
I mean yeah it could be cold but you will always have those crazy people who want to visit, or those troublesome teens who want a fun place to go, or something of the sort.
I would be one of those people...meaning "crazy" who would definitely visit every weekend when possible. As to some ideas of what the park could offer, I like to just walk around (like mall-walking) and enjoy the atmosphere. I am sure I am not alone in this. It is great exercise on the hills and paths (which is almost unique for these kind of parks, isn't it?). Enjoying a ride, a show, grab a bite to eat, walk some more. Great times!!
Plus, the kids like to play in the water at Elmo Land regardless of the temperature. :cool:
 
Dec 23, 2011
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March 16th is Pass Preview Day, March 17th will be the GP's Opening Day, they will open the following weekend and then go straight to daily operation for Spring Break. March was only posted on their calendar last time I checked.
 
Dec 23, 2011
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It is such an unexpected change; however if you look at the regular schedule format from last year and compare it to one from MANY years ago, you will see there can be extreme changes sometimes. The park used to be open until midnight before, and open until 11 more than just 3 days in the summer. The schedule can change drastically, but I think we should expect small changes year to year.

EDIT

I just found the PDF for the 2013 schedule. http://seaworldparks.com/buschgardens-tampa/~/media/BGW/Park%20Info/BGWCTWCUSA.ashx

Looks like we can expect an even earlier Howl-o-Scream, 2 days for Forth of July fireworks?

Also, the park seems to be staying open later on more days. The only month with really early closings is June, a lot of 10PM closings?

Anybody else see anything interesting?
 
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Dec 23, 2011
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Perhaps May and June? Didn't we hear it was supposed to be 7 weekends in Spring? I could see that working out, Food and Wine in May and June, Concerts in July and August? Howl-o-Scream in September and October, Christmas Town in November and December. Takes up the year pretty well.

Just my opinion but I think opening Howl-o-Scream on Friday the 13th is asking for some great marketing along with an interesting year. Its also the year 2013? Anyone think we can be seeing a 13 reference for Howl-o-Scream this year?

I noticed in June they changed Friday closings from 10pm to 9pm. Perhaps the attendance isn't expected to be high then? A few smaller changes can be noted elsewhere as well.
 

netdvn

Team Instinct
Jan 12, 2012
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Compared to last year's schedule, they both look identical except the park is open a week earlier. Preview was on March 24th last year and they bumped it ahead to the 17th. Park isn't closed until 10 on Fridays in June anymore either.

Food & Wine will probably be in/around April/May. If they stick it in around Spring Break time, it would coincide with the Spring Break crowds. It would definitely be a good marketing standpoint. Come to Busch Gardens for Spring Break and have a look at our new Food and Wine festival!

Just a shame this year isn't HOS's 13th anniversary. Would've made for an interesting event.
 
May 12, 2011
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The dates for the Food and Wine Festival are May 31 through June 23
Concert dates are as followed:
Busch Garden's Live: May 12, 25, and 26, June 29, Aug. 17, 24, 25 and 31)
Glory at the Gardens:May 19, June 30, Aug. 18, and Sept. 1

and illuminight's dates have been set: July 1 – Aug. 11

other information:
NASA Presents – Launch into Physics (April 19, 26, May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 and June 7) NASA Exploration Days (Aug. 2 - 3)
Howl-O-Scream (Sept. 13 – Oct. 27) (already established)
Christmas Town™: A Busch Gardens® Celebration (Nov. 22 – Dec. 31)
 
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