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Jan 15, 2015
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OK, first post here, and I think this goes in the news subforum, but correct me if I'm wrong. Anyways, I think I've found the park's 2015 operating calendar and hours. Here are a few things I've noticed.

- The park opens for spring break on Friday March 27 from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM. The park stays open until Sunday April 12 (three weekends and the two weeks in between). During this time, the park is open until 8, except on Saturdays, when it is open until 10.

- From April 17 to May 17, the park is open Friday-Sunday. The park will be open until 8 on Fridays & Sundays and until 10 on Saturdays.

- The park opens daily on Friday May 22. The park will then be open until 9 on Friday & Sunday, and until 6 during the week. An exception is Memorial Day weekend, when it will be open until 10 on Sunday and until 8 on Memorial Day.

- The park will close later on weekdays for several consecutive weeks in June. It will close at 7 on the week of the 8th, at 8 on the week of the 15th, and at 9 on the week of the 22nd. The problem here is that the park will continue to close at 9 from Monday-Thursday for the rest of the summer (BOOOO!!!)

- The park will close at 11 on the Fourth of July Weekend (Friday the 3rd-Sunday the 5th).

- Starting Friday July 10 and Sunday July 12, the park will be open until 10 on Fridays & Sundays.

- The park closes at 8 from Monday-Thursday the week of August 24 and at 7 the week of August 31 (the week before Labor Day). It will also be open until 7 on Labor Day.

- The park is open until 6 for two weekends after Labor Day. Howl-O-Scream starts Friday September 25 and the park will operate 10 AM - 10 PM Friday-Sunday (Including Fridays!)

I'm not as knowledgeable as some of the rest of you regarding how the schedules worked in past years, but I seem to remember that Busch Gardens was open until 10 everyday during July and most of August. Even if that wasn't the case last year, I know it worked that way at some point in the past. It would be really disappointing if they cut an hour of night rides for a large part of the summer. I'm generally not as hard on the park as a lot of you guys are, but closing early and getting rid of TIS is really a step in the wrong direction.
 

Zimmy

Nessie is lonely.
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Sep 28, 2013
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First of all, welcome.

That said, the hours change is due to several factors. The most significant being austerity measures. As you are probably aware the parent company SEAS is in dire straits. They are taking drastic measures to try to right the boat and make the park marginally profitable. Reducing hours is one such way. Once people are in the door, if they are not buying things they become a liability as they have to pay for staff to support them. While it certainly sucks for us, the paying customer it makes sense from a finance point of view.

The second reason for the cut in hours is the cut of the summer event. With no fireworks, there is little reason to stay open at dark.
 
Apr 12, 2010
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This does stink. My favorite time in the park has always been after dark. The atmosphere, mood, ambiance are all very well done with the dim lighting between 'countries', and it's a bit quieter so you can hear the background music. I understand why they're doing it. Let me repeat myself: "I UNDERSTAND WHY THEY'RE DOING IT!". That doesn't mean that I like it.
 

netdvn

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Jan 12, 2012
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This isn't really the first time the park's closed at 9 during the peak summertime. Looking back at a few of the park guides I have, the park started closing at 10 in 2010 for Illuminights. Before then the operating hours seem to bounce around between closing at 9 and closing at 10 in summer.
 
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Apr 12, 2010
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netdvn said:
This isn't really the first time the park's closed at 9 during the peak summertime. Looking back at a few of the park guides I have, the park started closing at 10 in 2010 for Illuminights. Before then the operating hours seem to bounce around between closing at 9 and closing at 10 in summer.
Yup. It's been done before, that's why I understand it. I was glad that they extended them in recent years past...but looks like they're going in the other direction again. It happens.
 
Feb 9, 2013
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Just a reminder: The park will still be open until 10 on Weekends during peak season if you are going to want to do things at night, just not on weekdays.
 
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Dec 23, 2011
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With shortened summer hours, could we see more Pass Member Ride Nights? While they are trying to cut a lot of hours, maybe they can afford a few for Ride Nights?
 
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Feb 9, 2013
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I think the park's last worry for this season is Pass member ride nights. This isn't a thread for that type of topic or discussion anyway.
 
Dec 23, 2011
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My original question was on topic, with these reduced hours could we see one or two more ride nights. I'm sure quite a few people would try harder to make it to the park on a few select nights than every single night.
 
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Jan 15, 2015
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Yeah, I understand that the park is trying to cut costs, but this just happens to be the thing that bugs me. I couldn't care less about the wildlife cuts (although I understand it is heartbreaking for others), I would be quite happy if they saved money by getting rid of Scott's experiments, and, in my opinion, Tempesto isn't the worst idea in the world, because it's a happy medium between not spending too much money on a ride and getting a new coaster for the second time in four years. And that is a big deal - just search rcdb for new American coasters this year and see how many big coasters are being built nowadays. Not too many anymore.

Point is, I understand that cuts have to be made, and I support a lot of them, but this is the petty thing I choose to complain about.
 
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Mushroom

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Feb 12, 2011
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I understand that cutting operating hours is done to cut daily operating costs, but I think the park is playing a dangerous game. That last hour or so at night is when my family tends to linger, enjoying the sights of the park and perusing the shops and eateries. Spending money.

Moreover, I don't live as close to the park as some people on here do, so that extra operating time makes a difference in what my family gets to do at the park during the day. I also love being at the park at night. With our days designated for visiting theme parks limited, any extra time to spend there plays a huge role in my decision on where and when I choose to visit. And because of my refusal to visit any park on weekends, a certain competitor in Doswell may seem like the better park for my family to visit because of the extra time to spend there. So that amounts not to just an extra hour per visit spending money, but entire days of spending cash on meals and souvenirs. Now, I might be alone in letting differences in operating times influence my decisions on where I visit. But I have to stop and wonder if other people, without the luxury of being able to visit the park as often as they'd like, may look the other way because of little things like this.
 
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netdvn

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I still don't understand what the big deal is.

Its not like this is the first time the park closed at 9 during peak season. The park has done it in the past. Closing times have bounced between 9-10 long before this change. This is NOTHING new.

Not only that, but the park is cutting an unpopular summer event and cutting back hours. Assuming the park really is extending fall hours later in the season, I don't understand what the complaints are for. Illuminights and Star Spangled Nights were lousy. Cutting all those fireworks leaves more play money for HOS, Christmas Town, and Food and Wine. I know HOS definitely needs a bit more money considering the newer mazes look like garbage and half the scare zones are pitiful theming-wise.

Assuming crowds don't really change much during peak season, you'll still have plenty of time to ride the rides, go shopping, and see everything. Ride lines rarely go past 10 mins on an average summer day (Tempesto may change things, but chances are you're gonna wanna ride it first thing in the morning regardless). The gift shops at the front still stay open after park close. As for the out of towners, most of them are gonna be at the park all day anyway. If they have a pass, chances are they're gonna come back.

So yeah, the park is cutting back hours on slow days. As long as this means more money for the good special events, I don't really have a problem with this.
 
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