Alright, so I visited the park tonight, and to put it lightly, it was a complete and total clusterfuck.
The first half of my visit was awesome, got to park around 6:15, light crowd, great weather, and just a good vibe.
Then, it all started in the Verbolten queue. The line was about 25 minutes long and started backing up in the office. Everything was fine, everyone was following social distancing mask on. However, the group that followed us in wasn’t standing on their dot. I was like “No big deal, they probably just haven’t noticed them yet.” The line moves forward and I move to the next marker, they move and stand pretty much on it, mere inches from me. The group behind them also decided that they didn’t need to follow the social distancing marker so they just cram in as close as possible, they also then decide that they don’t have to wear a mask. So then the group directly closest to me, decides they don’t have to wear a mask either. This lack of social distancing and mask wearing dominoes, and by the time I’m about to leave the office there is no social distancing, 75% of people we’re not wearing a mask, and they are sharing each other’s phones to take photos of each other. Keep in mind, these are separate groups of people, this isn’t some mega family who all knows each other, these are random people in line for Verbolten. For the rest of my wait until the merge at the station there was people crammed into the queue, ignoring the markers, and taking their masks off or putting them underneath their chin because that stops the virus? It was frustrating standing there because nearly everyone just collectively decided they didn’t want to follow the rules and those who were following the rules were forced to bask into the potential COVID breeding ground.
Unrelated to COVID, but to add to the list of grievances. I went to ride Apollo at around 8:30 and had gone on a few times before. I was wearing my rain coat tied around my waist like an absolute theme park warrior. Did I look like I was straight out of a mid 90’s style catalog? Yes, but I felt awesome, it’s a total power move. However, some ride op pretty much said that I couldn’t wear my rain jacket like that and had to wear it zipped up or leave it on the platform. I’ve been going to the park since 2001 and not once seen someone else or been asked personally to take my jacket off my waist before boarding a ride. It wasn’t that big of a deal, but it was just frustrating because I had been doing this all night, and many many other times throughout the years, and then tonight it’s against the rules on just one ride? Again, not the end of the world, but it was directly after the VBolt incident so I was already being a grumposarus.
Cherry on top, after park close, I saw at least 30 people with their mask off during my short walk from Nessie to the car, this includes employees. Nice, good looks, BGDubs.
Maybe I’m just becoming an old man at a young age, but that was unlike anything I’ve experienced at the park this year. Busch Gardens, I know you guys read this forum, get your stuff together. This was embarrassing and felt borderline unsafe more than several times tonight. Normally I don’t care that much about stuff like this, but this is a private business and all guests should be subjected to the same rules so that we can all safely continue to enjoy the park. Once one dominio falls, they just keep falling and it was really apparent tonight. I had the opportunity to check out Cedar Point this weekend which has a much higher capacity, and even with additional thousands of guests mask usage and social distancing in queue was significantly better than what I witnessed tonight at BGW. Which only has 1/30 of its normal capacity.
I hate ranting on the internet, all it does is add more fuel to the fire and put more negative energy into the world, but tonight was a joke. There’s no way the park is going to feel safe next year with a potential capacity increase if they continue to operate like this. Maybe I was just in bad areas at bad times, but this was just unlike any of my other visits and made me question how safe of an experience this is going to be when the weather is even warmer.
On the bright side, did the Pumpkin Scavenger Hunt and that was fun. The pumpkin by Verbolten was adorable, oh and the pretzel bites were tasty.