Busch Gardens Williamsburg quadruples capacity as Christmas celebrations begin

Busch Gardens Williamsburg will quadruple the number of people allowed in the Virginia amusement park, when its popular Christmas Celebration begins Friday.

During the holiday celebration, up to 4,000 people will be able to visit Busch Gardens at any one time. Until now, the maximum capacity has been 1,000, since the Williamsburg tourist attraction reopened in August, after the March outbreak of COVID-19.

The park expanded its number after Gov. Ralph Northam’s executive order 67, issued on Nov. 5, which eased some temporary restrictions that have been place because of the novel coronavirus.

On its website, Busch Gardens said reservations will be required, in what will generally be two daily sessions — from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Christmas Celebration will run from Nov. 13 through Jan. 3, 2021.

Christmas lights, holiday music, and rides will be spread throughout much of the parks 383 acres. The Italy village will be closed this year.

Most of the park’s rides and roller coasters will be operating, with a reduced number of riders, physically distanced.

Guests over 2 years old, and employees will be required to wear masks in the park, while not eating. Temperatures will be taken before entry.

Children won’t be able to sit on Santa’s lap this year — he’ll greet visitors in his workshop, with Plexiglas allowing for a socially-distanced photo.

Busch Gardens is offering tickets online.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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