Welcome to our Busch Gardens Tampa Crowd Calendar page, with a monthly look at estimated crowd levels, park hours, and general tips on crowds throughout the year.
Our crowd calendar for Busch Gardens Tampa is meant as a guide and is only an estimate of anticipated crowd levels. The calendar does not take into account weather, which can have an impact on attendance since most of the attractions at Busch Gardens Tampa are outdoors. Please verify operating hours directly with the park before you visit, as they can change without notice.
General Crowd Info
In general, Saturdays are the busiest day of the week at Busch Gardens Tampa. Sundays, holiday weeks, and event days also tend to draw in larger crowds than weekdays through the rest of the year. On those days, avoid arriving at the park between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Instead, arrive earlier (lots open at about 9:30 a.m.) or come in the early afternoon and you won’t waste time waiting in lines to get in.
Mid-week visits, regardless of the season, typically will have the lowest crowds compared to the surrounding weekends. Summer season along with Spring break and the weeks around Christmas are generally the busiest times of the year; weekdays in winter, late spring, and fall typically have the lowest crowds.
Because most of the attractions at Busch Gardens Tampa are outdoors, a day with extended inclement weather will often reduce crowd levels. It’s worth keeping an eye on the weather in the days leading up to your visit – a few rainy days in a row will often mean the following day (especially if it’s a Saturday) could end up being busier than normal as guests who put off their visit all come on the same fair weather day.
All of the above still applies even under the present circumstances, though predicting exactly how busy each day will be is a little more difficult as there isn’t much crowd history to use as of yet. Overall, crowd levels in the park are significantly lower compared to an average day for the same time last year. However, due to reduced capacity, closures, social distancing, and increased cleaning on attractions, wait times have not always been much lower.
“We would not have been able to see everything at the parks in the few days we visited without Bill’s help”
– Liz E. from Pennsylvania
November 2020 Crowd Calendar
November 2020 at Busch Gardens Tampa begins with the final Howl-O-Scream date and wraps up with a busy holiday week and the start of Christmas Town. Just as the case has been the last several months, weekends will remain busier with special events going on, and weekdays (prior to Thanksgiving week) will generally be much less crowded.
Busch Gardens Tampa remains closed on Wednesdays November 4 & 18, but will be open on Veterans Day on November 11 and again the day before Thanksgiving, on November 25. Veterans Day might see a small boost in crowd levels since it’s a holiday, but being in the middle of the week it should not be especially busy.
The final weekend of Bier Fest will be in the middle of the month, so expect crowds in the festival area to be a bit heavier on the 14th and 15th as guests look to enjoy the last of the event and get through any of their remaining sampler lanyards. Don’t miss our comprehensive Bier Fest Guide if you’ll be attending before it wraps up.
Christmas Town will kick off Friday, November 20, following a limited preview event the weekend prior, November 14 & 15. Remember that with Christmas Town a second wave of guests typically enters in the late afternoon/early evening to enjoy the lights and other holiday experiences.
Expect Thanksgiving week to be relatively busy. Following Thanksgiving Day, both Friday and Saturday will also likely be quite busy. Expect generally heavy crowds the rest of the holiday week – arrive early in the morning (parking opens about 9:30 a.m.) or wait until early- to mid-afternoon to miss the biggest crowds around the entrance.
Expecting the crowds to want to spend more time at the park in the evening, beginning on November 30, weekdays will see Busch Gardens open at noon and closing later in the evening. This will continue until the week of Christmas in late December.
Not everything at the park is open. Some of the park’s attractions, shops, concession stands, and even a couple of the larger restaurants have either reduced their operating hours or are closed completely.
The following attractions typically have reduced operating days/hours:
- Sesame Street Safari of Fun closes at 3 p.m. on weekdays
- Congo River Rapids operates on weekends only
- Montu & Kumba may only be open from noon until 4 p.m. on weekdays
- Zagora Cafe is generally only open on weekends
- Zambia Smokehouse may be closed on weekdays
- Additional attractions may have reduced operating hours on weekdays
As of November 1, 2020, here are the attractions listed as temporarily closed on the park’s website:
- Cookie Monster Canopy Crawl
- Cookie Monster Cloud Bounce
- Elmo’s Treehouse Trek
- Kookaburra’s Nest (aviary)
- Stanley Falls Flume
- Slimey’s Sahara Sand
- Telly’s Jungle Jam
- Treetop Trails (including water play area)
- Ubanga Banga Bumper Cars
- Wild Surge
December 2020 Crowd Calendar
Much like November, weekdays earlier in the month should be relatively light in terms of crowds, with weekends and the last two weeks of the month being much more crowded.
New for this month is the later opening time on weekdays for the first three weeks of the month. On Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays & Wednesdays, Busch Gardens Tampa will open at noon through December 18. The park remains closed on Wednesdays until Christmas week when it returns to daily operation for the holiday period.
The week between Christmas and New Year’s is historically the busiest stretch of days at the park, and even with the current travel & capacity restrictions, it will likely the busiest the park has been since it reopened in June. While we have not yet seen Busch Gardens close due to reaching their self-imposed capacity limit, that week may be the first time we see it happen.
Look for the full crowd calendar for December 2020 soon.
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