Busch Gardens Tampa Crowd Calendar

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 about 30 minutes before park opening) or come in the early afternoon and you won’t spend as much time waiting in line to enter.

Mid-week visits, regardless of the season, typically will have lower crowds compared to the surrounding weekends. The summer season, 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.

September 2023 Crowd Calendar

If you enjoy lower crowds, September is a good month to visit a central Florida theme park. Following Labor Day Weekend, the rest of the month will see relatively light crowds, especially on weekdays. Weekends will of course be busier, but not like the summer months or busier holiday periods.

Bier Fest wraps up on Labor Day Weekend – visit Friday or Monday to enjoy with lower crowds. Be aware that food & beverage items can start to run out, so expect at least a few choices will be unavailable by Monday. The second weekend sees the start of Spooktacular, the family-friendly Halloween event on Saturday & Sunday afternoons featuring trick-or-treating.

Howl-O-Scream kicks off September 8 (see below for the event-specific crowd calendar). Howl-O-Scream does not have a huge impact on crowd levels during the day, with the exception of the last hour or so as Howl-O-Scream guests are able to enter beginning at 5 p.m. In September this won’t be too noticeable, but worth keeping in mind that there may be a small influx of guests near the regular closing time of 6 p.m.

See scheduled attraction closures on the park’s website.

Howl-O-Scream Tampa September 2023 Crowd Calendar

Spooky season is here again, with Howl-O-Scream Tampa returning on Friday & Saturday evenings beginning September 8. It’s worth noting that when originally announced, Sundays in September were also on the schedule. However, those were removed several weeks ago.

Crowds for the first few weekends overall will be lighter, gradually increasing towards the end of the month. While no longer advertised as such, opening weekend is still considered a “preview weekend” in two ways. First, Florida Platinum pass members get free entry on opening weekend. Also, the first weekend is a bit of an adjustment period for the scare actors and technicians to refine what works and what doesn’t. By the second weekend, some changes will be made to improve the experience.

If Saturdays are your only choice through the end of the event, try visiting in September or the first two weekends in October. Avoid Saturdays from mid to late October – the crowds can be overwhelming.

October 2023 Crowd Calendar

Weekdays in October will see relatively low crowds, especially Tuesdays – Thursdays. Expect a bit higher crowds on Fridays, plus Columbus Day (October 9) and the last two days of the month. Weekends will be busier, with Saturdays near the end of the month seeing the heaviest crowd levels.

Spooktacular, the family-friendly Halloween event, continues on Saturday & Sunday afternoons featuring trick-or-treating. It will also take place on October 30 & 31.

Howl-O-Scream continues this month, expanding to Thursday – Sunday operation, plus the final two days of the month. Howl-O-Scream will have a minor impact on crowd levels for daytime operations on weekdays, with the exception of the last hour or so as Howl-O-Scream guests are able to enter beginning at 5 p.m. The separately ticketed nighttime event will have a bit more impact on daytime crowds on weekends closer to Halloween. See the separate Howl-O-Scream crowd calendar below.

See scheduled attraction closures on the park’s website.

Howl-O-Scream Tampa October 2023 Crowd Calendar

Spooky season is in full swing, with Howl-O-Scream Tampa continuing throughout October with Thursday – Sunday operation, plus Monday & Tuesday, October 30 & 31.

Crowds will be lightest earlier in the month and on Thursdays, Sundays, and the final two days of the event. Expect Saturdays to be the busiest, with Fridays & Sundays closer to Halloween also seeing increased crowds. Avoid the last few Saturdays if you are able – those will be the busiest with high crowds and long wait times. If those are your only options to visit, arrive early (Howl-O-Scream tickets allow entry beginning at 5 p.m.) and consider splurging on Fear Passes to skip the lines or a VIP Tour.

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