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Great news, Busch Gardens Williamsburg announces reopening for the 2021 season this January kicking off with limited-capacity special events

5 January 2021 by

Great news for Busch Gardens Williamsburg fans in 2021. For the first time ever, Busch Gardens will open in January, February and early March for three ALL-NEW limited capacity outdoor special events, Winter Weekends, Mardi Gras & St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. And with the highly anticipated opening of the NEW Pantheon®, the world’s fastest multi-launch coaster, and a packed 2021 event line-up, it's going to be a great season!


If you didn't have an opportunity to join Busch Gardens for their Christmas Celebration event, it runs through January 10th. GET TICKETS and RESERVATIONS


Busch Gardens will be operating in compliance with Virginia’s phase 3 safety guidelines for reopening businesses. Busch Gardens operates with enhanced health and safety protocols for cleaning and sanitizing, physical distancing, face covering requirements and temperature screenings. Special event capacity will be extremely limited to create ample space for guests to enjoy their experience, while maintaining physical distancing in a safe environment.

Let's dig into the fun and check out what each event entails along with ticketing options and military savings. 

Busch Gardens Winter Weekends (Jan 15 – 24)

This exciting special event will offer guests a brand new, limited capacity special event featuring dazzling lights, thrilling rides, and inspiring wildlife experiences. Park-goers can celebrate the New Year in a winter wonderland of fun by strolling through villages filled with beautiful lights at night, braving the thrills of thirteen rides including three roller coasters and Sesame Street® Forest of FunTM, encountering unique animals not normally featured at the park, participating in special kid activities, and viewing a spectacular fireworks finale on Saturday evenings. Winter Weekends will be offered Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, Jan. 15 – 24, with day and evening sessions available. Reservations are required and admission is included for Membership, Annual Pass and Fun Card holders.

For a complete list of featured animals, rides and activities, consumers can visit

Winter Weekends Highlights:

FAN FAVORITE! Stunning Lights at Night – guests can indulge in all things that sparkle with lights adorning eight charming villages. This is the perfect setting to soak in the crisp winter air and all the amazing attractions and entertainment throughout the park’s spacious grounds.

NEW! Fireworks at Night – Saturday night skies ignite with a stunning firework display to cap off evening festivities.

NEW! Animal Experiences – guests will be able to experience up-close encounters with physical distancing measures in place to learn about amazing animals like a capuchin monkey, baby kangaroo, gray fox, lemur, serval, crested porcupine, alligator, and much more. With dozens of different species, guests can connect with their wild side in a whole new way.

NEW! Musical Entertainment – guests will be serenaded by contemporary and interactive musical performances from an a cappella group and Killarney trio.

NEW! Culinary and Beverages - guests can embark on a flavor-filled journey to enjoy animal inspired sweet treats like zebra chocolate drizzled kettle corn, fun cocktails like a Moscow Mule and Salty Dog, a wide variety of specialty brews like Snakebite Stout, and delicious entrée favorites from Das Festhaus.

NEW! For the Kids – a park-wide fur and feathers scavenger hunt will inspire kids to learn about animals and the impact they have on the environment. Kids can also play in Sesame Street® Forest of FunTM and learn how to build a birdhouse. (Nominal fee)

Mardi Gras (Jan 29 – Feb 28)

Mardi Gras will have guests indulging in the New Orleans spirit as Busch Gardens lets the good times roll with this ALL-NEW limited capacity special event. Visitors will be transported to where the “Big Easy” meets big thrills as they explore eight decorated villages filled with mouthwatering Cajun food, cocktails, and immersive live entertainment and music. Thirteen roller coasters and attractions, including Sesame Street® Forest of FunTM will also be available for guests to enjoy.

Mardi Gras will be offered Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, Jan. 29 – Feb. 28. Reservations are required and will be available soon, and admission is included for Membership, Annual
Pass and Fun Card holders.

Mardi Gras Highlights:

NEW! Entertainment – Mardi Gras entertainment is always colorful and dazzling, and the park will capture that carnival atmosphere with street entertainment including a New Orleans Jazz Band, interactive drum band, stilt walkers, comedic jugglers and more.

NEW! Culinary and Beverages - a traditional carnival celebration is not complete without good eats and libations. Guests can start the party with classic NOLA fare, like Cajun sausage and grits and Gumbo, then unwind with a Hurricane cocktail or specialty beer from one of the park’s winter kegs. And no Mardi Gras party would be complete without a taste of popular sweet treats like hot and fresh beignets or the park’s unique take on the traditional king cake.

NEW! Kid Activities – a park-wide masquerade scavenger hunt, activities where kids can decorate their own mask to take home and more surprises just for the little ones. “Adding January, February and early March to our schedule is an exciting operational change for us and we couldn’t be more thrilled to kick off a new year with new special events for our guests,” said Kevin Lembke, president of Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA®. “While we continue to operate safely with limited capacity, our guests now have the opportunity to experience even more events with a great line up happening almost every weekend of the year.”


Best Way to Play: (Reservations for Winter Weekends will be available beginning Tuesday, Jan. 5)

  • NEW YEARS SALE - now through Jan. 14, guests can save up to 30 percent on all Busch Gardens and Water Country USA 2021 spring and summer tickets including single, two and three-day tickets. BUY NOW!
  • The 2021 Military Pass has not been announced as of yet.  However, military members who purchased their Military Pass prior to August 6, 2020 are able to use their 2020 military pass for the Winter Weekends and Mardi Gras events. Stay tuned for the announcement of the 2021 Military Pass, as it should be very soon. 
  • Great news!  Eligible military members & their families can take advantage of WAVES OF HONOR for these limited-capacity special events. The Waves of Honor Program provides military personnel and up to three direct dependents one complimentary admission per year to either SeaWorld®, Busch Gardens® or Sesame Place®. Military guests must register online, print tickets and visit between Jan. 15 - October 31, 2021 for Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Grab your Waves of Honor Passes here. Click here to check out other SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Waves of Honor participating parks. 
  • The 2021 Preschool Pass is NOW AVAILABLE allowing kids age 3-5 to visit Busch Gardens and Water Country USA for free through October 31, 2021.  Registration is required before May 31, 2021 to participate. GRAB DETAILS on the preschool pass here.

Ticket Pricing: Busch Gardens Winter Weekends and Mardi Gras limited capacity events admission starts at only $34.99. Consumers can bundle Winter Weekends admission and a meal for only $54.99 and bundle Mardi Gras admission with a tasting card starting at only $59.99. For the best admission option, guests can lock in an entire year of fun
with a new 2021 Membership for as low as $11.25 per month with no down payment. Members receive 12 months of unlimited visitation and amazing park benefits and rewards such as FREE parking, up to 50 percent discount on in-park merchandise, up to 20 percent discount on dining, FREE guest tickets, and so much more. Admission to the new January, February and March special events is included for active Members, Annual Pass and Fun Card holders.


The festivity continue all month long as the Irish spirit, luck and celebration fil Killarney village at this ALL-NEW event. Enjoy authentic live entertainment, family-friendly activities, classic pub fare and a St. Patty’s Day staple – green beer. More details are coming soon!


Again, stay tuned for the details of the 2021 Military Pass, offering the best annual membership pricing available for military members and their families this season!

Learn more about Busch Gardens Williamsburg


Busch Gardens Williamsburg & Water Country USA Preschool Pass is BACK for 2021

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Salutes Military with FREE ADMISSION & Veterans with Special Savings through their Waves of Honor Program

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