A Virginia state senator is calling Gov. Ralph Northam’s decision to reject Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s COVID-19 reopening plan “myopic and devastating.”
The James City County theme park had sought to reopen with attendance limited to 5,000 guests, well below its usual capacity of 24,000. Busch Gardens Williamsburg would also require advance reservations, temperature screenings, and face masks, just like other parks in the SeaWorld Entertainment chain.
Northam, however, restricted theme park capacity to 1,000 guests in his Phase 3 reopening plan for Virginia. Busch Gardens responded that such a low capacity wouldn’t be financially viable.
In a letter to Northam, Republican State Sen. Tommy Norment urged the governor to allow the park to reopen at its requested capacity limit.
“Your decision is causing our local economy to hemorrhage,” Norment said. “I pray for your reconsideration.”
In-state rival Kings Dominion has also said it cannot justify reopening with a 1,000-person capacity limit.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg did not open as scheduled in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The park was set to debut a new roller coaster this season, Pantheon, that was being marketed as the fastest multi-launch coaster in the U.S at 73 miles per hour.
Disney World annual passholders accidentally charged
Disney World annual passholders had a surprise in their bank accounts Friday: a lump sum charge from Disney, despite monthly payments being suspended while the resort remains closed.
Multiple passholders confirmed the charges to Theme Park Tribune. Most were billed for multiple months’ of payments at once.
In an unsigned statement to Theme Park Tribune, Disney acknowledged the error without saying how it occurred.
“Passholders on the monthly payment program were incorrectly charged today,” the statement said. “We are in the process of reversing these charges and apologize for the inconvenience this caused.”
Despite rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Central Florida, Disney World is scheduled to reopen its theme parks on July 11.
Legoland California pushes back proposed reopening to August
California’s spike in COVID-19 cases has led Legoland California to delay its proposed reopening date to August 1.
“Considering the constantly changing Coronavirus situation and the recent announcement by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, Legoland California will not reopen prior to August 1, 2020,” the park said in a statement. “The Board announced there will be no reopenings approved prior to that date.”
Legoland California had originally asked to be allowed to reopen in July with safeguards in place to limit the spread of COVID-19. Among those would be a requirement for guests to wear face masks, unlike its sister park in Florida.
San Diego County has been placed on the state’s monitoring list as of July 3 after reporting a record 584 new COVID-19 cases on Friday.