Garden Gate Cafe ClosedIt’s very sad to see one of your favorite theme parks making changes.
Small upgrades in the Magic Kingdom for example can have guests taking angrily to forums and blogs.
When it’s something like the rumoured Figment getting the axe over in Epcot, the disappointment turns up a level.
Guests and fans eventually come round, mostly grateful for something better in the end.
Disney Springs will blow our minds when it’s complete in 2016.  We will be embarrassed for those that wanted the old DTD.

This week though, the Busch Gardens Rumours hint that management have informed staff that the Garden Gate Cafe and the Crown Colony House restaurants are to close bring a lump to our throats.
Both are great buildings and the Crown Colony is the parks only true table service restaurant.

Statement from Busch Gardens

“While we can’t provide a list or timeline, we can confirm that Busch Gardens has plans for some adjustments now through the end of the year, including dining areas such as the top level of Crown Colony and Garden Gate with lower guest penetration. Our mission is to provide the best experience for our guests when they visit and based on demand, we make adjustments as needed. This is a common process in the theme park industry and one we have employed before.

Most adjustments are scheduled in off-peak fall months when park attendance levels allow for guests to experience more park attractions overall. We do not have a definite length of closure, but can confirm that both dining areas will reopen at a later date. We routinely adjust our park experience based on guest behavior, specific attraction penetration and seasonal considerations.

Our commitment to growing guest experiences and adding new attractions remains as strong as ever.”


It seems that they aren’t closing for refurbishment or upgrades.  In a statement today from Busch, they confirmed to us that there are indeed plans to make adjustments as the peak season falls off through the rest of the year for both the upper floor of the Crown Colony House and the Garden Gate restaurants.

The cause of the move is offered as a seasonal response to the lower expected attendances, much in line with other theme parks within the industry.


The way forward for Busch?

Both Universal and Disney share one common trait.  They are investing.
Not only investing, but investing heavily and they are getting the formula right!
In 2012, Busch were reported to have a gate of 4,348,000 guests. At 1.5% up on the previous year, they were second last in terms of annual growth.  At 1.0%, their Adventure Island water park rolled in last of the Central Florida big players.
Disney and Universal punched hard with well over 2% growth in the same period, beaten only by Busch’s sister park SeaWorld at a whopping 4% growth!

We are behind Busch.  We hope they make it.  Not because of any sentiment towards or against Mice and Wizards, but because the park is so damned good!
The people that work there are so damned good.

Right now we are baffled.  SeaWorld/Busch need to brave up, invest and fight any demons that head their way.  Why? because they are worth it!