WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — Busch Gardens Williamsburg is changing its policy on bags.
Park attendees can't bring bags into the park after 4 p.m. -- at least for the rest of the Howl-O-Scream event, running between Sept. 24 and Oct. 31.
You can still have wristlets, or a container less than 8" by 5", but security could look through those.
If you show up at the gates with a bag bigger than that after 4 p.m., security will turn you around to take it back to your vehicle.
"They're trying to help us out and they want people to come and feel safe, it makes me feel better to know they're trying something different," said Tracy Norcutt Eley, a Busch Gardens Williamsburg season pass holder in an interview with 13News Now.
The security policy change follows multiple reports of fights at the Busch Gardens park since August. James City County Police say they’re looking for a group of men wanted for an assault Wednesday night.
“I don’t know what you can do about fighting but I think this is a step in [the right direction]," Norcutt Eley said. "If you don’t try something you don’t know if it works"
With the new policy, some exceptions could be provided.
If you need to bring in medicine or something else medically necessary, the Busch Gardens FAQs say you can carry that in a clear bag smaller than 12" by 6" by 12". The same rules go for diapers.
The security policy doesn't apply to people who get to the park before 4 p.m. -- they can keep the bags they brought in for the full trip.
A spokesperson told 13News Now that Busch Gardens has an "unwavering commitment to deliver safe experiences for our guests and employees. Every decision regarding security policies and procedures, including our new bag policy, is made with that goal in mind. In addition, the decision to increase the presence and visibility of security during Howl-O-Scream underscores that priority."
Norcutt Eley, who said she visits the park every few weeks with her 12-year-old daughter, said she's excited to be 'spooked' at the park with increased security as a safety measure.
"People are always going to try and get away with stuff, this just kind of maybe lessens the amount of trouble that will be there," she said.