Jul 11

A Behind the Scenes Look at Pantopia Theater


Busch Gardens would like to invite park guests of all ages to check out Opening Night Critters, now open in the newly refurbished Pantopia Theater. This production, which has taken over the former 4D Theater, features more than 28 different species of animals, making their debut in front of a live audience!

It took designers 9 months of planning to complete the transformation from 3D screen to live action. Renovations included brand new lighting and sound packages, a large stage set, the addition of indoor animal holding facilities, and a conversion from floor level viewing into amphitheater seating.

Nearly 1,200 tons of dirt was used to elevate the seating in a way that allows every guest a great view of the stage. The individual seats themselves are uniquely thin in order to accommodate the 582 guests desired to be a part of the audience. The renovation as a whole required over 1,015 tons of concrete and took nearly 4 months to construct.

Developing the stage set for the animals to display their talents on was no small task. Set designers built dozens of props and trap doors into the stage itself to allow guests to remain on their toes as to where the next animal or stunt will appear.

It took our talented animal trainers over 1,850 hours of training to prepare the animals for their debut. Most of our furry and feathered friends performing were rescued from various animal shelters and some look forward to meeting you after the show.

We invite everyone to come out to the park and welcome Opening Night Critters into our Busch Gardens family of top notch entertainment. Check out show times to make sure you don't miss this fantastic show. While at the park, also be sure to stay late every night of the week to check out the award winning Kinetix show and nightly fireworks!

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