Renowned marine artist and conservationist Dr. Guy Harvey has been visiting the park for several years as part of a special Guy Harvey Weekend event. His appearances normally include scheduled meet & greets and merchandise signings at Xcursions and sometimes other special experiences.
Harvey and SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, the parent company of Busch Gardens Tampa, announced a partnership on April 27, 2016, focused on ocean health and the plight of sharks in the wild. The two are partnering to raise awareness of these important issues, and collaborate on science and research to increase understanding of how to better protect these critical predators and their habitats.
Dr. Guy Harvey’s first official event at Busch Gardens Tampa was an appearance on September 10, 2016, coinciding with Jack Hanna’s visit to the park the same weekend. He met with guests, signed autographs, and a variety of Guy Harvey apparel and other items were available for purchase.
Dr. Guy Harvey made two separate appearances at Busch Gardens Tampa in 2017, each time for an entire weekend event bearing his name. The first was March 18 and 19, where he was available to sign merchandise at the Xcursions gift shop. An exclusive painting experience with Harvey was also offered.
The second Guy Harvey Weekend of 2017 was originally scheduled for September 9 and 10. Along with being available to meet and sign autographs at Xcursions on both days, he was set to deliver a talk about conservation on September 9 at 1 p.m. and host a special painting session on September 10 from 1 to 3 p.m.
Costing $59.99, Painting on the Wild Side featuring Guy Harvey was advertised as a two-hour experience. The first hour featured a social mixer with Dr. Guy Harvey and the second hour was to have a local artist guide a session where guests painted a vaquita, the smallest porpoise and the world’s most critically endangered marine mammal. While painting, Harvey would have explained the importance of the vaquita. The session cost included the canvas, paint, two drink vouchers, and delivery of the artwork to the front of the park for pick up at the end of the guest’s visit to Busch Gardens.
Unfortunately, the weekend was canceled on September 6 due to the uncertainty of Hurricane Irma. Guy Harvey Weekend was later rescheduled for December 16 and 17, featuring signings at Xcursions on both days and the postponed Painting on the Wild Side event.
Dr. Guy Harvey visited Busch Gardens Tampa twice in 2018, appearing at Xcursions in June and December to sign autographs and take pictures with guests.
Along with the meet and greets on June 2 and 3, Harvey also led a session of Paint on the Wild Side where guests were able to enjoy wine and paint along with an artist as part of an upcharge experience. Harvey returned on the weekend of December 1 and 2 where he once again met with guests at Xcursions at various times on both days.
Again appearing on two separate weekends, Dr. Guy Harvey visited Busch Gardens Tampa in May and December of 2019.
Harvey was available for meet & greets and to sign autographs at Xcursions on May 11 and 12. A special pass member only hour was available on May 12 from 9 to 10 a.m.
The second Guy Harvey weekend of 2019 was on December 7 and 8. Harvey again was available at Xcursions on both days to sign autographs and meet fans.
Dr. Guy Harvey visited Busch Gardens again on May 15 & 16, 2021. Along with being able to meet the artist, guests could also purchase his new memoir, “Guy Harvey’s Underwater World”, before it was publicly available in June, and have it signed by him.
A second Guy Harvey Weekend for 2021 was held on December 4 & 5. Like earlier in the year, he was available for pictures and signing autographs at Xcursions at various times each day.
Making his annual visit, Guy Harvey Weekend was held June 10 – 12, 2022. This included a separately-ticketed event on June 10, an Evening with Guy Harvey, where guests were able to hear about his travels and enjoy a private meet & greet experience at Xcursions. The event began at 6:30 p.m. with a private reception at Gwazi Pavilion with an hour of complimentary tapas, beer, wine, and a signature cocktail follow by Dr. Guy Harvey’s speaking session. Then from 8 to 9:30 p.m., guests were able to enjoy the private shopping and meet & greet at Xcursions. All guests also received an exclusive event gift. Event tickets were available for $100, with annual pass members receiving a discount of $20.
Open to all park guests, Dr. Guy Harvey also held several meet & greet sessions at Xcursions on June 11 & 12. Guests could get purchase Guy Harvey merchandise, have items autographed, and get their photo with the artist. Times were 10:00 – 11:45 a.m., 1:00 – 2:15 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. on Saturday and 10:00 – 11:45 a.m. and 1:00 – 3:15 p.m. on Sunday.
Dr. Guy Harvey returned to the park on December 3 & 4, 2022, and was available for meet & greet sessions and merchandise signing at Xcursions. Times were 10:00 – 11:45 a.m., 1:00 – 3:15 p.m., and 4:30 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. on Saturday and 10:00 – 11:45 a.m. and 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.
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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay | Guy Harvey Weekend – accessed 8/12/2017
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Twitter – @BuschGardens | Dec 5 2017 – accessed 7/18/2019
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Twitter – @BuschGardens | May 29 2018 – accessed 7/26/2019
Twitter – @BuschGardens | Dec 1 2018 – accessed 8/3/2019
Twitter – @BuschGardens | Dec 2 2018 – accessed 8/3/2019
Last update: February 12, 2023