If you look through any list of the best days out in America you are likely to find mention of Busch Gardens, two amazing amusement parks based in Tampa and Williamsburg that offer a huge variety of things to do for people of all ages and backgrounds. The parks include everything from animals (as many as most zoos can boast) to rides and shows. The parks are owned and run by SeaWorld and have an amazing set of discounts and offer for the retired and active military, as we explore in this article.
Waves of Duty
Waves of Duty is a program offered by SeaWorld in many of the parks they operate, including Busch Gardens. It is an incredible way of thanking military personnel for their service and the company says they wish to reward the military with quality time with their family. For that reason, they offer not only a yearly free ticket to people serving in the military but also tickets for up to three dependents so you and your family can enjoy a free day out at one of their parks.
The Waves of Duty program is designed only for current military personnel but does also include reservists and the National Guard whether they have been deployed or not. On top of that, as long as the correct ID is in place, families can use the tickets their loved ones have earned even if they are away on duty, so the active military member doesn’t always have to be there. This is wonderful if your spouse or partner is deployed for a long time but you still want the opportunity to take your kids on an incredible day out.
Though there are many parks and attractions offering military discounts, the fact that Busch Gardens goes so far as to provide free tickets for some military members sets, them apart from the crowd. This, combined with the incredible amount that their parks have to offer (more on that later), you can see why this is such a popular scheme. Waves of Duty isn’t their only discount and they accommodate veterans as well as current serving members of the military.
SeaWorld and Busch Gardens are definitely embracing the new technology available to us, whereas some military discount programs require you to call a specific number to claim and can only be done in person or over the phone, you can claim these discounts and offers online using a program called ID.me. This is effectively an online account that allows you to prove your military service via identification and can then be used in numerous places to claim discounts and offers. It takes a lot of the hassle out of the process and although it requires a fair amount of proof and detail on the first signup, can make claiming discounts a lot simpler thanks to its streamlined process.
If all of the hi-tech booking systems sounds like something you’d rather do without, you can book your Busch Gardens tickets the old-fashioned way, too. Local military bases will tend to have an office where you can buy travel tickets and event tickets. Many of these throughout the US, especially those close to the attractions run by SeaWorld, will be able to offer discounted tickets to these attractions.
If you are a one-time visitor to Busch Gardens then it is likely that the Waves of Honor program suits you down to the ground. However, if you live nearby and your family loves all the attractions and events that Busch Gardens has to offer then you can take advantage of their military pass. This pass gives some great benefits including free admission to their Christmas event and ‘Christmas Town’ attraction. It also offers free parking in the company’s car parks and, of course, unlimited visits throughout the year. A superb way to claim your discounts if you are likely to be a regular visitor to Busch Gardens, and with so many new events happening all the time and the sheer amount of things to do, going back, again and again, is something lots of people tend to do.
Busch Gardens do a huge amount for those who are an active part of the military, but that doesn’t mean that they have forgotten about veterans. The SeaWorld Company is committed to rewarding military veterans for their service and the sacrifices they have made for the USA in the past.
The offers available to veterans do change from time to time. As such, the method they offer for claiming discounts is through ID.me. You are required to create an account (if you don’t already have one) and once you have logged in you can see exactly what discounts are available. These often include dependents as well, so you can often get great offers to take the whole family to Busch Gardens for the day. If you have any trouble getting set up with the ID.me service, they offer a helpline and a contact email address in which they can walk you through the steps of getting your account set up. This is a worthwhile practice as you can then see what other offers might be available to you, there may be some offers available to you that you didn’t know about and ID.me is the place to find out.
All of the offers are of course subject to terms and conditions, and Busch Gardens (and operating company SeaWorld) have, of course, kept their right to change the offers at any time. Though things may be altered and tweaked, the company’s dedication to military personnel both past and present is admirable.
Busch Gardens has something for everyone, whether you are an animal lover, a thrill seeker, or just want to go along to see some of their incredible shows and themed events. They really do offer fun for the whole family and military families can benefit from enjoying all of this at a greatly discounted rate.