It’s an awesome time to be a preschooler! Children ages five and younger can now explore the wonders of Africa and the depths of the ocean for FREE with the new Busch Gardens & SeaWorld Preschool Pass. Little ones will experience kid-size thrills at Busch Gardens' Sesame Street Safari of Fun and SeaWorld's Shamu’s Happy Harbor play areas, get up close to their favorite furry and feathered friends, and see new shows brought to life.
The pass is valid for all of 2012 at both SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Kids are welcome to experience all there is to do for the preschool set, including seasonal events such as Summer Nights at Busch Gardens, SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular and festive holiday events at both parks. New this year, Busch Gardens will delight guests with its biggest ice show ever, Iceploration, premiering Feb. 2. And SeaWorld is introducing an all-new festival this year, “Just for Kids!” featuring concerts by Lazy Town, Max & Ruby, the Doodlebops and Choo-Choo Soul, along with plenty of family-friendly fun and activities on Saturdays Jan. 14 through Feb. 4.
Parents and older kids can join in on all the excitement with a Fun Card, which invites guests to pay for a day and play all year through Dec. 31, 2012, with no blackout dates.
“Must-see” preschool attractions at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Preschoolers will delight in Sesame Street Safari of Fun, a sunny, funny play land, filled with moments that your family can share for the first time — like a first coaster experience aboard Air Grover. And everyday smiles can be repeated again and again: clapping along to original shows, splashing in an expansive water play area and enjoying kid-size rides.
Also available in Sesame Street Safari of Fun, families can Dine with Elmo and Friends on select days and enjoy special event dining experiences with the characters to mark holidays, character birthdays and more. Beginning in March, opt for the Family Fun Buffet, offered on select days. It’s the perfect way to feed your hungry family during your busy day and not miss out on any of the fun! Enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet along with the chance to meet beloved Sesame Street characters between 12 and 4 p.m. on select days in the Sesame Street Safari of Fun Dining Pavilion. Reservations are not required.
In February, children’s imaginations will go wild when Iceploration takes the ice. The all-new, 30-minute show combines ethereal ice skating, larger-than-life puppets, amazing costumes and even animal stars. Iceploration opens Feb. 2, 2012 with shows daily in the Moroccan Palace Theatre. Another family favorite at Busch Gardens is “Critter Castaways,” in which a cast of unlikely characters – including dogs, cats, parrots and exotic animals – come together to create a side-splitting show with surprise twists that will have the whole family laughing.
There are plenty of animal encounters and pint-sized rides for families with young children to enjoy as well. In Jungala, families can connect with the jungle through a three-story play land, enjoy a water play zone and come face to face with exotic and endangered animals. At Jambo Junction, guests can have up-close interactions with animals such as flamingos, lemurs and sloths. And in Timbuktu, a carousel and other junior rides will delight those not ready for the major coasters. And what preschooler doesn’t enjoy a train ride? You and your little one can journey across the Serengeti Plains to view zebra, rhino and giraffes aboard the Serengeti Express.
Some additional features that Busch Gardens offers families with young kids include stroller parking and reduced prices on kids’ meals in 2012. Parking spots are available within our preferred parking area designated strictly for guests with strollers, so they can bypass the tram. No additional fee is required, and spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis to guests who request them at the parking tollbooths. At the park’s restaurants, kids’ meals are now just $5.99, including a drink, making it even more affordable to not only entertain, but also feed your little ones at Busch Gardens.
SeaWorld loves kids, too
And don’t forget that this awesome new FREE Preschool Pass also includes admission to SeaWorld Orlando. Just a short hour’s drive away, SeaWorld’s littlest guests can enjoy the wildly popular 4-acre play area, Shamu’s Happy Harbor. It’s a kid’s dream come true, complete with kid-size rides, a 4-story net climb, and a great place for parents to relax in the shade. The park’s first family-oriented roller coaster, Shamu Express, can be found here, along with many other kiddie rides to explore.
And that’s in addition to all the wondrous animal encounters at SeaWorld. Your family can meet penguins, dolphins, fish, rays, sharks, and, of course, Shamu!
Sign up today!
The Free SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Preschool Pass is an online-only offer, available at BuschGardensTampaBay.com or SeaWorldOrlando.com. It is exclusively for Florida residents ages 5 and younger and is valid for unlimited admission – with no blackout dates – through Dec. 31, 2012 at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and SeaWorld Orlando. The Preschool Pass does not include parking or Premium Passport discounts or benefits.
After registering through either park’s website, registrants can pick up the Preschool Pass for their child by bringing a printed confirmation and a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate to any ticket window at Busch Gardens’ or SeaWorld’s front gate.
For more information on the Free SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Preschool Pass, visit BuschGardensTampaBay.com or SeaWorldOrlando.com.
There was also a new article about Busch Gardens Tampa Bay's new ice skating
A new ice show opening in February at Busch Gardens will include live animals on-stage and helium-filled puppets.
Iceploration tells the story of a computer savvy preteen whose grandfather thinks he's not as connected to the world as he thinks. So they travel on a 30-minute journey to the four corners of the earth, accoridng to a news release about the new show. The multi-sensory story, told through theatrical skating by a cast of 20 with an all-new original score, is the collaboration of an award-winning creative team with Broadway credentials, including Tony Award-winning costume designer Gregg Barnes (The Drowsy Chaperone, Best Costume Design Tony winner 2007, and Legally Blonde the Musical, Best Costume Design Tony nominee 2007).
The show opens Feb. 2 at the Moroccan Palace.
In the production, Austin explains how technology has made his generation more connected to the world than ever before. But his grandfather argues that the boy is more disconnected than he realizes, and takes him on an adventure around the globe. Through their travels they visit the African Serengeti, Great Barrier Reef, the Arctic and the Amazon rainforest.
The adventure unfolds as they arrive in the Serengeti, where larger-than-life puppets and intriguing set design bring elephants and other animals to life at a watering hole. Solo and chorus skating performances accompanied by acrobatics tell an anecdote of an agile cheetah stalking graceful gazelles and meerkats.
Austin and Grandpa then dive into the Great Barrier Reef to explore the harmony of life on the ocean floor. A black light transition and never-before-seen helium-filled puppets immerse the audience in the wonders of the sea, filled with parrotfish and lionfish, sea urchins, turtles and a moray eel.
In the Arctic, skaters become snow flurries as a winter storm threatens the travelers. Austin and Grandpa witness even more beauty as they encounter the Aurora Borealis, represented with theatrical lighting and projections. Then they share the stage with live animal stars, including a Siberian lynx and a sled of Siberian huskies as they continue to traverse the tundra.
The two adventurers wrap up their adventure immersed in the lush, tropical Amazon Rainforest. Squirrel monkeys, sun conures and colorful macaws fill the air as playful frogs, and a dragonfly skates into the grand finale: a new signature song called Meet the World.
Iceploration performances are included with any daily park admission or annual Pass. For more information, visit BuschGardens.com.