SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens sit at opposite ends of the I-4 corridor and count on the tourist traffic that Central Florida delivers. When a newcomer targets what SeaWorld perceives as their target market, it makes sense that they’d counter with something. That newcomer is Legoland Florida and they’re going directly after families with young kids, the core of SeaWorld and Busch Gardens.
Both SeaWorld and Busch Gardens are now offering a Preschool Pass good for free admission for all of 2012 for kids 5 and under. You have to sign up online, but it’s a great deal. Especially when combined with an AP or Fun Card for locals. SeaWorld Orlando is also adding an all-new festival that’s “Just for Kids” with concerts by some kids shows that will be very familiar to the pre-school set.
Update: Great minds think alike, the Orlando Sentinel has a story with more details on the theme park’s fight for kids.
The full press release is below the jump:
It’s an awesome time to be a preschooler! Children age five and younger can now explore the depths of the ocean and the wonders of Africa for FREE with the new SeaWorld & Busch Gardens 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 in addition to seeing new shows brought to life.
The pass is good 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, along with the chance to enjoy seasonal events including SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular and festive holiday events at both parks. New this year is SeaWorld’s all-new festival that’s “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. And Busch Gardens will delight guests with its biggest ice show ever, Iceploration, premiering this February.
Parents and older kids can join in on all the excitement with a Fun Card, when they pay for a day and come back all year through Dec. 31, 2012, with no blackout dates.
“Must-see” preschool attractions at SeaWorld Orlando
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 while watching their kids have splashes of fun. The park’s first family-oriented roller coaster, “Shamu Express” can be found here along with other kiddie rides to explore.
Of course no visit to SeaWorld is complete without being splashed by Shamu! SeaWorld’s newest killer whale show, “One Ocean,” features majestic whales performing spectacular behaviors, including thrilling high-energy leaps, while educating and inspiring kids and their families to make a difference in this world. And at “Blue Horizons” kids will be awed by graceful dolphins, false killer whales, a rainbow of exotic birds, and entire cast of divers and aerialists.
Kid-favorite “Pets Ahoy!” will leave children giggling as a menagerie of rescued dogs, cats, birds, rats, skunks, pot-belly pigs, and other animals performing a series of uproarious and amazing skits.
While older kids are flying, gliding and soaring on Manta, younger ones can experience the incredible underwater world of tropical fish and rays in the floor-to-ceiling aquariums. Manta’s underwater viewing area is home to more than 3,000 species. Kids can even “pop up” in the middle of a small aquarium, surrounding themselves with hundreds of fish for some great photos.
At Dolphin Cove, kids (and parents) can touch and feed dolphins and also go below the surface for an underwater view where they just might see a dolphin blowing a bubble or two!
Plus, SeaWorld features a cozy Baby Care Center located at Shamu’s Happy Harbor with top-of-the-line changing facilities, private feeding rooms and pint-sized potties. This brightly-colored building gives parents the privacy and comfort of a home-away-from home in the middle of all the fun and is a one-stop shop for baby necessities.
Busch Garden loves kids, too!
Don’t forget this awesome new FREE Preschool Pass also includes Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Just a short hour’s drive away, in addition to all the wondrous animal encounters 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 time after time —clapping along to original shows, splashing in our expansive water play area and enjoying kid-size rides.
Sign up today!
The Free SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Preschool Pass is an exclusive online offer, available at SeaWorldOrlando.com or BuschGardensTampaBay.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 SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. 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 SeaWorld’s or Busch Gardens’ front gate.