busch gardens military and veteran discount
Military Discounts

Busch Gardens Military Discount

Busch Gardens is a family-friendly site that can be described as a cross between an amusement park and a zoo.

They give back to their military through a variety of discounts.

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About Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens was started in Tampa, Florida in 1959 by a man named Anheuser-Busch.

He began the park as a hospitality center within his brewery, but it quickly grew to something much larger.

By 1959, the park had hundreds of African animals within its boundaries to go along with its African theme.

Next came the entertainment. Rollercoasters, water slides and rides, and live shows were added to the grounds.

In 1975, the second Busch Gardens location opened in Williamsburg, Virginia.

This location was given a European theme.

Today, Busch Gardens is home to over 2,700 animals, many of which they rescue and rehabilitate.

They have a fun entertainment scene with rides and live shows that suit every member of the family. 

The parks have been voted “Most Beautiful Theme Park” every year since 1990.

The animals, entertainment, and cultural details make their parks stand out beyond looks as well.

busch gardens rollercoaster
Kumba Rollercoaster at Busch Gardens. Image: Flickr.com

What Is The Official Busch Gardens Military Discount?

Busch Gardens has a few different military discounts. They vary by location and by military status.

The many deals make it possible for any military member, past or present, to receive free or low-priced admission tickets.

Busch Gardens Waves Of Freedom Program

The main Busch Gardens military discount comes from the Waves of Freedom program.

This deal gives current military members free admission to the parks, at both the Williamsburg location and the Tampa location.

To use the Waves of Freedom program, you will need to purchase your Busch Gardens admission tickets online.

You will also need to register with ID.me, an online service that works to verify military status for various companies.

To claim this deal:

Step 1: Click here to register with ID.me if you do not already have an account

Step 2: Click here to verify military status through ID.me specifically for Busch Gardens. You will then be redirected to the Busch Gardens ticket site.

Step 3: Choose your tickets and continue your free checkout process

Williamsburg Military Pass

busch gardens williamsburg military
Image: Wikimedia.org

The Williamsburg Military Pass is another great way for current military members to get free admission to Busch Gardens at the Williamsburg location.

This pass is actually a better deal than the Waves of Honor program, though.

It gives many options that the previous program does not offer.

First, the Williamsburg Military Pass gives free admission to the parks.

It also provides free access to the Water Park, Howl-O-Scream events, and Christmas Town Events.

The Busch Gardens Waves of Honor program does not contain these free add-ons. 

The Military Pass provides its users with free parking during their visit.

This deal also provides unlimited visits each year, instead of just one like the Waves of Honor program.

To claim this deal, simply show your military ID to the cashier when you get to the Busch Garden entrance.

No special process is required to gain access to your free rewards.

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Williamsburg Deal For Retired Military Members

Veterans and retired military members cannot take advantage of the above programs, but they can receive up to 6 discounted tickets to Busch Gardens Williamsburg location every year.

The discount can change at any time, so your exact savings will be shown when you add tickets to your online cart.

These tickets do need to be bought online as there is no veteran discount at the gate of the theme park.

To take advantage of this deal:

Step 1: Register for an ID.me account here

Step 2: Verify military status with ID.me specifically for Busch Gardens here. You will be redirected to the home page.

Step 3: Choose your tickets and make your discounted purchase

Tampa Veterans Deal

Tampa’s Busch Gardens location does not offer a year round discount for past military members. They do have a deal that is typically available for about half the year.

When this deal is available, it will be advertised on the Busch Gardens website.

If you’re wanting to get a deal on veteran tickets, be sure to keep an eye on their site while you wait for the deal to come around.

In the past, the deal has been similar to the Waves of Honor program. It has offered free tickets to retired military members and veterans. However, this may change in the future.

To claim this discount:

Step 1: Watch the Busch Gardens site to see when the deal comes around

Step 2: Sign up for ID.me here 

Step 3: Verify your military status through ID.me and for Busch Gardens here. You will be redirected to the Busch Gardens ticket sales page.

Step 4: Choose your tickets and continue for your free or discountedcheckout process

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Who Can Claim These Discounts?

The deals above that are for current military members, including the Waves for Freedom program and the Williamsburg Military Pass program, can be used by any active member of the military.

This includes members in all five branches.

It includes those who serve in the Active Duty, Reserves, and National Guard.

The deals that are available for veterans, including the discounted Williamsburg tickets and the occasional free Tampa tickets, can be used by past members of any branch of the military.

The website does not mention if any of the deals can be used by those who were dishonorably discharged, so you may want to ask Busch Gardens before attempting to buy tickets if this matter concerns you.

busch gardens alligators
Alligators at Busch Gardens. Image: Flickr.com

What Are The Restrictions?

The free and discounted tickets are not refundable and you cannot resell them for a profit. 

They are not to be combined with any other discounts or promotional offers.

You need to verify with ID.me or provide a military ID at the admission gate for all of these deals.

Additional restrictions for the Waves of Freedom program:

This deal cannot be used for the waterparks within Busch Gardens

It can only be used once per person per calendar year

It is not valid for Howl-O-Scream or Christmas Town

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Overall, Busch Gardens has a military discount program for everyone.

These generous offers allow those who serve to enjoy the uniqueness of a zoo and theme park combination at little to no cost.

If you’re looking for a fun family vacation in the Tampa or Williamsburg areas, be sure to check out these deals.

Rob V.
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