$50 Week-Day Ticket!

This is a such a great announcement, that I’m reprinting the press release below. What a savings for a one-day ticket! I’m already thinking of when I can bring some of my family members who don’t get to visit often.

Celebrate Weekdays at Busch Gardens Tampa, or
SeaWorld Orlando with their new $50 Weekday Ticket 

Antarctica at SeaWorld OrlandoTAMPA, Fla. (July 31, 2013) – Everyone loves weekends, but SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens® Tampa now have a reason to celebrate the weekdays, too. Guests can explore Antarctica: Empire of the PenguinTM and the wonders of the sea at SeaWorld Orlando, or experience thrilling attractions and amazing land animals at Busch Gardens Tampa with the all-new $50 Weekday Ticket, on sale August 1 through December 20, 2013, for $50 for a single-day admission, Mondays through Fridays.
At SeaWorld Orlando’s new Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, families are transported into an icy world like they’ve never seen before where they can explore the majestic grandeur of the South Pole and see it through the penguins’ eyes on a first-of-its-kind family ride. Then, guests step off and explore a massive penguin colony of nearly 250 feathered friends – gentoo, rockhopper, Adélie and king penguins — in an expanse that envelops them in cool extremes, both above and below the penguins’ icy world. It’s a must-see, one-of-a-kind experience only at SeaWorld Orlando.

Busch Gardens Tampa offers an unparalleled mix of animal encounters, captivating shows and thrilling rides. Dive like a bird of prey aboard the thrilling coaster SheiKra. Soar like an eagle, roar like a tiger, and discover shared family fun playing with your littlest ones at Sesame Street’s Safari of Fun. And, nowhere is the spirit of discovery more alive than on Cheetah Hunt, the breathtaking, multilaunch coaster sprinting across the Serengeti.

The $50 Weekday Ticket is available online to U.S. residents at SeaWorldOrlando.com or BuschGardensTampa.com, or by calling (888) 800-5447. The $50 Weekday Ticket is valid for one weekday’s admission to either SeaWorld Orlando or Busch Gardens Tampa and must be used by Friday, December 20, 2013.

For an additional $25, guests may add a day’s visit to Aquatica Orlando with the purchase of the SeaWorld Orlando Weekday ticket, or add a day’s visit to Adventure Island in Tampa with the purchase of the Busch Gardens Tampa Weekday Ticket. Guests may only purchase the additional visit to a waterpark with the purchase of the $50 Weekday Ticket.

To learn more about the new $50 Weekday Ticket,and to purchase, visit SeaWorldOrlando.com or BuschGardensTampa.com.

About SeaWorld Orlando
Immerse yourself in wonder at SeaWorld® Orlando, where the aquatic world comes alive like no place else. Climb aboard and ride the mighty Manta®. Experience the power and grace of killer whales in the awe-inspiring Shamu® show One Ocean®. Share an epic voyage with sea turtles on the 3D 360 TurtleTrek®. And there’s nothing cooler than to see the world through the eyes of a penguin in the thrilling, chilling adventure of Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin™. An ocean of fun is waiting to be explored right here at SeaWorld Orlando. Jump in and dive deep.

About Busch Gardens® Tampa
Busch Gardens Tampa is the ultimate family adventure, offering 297 acres of fascinating attractions based on exotic explorations around the world. A unique blend of thrilling rides, one of the country’s premier zoos with more than 12,000 animals, live shows, restaurants, shops and games, Busch Gardens Tampa provides unrivaled excitement for guests of every age.

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment inspires millions, through the power of entertainment, to celebrate, connect with and care for the natural world. The Company has been creating innovative entertainment experiences that blend imagination with nature for more than 50 years and is best known for its 11 U.S. theme parks, attractions that hosted more than 24 million guests in 2012 and include the beloved SeaWorld®, Busch Gardens® and Sesame Place® brands. The parks offer guests a variety of up-close experiences, from animal encounters that invite exploration and appreciation of the natural world, to thrilling rides and spectacular shows. In 2011 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment began expanding its popular brands into media and entertainment platforms to connect people to nature and animals through movies, television, and digital media; plus began developing new lines of licensed consumer products.

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is one of the world’s foremost zoological organizations and a global leader in animal welfare, training, husbandry and veterinary care. The Company maintains one of the largest animal collections in the world and has helped lead advances in the care of species in zoological facilities and in the conservation of wild populations. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment also operates one of the world’s most respected programs to rescue, rehabilitate and return to the ocean marine animals that are ill, injured and orphaned. The SeaWorld® rescue team has helped more than 22,000 animals in need over the last four decades.

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment employs more than 21,000 people nationwide.

Busch Gardens Welcomes Baby White Rhino

Baby Rhino born at Busch GardensKirisi the white rhinoceros gave birth to her second calf, a female, on Tuesday, October 23, 2012 at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

Baby Rhino born at Busch GardensWeighing in at around 140 pounds, the newborn will gain about four pounds a day. At maturity she’ll weigh between 3,500 and 4,000 pounds. The calf’s father is Tambo. This is his seventh time being a father. This is Busch Gardens seventh baby white rhino since 2004.

Baby Rhino nurses mother Kisiri

Busch Gardens is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), a collaborative program with a goal of sustainability and genetic diversity to ensure the health and continued longevity of an animal population, especially those that urgently need to be protected in the wild.

According to Busch Gardens, “Kisiri, Tambo and another female white rhino were airlifted from Kruger National Park in South Africa in 2001 through the efforts of the International Rhino Foundation (IRF), a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of rhinos. Fewer than 15,000 white rhinos remain in the wild, and approximately 200 live in zoological facilities across North America.”

Since its inception in 2003, The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund
has granted $7 million USD to more than 500 projects in the U.S. and around the world, including $194,000 USD grants to rhino conservation projects. The Fund
was created by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and is a registered
501(c)(3) non-profit charitable foundation dedicated to supporting
environmental and wildlife conservation initiatives.

Nutrition and Healthcare at the Animal Care Center, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

The Animal Care Center at Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay offers guests an up-close encounter that’s unique in the zoological community and offers an unprecedented look into animal nutrition and health.

Someone’s in the kitchen

The first area of the Animal Care Center looks like a set off a television food show. Experts will prepare the animals food, sometimes with the assistance from the guests themselves. Kangaroo lovers will be excited to hear they can prepare a cup of food to Kangaloom in Walkabout Way and feed them right after!

Healthy, nutitious meals are served up for the animals at Busch Gardens

Check Up on the Check-ups

Past the kitchen area is a medical/surgical room where visitors will be able to see veterinary care in action. Whether it’s a routine check-up, or a surgical procedure, the curtain is drawn back… literally. Two-way communication makes it easy to ask questions about the procedure being performed. Very few facilities in the world have such up-close opportunities for the public to learn about the animal kingdom.

On hand for the preview, Jungle Jack Hannah marveled at the state-of-the-art facility. “It’s just like Busch Gardens,” he shared, “to do something like this. Busch Gardens is always a leader in the animal care world.”

Mike Boos, vice president of zoological operations welcomes “the opportunity to share our level of care with our guests, and to continue our mission of connecting guests to animals in the natural world.”

Preschoolers are FREE in 2012 at SeaWorld, Orlando and Busch Gardens

Preschoolers can enjoy all of 2012 for Free!

Children age 5 and younger get into SeaWorld AND Busch Gardens for all of 2012 for free! The Preschool Pass is good for unlimited admission with NO blackout dates the entire year. Every special event is included. Every festival. All of it! Click HERE to sign up.

Our resident preschooler is looking forward to the “Just for Kids!” festival 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.

At Busch Gardens, Sesame Street Safari of Fun is ALWAYS a hit. New this year (and on our to do-list: Iceploration, premiering this February.

“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.

// ]]>

“Count” You In For Lunch with Sesame Street at Busch Gardens?

SeaWorld has its very special Spooktacular breakfast throughout October… But Busch Gardens has a Monster Mash Lunch. Only ONE. October 22, 2011.

Join the fun at Sesame Street Safari of Fun for the Spooktacular (um,  no wait, that one’s taken…) spooky fun lunch.

The Count will be making appearances at both SeaWorld AND Busch Gardens!

The special dine costs $22 for adults and $15 for children 3-9. Passholders don’t forget your 10% discount. Each family will get one 6 x 8 photo with The Count in addition to having a really great time. (Admission to the park is required, and not included.)

Make reservations at: SesameStreetSafariofFun.com and click on Dine with Elmo to book the Oct. 22 dine, or call 1-888-800-5447.

Sesame Street Star Oscar the Grouch Was the Star of our Party

Oscar the Grouch is not one of the performers in the Busch Gardens Safari of Fun Sunny Day Theater (there’s something in his contract about personal appearances, LOL). That didn’t, however, stop us from making him the STAR of my son’s 4th birthday party.

Our invitations told everyone that, in Oscar’s opinion, the party was his “cup of mud.” And it was. And how could he not be thrilled at all the garbage trucks, disgusting sounding (not tasting!) foods, and trashy games? My son decided Slimey the Worm should be next to Oscar, crawling into the wheel.

When guests arrived, they were greeted by a huge sign that read, “Scram! No, wait. C’mon in for the Party!” with a giant photo of the monster himself. All over the back yard trash cans, garbage trucks, and recycling bins could be seen. Normally I try to clean before company, but whoo hoo… when you have a trash-themed party it’s not nearly as high on the “to do” list. We even had an autographed photo of Oscar he sent to us with his regrets that he could not, alas, attend. (I’m serious about the personal appearances clause!)

On the menu were Messy Meatballs, Dirty Rice, Filthy Fondue, Oscar Green Guacamole, Trashy Tortilla Chips, Sloppy Joes, Green Goopy Salsa Verde, and Can-D. (Get it?! In the trash can… Candy!) The cake was a recycling truck with donuts for wheels, ginger bread men for drivers, Pepperidge Farm Pirouettes as exhaust pipes, and of course chocolate pudding in the back with crumbled up Oreos and graham crackers for dirt with gummy worms.

Oscar The Grouch and Garbage Truck

Due to a sudden downpour, we grabbed the gang and headed in to our resi-dump for craft time. Before the party a friend and I cut out pattern pieces for an Oscar puppet. We pre-cut the green face shape, two eyes with pupils, two one brown unibrow, and a black mouth. Using white craft glue and glue sticks, the kids did their best at approximating facial feature placement. (You’ll find pdf files for each of the parts to the puppet at the bottom of this post.)

Oscar the Grouch Puppets

(Thanks home improvement store for the paint stir stick handles which we glued on before the party so they could dry, and Miranda for your exceptional cutting skills.)

Game time was a lot of fun, as we borrowed some bins from our town’s recycling center. We put three labeled bins on each end of the “playing field.” One of each: metal, plastic, paper. In the center of the yard we had two bins facing each other, one green, one orange. Team orange lined up behind their bin, and green did likewise. These bins had various recycling items inside for team members to sort. (Hint: If you use metal soda cans, cut circles of construction paper slightly smaller than the can top and securely hot glue them on, so as not to have a cutting hazard from the sharp opening.) Each child grabbed an item and ran to the “end zone” where a referee was on hand to point to the right bin, as many of the kids couldn’t read the words yet! After a successful dunk, they ran back and tagged the team bin, and the next child would be off to recycle!

On a side note: We’re on a first-name basis with all of our city environmental services personnel. They are the nicest guys and wave at my son every single day they’re there. We bake cookies for them on special occasions and they couldn’t be kinder to our family. Show some love to your trash men: Baked goods or cold water on a hot day.

We really enjoy having our friends and family at our home for parties, but if we lived closer we would have been tempted to have our party at Busch Gardens this year. You can have a preschool part there! The cost includes admission (after 1 p.m.) and features pizza and cake at a special meet-and-greet. Then the kiddos get to be in VIP seating for the 4 p.m. Sesame Street show. (We didn’t have a show at our party, although I had planned on reading a story and having us sing “Oh I Love Trash!” Alas, the rain put a damper on the entertainment portion of the party.)

The Busch Gardens party cost is $49.95 plus tax which includes invitations, decorations, party favors, package pickup for presents and special treatment with some very special monsters. Guests who are Passport members are $23 per person.

They also have a Birthday add-on for people who are already attending a “Dine with Elmo and Friends” event. (The Dine with Elmo breakfast is $18 for adults and $13 for 3- to 9-year-olds. Lunch with Elmo and the gang will cost $22 for adults and $15 for children (ages 3-9). The add-on is a single charge that will provide your party with reserved seating, a cake, and a special birthday wish from the cast during the dine.

(Times, costs, and availability change from time to time, so be sure to visit http://www.buschgardens.com for current information.)

Say, I wonder if an adult can have their birthday party there? I’m over the preschool age—not saying HOW over!—but I STILL love those monsters.

Here are the pdf files you’ll need to create my adorable (IMHO) Oscar the Grouch puppets:

Oscar the Grouch Tongue; Oscar the Grouch Unibrow; Oscar the Grouch Eyes; Oscar the Grouch Face; Oscar the Grouch Mouth