By Chris Ollendorf
Are you or someone in your family serving in the military? Do you or they have an urge to visit a theme park? Well then you’re in luck. Here are just two of many great offers to help you out.
Hi. My Name is Chris Ollendorf and I will be writing about special deals for tickets and other discounted offers around the attractions area. There is a lot to cover so I will be posting regularly.
Anheuser-Busch has extended their “Here’s to the Heroes” military tribute through 2010. The tribute program has provided free admission to SeaWorld and Busch Gardens for more than four million members of the U.S. and coalition armed forces and their families since February of 2005.
The program provides a single day’s free admission for the service member and as many as three of his or her direct dependents to the following: SeaWorld Orlando, San Diego, or San Antonio, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay or Williamsburg, Sesame Place, Water Country USA and Adventure Island.
Any active duty, active reserve, ready reserve service member or National Guardsman representing any of the five service branches is entitled to free admission under the program. He or she need only register, either online at www.herosalute.com or in the entrance plaza of a participating park, and show a Department of Defense photo ID. Also included in the offer are members of foreign military forces serving in the coalitions in Iraq or Afghanistan or attached to American units in the U.S. for training.
Here’s to the Heroes is the fourth tribute to military personnel offered by the company since Yellow Ribbon Summer welcomed service members home from the Gulf War in 1991. Since then, nearly seven million have taken advantage of this offer from SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment.
Now for the bad news… Inactive, standby and retired reserve members, military retirees, U.S. Merchant Marine and civilian Department of Defense workers are ineligible for the program. This program does not include Discovery Cove or Aquatica.
Another great offer is for Kennedy Space Center. They too are extending their own “Salute to America’s Heroes” offer to U.S. military personnel through April 30. Active duty military service members, including activated members of the National Guard and Reservists, will enjoy complimentary admission to the Visitor Complex and discounted ticket offers for family members and friends.
Complimentary tickets for active military members and discounted tickets for family and friends are available at participating military base ITT travel offices. Active military members must present a valid military photo I.D.
Complimentary admission includes the new Shuttle Launch Experience, the Kennedy Space Center Tour, 3D IMAX space films, Astronaut Encounter and the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, featuring historic spacecraft, simulator rides and the world’s largest collection of personal astronaut mementos.
Admission tickets are valid for a second day free at the Visitor Complex, if used within a seven-day period. Active military members will also receive a 10 percent discount on retail and food items at the Visitor Complex.
More bad news: This discount is not valid for special ticketed events, including launches or special events and remember, proof of ID is required.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens at 9 a.m. Closing times vary by season. For more information, call 321-449-4444 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com
That’s all for this weeks ticket news I will post again when I have some more great discounts to share. Enjoy the ride, and remember, no flash photography.
• Christopher Ollendorf is just your average Orlando guy who loves the theme parks. He has worked in the retail field for most of his life but spent 15 years of that time working for Walt Disney World. At Disney, he worked in entertainment, guest services, retail management, front desk and training. He’s had extensive experience selling theme park tickets.