Don’t call it an annual pass, not anymore. Today Busch Gardens Williamsburg has rolled out an all new “Membership” card program that will replace the current annual pass program. The new passes range in price from $10 dollars monthly, to $20 dollars monthly and each one with completely different benefits.
“More than a pass, Membership means more access and more benefits,” said Dan Dipiazzo, vice president of marketing at Busch Gardens and Water Country USA. “We’re listening to our guests who say they want more value and simpler choices. Membership allows our guests to take full advantage of the parks’ amenities including all of our seasonal events. It’s what consumers are asking for.”
Membership indeed has its privileges, as annual members will get included, unlimited access to the parks Christmas Town event, which this year will be open Christmas Day. There will now be three different Membership tiers-Basic, Unlimited and Premiere.
Here’s the breakdown for each pass:
• Flexibility equals savings with the Basic Membership plan. Benefits feature park admission with select blockout dates throughout the year, half-price general parking, special offers, exclusive events, in-park discounts and guest ticket discounts. Introductory price is just $10 a month.
• Members will enjoy limitless fun and perks in the Unlimited Membership, which features unlimited visits to both parks with no blockout dates, free general parking and two free guest tickets per year plus discounts on additional tickets, along with all other Membership events and benefits. Price: $15 a month.
• The Premier Membership plan is for ultimate theme park enthusiasts. It features unlimited visits to Busch Gardens, Water Country USA and nine other world-class theme and water parks in the SeaWorld family. Other enhanced benefits include free preferred parking and three free guest tickets per year plus discounts on additional tickets.Price: $20 per month.
These prices are introductory prices. On April 1st, the prices will raise for each of the three categories, $12, $17 and $22 respectively.
What about you current pass holders? No worries, you can keep your existing plans. Of course that means you won’t get Christmas Town for free, but you can also convert your existing pass to a new Membership.
There are three ways to join the Membership Program:
1 Guests can go online to buschgardens.com/joinBGW
2 Visit Busch Gardens’ ticket windows during pre-season activation days March 1 – 4 or March 8 – 11from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., or during normal operating hours once the park opens March 24.
3 Call the Guest Service line (757) 229-4386
Since SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Tampa aren’t doing the same things (yet), it does make you wonder why. Personally it feels like the push for a better value ticket, and also a push towards the long rumored year-round expansion that has been floating around. With a membership, the park could theoretically slide into a new operating schedule and have larger blackout dates for those with basic memberships. Of course, that’s just a theory, and likely is wrong.
What do you think about the new Membership options?