Busch Gardens now offers $50 pass to students

One of the first surprises of this years Week of Welcome events was a new benefit offered to USF students.

Busch Gardens now offers a $50 student pass exclusively to USF students for the academic year $70 less than an annual pass.

The pass, which runs from August 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013, is the first in a discount program USF student body Vice President George Papadeas said SG hopes to offer students.

This is the start of the discount program, something we can bring to students, Papadeas said. Were making sure that students are getting the biggest bang for their bucks.

This discount program was one of the platforms Student Body President Goff and Papadeas campaigned on last spring.

We reached out to local business and the local community to establish relationships, Goff said. And we got the best deal at the best rate for students.

The pass has limited black-out dates and is only available to current students. Students must purchase the pass online and present their student ID upon redemption at that park.

The pass does not provide students access to Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream events this fall, though Goff and Papadeas said they are currently trying to get students tickets at a discounted rate for that as well.

It doesnt include parking either, which costs $14 per vehicle, but the Bull Runners F route runs to the Adventure Island parking lot, where students can access the trams that would take them to the entrance.

Goff said he anticipates that students will take advantage of the deal and it will increase student attendance at Busch Gardens.

This provides a good, safe alternative entertainment option to students, Goff said. The hope and the goal is that we will use this deal as an example to companies to provide similar discounts.

Currently they are hoping to develop similar discounted ticket programs with the Tampa Bay Rays, the Buccaneers and the Lightning, he said.

Weve gotten really good feedback, Papadeas said. Theres been a lot of word of mouth on Facebook and Twitter and were focused on advertising the program.