St. Louis, Mo., May 21, 2004 – The Anheuser-Busch Adventure Parks will extend a tribute program for U.S. and coalition military personnel and their families that last year saw more than 800,000 people visit SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Sesame Place free of charge.
"Operation Homecoming" will honor those members of U.S. and coalition armed forces who were serving overseas and unable to take advantage of free theme park admission offered as part of last year’s "Operation Salute" program.
"We recognize that many of the men and women who have sacrificed so much during our military operations in the Middle East and elsewhere were unable to take advantage of last year’s program," said Keith M. Kasen, Chairman of the Board and President of Busch Entertainment Corporation (BEC). “As the initial tours for those service members draw to a close and they begin returning home, we hope they and their families will honor us with a visit."
The program will be offered to those service members who served overseas between Memorial Day 2003 and Veterans Day 2003. The offer, which is valid from Memorial Day 2004 through Veterans Day 2004, includes one free admission to any one of the company’s three SeaWorld and two Busch Gardens parks or Sesame Place. Qualified military personnel can register on-line, print the form and bring it on the date of their visit to expedite the admission process. Registration forms can be found at www.seaworld.com, www.sesameplace.com and www.buschgardens.com.
Like Operation Salute, the offer allows one free admission to the service member and one free admission each for as many as four direct dependents. Additional tickets may be purchased at a discount. The offer is valid for admission to one park only. Military retirees and their dependents are not included.
To take advantage of the offer, service members and dependents 10 and older need only present a valid Department of Defense I.D. and deployment papers showing that they were serving overseas during Operation Salute. Tickets will be issued at participating parks after service members complete a short registration form. Dependents of deployed service members who took advantage of last year’s Operation Salute tribute are not eligible for a second free admission under this program, but may purchase tickets at a discount.
Operation Homecoming is the third tribute to U.S. armed forces launched by the Anheuser-Busch Adventure Parks. Following the Gulf War, more than 1 million service members and their families were given free theme park passes during the company’s Yellow Ribbon Summer celebration.
Busch Entertainment Corp. today also launched "Military Appreciation Days," a program that offers discounted admission to its parks to all members of the armed forces. Military Appreciation Days and Operation Homecoming begin May 31, 2004 and run through Veterans Day, November 11, 2004. Military Appreciation Days tickets may be purchased only at participating military base ticket offices. Tickets will not be available at park ticket windows, and the discount applies to single day tickets only.
BEC operates nine adventure parks: SeaWorld parks in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio; Busch Gardens parks in Tampa and Williamsburg, Va.; Discovery Cove in Orlando; Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pa., near Philadelphia; Water Country USA in Williamsburg and Adventure Island in Tampa. BEC parks play host to more than 20 million guests each year. BEC is the family entertainment subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc.