Free beer back at Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens is toasting its upcoming 60th anniversary in 2019 by giving two free beers to all visitors, a return to the park’s roots as a vehicle to promote former owner Anheuser-Busch.
The Tampa, Fla., theme park announced the deal recently. The park’s passholders have been able to belly up to the bar early, getting two free samples during October at the Garden Gate Cafe or Serengeti Overlook Pub. The perk promotes the park’s new Annual Pass program with four tiers.
The Tampa park opened in 1959 with a Hospitality House that gave out samples of Anheuser-Busch products. The freebies came to an end in 2009 after the Blackstone Group bought SeaWorld and Busch Gardens.
A summer promotion brought the free beer back this year, and Busch Gardens reported a rise in attendance. Analysts credited the company’s improved fortunes, in part, to the free 7-ounce beers.
The park also rolled out a new four-tiered passholder system that offers more perks at each price point. The entry-level Bronze Pass, for example, reflects a drop in price from 2018’s Annual Pass at $119 (or $9.99 a month in the park’s EZPay plan). This tier has blackout dates, but there are discounts for parking, dining and shopping. The price is expected to go up after Nov. 30.
Busch Gardens will be holding commemorative activities to celebrate its 60th in 2019 and will open Tigris, Florida’s tallest launch coaster, in the spring.