RICHMOND, Va. -- Parents can now save some money this summer when taking their families to Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion. The Virginia theme parks, which are located approximately 75 miles from each other, announced a partnership Tuesday in an effort to attract East Coast tourists to Central Virginia. As part of the effort to better market the newly-dubbed "Virgina's Gateway to Family Thrills," the rival theme parks joined forces to offer two ticket deals they hoped would boost both attendance and awareness.
The Virginia Thrills Ticket costs $106 and is valid for one single-day admission each to Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion (Soak City included) within seven consecutive days. The promotion represents a $34 savings off the combined retail ticket prices to the parks.
The Virginia Thrills Ticket Plus costs $135 and adds each venue’s water parks to the package. The Virginia Thrills Ticket Plus is valid for two single-day admission tickets to Busch Gardens and Water Country USA® and two single-day admission tickets to Kings Dominion (Soak City included) within seven consecutive days. The promotional price represents a $121 savings off the parks’ combined retail single-day admission prices.
"This partnership highlights the friendly competition between Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion, and brings our resources together to create a much larger voice in the crowded market," Busch Gardens marketing vice president Dan Dipiazzo said. "Why drive a thousand or more miles for a vacation when we have Orlando-quality attractions right here in Virginia."
In addition to discounted tickets, the theme parks will appear together in a digital advertising campaign targeting tourists in and around New York and Philadelphia. The advertising campaign will be funded, in part, by a $25,000 matching grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation.
"We are both going after similar guests," Kings Dominion director of marketing Scott Clemons said. "Joining together, Virginia’s premier theme parks offer an attractive option for families who want a thrilling vacation closer to home."
Both Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens are celebrating 40th anniversaries this year.
"The friendly competition between Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion has created two world-class theme parks," president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation Rita McClenny said. "Combining their resources with the state’s grant program, creates a unique opportunity to market the corridor from Richmond to Williamsburg to families who may not otherwise consider Virginia as a thrill vacation destination."
The last time the theme parks teamed up in this manner was in 2000.