August 8, 2018
18-162

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU, Wild Adventures Theme Park Join Forces to Increase Impact on South Georgia

Valdosta State University and Wild Adventures Theme Park announced a new co-branding and advertising initiative on Aug. 8.  

wild adventures

wild adventures

VALDOSTA — Recognizing the unique role they play in supporting the people who live, learn, work, and play in Valdosta and Lowndes County, Valdosta State University and Wild Adventures Theme Park announced a new co-branding and advertising initiative on Aug. 8.  
 
“With a combined annual economic impact of nearly a billion dollars, Valdosta State University and Wild Adventures Theme Park are already making a huge difference for all of us who love to call South Georgia home,” shared Dr. Richard A. Carvajal, president of VSU.
 
“…we are making history as we announce a collaboration between two of South Georgia’s most iconic treasures.”
 
“… one can only imagine what we’ll be able to do together.”
 
Carvajal noted that the collaboration puts a spotlight on VSU’s tradition of academic, creative, athletic, research, and service excellence and Wild Adventures Theme Park’s commitment to quality hospitality and fun. It also highlights VSU’s pledge to be a catalyst for regional comprehensive progress as the flagship institution of higher education for South Georgia.   
 
“VSU has always been an integral part of the Wild Adventures family,” shared Molly Deese, vice president and general manager of Wild Adventures Theme Park. “We are proud to employ several VSU graduates on our management and supervisory teams, and many of our 800 seasonal team members are currently earning their degrees right here at VSU. Today’s announcement strengthens a relationship that has been fostered for over two decades.”
 
Wild Adventures Theme Park welcomes an average of 650,000 guests each year, with the largest geographic markets covering VSU’s 41-county South Georgia service region and the Florida cities of Tallahassee, Gainesville, and Jacksonville.
 
Moving forward, Wild Adventures Theme Park guests will have an opportunity to purchase their favorite VSU merchandise from one or more retail locations inside the park.
 
VSU will be featured on the park’s maps, signage, and website and identified as the exclusive higher education sponsor of Wild Adventures Theme Park.
 
In Spring 2019, Wild Adventures Theme Park will unveil a VSU-themed ride, when the current Firecracker is rebranded with VSU graphics and colors and renamed the Blazer Blast Off — making VSU the only university to have its own theme park ride. Fans of the 2009 American post-apocalyptic horror comedy film “Zombieland” may recall the scene where Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin try to escape the zombies by climbing aboard this double action space tower ride.
 
“Working closely with Dr. Carvajal and the team here at VSU,” Deese said, “we have jointly selected one of the most famous and iconic rides at Wild Adventures to rebrand for VSU.”
 
“At Wild Adventures, we couldn’t be more excited and more proud to be a part of this,” she added.   
 
Carvajal said that the co-branding and advertising initiative also includes specially designed passes to Wild Adventures Theme Park for VSU students.
 
Students who live in one of VSU’s eight residence halls will receive a Blazer Student Resident Pass as part of the special housing activity fee they pay each semester. This pass will include admission to Wild Adventures Theme Park six days a week, excluding Saturdays, on park operating days through May 31, 2019. It does not include parking at the park. These passholders have the option of purchasing a single-day ticket for Saturday admissions for $15. 
 
Residential students who wish to upgrade to the Blazer Student Resident Plus Pass, which includes admission to Wild Adventures Theme Park seven days a week on park operating days through Dec. 31, 2019, as well as parking, can do so for $29.
 
Students who live off campus can purchase a Blazer Student Non-Resident Pass for $49. This pass will include admission to Wild Adventures Theme Park six days a week, excluding Saturdays, on park operating days through May 31, 2019. It does not include parking at the park. These passholders have the option of purchasing a single-day ticket for Saturday admissions for $15.
 
A Blazer Student Non-Resident Plus Pass is available for $69 and includes admission to Wild Adventures Theme Park seven days a week on parking operating days through Dec. 31, 2019, as well as parking. That represents a 47 percent savings off similar season passes sold by the park.
 
Wild Adventures Theme Park representatives will be at the Student Union Welcome Desk from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 13-16. Students will need to show their VSU 1Card and be listed as currently enrolled to receive their pass.      
 
“It is a great day for our university and our community,” said Dr. Vince Miller, vice president of Student Affairs at VSU. “At Valdosta State, we are constantly evaluating our student experience and looking for additional ways to enhance campus student life. We know that when our students are active and involved on campus and in our community, they are more successful students, but they also radiate pride for the Blazer Nation and for our region. Today’s announcement is one more day we at Valdosta State continue to enhance the student experience.”
 
Carvajal added, “Students at other universities may sometimes say that ‘there’s nothing to do around here’ when they get out of class, but that will never rightfully be said here, and we could not be more proud and more excited to make that happen.”
 
“This is huge for all of us,” said Jacob Bell, president of VSU’s Student Government Association. “This is truly an unprecedented announcement and a big impact on the student experience. It is a great day to be a Blazer.”
 
Images from the Aug. 8 press conference are available for download at https://www.flickr.com/photos/valdostastate/albums/72157694161820660/with/42120592020/ .
 
ABOUT WILD ADVENTURES THEME PARK:   
Wild Adventures Theme Park is home to more than 40 family and thrill rides, hundreds of exotic animals, dozens of concerts and special events each year, and Splash Island Waterpark, named in 2018 as one of the Top 30 Waterparks in the country by U.S. News and World Report. On the Web: www.wildadventures.com
 
ABOUT VALDOSTA STATE UNIVERSITY:
Established in 1906, Valdosta State University is a premier comprehensive university that offers both the extensive academic, cultural, and social opportunities of a major university and the small classes and close, personal attention of smaller institutions. It boasts more than 100 degree, certificate, and endorsement programs on campus and online for undergraduate and graduate students. It also has a full menu of extracurricular activities, from national championship athletic and academic teams to honors organizations, sororities and fraternities, intramural sports, educational and service clubs, a symphony orchestra, art and theatre, research opportunities, and more. Even as underclassmen, students file patents on inventions and make life-changing scientific discoveries, present at national and international conferences, publish research in collaboration with their professors, work in campus-based clinics that benefit the community, live and learn at partner institutions around the globe through study abroad, and more. The possibilities are endless. On the Web: www.valdosta.edu
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