The VSU and Wild Adventures co-branding has gone so well that the park decided to introduce a VSU-themed ride among its other attractions. Wild Adventures welcomed students and guests to the ride’s ribbon-burning ceremony on April 26.
Previously known as “The Firecracker,” the double-action space tower ride has been renamed the “Blazer Blast Off” in homage to VSU’s football team. The ride features a new design that incorporates VSU’s school colors and logo.
General manager Molly Deese said it only made sense for “The Firecracker” to be the one to represent VSU.
“This was the ride featured in Zombieland,” Deese said. “So not only is it iconic, now it can be VSU’s own iconic ride. I can’t think of another theme park ride that is university sponsored. Since it was also in a popular movie, it makes it pretty cool.”
VSU Vice President of Student Affairs Vincent Miller agreed with that sentiment. He stated that by reinventing this particular ride, the VSU and Wild Adventures brands would grow even further.
“Our logo—our image—is now a permanent fixture in this theme park that hosts over 700,000 guests a year,” Miller said. “That surely makes a huge impact—getting the word of Valdosta State and the success of Valdosta State out in our community.”
Miller went on to commence the ribbon burning “in true Blazer spirit.” He proceeded to welcome the first round of students and guests to the new ride.
VSU and Wild Adventures’ advertising partnership began last August. Public Relations Manager Adam Floyd said that this venture has had much success.
“It’s a great relationship,” Floyd said. “The students get to come here and unwind, and Wild Adventures gets more people to come and enjoy what we have to offer.”
There are two phases of the collaboration. The first phase introduced discounted park passes to students. Students who live in one of VSU’s eight residence halls received a Blazer Student Resident Pass as part of the special housing activity fee they pay each semester.
This pass includes admission to Wild Adventures Theme Park six days a week, excluding Saturdays, on park operating days through May 31. Parking isn’t included, but students can upgrade their Blazer Student Resident Passes to gain free parking and 7-days-a-week park access for an additional $29.
For non-resident students looking to purchase a pass, Wild Adventures offers a basic Blazer Student Non-Resident pass for $49 and the upgraded pass with free parking and 7-day-a-week visits for $69.
Julia Pitchford, a junior biology major, said the access passes are the best deal out of the VSU and Wild Adventures pairing.
“Yeah, the basic pass isn’t the best,” Pitchford said. “But for another $29, the all-access one is where it’s at.”
Now, the collaboration is in its second phase, in which Wild Adventures will continue to host VSU days for students.
“This summer, we’re doing the ‘90s-themed VSU day for the students,” Floyd said. “It has Coolio, Color-Me-Badd and All-for-One, so it’s going to be a fun summer.”
Deese is confident that with the success of the first two phases, there will be more achievements to come out of the partnership.
“We’ve ran with it and are going to continue to build on it,” Deese said. “I anticipate as we move forward with this that it’s going to get better. The students will enjoy their off time more, and VSU and Wild Adventures gets to give them that and become even more successful in the community.”
Wild Adventures will open again for its summer cycle beginning May 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Blazer Blast Off will be in full operation.
Written by Malia Thomas, Staff Writer.
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