Performance, education and fun built for student band and orchestra groups in these theme parks throughout the southeast. With culture, performance, animals and coasters these parks offer more than award-winning rides.

There are many notable theme parks in the south. The favorable climate allows places such as Disney World and Universal Studios to flourish, but other parks within the south are often overlooked next to these giants in the theme park industry. It can be difficult to afford tickets and group rates to these famous parks, but there are more reasonable options for groups and schools to consider. Here are several theme parks that include wonderful education programs along with the amazing rides and entertainment features at affordable rates. 

Rollercoasters at Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Rollercoasters at Busch Gardens Williamsburg (Credit)

Busch Gardens – Williamsburg, Virginia

Virginia hosts a cultural theme park modeled after European countries including England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany and Italy. Student groups have the opportunity for discounted admission, with additional tours. These include conservation classes, wolf encounters, a physics show, and a behind the scenes coaster tour. Busch Gardens also supports performance of student music groups with applications to perform in the park. Voted one of the most beautiful theme parks for 29 years, the cultural themes and learning programs are sure to inspire students as they explore more than 350 acres of rides.

The Dutchman Creek Middle School performing at Carowinds Festival of Music
The Dutchman Creek Middle School performing at Carowinds Festival of Music (Credit)

Carowinds – Charlotte, North Carolina

Situated on the border of North and South Carolina, Carowinds celebrates students with their programs and crazy rollercoasters. Performance in the park is an opportunity for student groups to perform within the venue in a music festival and enjoy rides. Students parade through the park while playing instruments, singing or dancing for guests. The park hosts days catered to education and job development for students including Career Day, Engineering Day, Marketing Day, Health Sciences Day and Leadership Day. These events feature seminars, skill development, experiments and of course the rides.

Dollywood – Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

The Great Smoky Mountains houses this down-to-earth theme park centered around a reconnection of families through new memories. Their mission in teaching kids resonates within the park as they offer programs such as science in the park and the Wings of America birds of prey show. With Science in the Park, students can explore the physics of rides. Dollywood also offers an opportunity for band and choral performances within the park, showcasing students’ talent through hard work. With opportunities for performance, education and thrill rides Dollywood is the complete package for student enjoyment. 

Six Flags Over Georgia coasters and rides
Six Flags Over Georgia coasters and rides (Credit)

Six Flags Over Georgia – Austell, Georgia

Even though Six Flags seems an obvious pick for theme parks, this one stands out with its inclusion of student programs. Educational days offer an interactive classroom for programs on math and physics, giving teachers a fun way to apply lesson plans to real life. With discount pricing for educational groups as well as catering for each group package, this affordable trip would be ideal in budgeting fun for students. Along with educational opportunities, Six Flags Over Georgia lets student groups showcase their talent by performing in the park, whether it be a marching band or orchestra. With over 150 local performers each season, record coasters and multiple student programs, this park combines fun, learning and performance for students. 

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Concert Event
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay concert event (Credit)

Busch Gardens – Tampa, Florida

Explore the continent of Africa in this theme park with rides, shows and animals to discover. Youth groups are offered a reduced rate for tickets, as well as a picnic package for larger groups with a buffet in a reserved pavilion. Band or orchestra groups can perform in one of the lovely venues and stages available for rent throughout the park. Busch Gardens has hosted many concerts and live events, as well as hosting daily performances with singing, dancing and music. With more than 200 animals, a new roller coaster premiering in 2020 and world-class performers, this park offers many different ways for students to seek fun while learning.