Busch Gardens Tampa and SeaWorld Orlando stop just short of $80 admission

Posted Saturday, November 20, 2010 3:03 PM | Contributed by Jeff

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment raised prices Friday at its Florida theme parks, though it stopped just short of matching recent increases at rival parks Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando. The adult price of a basic single-day admission to SeaWorld Orlando inches up $1 to $79.99, before tax. That is about $2 less than base-ticket prices at Disney World and Universal, which each raised prices in August.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel and The St. Petersburg Times.

Saturday, November 20, 2010 3:38 PM

Wow. I love the park, but it's not worth that much for a single day, especially if it's busy. I didn't even realize it was over $60 already. Wow.

Saturday, November 20, 2010 3:51 PM

No amusement park in existence is worth $80, to me anyway. Some of these Orlando parks do offer a high quality experience, but that's just too much.

Saturday, November 20, 2010 3:59 PM

They probably keep raising the 1 day admission to get you to go for the $115 plan which is 14 days in a row of admission to Busch Gardens and Sea World even though I would guess no one goes to both parks for 14 days in a row, it makes it looks like they are getting an amazing deal at a little over $10 a day.

Saturday, November 20, 2010 9:50 PM

Weekend greens fees during peak-season at a golf course near me are $89. A round of golf takes me about 5 hours (I suck). 10 bucks less for a full day at a major theme park in Orlando sounds pretty reasonable.

Saturday, November 20, 2010 11:03 PM

When are some of these parks going to price themselves out of business?

Sunday, November 21, 2010 12:56 AM

When they have complete morons running them, I guess. If people stop showing up and management doesn't adjust the pricing accordingly, I guess that's when they'll go out of business. But what are the chances of that happening?

Sunday, November 21, 2010 1:01 AM

I'm not saying I like the idea of $80 one day tickets, but that's because I'm used to not paying that much. $80 for a day at a park is still a bargain, especially since you can't get tickets to a good show that lasts 2-3 hours (if you're lucky) for less than.

Sunday, November 21, 2010 8:33 AM

Wow, thats almost double what i paid in 2001. Guess I shant be visiting anytime soon

Sunday, November 21, 2010 12:00 PM

Every time one of these stories comes up, everyone starts to complain and question how they can "get away with it." Well, if people keep showing up, it would seem to me that they're doing the right thing for their business.

Sunday, November 21, 2010 12:08 PM

Tekwardo said:
$80 for a day at a park is still a bargain, especially since you can't get tickets to a good show that lasts 2-3 hours (if you're lucky) for less than.

But paying that for any "show" isn't a good deal either. Nor is playing golf. It's all relative for each person and what they like to spend their money on. I may be willing to splurge and pay that inflated amount for a special park visit, but it's no bargain to me at all.

I used to go on random trips and pay full price admission to parks, but now that prices have gotten out of hand, I don't do those trips much anymore. They have priced me out of visiting. But that's probably their strategy anyway--milk the noobs for all they're worth, because most of them will never be back again, so don't worry about repeat customers.

All I know is that it hurts to pay some of these admission prices now and it didn't used to hurt, and I have more money to play with now than I did when it didn't hurt.

Sunday, November 21, 2010 1:30 PM

It sounds like good bisness to me. If you can get away with raising prices even just a little (like 1 dollar) and still get a ton of people through the door than that's good for you. It may make people mad if the price goes up alot or all the time but i don't think it will keep people from showing up at the park daily. And It is ONE dollar get over it if it was 10 or 20 dollars than this would be a real questionable story.

Last edited by Will G, Sunday, November 21, 2010 1:32 PM
Sunday, November 21, 2010 1:55 PM

But paying that for any "show" isn't a good deal either.

Well, I think that's subjective.

There is a difference, though, between Orlando and the rest of the parks out there. As is often mentioned here, they aren't your regular 'regional' parks. And honestly, for most people (the majority, which I would imagine is over 99% of their attendance), it's a price rolled into the cost of the overall vacation (and the more you go, the 'cheaper' it is for admission).

I can't ever see myself going to any of those parks and paying the one day price. They don't want you to, and I don't want to. Doesn't mean I won't go, just means I'll take advantage of the multi-day tickets, which is what they really want you to buy.

Sunday, November 21, 2010 2:20 PM

Acoustic Viscosity said:

But paying that for any "show" isn't a good deal either. Nor is playing golf.

Yeah, I actually implied that 90 bucks for a 5 hour round of golf isn't a particularly good deal, when you could spend an entire day at a theme park for 10 bucks less. Also, consider that most people who would pay 90 bucks for a round of golf would probably do so multiple times a season (you can't get good at the game without playing a lot). My point is, 80 bucks for a day at a theme park, by comparison, is a really good deal. However, the particular course I mention is seemingly priced right; it's still in business.

There are other golf courses out there with much lower greens fees, but, as with anything, you get what you pay for. Those courses are typically not as nice or as challenging. Of course, the same goes for theme parks. No one pays 80 bucks for admission to Conneaut Lake.

It's all relative for each person and what they like to spend their money on.


Sunday, November 21, 2010 4:58 PM

I wouldn't pay $90 for Conneaut Lake either, but the whole "you get what you pay for" doesn't always hold true in this industry IMO. There are many cheaper parks that I get a lot more enjoyment out of than the big, fancy expensive theme parks.

And just to be clear, it's not the $1 increase that I'm (or anyone I think) am talking about; it's the price in general. The same holds true for concerts. I used to love going to see concerts and didn't mind paying $40 a ticket, but now those shows cost $140 a ticket and that's just ridiculous to me. So I rarely go anymore. It amazes me what people are willing to pay for a one-time, short experience, but then they complain about paying one freakin' dollar for a piece of music that they can enjoy for an entire lifetime. THAT's a bargain.

Sunday, November 21, 2010 5:50 PM

I don't think anyone would appreciate higher prices at some theme parks (except for maybe Gonch lol).

And when the time comes for me to get down to Orlando again, I will make sure that I stay a long time so I can get my money's worth. To get the best deal, I will have to stay, what, two weeks at Disney, and two weeks at Sea World and Busch Gardens? Add to that a day for each of the one-day destinations like Legoland, NASA, and Gatorland, and a few days for the beach. Hell, I'm going to have to stay in Florida for about six weeks. lol

I do think that some entertainment prices are getting too high. I rarely see a concert because I think that most ticket prices are outragous, and I can just as easily buy a concert DVD of my favorite bands for $20 or watch their performances on YouTube for free.

And I don't think anyone is complaining about a one or two dollar increase as well. They have raised the prices a dollar or two once or twice a year for several years now, and Orlando park admission prices have doubled in the last decade. But people still pay it, and the parks are still packed sometimes, so what do I know?

Last edited by LostKause, Sunday, November 21, 2010 5:54 PM
Sunday, November 21, 2010 8:37 PM

Here is what I find interesting. If I was to say that I make a hundred thousand dollars a year and was very financially stable, I don't think $80 for a pass would affect my pocket book a whole lot, furthermore, if I was to say that make around twenty to thirty thousand dollars a year and being a person who is directly affected by the recession then I could see why people would complain. Its all about suiting are own needs right?

Sunday, November 21, 2010 8:40 PM

But lets be fair. If you're affected by the recession, you shouldn't be paying $80 regardless for Disney. You should be using money more wisely.

Sunday, November 21, 2010 11:52 PM

To me $80 is a shocking price for a day admission to an amusement park, even though I can afford it if a want to go. Just seems kind of insulting to me, like the $6 large sodas at CP. Actually even worse. You can buy a fair number of $6 CP sodas after the $47 admission to bring the cost of your day to $80. Individually it is bad enough, but if you have a family you are spending a few hundred dollars just to get in the door. Sorry, but riding roller coasters or watching animals for one day just is not worth that much.

Last edited by Pete, Sunday, November 21, 2010 11:53 PM
Monday, November 22, 2010 12:37 AM

Pete said:
Sorry, but riding roller coasters or watching animals for one day just is not worth that much.

And that's what it all comes down to.

Not how much you make, not how much you have, not how much you spent for something else...

Is $80 worth it to you for a visit to Busch Gardens or Sea World?

We're all going to answer differently.

But the bottom line is that it is worth it to enough people to keep the parks not only in business but full of people and thriving as a vacation spot and tourist destination.

To show just how subjective it is, there are smaller parks that charge half as much that I haven't been back to because these bigger parks at twice the price are the better value for me and more in line with the price/experience ratio I'm after. The $80 park holds value for me while the $40 one doesn't.

Probably the most subjective topic we get on around here is pricing. But it all comes back to the fact that people keep going - to both the $40 parks and the $80 parks.

Do I feel $80 is out of line for a day at the park? Nope. I've done a lot less and paid a lot more to do it.


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