SeaWorld Entertainment cutting 320 jobs

Posted Tuesday, December 6, 2016 9:13 PM | Contributed by Jeff

SeaWorld Entertainment is cutting about 320 hourly and salary jobs, the company announced Tuesday. The layoffs will be part of a "restructuring" across the 12-parks and the largest job elimination since 2014. The employees will receive an "enhanced severance benefits" package and outplacement assistance, according to SeaWorld.

Read more from WKMG/Orlando.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016 9:09 PM

The Antarctica ride in Orlando is now listed on the park’s website as being open on weekends only. Anyone know if that has anything to do with budget cutbacks or if they’re just doing routine maintenance/refurbishment during the week?

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016 11:29 PM

I hadn't done the Expedition ride before, but a couple weeks ago attended a Mako event with pre-opening ERT. Being there before the other coasters were open, I ended up getting on the "Wild Expedition" and thinking it was so fun with the trackless vehicles and all the motion. On a subsequent re-ride during the day, the wait was about a half-hour. The vehicle had a fail and wasn't even facing the screens much less bouncing, etc. Staff was very nice about getting us back on another car (they knew something went wrong from their monitor, apparently). Seems like it might be due to staffing and cost-cutting during the offseason.

As far as the chain-wide job cutting, they should try and get some government subsidies to keep those people employed.

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Thursday, December 8, 2016 10:15 AM

Were you not entertained by the swirling hockey pucks of doom to penguin land? :) I do not get that ride other than to serve as a means to gradually adjust you to the colder temperature.

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Thursday, December 8, 2016 10:46 AM

That ride is one of the most singularly baffling experiences in all of themepark-dom. My entire group's reaction was along the lines of "What on earth were they thinking with this?"

That being said the penguins after the ride are super neat.

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Thursday, December 8, 2016 11:24 AM

At the IAAPA event there a few years ago when the exhibit first opened, I was told the pre-ride was needed to serve as a transition buffer between the hot, humid external air and what is apparently an incredibly sensitive exhibit environment with respect to air temperature and humidity (and probably some other stuff).

So, not so much for guest comfort (although that is an added benefit; it's friggin cold in there!). But rather to help minimize the impact of thousands of hot, sweaty, sweltering bodies from entering the exhibit and throwing off the air quality balance.

I can only assume that the penguins are pretty sensitive to that kind of stuff.

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Sunday, December 11, 2016 2:14 PM

The Orlando Sentinel has an article about the visible cutbacks that have been made at the Florida parks. The article seems to confirm that the Antarctica ride is essentially a seasonal attraction now. I'm still baffled that they would choose to keep their second newest ride closed, even if said ride isn't particularly great.

Other changes include some performers being cut from SeaWorld's Blue Horizons show, and the closure of Jambo Junction at Busch Gardens.

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