SeaWorld Parks earnings down on lower attendance

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. slid to a record low after third-quarter results fell more than analysts estimated, hurt by shrinking attendance at its parks during the peak season. The theme-park operator attracted 8.4 million visitors in the quarter, a half million less than a year earlier.

Read more from Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

Jeff's avatar

Analysts keep talking about Blackfish, but seriously, who is still talking about it? Personally, I think that it's just that they didn't really introduce anything at any of the parks this year. There was Falcon's Fury at BGT, but it wasn't open most of the summer. SeaWorld Orlando had nothing at all while everyone else in town did. Isn't that obvious?

(Disclaimer: This isn't based on any knowledge from my time working there... this is total outside observation anyone can make.)

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Raven-Phile's avatar

They sent out an email few weeks ago, talking about how a small but vocal group has been spreading negative press about them. I have to wonder if they might have actually seen a slight, bot noticeable hit from the effects of Blackfish and its followers.

I know the anti crowd is pretty militant.

Jeff's avatar

But a half-million in one quarter across the entire chain? I doubt most people even know that the Busch Gardens parks are the same company. I haven't seen more detail in the news stories, but I wonder if they broke it out by park at all.

Honestly, even as a local, with a pass, I don't feel a lot of reason to go. There isn't anything new... no New Fantastyland or Harry Potter or Frozen Fireworks or whatever. Even with the penguin thing, it feels like the same park it was 10 years ago.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

I support Seaworld.I just can't find a reason to get the annual pass.

I was going too last year .But Diagon Alley was opening so I did not.

Renewed my Universal Passes instead.

Next Year I hope to get one .

Make some deals Seaworld .

I would like 2 park passes (BGT and Seaworld)

throw in a few one day tickets to Any of your parks.

If I buy a pass I will either go to a park I would not normally go to (Aquatica) or bring a few friends along to Seaworld.

Or put in an Offseason pass (Universals power pass)

with Christmas ,Spring break and busiest month blacked out (July ?)

If you can't build ,Discount


Last edited by kevin38,
Jeff's avatar

They have 2-park passes. They're $52 more than SWO alone.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Haven't been to Sea World in years, but I could keep going to BGT even if they don't add anything for a decade. I just love the zoo and theme park combination.

Screw Blackfish.

My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

ApolloAndy's avatar

How much of Sea World's attendance is in town more than once a decade? I'm just curious if the "mooch off people who are here for Disney" strategy is still viable.

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

Raven-Phile said:

I have to wonder if they might have actually seen a slight, bot noticeable hit from the effects of Blackfish and its followers.

Plausible. I have a few well-to-do families (moms mostly) with kids in the theme park bracket who pushed a lot of blackfish stuff in their social media feeds over this past year. It would be interesting to see if anyone charted the fraction of social media mentions of Sea World were blackfish-related over that period.

Of course, I'm sure that parks management has, but I wonder of anyone has done an independent look.

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