As a first time visitor to sea world I was unsure whether to go to the park. I watched blackfish and it made a compelling argument not to attend, that being said as an adrenaline junky I wanted to ride the rollercoasters. I didn't enjoy my day there for 2 different reasons. The animal exhibits, I found it hard to justify why it's necessary to make these animals perform for our entertainment - it's not educational and I felt uncomfortable watching the shows. That being said having spent the previous week at Disney and universal, the guest experience at sea world was lacking, paying for lockers, closed attractions and rude staff just seemed to make for a bad day. It felt like the staff didn't care about the experience of me as a guest - this is what makes you come back to a park, maybe I'm expecting to much but the people at the other parks where friendly and helpful and made every effort to ensure I was having a good time.

In reply to by Michael Stegner (not verified)

I have noticed a lot of families entering the park with coolers on wheels. When the family is ready to eat, they find a suitable "picnic" area to eat at. I'm only familiar with Busch Gardens (as a past employee and current pass holder), but there are oodles of places to do this, including the A/C Pantopia Theatre, where the family can watch a musical show as they eat.

In reply to by Michael Stegner (not verified)

Here's the thing... Maybe the theme parks aren't catering to the "average" American family. There seems to be a weird idea that a Disney experience is basically a civil right. It's not. It's it's valuable and it's in demand - and Disney (and it's competitors) have every right to charge market price.

Good point about the snowball effect (low attendance = low maintenance = lower attendance etc.) in place right now at SeaWorld.

We visited SeaWorld from the UK in July (staying at the wonderful Renaissance opposite, which is linked with benefits). We enjoyed our visits to the park, and the meal deal was very good value, but we found it really disappointing that the Tower was closed yet again - I can't remember when it was last open for us, probably 2009, and for someone who doesn't like roller coasters or simulator rides this was a big minus. Coupled with that, the Clyde & Seamore show was purile (much preferred the old show) and there was no longer an acrobat show. While the staff were friendly & behind the scenes rescue tour was great, there wasn't an awful lot left for me which would make me question whether to visit again if Our eldest roller coaster mad son was not with us.

This review of seaworld I should from a family vacation August following a 6 year gap in visit. July 2010 being of previous visit.

The park seems desperate to emulate the Disney Universal Crowd, rather than differentiate. I love seaworld, despite blackfish, and love the conservation elements of the park. In August the park seemed understaffed with the closure of the children's area whilst the killer whale shows were on, staff seemed to be redeployed to the showcase attraction. No signage but rides and net climb roped off.

A general maintenance problem saw many rides closed during our few days there. MAKO was a great new ride but I had heard little of this new attraction before my arrival in the sunshine state. Colossal queues for food, they continually pushed the photo key package despite no signage telling you how much!. I love Disney photopass but the abundance of photo opportunities is what makes it worthwhile.

In order to cease its decline and I think sea world needs to do the unimaginable and stop trying to be like Disney/ Universal. Step out and be different - stop charging for parking! Remove the many unnecessary gift shops and focus on the animals, make them the stars of the park again!

Btw Discovery Cove is awesome but looking tired as USC aquatics

Always liked Sea World and applaud the conservation efforts. This opened the good to people who would not necessarily think of the Ocean it's inhabitants and their survival.Plan to go again next year. It would be a terrible loss.

It's interesting that you say your reasons for not returning are not related to the points discussed in the article. In fact, they are intimately related. The dip in attendance (as a result of everything from recent news to Blackfish backlash) affects revenue, which in-turn affects the park's ability to maintain attractions, pay staff and ultimately operate.

But at the end of the day, good riddance. I hope the company fails. As a kid I enjoyed SeaWorld. It's fun to see all these animals close up. But as an adult, it's clear that these animals are tortured. They're not held for study or benefit to society. They're imprisoned (and with Orcas being as intelligent as they are, it is imprisonment) and mistreated, while they should live a natural life in the wild.

Simply put,.....ALL the Orlando parks are now pricing out about 80% of US family's,.....So ALL of Orlando has lower Attendance Levels, Disney is seeing a decline, USF is seeing a Decline, and Sea World being the third choice is feeling it the most.

In a day where the the average hourly wage is under $10 an Hour, What average family can afford, $20 parking, $105.00-$150.00 a day tickets, $4 Sodas, and $15 hamburgers, not to mention Hotels, Transportation and Gas?

then even if they do manage to save up for it, they arrive at parks who keep raising prices, while cutting back on Parades, Shows, maintenance, and more?

Not a good Business plan, If prices in the Orlando parks come down to match the current USA income levels, The Guests will once again return.

When we visit Orlando from the UK we have always made time for SeaWorld, on our last visit three years ago, after having watched Blackfish and experiencing the updated Shamu show we completely lost interest in the park, I find it difficult to explain why we lost interest but I do think that Blackfish was a big part of it, on our next visit to Orlando next month we have ruled out a visit to SeaWorld.

I guess that there are more reasons than Blackfish for it. Maybe as Disney is just draining every single buck from foreign tourists, one of the first expenses not making the cut is Sea World.

As a yearly UK visitor, this will be the first time for a decade where we have selected not to purchase SeaWorld tickets. Our family reasons might be valuable marketing material for the company as our choice doesn't reflect on any of the discussions in this report. It was simply down to our last visit experience that left us so disappointed and all seems to point to maintenance issues - something I never thought would affect our reasons for going to a theme park.
In December 2015 we went to SeaWorld Orlando as we loved the Christmas Event they hold there but the day was such a disappointment. The family favorite show of Blue Horizon was cut short (and I mean the show was halved!) and although we knew this as an A board was placed outside stating the show has been modified due to technical reasons, we didn't think the show would be over so quickly. I asked a member of staff and they said they are waiting for spare parts.
Most of the children's rides (standard travelling fun fair rides at best) were either not working or not staffed so therefore could not operate.
And the biggest disappointment of all was there was no ice-skating performance due to the fact the chillers were broken and the ice was melting.
All of these operational issues were just about acceptable for a local seasonal / pop-up event but not a multi-million pound world famous theme park. So we will not spend money on a park where they are clearly not spending the money on maintenance and resilience in holding spare / backup parts.
A real shame and I hope they see sense and turn this around which is achievable I'm sure.

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