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Here’s How Much Financial Trouble Your Favorite Theme Parks Are In

Hollywood Studios Arch

While the COVID-19 Pandemic has been a disaster for pretty much every sector of the global economy (except for toilet paper, disinfectant and teleconferencing companies!), one area that has suffered tremendously has been theme parks. And while some companies may be better off than others, literally everyone is feeling the pain, losing millions of dollars per day, and looking to government programs, loans, bond sales and more to say financially solvent. 

1. SeaWorld

The SeaWorld family of parks were not doing spectacularly well prior to the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, but in the wake of the shutdown, things have really fallen apart for the company, with the new CEO jumping ship, three construction liens filed against SeaWorld, and now SeaWorld is asking for a bailout from both the local and the federal government to help cover its losses.

If SeaWorld is not successful with getting money from these programs, it could mean that either a purchase or a shutdown is in SeaWorld’s future, as the company seems to have little to no money left, and is losing an estimated $2 Million per day while the shutdown is ongoing.

2. Disney Parks 

And while a $2 Million per day loss sounds staggering, things are even worse at Disney, with estimates pegging the company losing as much as $40 million per day in its parks and entertainment sector for each day of the shutdown. This is a staggering number, and when you factor in Disney’s losses at the box office and across its retail stores, the picture becomes increasingly bleak.

However, it looks like help is on the way as The Walt Disney Company has taken on a $5 billion line of credit with CitiBank, according to SEC filings, in addition to a $7 Billion loan it took out earlier this year. With the company taking on such massive debt, it is very likely that they are feeling the itch to reopen their parks soon.

But even though things are looking bad for Disney, there is another theme park operator going through some dire straits. 

3. Merlin

The UK-based Merlin company, which owns and operates several attractions in both the US and abroad, including all LEGOLAND parks and Madame Tussaud’s locations, recently announced that it is looking to raise €500 million from bond investors by early next week and will need to tap into government support programs in order to ensure that it can reopen its parks when it is appropriate to do so.

According to Merlin, the company is losing £50 million per month while parks and attractions around the world are closed, and it needs to be able to raise cash quickly so that they can open their over 130 attractions around the world as soon as possible. 

4. Universal Parks

The only parks group that has some financial security right now are Universal, which is getting a boost from parent company Comcast, which is continuing to make money thanks to its broadband Internet and Cable businesses. However, Universal parks are still creating a negative on the balance sheet to the tune of at least $12 million each day, which doesn’t even count the cash outflow to fulltime non-working employees, who are still being paid through the shutdown.

And while its true that parent company Comcast won’t be needing loans, government aid, or any other kind of bailout to ensure that Universal parks keep running, we’d still expect things to be a little lean when Universal parks reopen sometime in the future. 

As always, while this situation is evolving, all theme park fans should check out the CDC’s official site here, which has information on the virus and how to prevent its spread. 

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