Ever since 2012, the hits have kept on coming for SeaWorld. Despite the fact that SeaWorld Orlando is currently the least expensive major theme park to visit in central Florida, has an annual passholder program with serious perks, and offers some truly aggressive deals and discounts, SeaWorld has really been struggling over the past few years, hitting attendance lows in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. However, after years and years of bad news, it looks like things may finally be turning around for SeaWorld.
Earlier this week SeaWorld Orlando released their financial results for the second quarter of 2018, and for once, it looks like there is some actually really good news for this park in store, which may be the beginning of a much-needed recovery for the troubled theme park company.
Attendance and revenue are up year over year
SeaWorld Orlando has been in an attendance slump for the past half a decade, and though it was looking like the park was going to turn things around, that unfortunately did not happen in 2016, and 2017 was unfortunately nothing short of a total disaster. However, despite all this, park attendance also has actually increased over the past six months to 9.64 million total guests (across all parks), up 8 percent from 8.93 million the same time last year. Revenue during this period also rose to $609.1 million, up 8.7 percent from $560.1 million reported during the previous year.
This is definitely good news for SeaWorld, and it will be interesting to see if this postivie momentum will continue through the rest of the year. SeaWorld has seen small positive bursts before, but maybe this time, this good news will kick off an upward trend that will finally bring SeaWorld back on track.
Infinity Falls will open later this year, but it will be the last non-summer opening for the foreseeable future
Though there was plenty of good news to share inside SeaWorld's financial results, one thing that executives have not been particularly pleased with is the opening of new attraction Infinity Falls at SeaWorld Orlando, which will not be operational until later this year. This is a big deal for the park, as attraction openings in the summer typically draw more guests. John Reilly, interim SeaWorld CEO said during an earnings call discussing SeaWorld's financial results that "the timing of the opening of this ride is clearly disappointing," but also added that "We need to, and will be better, going forward at opening all of our rides and attractions in time for the peak summer season," implying that we could see some more summertime attraction openings at SeaWorld parks. And speaking of new openings...