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.

After a really good second quarter, it looks like SeaWorld is building on its positive momentum, with gains in both attendance and revenue thanks to a number of factors, and may finally be on the road to long-term recovery... 

Attendance continues to grow year over year 

Image: SeaWorld

Though attendance at SeaWorld parks have been on a downward slump since 2013, it looks like SeaWorld is starting to recover. After positive gains last quarter, attendance once again increased year over year by 0.7 million guests, or 9.7%, to 8.3 million guests from the third quarter of 2017. For the total year so far, attendance is up by by 1.4 million guests, or 8.7%, to 18.0 million guests from the first nine months of 2017. This is the biggest sustained attendance growth for the family of parks since 2013, and seems to indicate that SeaWorld is finally recovering for the long-term. 

During an earnings call SeaWorld CEO John Reilly said a “calendar of popular events,” including several free beer promotions, have been one of the big reasons why guests are flocking back to the park. And though SeaWorld’s annual attendance hasn’t fully recovered to pre-2013 levels, with two solid quarters of growth, it looks like more than four year attendance decline is finally reversing.

Image: Jeremy Thompson, Flickr (license

Another factor that could be contributing to higher attendance is lower admissions prices, as SeaWorld continues to market itself as a budget alternative to Disney and Universal. However, even though revenue from admission may be down due to lowering prices, there's still more good news for SeaWorld where the finances are concerned... 


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