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 good for SeaWorld.
After a really good second quarter, and an even better third quarter, it looks like SeaWorld is continuing to build on its positive momentum, with its fourth quarter and year-ending results showing big gains in attendance, revenue and more.
Attendance continues to grow year over year
Though attendance at SeaWorld parks have been on a downward slump since 2013, it looks like SeaWorld is starting to recover. After positive gains in the second and third quarter, attendance once again increased year over year, hitting 4.6 million visitors (across all parks) up about 300,000 from 2017’s fourth quarter. For the entire 2018 year, 22.6 million guests visited SeaWorld parks, up 9 percent year-over-year.
During an earnings call SeaWorld Cheif Operating Officer John Reilly said a “We are pleased with our strong fourth quarter and full year financial performance. Throughout the fourth quarter and fiscal year, we have been focused on improving our execution with more effective pricing strategies, enhanced marketing and communications initiatives and the introduction of more compelling new rides, attractions and events. These efforts have led to strong attendance and revenue growth on a quarterly and annual basis"
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...