Though attendance is down at Disney parks in the US, it looks like one of Walt Disney World's neighbors is actually seeing a bit of an attendance boost during this slow season: SeaWorld. Though this park has been going through a very public rough patch since 2012, with some aggressive special deals and a heavy investment in new attractions, SeaWorld has been fighting its way back slowly but surely, posting moderate attendance gains over the last year, and now it looks like they've made even more progress with both attendance and guest spending on the rise in 2019!
Attendance continues to grow year over year
Though attendance at SeaWorld parks saw steep attendance declines from 2013 through 2017, it looks like SeaWorld's recovery, which began in 2018, is continuing into 2018, as attendance once again increased year over year, hitting 6.5 million visitors, a 0.8 percent increase from the same quarter last year. So far, for the year, SeaWorld parks have had 9.8 million visitors, which is also up from 2018 as well.
According to SeaWorld CEO Gus Antorcha, these gains were in large part due to special summer entertainment at the parks, as well as new attractions and events like SeaWorld Orlando’s new Sesame Street area, which opened this past March, as well as the new Tigris Coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa.
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 and draws in guests with free guest tickets for annual passholders and Fun Card deals.