Though attendance is basically flat at Disney parks in the US, it looks like one of Walt Disney World's neighbors is also seeing some slowness during the most recent fincial quarter: 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. However, it looks like things have slowed down just a bit...
Attendance falters after several strong quarters
Though attendance at SeaWorld parks had been on a steady increase, rising last quarter 0.8 percent, it looks like the most recent quarter (From July through September) has been a bit of a struggle for SeaWorld, as attendance decreased during this period by 0.2 million guests, or 2.6%, to 8.1 million guests from the third quarter of 2018.
In addition, it looks like these disappointing numbers have brought down the yearly attendance metrics as well, which were positive through the first two quarters of 2019, but now show a decrease by 0.1 million guests, or 0.3%, to 17.9 million guests from the first nine months of 2018.
Though these attendance figures are a little disappointing, there was at least some good news, as SeaWorld representatives said on an earnings call that there were three days in July that hit "near record" attendance and another 6 separate days during the most recent quarter that hit Top 20 in attendance levels in the past six years.
Though there are a lot of reasons why attendance could be depressed at SeaWorld parks, many are looking at effects from Hurricane Dorian as a potential issue that could have effected guest levels, as SeaWorld estimates that 90,000 guests did not visit the park as a result of this store.
In addition stagnant attendance at neighbor Walt Disney World might have also had a chilling effect on its neighbor, as more guests visit this regional park when attendance is high at Disney.
Of course, with such a razor thin margin between the 2018 and 2019 attendance levels so far, SeaWorld still has a chance to end the year with a positive attendance trend, which may explain why they've been offering so many discounts and deals lately.