With attendance lower than expected at majority of the reopened parks, many theme parks including Walt Disney World are now cutting their operating schedules and hours heading into the Fall. Events such as Disney's Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando have now been officially cancelled and most scheduled events at most parks are being slimmed down. It has left guests wondering if Halloween and Christmas are cancelled completely at theme parks this year.
Earlier this week, it was announced that SeaWorld San Antonio and its Aquatica park was extending its hours due to high demand, which is positive news for SeaWorld.
Last week, SeaWorld announced its preliminary financial results for Quarter two and unsurprisingly it didn't make for happy reading with attendance being only 0.3 million, a decline of 6.2 million on the same quarter in 2019 and an estimated revenue of $18 million compared to $406 million in second quarter of 2019. On a positive note, guest spending was up, Annual Pass subscription was up and a large increase in guests booking Discovery Cove for the summer of 2021.
It was also made clear that all new rides including Iron Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Ice Breaker at SeaWorld Orlando, Pantheon at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and Emperor at SeaWorld San Diego will now open in 2021, rather than 2020. The question mark was over Iron Qwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa as it was pretty much ready to go and therefore could have come out of the "still under construction" umbrella but this will not be the case. Mark Swanson, SeaWorld’s interim CEO, stated “We feel really good about the 2021 lineup of rides coming to the parks, so we’re excited to continue to make progress towards that.”
SeaWorld has announced this week that they will be hosting modified Halloween and Christmas events this year, let's see what they have planned...
It will come as no surprise to any theme park fan that the Halloween and indeed the Christmas event will be a modified version than what has been offered in previous years pre COVID-19. To ensure that they are safe events they will inevitably include "relevant and appropriate operational changes". They are still promised to be "exciting and compelling" and guests should be in for some very good entertainment.
This event will run on select dates between September 19 - November 1, 2020 from 11.00am - 8.00pm. Due to the current climate where operating dates and hours seem to be subject to change, for the full line up of possible dates and opening hours, check out the official calendar.
Guests can meet Sesame Street Friends including Elmo, The Count, Cookie Monster and more in the Halloween parade and dance party and there promises to be plenty of opportunities for trick-or-treating for candy and goodies throughout the park.
It is being marketed as a family-friendly daytime event which is included in park admission. As well as the parade, dance party and treat-or-treating you can also explore a slightly spooky trick or treat trail and meet silly Halloween characters around the park.
Guests are welcome to dress up in costumes but only those aged 12 or younger are permitted to wear costume masks. It clearly states that guests aged over 13 are not permitted to wear costume masks or hoodies during the event. The usual rules apply with all costumes are subject to the normal dress code for the park.
For anyone wanting to add something extra to their costume, face painting is not allowed on any guests unless it is done by park artists.
For further information regarding this Halloween Spooktacular event, special packages, to book tickets, to reserve entry, to read the health and safety guidelines and measures which are being implemented in the park, SeaWorld Orlando's official site.
SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration
This festive event will take place on select dates at SeaWorld Orlando between November 21 - December 31, 2020. Due to the current climate where operating dates and hours seem to be subject to change, for the full line up of possible dates and opening hours, check out the official calendar.
SeaWorld Orlando will be transformed into a winter wonderland (including over 3 million lights) where you can enjoy live shows, festive shopping and foods.
Guests will be able to experience:
- The Sesame Street® Christmas Parade
- Spectacular seasonal shows like O’Wondrous Night and Winter Wonderland on Ice
- Rub noses with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and pals
- Head to Wild Arctic and visit Santa himself
For further information regarding SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration event, special packages, to book tickets, to reserve entry, to read the health and safety guidelines and measures which are being implemented in the park, visit SeaWorld Orlando's official site.
SeaWorld San Diego update
It continues to be the case for SeaWorld San Diego that it is closed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will update you with any further details when they are announced.
Although Busch Gardens Williamsburg is now open, it has been confirmed that SeaWorld will not open water parks in Williamsburg for the remainder of 2020.