Demand at theme parks in Orlando has been very strong thus far in 2021 as recovery efforts from the COVID-19 Pandemic move full steam ahead, and it looks like SeaWorld is no exception. According to the company's recent financial report attendance for the first quarter hit 2.2. million, which is only a 4.5% drop from the same time in 2020. As of March 31, 10 of the company's 12 parks were open and operating, but the company says that it hopes to have all 12 parks open in time for an anticipated busy summer season, which could see SeaWorld parks hitting new highs thanks to pent-up guest demand.
In addition to the attendance news, SeaWorld reported total revenue of nearly $172 million, which is up 12% from the first quarter of 2020. And while the company plans to spend $120 million to $150 million this year on capital expenses as part of new attraction development/construction and limited time entertainment, new CEO Marc Swanson will be looking for ways to save money in the future to help offset these expenditures.
One big question theme park fans may have is when Iron Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Icebreaker at SeaWorld Orlando might open, as construction on both of these attractions have finished, and both were originally set to open in 2020. However, unfortunately no information about potential debut dates have been released just yet.
Just like Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando has also removed the temperature check stations from the park, and are also reducing physical distancing requirements in the park, potentially to accomodate more guests this summer. Will you be visiting these parks?