SeaWorld Reveal 2016 Financial Results

Recently SeaWorld released details on its end of financial year results for 2016, which showed a total revenue of $1.344 billion and had over 22 million guests at their parks.

“As we continue to implement our five-point strategic plan, we are making solid progress and delivering results for shareholders. We ended the year exceeding our guidance and generating improved revenue and attendance in California and Texas, in particular, two locations which presented us challenges in 2015,” said Joel Manby, President and Chief Executive Officer of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. “Our focus on driving revenue growth by providing guests with experiences that matter is gaining traction. In the fourth quarter, we implemented the first phase of our cost optimization program which had a positive impact on results, and we continue to find new ways to be more efficient. We also moved to the next phase with our international strategy, as we announced our partnership with Miral to develop SeaWorld Abu Dhabi, a first-of-its-kind marine-life themed park on Yas Island.”

“Building on the platform for growth we established in 2016, we are energized going into 2017 as we launch some of the most innovative new rides and attractions in our history, while deploying our capital more efficiently,” Manby continued. “The recent addition of a talented new Chief Marketing Officer will help accelerate our brand repositioning and improve spend efficiency, while the enhancements we are making to our pricing operations will emphasize our total revenue per-capita opportunities, which we believe are meaningful. Additionally, we remain focused on financial discipline to improve our financial strength and flexibility over the long term. We are committed to strengthening our foundation, and our Board and management team are moving fast to implement our initiatives to increase value for our shareholders.”

With SeaWorld still suffering from the effects of the “Blackfish” movie, the company is looking to change its direction, especially at their park in Orlando, they’ve had a net loss of $12.5 million, citing issues with weather like Hurricane Matthew, competition from Disney & Universal and an overall slow tourism season for Orlando, which resulted in a 2% drop in attendance.  This was offset by a increase in attendance at their parks in California and Texas.

SeaWorld has plans for many new attractions at their parks this year:

Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster™, SeaWorld® San Antonio – Summer 2017

A new generation of coaster, the first of its kind in North America, combining the thrill of the sea, the adrenaline rush of a multi-launch roller coaster and the inspiration of animal rescue is coming to SeaWorld San Antonio.

Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster boasts variety of features inspired by the reality of jet skiing across a body of water. The unique jet ski-style car design is the first such coaster design in North America and engages riders in a straddled seating position. The design will allow riders to lean into a series of banked and serpentine turns, and grip the handle bars as they race over hills designed for maximum airtime, and a pair of high acceleration launches. Inspired by the Emmy® award-winning program, Sea Rescue®, the coaster enables riders to feel what it’s like to race alongside SeaWorld’s heroic animal care team and veterinarians as they spring into action at a moment’s notice to help rescue animals in distress.

Reaching heights of up to 61 feet, the majority of the coaster’s 2,600-foot track will be directly over water, creating the sensation that riders are surging across the park’s Ski Lake. With a minimum height requirement of 48 inches, Wave Breaker promises to be a dynamic coaster experience for the whole family.

The new coaster is unique to SeaWorld’s mission. The coaster is sure to thrill, but also brings awareness to the brave efforts of the SeaWorld animal teams as they join forces with organizations around the world to help ill, injured, orphaned and abandoned animals, like dolphins and sea turtles. The queue line experience will tell the story of rescue missions, and invite guests to become involved in SeaWorld’s efforts to protect animals.

With the addition of Wave Breaker, guests can experience four coasters in San Antonio, spanning a range of ages and thrills. Wave Breaker joins The Great White®, a floorless steel rollercoaster that challenges riders to 360-degree flips, breathtaking loops, corkscrews and thrilling curves at speeds of up to 50 mph; Steel Eel®, a true hypercoaster featuring a 15-story vertical drop, followed by a series of camelbacks that provide periods of weightlessness and Shamu Express®, a junior-sized coaster perfect for families with younger children.

Ocean Explorer, SeaWorld San Diego – Summer 2017

SeaWorld San Diego will unveil Ocean Explorer, a new 3-acre realm combining multiple aquariums, exciting rides and digital technologies. The area is designed to engage park guests in an experience centered on exploration and adventure, inspiring them to protect the wonders of our oceans.

In the signature attraction for the realm, called Submarine Quest, guests will be adventurers on a global expedition of scientific exploration, travelling aboard submarines to see Ocean Explorer’s remarkable undersea animals. Embarking on these mini submarines, visitors will become researchers on a mission to collect data and learn how they can help protect animals. This three-minute experience will include an onboard digital navigation dashboard, as well as a few other surprises along the journey, enhancing the riders’ understanding of our fragile ocean ecosystem.
The heart and destination of Ocean Explorer will be a series of undersea research bases housing specially-designed aquariums and interactive displays that showcase unique and elusive ocean animals like giant octopuses and dozens of moray eels, as well as huge spider crabs and spiny king crabs. Both crab species will be new to SeaWorld San Diego.

The Ocean Explorer realm will feature five new family-friendly rides in total, including an exhilarating wave swing ride where guests will fly through thousands of real bubbles in chairs suspended from the tentacles of a giant jellyfish.

New Orca Encounter, SeaWorld San Diego – Summer 2017

SeaWorld San Diego will introduce new, inspiring, educational orca encounters, rather than theatrical shows, as part of its ongoing commitment to education, marine science research, and rescue of marine animals. These live documentaries will focus on orca enrichment, exercise, and overall health. This change will start in its San Diego park next year, followed by Orlando and then San Antonio by 2019.

The new Orca Encounter will be based on orca behavior in the wild: what they eat, how they hunt, how they navigate and how they communicate, helping guests gain a deeper appreciation and respect for the orcas and empowering them a sense of determination and purpose to help preserve the future of these majestic animals. This new encounter will look at broader themes such as research, rescue, conservation, habitats and distribution, husbandry and care, and social structures.

The new behavioral-based orca experience, will inspire as well as educate guests about the majesty of these complex animals, and reinforces the company’s commitment to provide educational experiences with the park’s resident orcas.

Electric Ocean, SeaWorld Orlando and San Diego – Summer 2017

Electric Ocean will debut next summer at SeaWorld parks in Orlando and San Diego as a brand new, end-of-day spectacle event. As the sun goes down, the lights and energy go up, offering guests a different kind of fun after dark. The ocean comes to life with bioluminescent lighting, music and pathway entertainment, immersing guests in a glowing sea of wonder.

Kraken® Virtual Reality (VR) Roller Coaster, SeaWorld Orlando – Summer 2017

SeaWorld will debut its first digitally enhanced ride experience as the legendary Kraken roller coaster is transformed into a virtual reality (VR) roller coaster experience. This thrill ride will be the only VR coaster experience in Florida.

Guests will embark on a deep sea mission alongside sea creatures inspired by extinct and legendary animals of the past, including the mighty Kraken. A custom digital overlay with uniquely designed headsets, fully integrated both mechanically and electronically into the coaster train, delivers a new one-of-a-kind adventure. The addition of VR to this fan-favorite brings a new level of excitement and interest in Kraken, for both new and returning guests.

Dolphin Nursery, SeaWorld Orlando – Summer 2017

SeaWorld Orlando’s Dolphin Nursery will become more interactive in 2017, giving guests the opportunity to see mother and baby dolphins up close like never before. Large-scale acrylic windows will be created offering better guest viewing, including multiple levels to provide children a face-to-face perspective with baby dolphins. New slide out areas and a lifting floor will allow for easier access to mom and baby for the veterinary and animal care teams.
The next generation of multi-purpose digital displays will allow SeaWorld educators to share information about dolphin behavior, biology and conservation with guests in new ways by interacting with education and animal care video content.
InvadR™, Busch Gardens® Williamsburg – Spring 2017

A new wooden roller coaster, InvadR, will join Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s collection of world-class thrill rides. The family thriller will be the park’s first wooden coaster and eighth roller coaster in total. A minimum height requirement of 46 inches make it an ideal ride for adults and children to share together, but the coaster will still feature exciting ride elements, including a more than 70 foot drop, and nine airtime hills. Located in the New France village of Busch Gardens, guests will travel more than 2,100 feet through a wooded terrain and underground through a tunnel.

The attraction’s theme will invite riders to choose their ride, in a battle between a band of invading Vikings and the villagers. In an unusual industry move, fans will help decide the ride elements including opportunities to vote on attraction details and theming.

The Wildlife Docs™: Live, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay – May 2017

A live version of the great stories from the Emmy nominated weekly show, featuring live animals, video production, live ambassador presenters and performers in the park’s Stanleyville Theater. The show is directed by acclaimed Broadway director and choreographer Jeff Whiting.

What new attraction are you excited for?



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