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SeaWorld Orlando drops year-long pass price below one-day ticket

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Published: October 30, 2009 at 5:10 PM

It's now cheaper for Florida residents to visit SeaWorld Orlando all year than it is to visit the Orlando theme park for a single day?

What, did Shamu invent a time warp?

Actually, all SeaWorld's done is increase the price of its "rack rate" one-day ticket to $78.95, following recent increases by Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando. But the price of the "Fun Card," which gets you in for the rest of the year, drops $5, to $69.95. You'll need to either buy the Fun Card online, at AAA or show your Florida ID and ask for the $69.95 price at the SeaWorld ticket windows.

(SeaWorld likely waited on its one-day ticket price increase until after announcing its parent's sale to Blackstone Group, rather than follow immediately the Disney and Universal announcements, which came in the middle of sale negotiations.)

Many theme parks have offered deals where one-day visitors can upgrade to a form of annual pass at no additional charge. But this is the first instance I know of where a park is charging less for what is essentially an annual pass.

Which just goes to show what a joke the one-day "rack rate" has become for the Orlando-area theme parks. Does anyone actually buy those tickets? With so many out-of-market visitors coming to Orlando for extended theme park stays, multi-day tickets are the norm. And locals long have been able to buy seasonal and annual passes at heavily discounted per-day prices.

SeaWorld's altered its ticket pricing last year to encourage multi-day visits. Today's change represents one more step toward actually beating people over the head with the message: "Don't buy a one-day ticket!"

Readers' Opinions

From Steven Lee on October 30, 2009 at 7:46 PM
Wow, it's odd when a season pass is less.

Speaking of the timing of the day ticket increase...Why do all three major parks raise their ticket prices together? It makes NO sense to me. If Disney and Universal raised them if I were Sea World I would lower them. That way they can advertise (especially in this economy) that "While others raise there prices, we are lowering them to help families out during this rough time." It would be a great pr stunt because every time newspapers write about the increases at Disney and Universal there going to mention how Sea World lowered them.

I would think one of the three parks would learn this. Let the other two raise them and then come out (like the hero) and lower them.

But this is just my idea.

From 70.118.92.242 on October 30, 2009 at 8:03 PM
The big three in Orlando pretty much have a silent monopoly. If all three raise prices, people will have no choice but to pay the prices. They will keep raising as long as they can get away with it (I see them slowing down when they get to three digits).
From 97.97.33.225 on October 31, 2009 at 8:42 AM
when do the park see that it is costing too much to go to the parks. I know they say sales are donw on food and merch in the park. Thats because once tou pay close to a $100 a person to get in you dont have mony left for anything else. If the parks would drop the cost to get in they would see the food and merch do up where the real money is. The stuff you eat and but in the parks are marcked up 300- 400% and they would make up for they lower cpst to get in on everything else.
From W McDougal on October 31, 2009 at 7:37 PM
Isn't Sea World just a one-day park in any case? It's been a long time since I've been there but that was my impression back in the day. Does the multi-day ticket get one into other parks?
From 64.189.106.7 on November 1, 2009 at 5:39 PM
I used to sell tickets at WDW. You'd be surprised how many in-state tourists bought one day one park tickets... it's ridiculous.
From 83.87.145.8 on November 3, 2009 at 11:56 AM
I still enjoy my 2 year platinum for all Busch parks for 179, which I bought a after a tip over here on TPI. In Orlando the pass is over 300 bucks, but ordering by phone in San Antonio, I was able to secure this deal.

I Enjoyed Aquatica at least 12 times, went to Seaworld many times and had my incidental visits to Busch Gardens and Adventure Island.

Thanks again for the great tip. Still have 18 more month left on the pass.

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