I went with a new family dark ride. They just created Manta recently, amazing roller coaster, and the park has Kraken and Journey to Atlantis already. The trainers in the water with the orcas isn't a big deal in my opinion.
SeaWorld could really use a dark ride, there's not any in the park.
Refurbishing Journey to Atlantis (which I rode for the first time a few months ago, I liked it better than Splash Mountain) isn't a big deal to me, but Wild Arctic could definitely use an update to that simulator ride, maybe start from scratch with something with the same theme?
Really? Not hippos?
Seriously, SeaWorld could do something really amazing with a Spider-Man style, aquatic-based attraction.
BTW, once again the point is illustrated that adding new, 54" height requirement coasters does not help long-term attendance. As much as we all love them, big time coasters just do not draw in the lucrative family market.
Seriously, though, as much as I like Kraken and Manta, SeaWorld's a family park, not a coaster park. It needs ocean- and wildlife-themed family dark rides to reach out to that family market, and give it a reason to consider SeaWorld in lieu of another visit to Disney, Universal or Legoland.
During this "economic strugle" they build new rides/exibits all @ the same time. So they layed people off just to be able to build them, have half the park closed & still charge full price. That brings my next point.
Lower admission price. I mean Disneyland is few dollars more then Seaworld. That is ridiculous!!! Disneyland is way more entertaining than Seaworld. Specially for the Seaworld San Diego. You can tour the entire park in 6 hours! Their are way more things to do at Disneyland.
Yes, two totally different parks. I know, but why does Swaworld even try to comptete with Disnetland by keeping their prices almost leveled. Seaworld use to be $51 dlls 5 years ago, since then they raised their tickets to $69 & only added Journey to Atlantis.
Over all, they need a lot of work before they will be a good park.
I voted for the thrill ride, because it's not like I wouldn't consider visiting Sea World, so I didn't vote that way.
I rarely get to Florida, and have only been to California once. So, if I AM able to make a visit to those locales, Sea World would be low-priority. Don't get me wrong..I love ocean-themed stuff and thoroughly enjoyed my solitary visit, to Orlando at Christmastime 1977, right after my dad died. I especially remember a Christmas tree made entirely of poinsettias! My Mom loved that!
A few more thrill rides might entice me a bit more, but again..low-priority.
Universal opens Potter. Disney (re)opens Star Wars.
Maybe SWO needs to take a chance at developing an attraction based upon an established franchise.
Busch Entertainment also has the Sesame Street license and they've put that creative to use in all of their Busch Gardens and SeaWorld parks except Orlando.
SeaWorld San Diego is getting a major new ride in 2012. SeaWorld Orlando, despite the decline in attendance, remains a very successful theme park. The attendance decline this past year is largely due to Harry Potter and negative publicity. They don't need to reinvent the SeaWorld brand to drum up interest.
Also, the last thing Busch Entertainment should start doing is discounting their gate. Discounting your gate ends up being a disaster. Just look at Six Flags.
So...to answer the question...for starters, if you REALLY want to increase attendance....start by jacking your prices down!! Sea World San Diego barely has anything to offer in my age-set, which totally defeats the purpose of charging $69.99 to begin with. I mean, at least Disneyland offers some novelty and amusement before they screw you in the butt with their prices.
Second....if you want to attract a larger audience...appeal to their likes! Add some rides to the place that reflect the type of audience you want to attract...you want to bring in more families, then add a dark family ride. If you want to cater to the rest of the population, then go for some thrill rides. Personally, I'd go with the thrill ride option, since that's the only way I'd hand over $70 for a one-day ticket to the lame place.
I know activist groups would harp on this, but honestly they would harp on anything SeaWorld does. Plus the temporary aspect of the display would ease some of that controversy.
Then build the rides to support that market. You won't make money as a zoo. You don't have near enough thrill rides for teenagers which isn't that profitable anyway - especially in this market. Zoos tie nicely with families with small kids and adults. So start building one then a series of sea based family attractions with more entertainment story telling value than educational value (they have education covered already).
Builds on their strengths. But they cannot win over Disney so learn to supplement Disney effectively for the specific part of the market that is different than what Universal brings. Learn the story-telling trade that resonates currently and license the characters to do so effectively. Oh, and get an owners group that wants to be in the business.
For San Diego I would add another thrill ride next (after the family coaster Manta). San Diego could work around its height limit by having rides going underground (like what Alton Towers does in the UK). For the Orlando Sea World I would add a family dark ride next. Also don't charge extra for the high capacity tower ride or skyride when you are already charging $65+ on a ticket, that is just tacky! I personally wish San Diego had a Busch Gardens park instead, they seem a lot more fun/worthy of a visit for the ticket price than Sea World.
Perhaps a different type of survey needs to be run for those who chose not to visit the SeaWorld parks, and try to get some specific answers. There would certainly be practical reasons cited (high-priced admission and parking fees), but I would be curious to hear what else might be going on.
For the record: The young gray whale the San Diego park rehabilitated was named 'Gigi,' not 'J.J.'
As for the idea of capturing young whales just for the sake of a few months display, well... Whoever suggested such silliness (I see the commenter responsible left behind only an IP address) knows less than nothing about whales in general, and whale behavior in particular, including how tightly-knit their families are in the wild. 'Nuff said.
Sea World should team up with Discovery Channel and promote the heck out of Shark Week (hoo ha ha!)
As for a family themed dark ride, they could have something similar to what the sea cabs were in The Living Seas, but then who would get in a ride vehicle to see the same stuff you can walk around throughout the rest of the park? Sesame Street doesn't seem to fit with the Sea World theme, however I'm sure they're present somewhere, probably as a little show or walk around characters.
I'd love for them to come up with an edutainment dark ride that uses similar technology as the pooh ride at MK. Picture the scene where tigger has you bounce around with him, but instead of bouncy bouncy trouncy trouncy, you're jumping out of the water doing tricks with Shamu, and then see what he does on his breaks as he's chilling in the backstage tank playing Old Maid with some card sharks.
What about the Texas park? I noticed it was hardly mentioned in this story.....
Don't get me wrong, Manta is an awesome addition.... but families (especially those with children) can't ride it together. They are paying extra to get in to accomadate these big rides like Manta (and the other giant coaster who's name escapes me right now). The thrill seekers most likely don't think there are enough rides to be worth going that often, so there is a loss there I think. I think they need to fill in the middle ground some with family rides (the space between kids rides and thrill seeker rides).
I Respond: According to TEA's attendance report the "value" of the big fish was not enough to prevent a 12 point drop in attendance.
A song from the Wonders of Water? fountain show set to music inside a theatre in Sea World California. Twenty-five years later I still remember it.I grew up every summer going to Sea World.I loved this show. It gave me goosebumps.It used strobe lights to create snow as Sleigh Ride played.Most enjoyable fountains ever.
I miss it. Bring it back.
I was the poster who suggested the temporary display of whales, my name is Nick, I live in Orlando, and I stand behind my idea.
Typically I do not respond to snarky posts like yours (calling my idea silliness), but in this case I HAVE to point out how WRONG you are.
1). First off Bruce you are showing your age, and your ignorance. Yes SWC had a grey whale named GiGi... in 1972. That whale however was NOT rescued, just collected temporarily for research then released. J.J. was an orphaned grey whale rehabilitated by SWC in 1997-- it made national headlines as J.J. spent Numerous months in the 'Shamu close up' pool and was visited by millions of people before her release.
2). YOU, Bruce, are the one who clearly has little actual knowledge on whales and whale behavior. Baleen whales, like the Humpback I mention in my earlier post, are largely solitary. Any real whale expect would tell you that long term relationships in baleen whales are rare. Therefore they are a perfect candidate for temporary display. Check out this fact -among others- in National Audubon Society's definitive book on whales 'Guide to Marine Mammals of the World'.
Next time Bruce you could just respectfully say that you don't think someone else's idea is a good one (I stress respectfully). And check your facts before you stick your foot in your mouth.
It's pretty clear that the owners have to develop their park more, to make sure it is a full day experience. Otherwise, I see them increasingly losing out to Disney and Universal.
But alas short money beat long term success
I also think SeaWorld should lower its prices. Why try to match Disney's prices? It makes no sense. Disney's theme park prices have nothing to do with reality. It is just a number. SeaWorld should price itself according to what the market will allow.