SeaWorld & Busch Gardens going downhill fast, unfortunately
Sea World Orlando:
After 6 years of annual passes I have canceled it.
In a short summary, at least SeaWorld Orlando quality of shows, customer service, park hours, etc has been cut back ever since they went public, is a very sad situation.
Its Arctic Penguin Encounter attraction has been a dissapointment to many and I think this past summer was a very good indication by their attendance going down compared to last year. My family and I have been an annual pass holder for 6 years now and I had no choice but to cancel them this month as a demonstration that we do not like the direction they are going. This past summer's was a big dissapointment, they stopped doing the firework shows on the weekends that they used to do every year with no new added show or format this year. We used to love going during the holidays beacuse of their shows which included ice skating, light shows, navity shows, etc, but I got a feeling that they are going to cut many of these shows this year so I am not waiting until then to go and get dissapointed just like this past summer.
We also had annual passes to Aquatica, we went in the middle of September when the weather was still hot as it is always is here in Orlando, in short term that was another dissapointment. They discided to cut back on employees working the park so many attractions were closed and there was a long line to enter their parking lot and park because they had very limited parking and entrance attendees to let people in. This is very sad, this used to be my kid's favarite water park in Orlando. I hope the CEO-President or whoever it is at SeaWorld/Busch Gardens stop the domino effect before is too late, the more of us stop going to their parks the more their stocks will keep falling like they have since this summer. Very, very sad what is happening to these parks, unfortunately.
Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.
From Tony Duda
Posted October 14, 2013 at 4:39 PM
I don't think the quality of the Seaworld/Busch parks has been the reason attendance and revenue is dropping. I think it is the high cost of visiting Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando causing the drop. When people are vacationing and the costs are so high now and getting higher, the easiest thing to cut out is the day trips to Seaworld and Busch Gardens. Tacking on extra days to multi-day tickets for WDW and UOR is only $10 or $12 per day. It makes a lot more economic sense to cash strapped vacationers.
I think that more and more people are educating themselves and becoming more aware of what a sham Seaworld is and realizing that orcas (which face it, "Shamu" is responsible for the majority of the money that Seaworld makes) do not belong in captivity and refuse to give money to this company.
If you have not seen the documentary "Blackfish", please do yourself a favor and see it. It will be on CNN on October 25th.
There is also a book called "Killer in the Pool" which will expose you to the truth of such a cruel industry that needs to be put to rest.
I think people with a political agenda need to find bigger fish to fry. There are far more inhumane acts occurring all over the world than what Sea World is claimed to do in the documentary.
I'm not saying that Sea World has not made missteps over the course of their history, but their mission is very clear, and the rescue and captivity of their animals (like just about every zoo on the planet) provides an invaluable service to the public in the form of education, awareness, and entertainment. I don't work for the company, or even hold stock, but I have been to every single one of their parks around the country and have interacted with their employees and animal training staff. They take great care of their animals (sometimes better than some of the best zoos in the world), and the animals repay that care in the form of entertaining displays to interested audiences every single day.
Last time I went to BGT (April 2013) it was fantastic... BGT is the most underrated park in Florida. If it were located in Orlando or Buena Vista, the attendance would be much higher and the park would rate better.
I did like Sea World much better when Busch owner it. But it is still a decent park…
Good luck to whatever you decide.
PS. You cannot just free a captive animal into the wild…
From Lisa Clark
Posted December 15, 2013 at 6:26 AM
I prefer Busch Gardens and Sea World parks when they were owned by their original owners. I miss the beer connection, the clydesdale horses, and all the tributes to American vets displayed through their parks, but they still support those who serve with free tickets and bot parks offer more for the $$$$ than most Florida parks in my opinion. Where as I get bored with Universal and Disney parks after a couple days I can go year round at Sea World and Busch Gardens and ride their coasters again (The Best coasters in Florida in my opinion!) and also enjoy the quality of their shows, plus I really enjoy all the animals. Still I do miss the original owners and all the history and attractions that were removed from their parks a few years ago. Many f my friends all enjoyed the beer school, including those who don't even like most beers but would try some of the malt drinks and learn about the products. It was really interesting and a great way to sample several products. Seriously, if you're a coaster fans Sea World and Busch Gardens coasters are by far better than Universal's or Disney's. The Hulk's first 15 seconds is good, but then it twists around in a small area and becomes very lame. Disney is not at all the parks for thrill rides as their rides are no more than maybe a 3 on a scale of 5 on the thrill meter so to speak. Universals Dr. Dooms drop ride is the worst and the shortest drop ride, very lame! It's not even 200 ft high. Really pales compared to Kings Island drop ride, Knotts Berry Farm's Supreme Scream, and Lex Luthors' at Six Flags, and so many others! I like Liberty drop at Holiday World much better!
PS. Busch Gardens Tampa is opening Falcon's Furry drop ride in the Spring towering over 335 ft above the park! Good for them to bring Florida some big and tall thrills! Again, Universal is really neat, cool technology, but not really thrilling rides to ride over and over again. I prefer Sea World and Busch Gardens for season pass fun.
PSS. I agree, you can not free a captive animal into the wild. They would die! Sea World use their money to rescue Tilikum from a small tank in Mexico. He was very ill with a skin disease and had lots of care done to save him and they gave him a much bigger tank and a new family of whales. Don't believe all the activist say, many people have their agendas. Many people lie. How's that Obamacare working for ya? The Obamacare that we were promised we can keep our current healthcare. Yeah, lies, lies, and more lies! But "What difference does it make?" Benghazi? Four men fought many hours for their lives and our govt did nothing to save them! Do you still trust our government?
Way to squeeze in the propaganda.
Thanks Mike, I had to reread the post above yours. I think Tony's response to the question was correct. Seaworld has lost attendance (and money) because Universal (literally) down the road has grown extremely in the last decade. I like Seaworld, but if I go there, its only for a day. Universal and Disney, however, have multiple day parks.
That's about it. No political agenda or plot against it. Universal has gotten better...
Admit it, Mike, you're just disappointed that there wasn't a PSSS. ;>)
Isn't it supposed to be P.P.S. (Post, post script)?
I'm sorry but, "Benghazi?" "How's that Obamacare working for ya?"
Apparently former Governor Palin has found the TPI discussion thread.
To quote the great philosopher Bruce Willis: "Welcome to the party, pal."
From N B
Posted December 15, 2013 at 11:21 PM
Sea World took FOREVER just to get into last time we were there. If you read trip report from July 2013, I pretty much said all the same things in the original post.
I am starting to think they simply shut off the A/C in all the stores to save a buck. It was horrible in almost every aspect.
No wonder why they give us free tickets with our Universal stay... they aren't worth paying for. Why do they even have rides in that place? They are all broken or break down while we are waiting in line.
Used to love Discovery Cove... they force you into a line and make you choose all sorts of expensive picture packages after the dolphin swim.
P.P.P.S - Lisa is a nut bag. I wonder why Disney and Universal rides take the top spots in the voting every year? Maybe it's because they have a solid business model and pump funds back into the parks. Your post is borderline ridiculous.
From Lisa Clark
Posted December 16, 2013 at 12:32 AM
Another democrat "nutbag" shot up a school and shot a girl in the head. Democrat nutbags wrongly accuse Sea World of abuse and do all their activist BS to try and shut them down. Thanks for calling me a nutbag, but I assure you I am no democrat and I don't preach to band guns and yet buy one to kill people with it like the democrats do so often! Really, Universal and Disney need better coasters to make their parks worthy of a season pass. If their coasters thrill you then alright I won't be making the line a long wait. That's why I won't go back unless they build something fun as everything there is really boring now, and who wants to pay a ton of $$$$$$ on a park with 2 weak coasters? Not me! Maybe the 6 Flags rumour is real and they will bring better coasters to central Florida. Busch Gardens is the only Florida park with coasters, but Sea World has 2 decent ones; Manta and Kraken, which are much better than Universal's 2; Rip Rockit and Mummy, or IOA's 2; Hulk and DD. Talk about FOREVER, a couple years ago my friend took me to Universal and we waited 60 minutes just for Disaster; talk about a disaster! It was nice to see Harry Potter at IOA, but really nothing else was much fun and their coasters don't thrill me. Went to 2 Universal parks and I have more fun at just one park somewhere else. I guess I don't understand how people get repeated enjoyment at Universal's parks nor Disney's parks. My 8yo granddaughter really loved Sea World and Busch Gardens parks but didn't like Disney World's MK. Universal cost too much to take her there without having a great coaster and those parks are now boring to me. They still have the same couple shows also ZZZZZZZZZ
From N B
Posted December 16, 2013 at 2:30 AM
I never mentioned any political affiliation... You are on a theme park website talking about Obama, politics and gun control. This is your second rant tonight about the two most advanced theme parks in the world.
If coasters are your thing, Disney and Universal are not the parks you should visit. Then again, neither is Sea World. Manta is always broken and Kraken is decent, but is also never running.
We actually visited Sea World two years ago where NONE of the rides were running, but they still encouraged you to purchase QuickQueue... talk about lack of communication and a broken management system.
Universal is about being immersed in attractions based on books / comic books and movies. Disney is about riding the attractions based on their own IP, for the most part, and meeting your favorite characters. A one day visit to either resort vs a full vacation stay is what separates visitors from fans.
You sound more like a visitor........
Lisa wrote: "Another democrat "nutbag" shot up a school and shot a girl in the head. Democrat nutbags wrongly accuse Sea World of abuse and do all their activist BS to try and shut them down. Thanks for calling me a nutbag, but I assure you I am no democrat and I don't preach to band guns and yet buy one to kill people with it like the democrats do so often!"
What are you even talking about anymore?
From N B
Posted December 16, 2013 at 5:57 AM
I was pretty lost too Andy......
Ms. Clark, The history, standards and common practices along the TPI discussion threads dictate that personal attacks on individual posters is unacceptable.
Unless you are talking about Rao who we all know is not very bright.
I'll take a Ramones model, please.
I am very confused.
I think Universal has some pretty good roller coasters. Disney does fine, but that's really not their thing. I think the difference between the Orlando Parks and Six Flags is that the Orlando parks are interested in storylines and theming (something a little harder on roller coasters)
From Tim Odom
Posted December 19, 2013 at 1:32 PM
Man, this went from 'hey, nice discussion' to 'wtfland' so very, very quickly. While I don't usually shy away from a political debate, I don't think this is the place for it. Just me there.
In my eyes, Universal is a decent coaster park, not the best, but about the best you can get in Florida (along with BGT.) I went to both Universal and Sea World last week, and I love all the coasters at both parks.
But, let's face facts, you don't go to Sea World for the rides. There are 3 of them, and one is a pretty mediocre flume. If you love coasters, Sea World is not your place. Universal is better, with 2 B&M inverts, Hulk, Mummy, and the brake-run-apolooza that is Rip, Ride, Rockit, but it is not a park about the coasters like, say, Cedar Point. It's a theme park with a good array of steel beasts.
Personally, I love Sea World for what it is, just like I love Universal for what it is, and WDW for what it is. Don't go to Disney thinking you will be riding the most thrilling rides on the planet (you won't, unless it's the Jungle Cruise), don't go to Sea World expecting a coaster paradise (though Manta is really, really good.) If you know what to expect, then you won't be too disappointed in what you get.
From N B
Posted December 20, 2013 at 2:23 AM
Well said Tim...
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