Dynamic Parking Prices: A New Low for SeaWorld

July 12, 2018, 12:24 PM


So, it seems like SeaWorld is applying surge pricing to Parking rates. What I think is so underhanded is that it was done with no information on their web page. Thankfully, you can still buy Parking online for $22 online. Is this desperate cash grab just an isolated situation...or do you think we'll see other theme parks implementing dynamic pricing for parking rates?

Replies (7)

Edited: July 12, 2018, 1:08 PM

I've also heard that the Preferred Parking privileges that used to be given to Platinum Passholders (when there was availability in the lot) have been dropped. The rumor is that this has been extended to BGT as well. The fact that they were charging $30 to park is flat out obscene, especially since that price point was reported with the lot barely half full at the time.

I can see charging more for parking at the gate than those prepaying online (helps the park to staff based on confirmed crowd levels), but to make the pricing fully dynamic based upon immediate demand is absurd. Guests should know how much it's going to cost to get into the park before they arrive, not be slapped with a parking fee $10 higher than the day before simply because more people showed up on Saturday morning than Friday afternoon. I'm hoping this is just a test, but dynamic pricing is becoming a scourge for virtually everything these days with the expansion of electronic payments and "big data" tracking. It won't be long until a Big Mac costs $0.50 more at 5 PM than it does at 11:30 PM due to dynamic pricing schemes. I guess the biggest surprise here is that Sea World was the first to do this, and not Disney.

July 12, 2018, 1:14 PM

I stand by my initial response:

July 12, 2018, 7:43 PM

Food is also more expensive at minor parks. They get you in with low admission prices and charge everything else much higher.

Edited: July 13, 2018, 9:33 AM

I wondered if this would make its way to the TPI pages ....
So, here’s the skinny .....
Seaworld has done this for the past couple of years. They also do it at Easter and Christmas, so this isn’t anything new. This time last year it was $35 for preferred, as it was tonight when I dropped by after work for my double loop walk around the park.
I read on the Seaworld passholder Facebook page that the preferred parking perk for Platinum Passholders had been stopped, but Tuesday and today (and last week) I got my preferred parking as usual. No questions, just a friendly smile and my bright orange preferred pass at the gate. It may be that new Platinum Passholders won’t get that perk, but I’m still getting mine. If they ever refuse to give me one, I’ll let you know.
Although we did have some good news today via an e-mail .... they are doing the passholder picnic in September. There were a lot of groans when the yearly passholder perk calendar came out as there was no picnic listed .... but it seems they’ve had a change of heart. Maybe they’ll bring back our dining plan as well !?!? I won’t hold my breath on that one though.
Lots and lots of trees around Infinity Falls these days, and I see from videos and photos it must be getting close, although we haven’t had our passholder invite yet. Amazingly the IF store is open and selling merchandise ... ??
Everything was working tonight ... even Atlantis, amazing as that seems, considering the problems they’ve had of late. Last week there was 1 boat stuck on the outside lift hill, and 4 others on the loop round to that point. Not nice being out in full sun when it’s mid 90’s !!
They’ve changed a lot of the food items for this year, and swapped others around the restaurants. My salads have taken a hit, with a couple of the eateries now offering an open salad bar where you choose what to have (instead of the usual pre-prepared). I miss my mango fruit salad from Mango Joe’s the most.
More news as I get it ....

July 13, 2018, 2:28 PM

IMO any parking charge at a theme park is an unjustifiable cash in. You're clearly there for the park, be honest and include those costs in the admission fee.

July 13, 2018, 5:00 PM

I just received an email earlier today from Sea World Entertainment that prices for Discovery Cove were now as low as $149.

I do agree with Chad H though in regards to usurious parking fees. Sure, you could find a hotel that's within walking distance to a park, but in general, if parking fees are needed to balance the books, they should be rolled into admission, not split out. It's not like the $20+ parks charge for parking is going to directly cover the attendants, striping, and paving of the lots.

July 14, 2018, 5:55 AM

Russell, please let me know a hotel within walking distance of Cedar Point that isn't owned by and on Cedar Point. I know, CP is a unique situation but you can't even ride a bike across the Causeway. I don't know if you could do so on the Chaussee, but it'd be a very long drive on a narrow road. As far as parking goes, CP has you by the lap restraints!

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