Attendance, revenue up at SeaWorld theme parks in 2019

February 26, 2020, 10:55 AM · Theme park operator SeaWorld today reported higher attendance at its SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, and Sesame Place theme parks in 2019, rising 0.2 percent to 22.6 million guests.

Attendance rose even more in the fourth quarter of last year, up 2.2 percent to 4.7 million guests over the same period one year ago. That drove a 6.4 percent increase in revenue for the quarter, to a total $298 million. For the full year, revenue increased 1.9 percent to $1.4 billion in 2019.

"We are pleased to report a strong finish to the year with record-setting performance in the fourth quarter and fiscal year," SeaWorld Entertainment CEO Serge Rivera said. "Despite continued unfavorable weather during the quarter, we continued to grow attendance and total revenue per capita and executed on our cost and efficiency initiatives. Our strategic focus on new rides, attractions and events in every park every year, improved marketing, communications and pricing strategies and a relentless focus on cost efficiency initiatives has resulted in significant increases in attendance, revenue, and Adjusted EBITDA over the last two years."

Despite the good news, SeaWorld took a net loss in the fourth quarter of $24 million, due to a legal settlement charge. However, net income was up $89.5 million for the year overall.

In 2020, the SeaWorld parks are going all-in on roller coasters, with a new thrill ride coming to each of its big five parks. The GCI woodie Texas Stingray opens to everyone this weekend at SeaWorld San Antonio, and we've been following construction tours on the other four coasters:

Update: And a fresh piece of news about Pantheon today...

If you'd like to compare SeaWorld's financials to its competitors, here are our reports on year-end earnings from Six Flags, Cedar Fair, and Disney. For tickets to all the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens theme and water parks, please visit our theme park and attraction tickets pages.

Replies (2)

February 26, 2020 at 11:59 AM

That's good to hear. I'm glad to hear another player in the industry is doing well.

February 26, 2020 at 1:56 PM

I can certainly confirm the crowds have been extra large for the winter period, when compared to previous years. It's good though as they tend to run 2 trains on Mako, so plenty of ride time on my favourite hyper :)

The track on Ice Breaker is complete, and trains on the track, so looking forward to see testing start sometime soon. Plenty of groundwork to do, but we're heading for our 4th big coaster at the park. Height restriction will be 48" for this one though. It'll be interesting to see how popular this ride becomes when opened.

Scrim has gone up alongside the Bayside stadium to park exit walkway, so maybe groundwork for the rumored 2021 coaster is already underway.

For all of those who associates Shamu with SeaWorld .... those days are almost over. The iconic Shamu sign has been removed outside the stadium, and we are waiting to see the what the new one will be. All guest park maps now say "Orca Encounter" so I'm guessing that's what will eventually be put there. The only references to "Shamu" these days is on the very large permanent park map between security and park entrance, and the refreshment areas by the stadium. Once the big map at the entrance gets changed out, and Ice Breaker is shown, SeaWorld will have totally disassociated itself from that word. Things they are a changing that's for sure.

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Park tickets

Weekly newsletter

New attraction reviews

News archive