It is no secret that SeaWorld received huge backlash when a documentary of how their orcas are treated considering the death of a trainer was released in 2013. Admission rates and revenue plummeted, and critics did not see how SeaWorld could come out on top of it. However, after new management and a change in strategy, SeaWorld is seeing the highest revenue and admissions that they have seen since 2013. Analyst James Hardiman explains that one strategy being utilized has been to lower admission prices throughout the previous five years. He discloses that the money that guests spend within the park makes up for the money SeaWorld loses in admission revenue.
Aside from lower prices, SeaWorld has started focusing on new rides and attractions throughout all its locations. COO John Reilly admits that 2019 will be a year of tough competition but also an exciting year for travelers, as SeaWorld plans to open many new attractions alongside Disney and Universal’s Star Wars and Harry Potter additions. Although the park has stiff competition, their efforts to bounce back from the backlash appears to be sticking. (Skift, 02.28.19)