SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has announced new Annual Pass Products at all 12 of its theme parks that will offer guests better value and benefits.
The annual passes will have low monthly payment and allow guests access to all of the rides, shows, animal encounters, seasonal and special events at the parks.
Up-close animal encounters will be offered for the first time in many of the pass options.
Additional features also include tiered benefits and increased flexibility allowing guests to choose the most appropriate pass. There are also more pricing options, including affordable montly payments and low introductory offers.
SeaWorld is also introducing all-new benefits at every pass level. As well as up-close animal experiences, these include memory-making extras such as Photo Key, and expanded culinary options. At the Florida parks, “Bring a Friend for Free” will be available on some pass options.
John Reilly, interim CEO, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, said: “We are excited to offer our fans all-new options to make memories with these new pass products. Our guests asked for more flexibility, choices and unique memorable experiences like our up-close animal encounters. The company’s new pass products deliver on all these points, and with so many thrilling new experiences coming to our parks in 2019, we know that guests will want to visit again and again.”
Changes fuel recovery
Earlier this year, the company announced a 3 year plan to drive increases in attendance and revenue per capita. Improved marketing strategies and more in-park opportunities are planned. In addition, capex of $150 million per year is promised to attract visitors with new rides, attractions, shows and events in every park, in every year.
The documentary Blackfish (2013), accusing SeaWorld of mistreating its killer whales, severely damaged the company’s reputation. Last month, SeaWorld was fined $5 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission for failing to disclose the negative impact “Blackfish” was having on its business.
The company announced that it would cut 350 jobs last year as part of an effort to shed $40 million in costs by the end of 2018.
In response to a changing public sentiment in the US, SeaWorld has shifted away from Orca breeding and theatrical shows. Instead, it is highlighting its role as a global leader in animal rescue, rehabilitation, release and research. Existing show pools and viewing areas have been redesigned into more naturalistic settings.
SeaWorld’s recovery has been ongoing with positive Q3 results and positive H1 results – including the announcement of investment into new attractions. Recovery has partly been fuelled by changes to season passes, as well as high profile marketing campaigns such as “From Park to Planet” and Bier Fest at Busch Gardens.