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SeaWorld delays coasters, confirms events for Christmas and Halloween

SeaWorld Emperor ride

SeaWorld has reported its financial results for the second quarter and first six months of fiscal year 2020. It has also confirmed delays to attractions and provided an update on Halloween and Christmas.

Attendance at SeaWorld in Q2 was 0.3 million guests, a decline of 6.2 million guests from the second quarter of 2019.

Total revenue was $18 million, a drop of $388 million from Q2 2019. Net loss was $131 million, a decline of $183.7 million from Q2 of 2019.

As for the first six months of 2020, attendance was 2.6 million guests, which is a decline of 7.2 million guests from the first six months of 2019.

Total revenue was $171.6 million, a decrease of $455 million from the first six months of 2019, while net loss was $187.5 million, a drop of $203.2 million from the first six months of 2019.

SeaWorld revenue drops $388m in Q2 2020

SeaWorld Orlando sign

During a Q2 earnings conference call, SeaWorld also confirmed that four upcoming coasters set to launch this year will be delayed to 2021.

These are Iron Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Ice Breaker at SeaWorld Orlando, Pantheon at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and Emperor at SeaWorld San Diego.

“We felt this was going to be our best lineup of new attractions in our history,” said SeaWorld’s interim CEO Mark Swanson.

“And so many of those are now going to carry over the next year: Iron Gwazi, the coaster in Tampa; Icebreaker, the coaster here in Orlando: Pantheon in Williamsburg; Emperor coaster in San Diego.

“We feel really good about the 2021 lineup of rides coming to the parks, so we’re excited to continue to make progress towards that.”

Swanson also said during the call that SeaWorld and Busch Gardens theme parks will go ahead with modified Halloween and Christmas events in 2020.

SeaWorld to hold events for Christmas, Halloween


“We know how much these are loved by our guests, and we’re confident we will deliver compelling, exciting, and most importantly safe events with relevant and appropriate operational changes,” said Swanson.

“More details will be forthcoming as we finalise those plans.”

Universal and Cedar Fair have canceled their Halloween events for this year, including Halloween Horror Nights and Knott’s Scary Farm. Walt Disney World resort announced in mid-June that it was cancelling Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

Swanson also said that SeaWorld will not open water parks in Williamsburg and San Diego in 2020. SeaWorld San Diego remains closed indefinitely in California.

The company’s other theme parks have reopened, but there are only special events with limited capacity at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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