ORLANDO, Fla. – SeaWorld’s first few months of the fiscal year beat expectations for revenue, while attendance levels beat pre-pandemic years, according to SeaWorld Entertainment’s latest earnings report, released Thursday.
The Orlando-based company said it hosted 3.4 million guests at its theme parks across the country for the first fiscal quarter of 2022. That’s the highest first-quarter attendance for the company since 2013.
SeaWorld also posted first-quarter revenues of $270.7 million. Revenue increased by $98.8 million compared to the first quarter of 2021, and earnings beat estimates by 25%. The company attributes the growth in revenue to the higher attendance numbers.
Company officials were also quick to point out that international tourism is still not back to pre-pandemic levels.
SeaWorld opened several new rides companywide in the first few months of the year, including the Icebreaker roller coaster at SeaWorld Orlando, the Reef Plunge waterslide at Aquatica Orlando, and the Iron Gwazi roller coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Other attractions opened at SeaWorld’s parks in Texas, California, Virginia, and at Sesame Place in Pennsylvania. SeaWorld is also opening a second Sesame Place park in San Diego.
Company officials said the popularity of the new attractions — combined with changes to the company’s business model — are helping the company grow financially since its lowest point in 2013, when SeaWorld suffered huge backlash from the documentary “Blackfish.” They see more room for improvement as international travel and business picks back up.