SeaWorld changes park policy if extreme weather interrupts your visit. Here’s what it means

Park introduces new policy

ORLANDO, Fla. – One week after Central Florida experienced record heat, SeaWorld announced Tuesday that it’s introducing a “Weather-or-Not” Assurance policy.

The theme park said the offering, effective immediately, is designed to give its guests peace of mind when planning their visits.

If extreme weather impacts their experience in the park or impacts their flight plans for an upcoming visit, SeaWorld invites them back within 12 months – at no extra charge for park admission. The policy applies year-round, covering weather events for every season, including rain, lightning, wind, snow, hail and more. The expanded policy also covers extreme heat.

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SeaWorld said if park temperatures reach a heat index of 110 degrees or above, visitors will be eligible for a return visit through Weather-or-Not Assurance.

“In introducing Weather-or-Not Assurance, we are proud to note this is the most generous inclement weather policy in the industry,” said Marisa Thalberg, chief marketing and communications officer of SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment. “When guests book and look forward to making memories in one of our SeaWorld parks, we want them to feel fully assured that if Mother Nature winds up having other plans that day – even if for as little as an hour – they will be able to come back another day, on us.”

The theme park said the policy also applies to attractions and operating hours.

If a ride is closed for 60 minutes or more, or if weather causes early closure or operating hours to change, guests are eligible for a return visit at no additional cost.

“I think it’s really great to think about consumers and actually going when it gets this hot,” said SeaWorld visitor, Debbie Richards. “Yeah, that gives you you the opportunity to come back at another time. I think it’s really great, really positive for SeaWorld.”

The policy changes comes just weeks after SeaWorld said in an earnings call that it saw a decrease in attendance due to adverse weather across a number of the company’s markets, including during peak visitation periods.

Richards and her family are visiting Florida all the way from England. The Richards family said this trip is all about going to their favorite park — SeaWorld.

“I love all the animals and the thrill rides,” said Debbie’s son, Sebastian. “It’s just a great park in total.”

While the Richards family said they already love the theme park, the new policy makes them even bigger fans.

“They’re obviously reacting to their customers and trying to make a better experience for everyone,” Richards said.

Guests must be present in the park on the day of their ticket or fill out an online form with their original order number to be eligible for a return visit at no charge. The theme park said tickets must be used within 12 months of the issuance of their originally planned ticket.

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About the Authors:

Landon joined News 6 in 2017. He grew up in Southern Illinois and graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelors degree in TV and digital media. When he is not at work you can catch him at one of Orlando's theme parks or the beach. Before working at News 6 he worked for stations in Miami and Fort Myers.

Emily joined WKMG-TV in November 2022.