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SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment (SEAS) Corporate Thread

P. 15: SeaWorld Abu Dhabi construction now 40% complete

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Spain’s Parques Reunidos Explores Purchase of SeaWorld

 

Spanish theme-park operator Parques Reunidos Servicios Centrales SA is among the potential buyers of SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., people familiar with the matter said.

 

The Madrid-based company, which operates more than 60 attractions around the world, is considering a combination with SeaWorld, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

 

A representative of Parques Reunidos declined to comment, and Orlando, Florida-based SeaWorld couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

 

Shares of SeaWorld rose 3.6 percent in pre-market trading Tuesday, giving the company a market value of $1.3 billion. Parques Reunidos has a market value of about $1.25 billion.

 

SeaWorld is working with advisers to explore options including a sale, people with knowledge of the process said last week. The company went public in 2013 under Blackstone Group LP’s ownership and suffered a blow after “Blackfish,” a documentary released that year, accused SeaWorld of mistreating its killer whales. Attendance suffered at the company’s parks and SeaWorld replaced much of its management and board.

 

U.K. theme-park operator Merlin Entertainments Plc has approached SeaWorld about a potential deal for part of the company, the people said last week.

 

Parques Reunidos is backed by Belgian financier Albert Frere’s investment company Groupe Bruxelles Lambert SA, which acquired more than 15 percent of Parques Reunidos in April.

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Merlin has said they aren't talking to SW about any deal.

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-11/legoland-owner-says-it-s-not-talking-to-seaworld-about-any-deal

Legoland Owner Says It’s Not Talking to SeaWorld About Any Deal

Merlin Entertainments Plc isn’t talking to SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. about an acquisition of the U.S. company or a deal for any of its parts, the U.K. owner of Legoland theme parks said.

 

 

Merlin, which has been seeking to expand overseas to offset a slide in day trippers visiting London, previously approached SeaWorld about a potential transaction, people familiar with the matter said last week. The U.K. company, which operates Madame Tussauds wax museums and the London Eye Ferris wheel, was said to be interested in SeaWorld’s Busch Gardens theme parks.

 

 

“We can confirm that Merlin is not involved in any discussions that might lead to an acquisition of SeaWorld or any of its constituent parts,” Merlin said in a statement, responding to a request for comment from Bloomberg News.

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  • 3 months later...

Sesame Place has a discount on the Platinum pass (Super Grover Pass) until March 1st. If you order by phone you can have the option to use it upon arrival for a $5.99 service fee, since Sesame Place opens later than other SEAS properties.

 

Caveat: you can not be a resident of Fl,Tx, Va or Ca.. That makes sense, since the parks in those states usually have special rates only for their residents.

Edited by larrygator
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If adding a wooden coaster doesn't help the chain, Who wants to bet closing a dark ride will?

If adding nothing in 2017 didn't help the chain, Who wants to bet closing 2 kids rides will?

 

"Why does every company have to go public? There are alot of companies that do just fine without it. I hope it works out"

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If adding a wooden coaster doesn't help the chain, Who wants to bet closing a dark ride will?

If adding nothing in 2017 didn't help the chain, Who wants to bet closing 2 kids rides will?

 

"Why does every company have to go public? There are alot of companies that do just fine without it. I hope it works out"

 

 

Can I ask, What are you referencing? Invadr at BGW? It seemed to be a hit when I was there last June, longest line in the park followed by Tempest and Verbolten. Much longer than the B&Ms, Lock Ness was deserted.

 

So what, they closed Darcastle, a fave of theme park addicts. My kids and I rode it, it was ok. No loss in my book. We have no idea how much it was costing to operate and maintain and balancing those numbers with ridership. Then again, I think It's a Small World at WDW is a waste of space.

 

I know that BGW is still going through a lethy permitting process for what appears to be a coaster with a 315ft. Hill. I summit that because rhey are doing soIL test on both sides of the faux Rhine.

 

Everyone wants to pile on SEAS as a whole, I think a good bit of that is the PC police that hate the captivity aspect of their animal attractions. They are adding things left and right to the chain. Some are misses like the submarine thing at San Diego but folks will love the new coaster as it's been a proven hit at all the other installations. The adding a raft ride at Orlando on the heels of a B&M Hyper and going straight into a redo of Shamu Harbor. They are adding at what looks to be a solid little woody at Seseme Place. BGW has been covered. They are improving both Florida water parks with new slides. They just got done with Cobra's Curse at BGW and I bet that we'll see something fairly major announced for there by the end of the 2018.

 

I agree that something should happen very soon with the Gwazi area. I imagine the wood was too far gone for an RMC redo and wold have to be a complete rebuild. I think BGT would do themselves a solid and add a Mack Power Splash.

 

So, my rant is over and in summary, folks are acting like SEAS is closing things down and not replacing them. But... they are, all over the place and it's just being dismissed.

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If adding a wooden coaster doesn't help the chain, Who wants to bet closing a dark ride will?

If adding nothing in 2017 didn't help the chain, Who wants to bet closing 2 kids rides will?

 

"Why does every company have to go public? There are alot of companies that do just fine without it. I hope it works out"

 

 

Can I ask, What are you referencing? Invadr at BGW? It seemed to be a hit when I was there last June, longest line in the park followed by Tempest and Verbolten. Much longer than the B&Ms, Lock Ness was deserted.

 

So what, they closed Darcastle, a fave of theme park addicts. My kids and I rode it, it was ok. No loss in my book. We have no idea how much it was costing to operate and maintain and balancing those numbers with ridership. Then again, I think It's a Small World at WDW is a waste of space.

 

I know that BGW is still going through a lethy permitting process for what appears to be a coaster with a 315ft. Hill. I summit that because rhey are doing soIL test on both sides of the faux Rhine.

 

...

 

So, my rant is over and in summary, folks are acting like SEAS is closing things down and not replacing them. But... they are, all over the place and it's just being dismissed.

InvadR had the benefit of not only pulling families with kids just under 48", but enthusiasts holding out for Twisted Timbers. Tempesto has long lines because its capacity is abysmal, and the B&Ms have short lines because of their excellent capacity. Also, was Verbolten using its whole station when you were comparing lines?

 

The BGT news has me nervous for SEAS, but I'll reserve the dooming and glooming until I see Project Madrid.

 

To Rollercoaster Rider, BGW is at least positioning Battle For Eire as DarKastle's substitute, and Europe in the Air was down the previous year. BGT, on the other hand, seems to have nothing to replace what they lost.

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I know that BGW is still going through a lethy permitting process for what appears to be a coaster with a 315ft. Hill. I summit that because rhey are doing soIL test on both sides of the faux Rhine.

 

And honestly, considering how Intimidator 305 never draws a sizable queue at a straight up coaster park, that seems like a bad choice for an addition in that market, especially for a park that should look for a wider appeal. But what do I know? I don't run the park. Of course, the guy who does only has for like 3 weeks.

 

Everyone wants to pile on SEAS as a whole, I think a good bit of that is the PC police that hate the captivity aspect of their animal attractions. They are adding things left and right to the chain.

 

They're also closing things at an incredible rate. BGT has the Jungala rides, Tanganyika Tidal Wave, Gwazi, Rhino Rally, and the Marrakesh Theater closed up, along with a bunch of food/merch locations around them. Yes; it looks like they're gonna push ahead with a Shamu's Happy Harbor redo, but doesn't that seem like it would be better as an expansion? Since, you know, closing the area for the retheme is going to eliminate most of the kid rides in the park?

 

Here's another question for you: Can you name any parks who closed significant numbers of attractions without replacements to try and offset dropping revenue that also successfully managed to avoid bankruptcy? Just give me one.

 

So, my rant is over and in summary, folks are acting like SEAS is closing things down and not replacing them. But... they are, all over the place and it's just being dismissed.

 

Well, a new coaster in Sesame Place isn't a replacement for a ride at Busch Tampa.

 

edit: LOL as I post this BGW announces they're copying Six Flags with membership plans to try and spread out revenue through the year. This is definitely not a reactive company.

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edit: LOL as I post this BGW announces they're copying Six Flags with membership plans to try and spread out revenue through the year. This is definitely not a reactive company.

 

Good point, but to be fair I honestly expect every single chain to adopt this model. People love to bash Six Flags, but it's undoubtedly brilliant. It's so brilliant that I would think most of these chains will totally phase out standard season passes soon. Six Flags already seems to be working on it.

 

It might work better for Six Flags than others because it's so cheap and their customer service is so bad that nobody will ever care enough to cancel (basically it's the "Planet Fitness" business model), but I think it'll be a hit for every chain that adopts it.

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edit: LOL as I post this BGW announces they're copying Six Flags with membership plans to try and spread out revenue through the year. This is definitely not a reactive company.

 

Good point, but to be fair I honestly expect every single chain to adopt this model. People love to bash Six Flags, but it's undoubtedly brilliant. It's so brilliant that I would think most of these chains will totally phase out standard season passes soon. Six Flags already seems to be working on it.

 

It might work better for Six Flags than others because it's so cheap and their customer service is so bad that nobody will ever care enough to cancel (basically it's the "Planet Fitness" business model), but I think it'll be a hit for every chain that adopts it.

 

I'll be the first to say that my take on Six Flags was wrong in the past. They actually have good ideas. And it shouldn't just be a thing you think - Parque Reunidos is all about this too. Merlin I'm sure will join in, and then we'll see who else down the line.

 

The thing about SEAS is that we've seen them adopt other Six Flags innovative ideas and not really understand how it was the ideas are supposed to work. Doing the annual meal plan in Orlando for $80 was apparently a disaster for them financially which was totally predictable at that price. Now maybe they've done more work with the membership idea, but again, they have to overcome that stigma right now. I'll also point this out too: Kings Dominion has invested heavily in kids areas and family rides. Busch Gardens Williamsburg is building coasters and removing major rides with lower height requirements. Did everyone forget that whole talking point of "families spend more money than teenagers that ride coasters" that kept being repeated for years and years? Or are we just gonna pretend none of that ever happened?

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edit: LOL as I post this BGW announces they're copying Six Flags with membership plans to try and spread out revenue through the year. This is definitely not a reactive company.

 

Good point, but to be fair I honestly expect every single chain to adopt this model. People love to bash Six Flags, but it's undoubtedly brilliant. It's so brilliant that I would think most of these chains will totally phase out standard season passes soon. Six Flags already seems to be working on it.

 

It might work better for Six Flags than others because it's so cheap and their customer service is so bad that nobody will ever care enough to cancel (basically it's the "Planet Fitness" business model), but I think it'll be a hit for every chain that adopts it.

I'm trying to figure out how this new "membership" is any different from the monthly payment plans we've been on with SeaWorld Parks, Walt Disney World, or Universal for years. I don't think I've touched my SeaWorld or Universal account since we moved out here in 2011 and it just keeps taking the money out of my account each month and I don't see that we have anything different from what those "Memberships" offer.

 

Am I missing something or is it not really different?

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Upon further review, you're right. No, there's nothing different unless you care about Christmas Town in Williamsburg.

 

I never touch mine either. They apparently bill me every month for $36 for 2 passes so I guess what I have is cheaper and it's a Platinum Pass for all the parks with preferred parking. It's just listed as a one year pass that keeps auto-renewing (I guess). I thought they were billing a larger amount for like 7 months and then stopping which is dumb but I think I confused them with Cedar Fair (another pass that I never touch).

 

I randomly got an email from them last June (which is nowhere near my auto-renewal date) welcoming me as a member. So maybe I'm a member. I have no idea.

 

I like that they're finally calling it a membership and not a one year pass that suddenly auto renews into a membership without telling anyone (something that recently led to a class action lawsuit but we didn't care because we wanted to renew anyway). I guess I need to call them at some point and see what I actually have here since I guess they're phasing out the bring a friend free tickets in Williamsburg with standard passes now which is the only reason I even care. I'm probably in the same boat as you are.

 

It says I have a one year pass in the online portal if I click on "My passes" but if I go to the membership section it says I have a membership. They're all over the road.

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Look at my post under the BGW thread. There are no more one-park passes or memberships. If you convert to or buy a membership, it automatically includes BGW & WC. All annual passes will expire January 2019. I am currently paying $15 a month for one-park (BGW) passes for my daughter and myself. I will not be buying memberships after these passes expire.

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Look at my post under the BGW thread. There are no more one-park passes or memberships. If you convert to or buy a membership, it automatically includes BGW & WC. All annual passes will expire January 2019.

 

My guess is that they only expire if you didn't select "EZ-Pay" and the auto-renew option, otherwise they'll probably convert to memberships automatically (it looks like mine already converted 8 months ago). If they don't automatically convert those and they randomly stop billing those people because they have a pass and not a membership then they're the most incompetent company on the face of the earth and they deserve to fail.

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They just got done with Cobra's Curse at BGW and I bet that we'll see something fairly major announced for there by the end of the 2018.

 

I'm assuming you meant BGT. However that attraction opened in 2016. There have been no new attractions since. Only removals...well SBNO.

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I'm trying to figure out how this new "membership" is any different from the monthly payment plans we've been on with SeaWorld Parks, Walt Disney World, or Universal for years. I don't think I've touched my SeaWorld or Universal account since we moved out here in 2011 and it just keeps taking the money out of my account each month and I don't see that we have anything different from what those "Memberships" offer.

 

Am I missing something or is it not really different?

 

So for year 1, you're locked into your 12 payments. Same as Six Flags in this respect. The difference is in Month #13 - at that point, you are no longer contractually obligated to pay BGW money for another 12 month period. You do so month by month, and you can cancel in February or June or whatever and only have paid for the period you utilized.

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My guess is that they only expire if you didn't select "EZ-Pay" and the auto-renew option, otherwise they'll probably convert to memberships automatically (it looks like mine already converted 8 months ago). If they don't automatically convert those and they randomly stop billing those people because they have a pass and not a membership then they're the most incompetent company on the face of the earth and they deserve to fail.

 

So about the auto-renewal and transferring them to a new product....ehhh...there's some issues there by forcing people into a new thing such as that at a potentially inflated cost. Probably not wise for them to relive this:

 

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/tourism/os-cfb-tourism-seaworld-lawsuit-20170514-story.html

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I mean, it's really not even a different product though is it? Can't they just say they changed the name of it and gave people the opportunity to opt out at any time? That's really the only difference between this and a pass that already bills you 12 months out of the year and gives you the exact same benefits. These people already consented to be billed monthly forever unless they specifically call and cancel their passes.

 

that said....

 

Upon further review, their actual honest-to-god plan is to have every Busch Gardens Williamsburg pass that was set up on EZ Pay by people who gave SeaWorld / Busch Gardens expressed consent to bill them indefinitely until the end of time expire on January 1st 2019 at which time they'll stop billing those people and then try to get them to switch over to membership plans (which they're pretty much already on since they already pay roughly $20 a month per person anyway). Then they'll try to get them to pay for January, February and March even though the park will be closed for the majority of that time rather than just waiting until their first visit of the year to start it up again. Four months later they'll have to go on a Q1 conference call and explain to their shareholders why their Q1 numbers were borderline apocalyptic (even by their standards) since they didn't bill their entire passholder base all quarter and they (likely) still haven't retained a large percentage of it even though those people had given them permission to bill them monthly through the end of time.

 

I'm not making this up...

 

wow.thumb.jpg.e5a1cccc1d701050c540c917e990f754.jpg

 

This company hates money. I fully expect them to change their minds on this, but as it stands this is possibly the dumbest idea in theme park management history.

Edited by coasterbill
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I mean, it's really not even a different product though is it? Can't they just say they changed the name of it and gave people the opportunity to opt out at any time? That's really the only difference between this and a pass that already bills you 12 months out of the year and gives you the exact same benefits. These people already consented to be billed monthly forever unless they specifically call and cancel their passes.

 

They still sell passes, though - plus the terms and conditions of sale are very different. Like I was saying, when you're auto-renewing the pass, you're doing so with the expectation of a 12 month period, whereas memberships don't have that. It doesn't seem worth the trouble to invite more lawyers into the mix.

 

This company hates money. I fully expect them to change their minds on this, but as it stands this is possibly the dumbest idea in theme park management history.

 

They're primarily competing against themselves and stuff like "buying Mach Tower" and "never promoting Tempesto".

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They still sell passes, though - plus the terms and conditions of sale are very different. Like I was saying, when you're auto-renewing the pass, you're doing so with the expectation of a 12 month period, whereas memberships don't have that. It doesn't seem worth the trouble to invite more lawyers into the mix.

 

I was assuming they would waive the 12 month thing if they had already had the passes for that length of time, but fair enough. I'm no expert in that area. Even if they did that you may very well be right.

 

I still think it's mind numbing that they would cancel open accounts on EZ Pay though. I get phasing out these existing passes and not offering new ones but if people give them permission to charge their credit cards until the end of time and they stop doing it then they're idiots. If people want their old busted paper season passes with the current terms and the park already has the infrastructure to support them, keep charging them. They'll be turning down a ton of free money if they don't change their minds on this.

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If people want their old busted paper season passes with the current terms and the park already has the infrastructure to support them, keep charging them. They'll be turning down a ton of free money if they don't change their minds on this.

 

 

They're so concerned with trying to get consistent cash flow in all 4 quarters that they're literally hoping their season pass base just bothers to convert rather than retain them by just keeping passes as an alternate ticketing option. If you're looking at me to make sense of this and rationalize it, I'm sorry. So can't do that.

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I still maintain they should copy Merlin and do a Sesame Place/ SeaWorld Aquarium combo in major markets across North America. I'd go one farther and add a hotel with an indoor Aquatic waterpark to the mix. Think Branson, Pigeon Forge, Denver, St. Louis, DC/National Harbor area, Minny near Mall of America. Offer season passes for those with reduced admission to the big parks or one free visit.

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... well that didn't take long.

I guess they came to their senses.

 

I'm just picturing this all going down in one hours time. Someone from management showed your post on TPR to upper management and after realizing how dumb they are called up the web designers in a tizzy yelling at them to change it immediately because the company is dumb. You just saved SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment!! (well maybe for one more year anyway... )

 

Be an every day heerrrooooooooo! Hope they send you a free membership! >.<

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  • jedimaster1227 changed the title to SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment (SEAS) Corporate Thread

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