SeaWorld releases 2020 financial report, visitors down by 16 million

SeaWorld Entertainment has shared its financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year of 2020, revealing that attendance declined by 16 million guests from fiscal 2019.


Noteworthy updates from Fourth Quarter 2020 included:

  • Attendance was at 2.2 million guests, a decline of 2.5 million guests from the fourth quarter of 2019.
  • Total revenue was $154.1 million, a decline of $143.9 millions from the fourth quarter of 2019.
  • Net loss was $45.5 million, a decline of $21.4 million from the fourth quarter of 2019.

Fiscal 2020 highlights were:

  • Attendance was 6.4 million guests, a decline of 16.3 million guests from fiscal 2019.
  • Total revenue was $431.8 million, a decline of $966.5 million from fiscal 2019.
  • Net loss was $312.3 million, a decline of $401.8 million from fiscal 2019.

After seeing these updates, it’s important to note that the SeaWorld parks were all closed for part of fiscal year 2020, and that these numbers are for all 12 of SeaWorld’s U.S. parks, which include:

  • SeaWorld Orlando
  • Aquatica Orlando
  • SeaWorld San Antonio
  • Aquatica San Antonio
  • SeaWorld San Diego
  • Aquatica San Diego
  • Discovery Cove
  • Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
  • Adventure Island
  • Busch Gardens Williamsburg
  • Water Country USA
  • Sesame Place Philadelphia

As of Dec. 31, 2020, seven of SeaWorld’s 12 parks were open, compared to eight parks in the prior year period, and operating with limited capacity, modified or limited operations, reduced operating hours and limited operating days.

Currently, there are eight SeaWorld parks open including SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica Orlando, Discovery Cove, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, SeaWorld San Antonio, SeaWorld San Diego, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and Sesame Place. SeaWorld hopes to have all 12 of its parks open for their full 2021 operating seasons, subject to guidelines related to COVID-19.

“Our fourth quarter results demonstrated continued operational improvement and financial stability as we continue to navigate through these extraordinary times,” said Marc Swanson, interim CEO of SeaWorld Entertainment. “Guests showed a continuing desire and interest to visit our parks, especially during our Halloween and Christmas events […] As we enter 2021, we are pleased that guests are returning, including for our popular food and music festivals. As with all our recent events, we have redesigned our food and music festivals with enhanced health and safety protocols for our ambassadors, guests and animals.”

These earnings show that the company’s fourth quarter and full year results for 2020 were significantly impacted by COVID-19, as expected. What’s unique about this report, however, is that SeaWorld’s theme park peers—Universal Parks & Resorts and The Walt Disney Company—don’t report their park-specific numbers to the public.

While we may not know exactly how the other theme parks have fared for fiscal 2020, it is interesting to get somewhat of a glimpse into the effects the pandemic has had on one in particular.

You can take a look at the full investor report here.


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