Based on new CEO Joel Manby’s experience at Herschend Family Entertainment, here are a few of the things we’re likely to see happening over the next five years at SeaWorld:
- An increased emphasis on education, especially interpretive signage.
- More artisan craftspeople in the parks to feed into the targeted family demographic.
- Non-theme park standalone attractions. SeaWorld has already attempted this with its bids for the river tour in downtown San Antonio and the giant wheel in San Diego. Manby has a successful track record in this market segment.
- Management contracts over non-SeaWorld owned theme parks, private zoos, and aquariums.
- The purchase of one or more hotels surrounding the Orlando park and their complete refurbishment and rethemeing, transitioning the Orlando operations from utilizing partner hotels to becoming a fully integrated resort along the lines of Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World, and LEGOLAND Florida.
- A fourth theme park in Orlando, likely the size of Aquatica or Discovery Cove, to feed into that integrated resort. Although the type of park is unknown, it would likely carry over the oceans or sea theme of the other three parks and the hotel(s).