SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

Orcas (killer whales) at SeaWorld
Orcas (killer whales) at SeaWorld

There are currently twelve SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment theme parks in the United States, five of them are in Florida.

In 2008 Busch Entertainment (as they were then known) announced the creation of a further four brand new parks in Dubai, first phase opening was scheduled for 2012 but plans were soon dropped when the economy in Dubai slowed down during the global recession.

In December 2016 an alternative plan was proposed to licence with the Abu Dhabi government owned Miral Asset Management to build their first international SeaWorld park on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi in the Middle East. It is scheduled to open in 2022 and will join a Ferrari World theme park, Yas Waterworld and a Warner Brothers theme park.

It will be the first SeaWorld park without the controversial killer whales that have dogged SeaWorld in recent years and will host the first marine life research and rehabilitation centre in the United Arab Emirates.

Over the years SeaWorld has always supported the military services and offered free admission under the “Here’s to the Heroes” program for any active-duty, active reserve, ready reserve service member or National Guardsman.

SeaWorld World Ranking

The SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment was ranked ninth in the world in terms of estimated total visitor numbers in 2015 by the Themed Entertainment Association/AECOM but its ranking has slipped in recent years.

United States amusement parks

The current SeaWorld Parks & Entertainmenty amusement parks in the USA are:

  • Adventure Island - the Key West themed water park next door to Busch Gardens Tampa in Tampa Bay (seasonal opening)
  • Aquatica Orlando - the new water park that opened in Orlando in 2008
  • Aquatica San Antonio - similar to Aquatica Orlando, opened in 2012
  • Aquatica San Diego - similar to Aquatica Orlando, opened in 2013 on the site of the former San Diego Soak City
  • Busch Gardens Tampa in Tampa Bay - an African themed park combining animal attractions like lions, giraffe and zebra with roller coaster rides and shows
  • Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia - similar to Busch Gardens Tampa but with a medieval European theme
  • Discovery Cove - an exclusive reservation-only water park in Orlando where you can swim with dolphins
  • SeaWorld Orlando - the renowned marine theme park combining attractions like killer whales and dolphins with roller coaster rides and shows
  • SeaWorld San Diego, California - similar to SeaWorld Orlando
  • SeaWorld San Antonio, Texas - similar to SeaWorld Orlando
  • Sesame Place - a children’s park based on the Sesame Street characters near Langhorne, Pennsylvania including rides, water attractions and shows
  • Water Country USA - a 1950s and 60s surf themed water park next door to Busch Gardens Europe in Williamsburg (seasonal opening)

Dubai amusement parks

The planned parks in Dubai were:

  • Aquatica
  • Busch Gardens
  • Discovery Cove
  • SeaWorld

The new parks were to be built in conjunction with the United Arab Emirates Nakheel property development company on The Palm Jebel Ali, one of the three man-made palm-shaped islands being built off the Dubai coastline.

The four parks were to be situated on a killer whale shaped island and also to have hotels, spas, restaurants and shops.

It was expected that the Dubai parks would have been similar to their US counterparts.

Worlds of Discovery

Whilst under the management of the Busch Entertainment Corporation they rebranded all their theme parks as Adventure Parks under the Worlds of Discovery banner.

Following the sale in 2009 by InBev to private-equity firm The Blackstone Group, the company was rebranded again as SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment.

Other pages of interest