SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: SEAS), a leading theme park and entertainment company, today reported its financial results for the second quarter of 2021, which runs from April through June. While you can read all the technical details on the Investor Relations website, the results are a clear sign that SeaWorld – and likely other theme park operators – are quickly recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the second quarter of 2021, attendance was 5.8 million guests, an increase of 5.5 million guests from the second quarter of 2020. Compared to the second quarter of 2019, attendance declined by 0.7 million guests or 10.1%. This means that attendance this summer was nearly 90% of pre-pandemic levels. Those figures are extremely encouraging considering that many families are still wary to travel or visit a theme park. COVID-19 vaccines didn’t become available to the general public until mid-April, and SeaWorld San Diego did not fully reopen until June 15.
Other financial measures like total revenue, net income, and adjusted EBITDA (another measure of earnings) all increased compared to 2019, which means that the company’s efforts to increase spending within the parks are working.
Overall, it’s encouraging for the whole theme park industry that SeaWorld’s attendance is quickly recovering towards pre-COVID levels. As the pandemic (hopefully) continues to fade and more people get vaccinated, more families will be comfortable visiting a theme park. As we look into the future, all three SeaWorld parks will be debuting Howl-O-Scream in addition to the two Busch Gardens parks, which is a great move. We can’t wait to experience Howl-O-Scream Orlando in a little more than a month!!