Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Bye-Bye, Dubai

Another sign of the times:
Busch Entertainment Corp., owner of SeaWorld and other theme parks, has shelved plans to build four parks in Dubai, making the project the Middle Eastern state's latest casualty amid the international credit freeze.

Worlds of Discovery was announced just a year ago with a media spectacle that included performing killer whales and renderings of the parks on a man-made island shaped like SeaWorld's signature Shamu. Busch Entertainment President Jim Atchison touted it as a "momentous occasion" and a chance to put the Busch brands on a "true global stage."


Busch and partner Nakheel PJSC, a state-backed real-estate company and leading developer in Dubai, agreed last month to suspend work because of worsening financial conditions. The two companies will reassess the project sometime this summer.

Too bad. I was sorta hoping Nakheel might be a possible "white knight" for Busch Entertainment.

One positive note:
The announcement comes as a number of projects planned for Dubai appear to be halted, though a Universal Parks & Resorts spokesman said Universal's Dubailand park is still a go and scheduled to open in 2012, two years later than the opening targeted when the park was announced in 2007.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008


SeaWorld-Busch Gardens Platinum Pass Now an Even Better Deal

The recent price increase for Passports (annual passes) to the Worlds of Discovery Parks (a.k.a. the "Busch" parks) has made the 2-year Platinum Passport an even better deal than it was.

The incremental difference between the price of a Platinum Passport and the four-park, two-year Passport (SeaWorld, Busch Garden Africa, Aquatica, and Adventure Island) is now just $43, as opposed to $75 before the recent round of price hikes.

So if you're considering that four-park option, consider this: $43 extra gets you unlimited entry to all ten Worlds of Discovery parks! Not too shabby.

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Monday, June 30, 2008


Busch Parks Pushing Deals for Florida Residents

The Busch parks . . . excuse me, the Worlds of Discovery are pushing special "staycation" deals for Florida residents. From the press release:
The Worlds of Discovery announced today a new ticket that offers Florida residents a great new way to experience adventures found nowhere else in the world. Available starting today, the "Pick Two” combines visits to any two of the Florida Worlds of Discovery – SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island – for only $79.95.

For guests who want unlimited visits at a value unmatched by any other theme park, Busch Gardens and SeaWorld's "Pay for a Day” offer has been extended through Labor Day. With a Fun Card, Florida residents can enjoy unlimited admission through the end of 2008 to either SeaWorld or Busch Gardens for the price of a single-day ticket. The "Pay for a Day” offer is available online or at the parks' front gates, and will be the same price as a single-day admission.

As you may have noticed, Discovery Cove, which is very much one of "the Florida Worlds of Discovery," is not included in this deal.

I found this press release especially interesting for the way it pushes the Worlds of Discovery brand front and center. Maybe I'm reading too much in to all this, but it seems to me that SeaWorld et. al. are trying to look less and less A-B and more and more WoD in preparation for what seems like an inevitable spin off of the theme parks.

Of course, this promo also reflects the growing uneasiness of all the parks over what $4-plus gas is going to mean for attendance.

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