Register or Login to Hide This Ad for Free!

Shane

ParkFans Founder
Silver Donor
Jun 2, 2011
2,875
5,002
270
Raleigh, NC
parkfans.net
Thank you to Mazakman for initially starting this thread. I've hijacked it and am moving it to the SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment board since it involves the entire chain.

BehindTheThrills.com said:
With sticks plummeting and rumors of buyouts coming, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment looks to be facing some huge changes in many of it's parks. Could the plan have been to sell the company all along? We take a look at the many rumors surrounding the company and what could happen to the parks within the chain.

ScreamScape.com reports this morning that COmcast is in talks with Universal to buy out the SeaWorld chain, being the company that stands to gain the most from buyout. Comcast execs have been spotted in the Orlando SeaWorld park, as well as in Discovery Cove over the past few days. Comcast in on a current growth purt, vowing to spend $500 million in it's theme parks every year, with plans for 10,000 hotel rooms in Orlando. There are also the rumblings of a third Universal Orlando park, as well as many new hotels and even a waterpark.

Universal buying out SeaWorld in Orlando makes a lot of sense, financially, but does buying out the rest of the company?

We've been hearing many rumblings that while, yes, SeaWorld Orlando will become part of Universal, as well as Discovery Cove that's where it stops.

Lets break down the rumors pary by park.

SeaWorld Orlando/Discovery Cove- Universal buys out these two properties, plans on making hufe sea themed Universal park, similar to Islands of Adventure and Disney Sea.

Busch Garden Tampa- Six Flags is said to be looking at this park, as well as Busch Gardens Williamsburg. The biggest reason is that Six Flags wants to keep the park the way it is, but get it's foot in the Florida theme park market. This plan will also include Adventure Island.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg- Herschend Family Entertainment (owners of Dollywood) is looking at this park with the interest of keeping the roots right in place. Six Flags is also looking at the park, but isn't looking as hard. The park sits on perperty that borders Kingsmill Resort and community. Six Flags would want to put trade mark coasters all over the place, but Kingsmill would be a thorn in the side of any major theme park company

Sesane Place- The little theme park that everyone kind of forgets about is own by SeaWorld would be sold to Children's Television Workshop. The company that owns the rights to Sesame Street in the first place would take their namesake park and run with it.

SeaWorld San Diego and San Antonio- These two parks would fall into the Comcast jurisdiction, and would operate pretty much as they do now.

Aquatica- The Aquatica parks would be kept by the same branch of SeaWorld that is being partnered with Village Roadshow, and would continue to grow. They would become a boutique waterpark, and would end up spreading to regional theme parks with the Aquatica brand.

Keep in mind that these are just rumors, nothing official. It's most likely just over eager fans making conjecture. However, regardless of what ends up happening, SeaWorld is facing major changes. The parks are not doing well on the stock exchange and is facing a lot of obstacles when it comes to publicity. Hopefully this is just the beginning of a huge rebranding and we will see SeaWorld emerge stronger than ever.
Source
 
RE: Six Flags Williamsburg?

I'm not sure how seriously to take the rumors in the linked article. I'm interested that it suggests that Herschend Family Entertainment is more interested in BGW than Six Flags. Hypothetically, what would a Herschend purchase of BGW look like? I've never been to a Herschend park so I'm curious.
 
RE: Six Flags Williamsburg?

Herschend owns Silver Dollar City and Dollywood. I would welcome them with open arms. Please buy BGW!


jonquil said:
Hypothetically, what would a Herschend purchase of BGW look like? I've never been to a Herschend park so I'm curious.

Dollywood usually comes in second for "most beautiful theme park", has great food, and it's one of the best regional parks in the country. Silver Dollar City is also highly regarded.
 
RE: Six Flags Williamsburg?

Does Six Flags even have the money to buy anything? They keep making promises to expand everywhere, but they haven't built a single park since the mid-70s (80s if you count the indoor parks) and the last batch of parks they bought outright were either sold off, closed due to failure, or aren't very large to begin with.
 
RE: Rumor - SEAS Parks Broken Up and Sold Off

Das Festhaus could just be referred to as a "root beer hall" and everything would fall into place.

Seriously though, a Herschend buyout could be exactly what BGW needs. My experiences with Dollywood show that they care about cleanliness, theming, and charm, more so than SWP&E currently does. Amen to what Shane said. Herschend is a perfect fit for the type of place BGW should be.

10/10 would want BGW to be purchased by Herschend.

0/10 would want BGW to be purchased by Six Flags. But that'll never happen anyway.
 
RE: Rumor - SEAS Parks Broken Up and Sold Off

I wonder what would happen to the Forest of Fun if BGW were sold?
 
RE: Rumor - SEAS Parks Broken Up and Sold Off

Alright. I figured since Herschend doesn't have any franchise rights, Forest of Fun would receive a generic retheme like when Kidzville at KD lost the Paramount/Hanna Barbara theme.
 
RE: Rumor - SEAS Parks Broken Up and Sold Off

I'm just going to kind of go down the list here with my thoughts. Granted I don't think any of these are all that likely but here we go anyway.

SeaWorld Orlando/Discovery Cove I could see the Orlando SeaWorld and Discovery Cove combined into a larger Tokyo Disney Sea Style Property. In this scenario Universal would build parking decks and use the old parking lots to expand the park and turn it into their ultimate vision. They could easily disguise pedestrian bridges that connect the park to the former Discovery Cove and could still make that section of the park totally reservation only. In this scenario I see either a total removal of Aquatica for expansion of the Universal Sea Park or I see it doubling in size into the land south of Aquatica. The Universal Sea Park would bring back Jaws the ride and would have a lot of movie tie ins where possible, either through their own IP or through licencing. All of the existing animal encounters would stay. I could see Comcast transferring all of the Orca's to San Antonio and San Diego to give the park a fresh image and free themselves of the bad press SEAS as gained.

Busch Gardens Tampa As far fetched as this one sounds, I would imagine Cedar Fair taking over this park before Six Flags. That being said, Six Flags already has experience in the Zoological sector with Six Flags Great Adventure and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. I am not sure if in this scenario Six Flags would "Flag" the park as Six Flags Tampa or Six Flags Florida or operate it much like they do LaRonde, and The Great Escape just adding the subtitle "A Six Flags Theme Park" to the name. On the other hand, I can't see Anheiser-Busch allowing the licence they granted SWP&E to transfer over to Six Flags. Themeing wise I don't see a lot of changes here unless they want to revamp the entire park to add their characters, but I know they won't want to spend that kind of money. We might see Sesame Street Safari of Fun get a Looney Tunes makeover. I don't know that we would see DC Comics characters enter the park though.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg I'm totally ignoring the SixFlags theory on this one. Though I think the entire enthusiast community puts way too much weight into the whole Kings Mill thing, it could be a concern.
jonquil said:
Hypothetically, what would a Herschend purchase of BGW look like? I've never been to a Herschend park so I'm curious.
I would say that Herschend parks have the same feel as classic Busch Gardens before the In-Bev fiasco. I think Herschend would be the perfect fit to operate Busch Gardens Williamsburg except for one detail. Herschend has a strict no alcohol sales policy in all of their parks. Busch Gardens Williamsburg was built and designed to sell beer. Without beer being served in the park it would really damage the image of the park in my opinion. The question is would Herschend be willing to make an exception for a park that was designed to sell beer?

Outside of the alcohol question I honestly see Herschend reversing some of the decisions made at the park in recent years. Dollywood is known for excellent shows and excellent food. I see an improvement in the quality of food served at the park and the entertainment offerings. I also think we would see the addition of an RMC wood coaster under their tenure. Generally the park would be in a really great place. I just fear Herschend's Christian values would see an end to Howl-O-Scream and alcohol.

Sesame Place This one I find the most odd. For one, Children's Television Workshop doesn't exist anymore. The company was renamed Sesame Workshop several years ago. The company has never owned or operated a park ever. They rely on licencing for everything. Toys, music, theme parks. If you look internationally Port Adventura has the rights to Sesame Street and in Asia, Universal owns the rights to Sesame Street for theme park usage. I actually think Universal might hang on to at least the rights to Sesame Place. If Sesame Workshop did gain ownership of the park, I see them contracting out management of the park to a different company much like the Cedar Fair-Gilroy Gardens deal or the Darien Lake-Herschend deal.

SeaWorld San Diego/San Antonio These parks along with their affiliated Aquaticas I think Comcast would hang on to and keep them totally separate from Universal. They would be operated by a Comcast Subsidiary company that would probably keep the name SeaWorld Entertainment. As BTT's suggested they would continue business as usual with the Village Roadshow deal for the international parks.

Aquatica I'm not entirely sure what BTT is talking about here, Aquatica San Antonio is physically attached to SeaWorld so I see no change here. The Orlando one could be expanded and renamed along with the SeaWorld or be demolished and the slides relocated. I think what BTT is suggesting is that future Aquatica parks would be built across the US in different markets that don't have any SeaWorld parks which fits with plans SEAS announced previously.

These are just my concepts on what could be done based on the BTT article. I honestly don't think any of this will happen personally.
 
RE: Rumor - SEAS Parks Broken Up and Sold Off

I don't mind SeaWorld and Busch Gardens splitting too much. Busch Gardens, however, that would make me very sad. I definitely think Herschend would be a good buyer. I just hope they would be able to buy both BGW and BGT. I would hate to lose all the Busch Gardens branding. However, they say they want to "stick to its roots". The Busch branding seems to be more important to BGW, if they are to keep any roots in mind. BGW is more of an obvious tribute to beer. The main reason being that Germany is a staple country in that park, and was also always at the roots of old Busch brands. The Busch family themselves have always seemed to have embraced BGW the most. Although August (Augie) Busch "changed his mind" at every park just to get them to cooperate better.
 
RE: Rumor - SEAS Parks Broken Up and Sold Off

I really don't think BGW would be sold off to another entity. Uni has wanted to be in VA for awhile now, along with Disney, Six Flags, etc etc... I just don't see them selling off a property that is known to be highly desired by all the major players in the market.
 
RE: Rumor - SEAS Parks Broken Up and Sold Off

As much as I wold love Uni to buy imagine the season pass prices. And every single day it would be packed... But, Halloween Horror Nights!
 
RE: Rumor - SEAS Parks Broken Up and Sold Off

netdvn said:
Does Six Flags even have the money to buy anything? They keep making promises to expand everywhere, but they haven't built a single park since the mid-70s (80s if you count the indoor parks) and the last batch of parks they bought outright were either sold off, closed due to failure, or aren't very large to begin with.

Investors from Dubai came and visited all the parks earlier this summer. They do have money to expand but their interests aren't in any currently existing park in the western hemisphere. BTT has this rumor on the right track but they also have too much mud in it.
 
RE: Rumor - SEAS Parks Broken Up and Sold Off

Shane said:
Generally the park would be in a really great place. I just fear Herschend's Christian values would see an end to Howl-O-Scream and alcohol.
Toughy. I'm Christian myself (I have kept quiet on that so pls don't judge) and I think Howl-O-Scream could still go. Sure Halloween is a pagan holiday, but it's lost all its meaning except for in pagan communities, so in reality it's innocent. My biggest concern in that regard would be what they'd do instead of demons and so forth in the park. It'd probably be more bland then the current howl-o-scream, unless they leave it up to the people currently in charge of the event. But we probably wouldn't want Scott back, unless he is restrained entirely to inside the theaters and special events.

As far as the alcohol, I really have no clue. Maybe, like I said, they'd let it be in someone else's charge. Other than that, I don't know.
 
RE: Rumor - SEAS Parks Broken Up and Sold Off

Honestly, I think it is time for Seaworld and the Busch Parks to split up. Since SWP&E was formed, and Blackstone started to split off from us, I've always felt the majority of attention only went to the Seaworld branded parks. Don't get me wrong, I love Seaworld, but corporate has put all their attention on them, while letting the park management at other parks run wild. At the same time, they squeeze the money(and life for that matter) out of all the other parks.

With that said, while Uni seems to be the only one expressing interest in SWO right now, I could See Disney going into a bidding war with them. But since SWO isn't on the Seaworld Property, it would be hard to develop it like their other parks, so Uni would ultimately end up getting it.

BGW going to Herschend would be awesome. I do think it would be better than Uni, because I think Uni would turn BGW into a city, something that is not fitting for the park. Herschend parks have that atmosphere that I remember BGW had when I was a kid, and I believe they would be able to bring it back. I would be beyond happy if Hershend bought us. I think if they did, we would even become their flagship park which we haven't been close to being since In-Bev bought AB, we would probably become a big destination park. If Six Flags bought BGW, they would not have the money to run and maintain it. It would turn into a place full of Quality Control needing, even worse than it is today, I hope they know that.

I really hope there is truth to the rumors of Herschend and BGW, I'm tired of being sent to the wayside by SWP&E.
 
RE: Rumor - SEAS Parks Broken Up and Sold Off

MrLaptop said:
Shane said:
Generally the park would be in a really great place. I just fear Herschend's Christian values would see an end to Howl-O-Scream and alcohol.
Toughy. I'm Christian myself (I have kept quiet on that so pls don't judge) and I think Howl-O-Scream could still go. Sure Halloween is a pagan holiday, but it's lost all its meaning except for in pagan communities, so in reality it's innocent. My biggest concern in that regard would be what they'd do instead of demons and so forth in the park. It'd probably be more bland then the current howl-o-scream, unless they leave it up to the people currently in charge of the event. But we probably wouldn't want Scott back, unless he is restrained entirely to inside the theaters and special events.

As far as the alcohol, I really have no clue. Maybe, like I said, they'd let it be in someone else's charge. Other than that, I don't know.

I'm a Christian, I see no problem with Howl-O-Scream. My whole Family is Christian, and a lot of them Drink alcohol every once in a while, and we see no problem with it. So I think Herschend would be fine with these two things.
 
Consider Donating to Hide This Ad