SeaWorld goes after locals with new Discovery Cove ticket deal


  • Photo via Discovery Cove
Just after SeaWorld increased the price of its park tickets (by a whopping 99 cents), sister park Discovery Cove is going after Florida residents with an aggressive new ticket deal. For $219 Florida residents can now enjoy all of Discovery Cove, with its unlimited alcoholic drinks and food and a 30-minute dolphin swim, plus access to both SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica water park now until Jan. 31, 2017.

While the $219 ticket price is more than double the average Orlando theme park ticket, Discovery Cove includes snacks, meals, drinks (including alcohol), sunscreen, and use of wetsuits, towels, snorkel gear and lockers. Capacity is greatly limited at the resort-style park, with a rough maximum of 1,200 daily visitors. That’s roughly 2 percent the capacity of Magic Kingdom.

  • Photo via SeaWorld
Discovery Cove is Central Florida’s first and still its most popular boutique park. While boutique, high-end parks have become all the rage globally now, Discovery Cove was one of the first parks to go this route. With the higher sticker price, the park does attract a higher-end clientele. With these higher-income guests, it makes sense that SeaWorld would want them to also visit SeaWorld and Aquatica. Prior to this new deal, SeaWorld and Aquatica admission was available for one week after guests initially visited Discovery Cove. That deal is still available for non-Floridians while the new offer is only available to residents.

The focus on higher-end clientele has proven successful for Disney World, which reported lower attendance but higher profits this most recent quarter. Last month SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby reconfirmed that the Florida parks are doubling down on focusing on guests within 300 miles of the resort. That shift has helped SeaWorld weather the downturn from Latin American tourists but it's still not enough to stop a downtick in attendance. The park reported a 5 percent drop in revenue.

The new Discovery Cove Florida Resident deal runs through the end of the year. 

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