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After 60 Years in the Business, SeaWorld Entertainment Has Become a Thing of the Past

seaworld
Credit: SeaWorld Entertainment

After 60 years in the business, SeaWorld Entertainment has become a thing of the past as of February 12, 2024.

sea world logo with beluga whales

Credit: SeaWorld/Canva

60 Years in the BusinessĀ 

SeaWorld Entertainment, founded by George Millay, Milt Shedd, Ken Norris, and David DeMott, began with the opening of the first SeaWorld location along the shore of Mission Bay in San Diego, California, in 1964. The location was originally planned as an underwater restaurant, but over time, the concept took on a form of its own, ultimately growing into a 21-acre marine zoological park.

The initial investment in the park was only $1.5 million, but in its first year, SeaWorld drew in over 400,000 visitors with a staff of just 45 employees, two saltwater aquariums, and a small group of marine life.

San Diego (SeaWorld) 1964 archive footage - YouTube

Credit: SeaWorld/YouTube

The company now has three SeaWorld parks in the United States: SeaWorld San Diego, SeaWorld San Antonio, and SeaWorld Orlando.

In May 2023, SeaWorld Entertainment opened its first park in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of Abu Dhabi Emirate and the national capital of the United Arab Emirates. SeaWorld Abu Dhabi is the first-ever marine park in that region.

sea world abu dhabi

SeaWorld Abu Dhabi/Credit: SeaWorld Entertainment

The company also has other parks, including Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida, which serves as a tropical paradise where guests can swim with sea life. SeaWorld Aquatica, the company’s water park brand, can be found in Orlando, San Antonio, and San Diego near the original SeaWorld parks.

SeaWorld Entertainment also operates Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Sesame Place Philadelphia, Sesame Place San Diego, Adventure Island in Tampa, Florida, and Water Country USA in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Your Guide to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay/Credit: SeaWorld Entertainment

SeaWorld’s parks are known for offering up-close animal encounters, educational attractions, and innovative entertainment.

A Thing of the Past

Despite the growth of the company–and more likely because of that success, SeaWorld Entertainment is no longer a theme and marine life park corporation as of February 12. The organization has changed its name to United Parks & Resorts, though its theme parks will not undergo a rebranding.

seaworld

Credit: SeaWorld Entertainment

The name change is an effort on the organization’s part to better reflect the diversity of the company’s offerings.

ā€œOur new company name, United Parks & Resorts Inc., better reflects that we have been, and will continue to be, a diverse collection of park brands and experiences,ā€ CEO Marc Swanson said in a recent news release announcing the name change.

seaworld

Credit: SeaWorld Entertainment

Only the parent company was affected by the name change, as none of the company’s parks in the United States or in the United Arab Emirates have undergone name changes or rebrandings.

As SeaWorld Entertainment became United Parks & Resorts, Inc., on February 12, 2024, the stock symbol changed to $PRKS.

What do you think about SeaWorld Entertainment’s name change? Let us know in the comments below!

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!

31 comments

  1. I donā€™t agree with the name changeā€¦.You are teaching people about sea life..New name is just bla at mostā€¦ Sea World is iconic! But what do I knowā€¦

    • The new name is horrible and boring! What kid says “Mommy I want to go to United Parks”. It’s not appealing and if I heard the name (not knowing who they are), I would never know what it’s about and wouldn’t even bother to check into it with a name like that.

    • I agree. Why canā€™t we leave these changes alone. So tired of changing things because if todayā€™s feelings.

    • Apparently nobody read the fact that it is only the parent company name changing not the park name…so all sea world parks will still be called Sea world and all Busch Gardens parks still Busch Gardens.

    • I agree. It’s not about names so much as the marine life and what they’re teaching society as well as the rescuing of many marine animals. I’ve followed all the rescues that could have been devastating towards our eco life. I praise all those who teach us and make such efforts to saving so much of our marine life. Without sea world and many other

    • they donā€™t tech about Mairan Anmils and the anmils are miss treat if a tank 1 percent there nature habits and non of their anmils are rescue by at least SeaWorld there self and most of them at are taken out of the sea šŸŒŠ away from their family wh8ce they will remember longer then their family will last and plus all the ocar the put in a so called pods where they can not coumintant and if you don’t believe I dare you to whact blackish.

  2. Whatā€™s going to happen to annual pass that we have from SeaWorld

  3. Glad it’s just a name change. I was scared I’d never be able to take my kids to my favorite childhood park.

  4. I didn’t agree When you let HSUS bull you into you’re New Set ups and I don’t agree with this either Seaworld was always the first stop when we went to floridaor San Diego How else is the public is supposed to learn about the animals HSUS is a front They do nothing to save the animals Big salaries We always love your parks just as they were

  5. Delle Willett Stattin

    I sold the first ticket to SeaWorld on opening day. My sister and brother both worked there tool. And our family home is on Crown Point, looking directly at SeaWorld. We have watched it grow and are more than disappointed. George Millay didn’t want this type of SeaWorld and neither do we.

  6. I donā€™t agree with the name change at all. Anything great , they always want to come in and change it . It doesnā€™t make any sense

    • SEAWORLD NEEDS TO CLOSE, IT IS CRUEL TO KƈEP THOSE WHALES IN A SWIMMING POOL !!!!

      • What about ALL the other animals at zoos, aquariums, farms everywhere all over the World in captivity? Do you only feel bad for large animals and smaller animals don’t count? Is that fair? Do animals living at people’s homes count? What about pets? Should we send dogs & cats into the wild to live free because it’s wrong to keep animals correct? Do you know almost all animals in captivity outlive their brother/sisters living in nature? They are safe from predators eating them, they are fed, and taken care of. They help teach us, along with teaching our children so many important things in life including how important and they are and help professionals learn how to help the other animals that’s living in the wild. I think the pros outweigh the cons. Think about it!

      • I totally agree. If we want to learn about orcas and other sea life, we can look online and read about them. Let them live in their natural environment and not turn them into circus Acts

  7. I don’t like the name change. seaworld is well known and Great. its advertising and great place is excellent. It could hurt business. ‘nota known new name. eg. if McDonalds changed their name. all that advertising would be wasted

  8. in ohio worked for 22 years 77-2000 family grew up at park. it was missed when ohio closed.
    but had lots great adventures over the years

  9. I think the name change is a TERRIBLE thing!!!! Why can’t you leave it alone!!!! I have Always wanted to go to Sea World, and now I won’t ever get to go there?!!!!! That makes me very SAD AND UPSET!!!!! Why can’t you leave well enough alone and keep Sea World as is!!!!! šŸ˜„

    • They aren’t changing Sea World’s name just it’s parent company. Were you upsent with they changed from Anheuser Busch to InBev? This site just tries to upset you.

  10. I can’t believe the name changes who going to to united Park if you don’t know it’s old sea world where you can learn and see animals just like Disneyland and world all changes being made its wrong their to

  11. I do not want sea world in Orlando to go out of business I always have liked sea world it’s so fun to go there and see the dolphins perform and the whales sea world needs to stay for many more yrs so please don’t go

  12. Nothing it’s still going to abuse sealife for your pleasure. You season’s pass will remain valid.

  13. Maybe rebranding as a corporation gets animal rights activists off their back. They do a lot of good and provide education to the public. The animals in their care can’t be released and survive, plus they rehabilitate many animals that would have been destroyed. But I’m sure PETA members living in their small homes with half a dozen cats and dogs don’t agree. I personally don’t see the difference between sea world and domesticated animals.they just found a way to make it profitable.

  14. I disagree with the name change, it needs to stay as SeaWorld because I love the name number one I love the place. I don’t live anywhere near any of the sea worlds and I also would love to be able to get souvenirs mailed to me that I would want or I could shop online because I live in Kansas City I can’t get there all the time. Could anybody help me out with that issue?

    • Try a Google Search for “seaworld souvenirs online” — there are SEVERAL places listed including the SeaWorld Store itself.

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