Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sea World follow up / correction

A friend emailed me after my last post to point out that Anheuser-Busch SOLD their Busch Entertainment Corporation that operated the theme parks to Blackstone Group back in October 2009. Blackstone also happens to own Universal Studios, so the combination of that and Sea World will make quite the cross-town rivalry with Disney for tourist dollars in Orlando.

This article said it will take several months to close, but said the customers wouldn't see much of a change besides the Anheuser-Busch signs and Clydesdale horses going away.

Visitors are likely to see few changes at the parks. The sale includes a sponsorship agreement with Anheuser-Busch that will permit Busch Entertainment to continue using names such as "Busch Gardens" and continue promotional campaigns such as the "Here's to the Heroes" program, in which members of the military can get free admission.

The parks will also continue to serve Anheuser-Busch beers.

Perhaps the most noticeable change: Budweiser's iconic Clydesdale horses will be removed from SeaWorld's in-park stables; Atchison said the horses will remain a part of Anheuser-Busch's beer-marketing division. Some Anheuser-Busch signs will also likely be taken down in coming weeks.

But beyond that, "I don't think guests will see a change," Atchison said. "There's going to be a lot of continuity."

Needless to say, I'm glad they kept the free admission for military families.

I wonder if they'll replace the urinals and water faucets?

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