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Sea World and Busch Gardens Parks Sold To Blackstone Equity Group For 2.3 Billion +

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  • Sea World and Busch Gardens Parks Sold To Blackstone Equity Group For 2.3 Billion +

    After months of speculation and the not so secret attempt by Anheuser-Busch to unload their parks, a deal has been struck between Anheuser-Busch InBev and the private equity firm, Blackstone, which also owns a 50% stake in Universal's Orlando theme parks.



    The deal will give Blackstone a leverage position in the Orlando theme park market in particular with 3 Sea World properties, 2 Universal properties, and one Busch Gardens park within an hour's drive of Disney World.

    The Anheuser-Busch company owns 10 amusement parks across the country including 3 Sea World resorts, Sesame Place, and 2 Busch Gardens parks.

    Various news links on the deal:
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  • #2
    Re: Sea World and Busch Gardens Parks Sold To Blackstone Equity Group For 2.3 Billion

    Watch out Mickey, the competition is heating up. Blackstone could really start turning up the heat with ticket packages designed to increase the number of days people will spend at Blackstone properties in Orlando (Busch Gardens, Sea World, Aquatica, Discovery Cove, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure).

    In reality, Disney still has a clear advantage, but the competition just got a whole lot more leverage in this competitive market!
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    • #3
      Re: Sea World and Busch Gardens Parks Sold To Blackstone Equity Group For 2.3 Billion

      So does Disney want high speed rail, or not? It would be great if you could get from Tampa to Orlando to Cape Kennedy on the train. Or from Miami to Orlando and beyond.

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      • #4
        Re: Sea World and Busch Gardens Parks Sold To Blackstone Equity Group For 2.3 Billion

        5th park 5th park 5th park 5th park 5th park 5th park 5th park

        Kidding, but I can still hope... Interesting to see if they'll be offering Universal Tickets and Aquatica in the same ticket package.

        one hundred and one

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        • #5
          Re: Sea World and Busch Gardens Parks Sold To Blackstone Equity Group For 2.3 Billion

          Since they can add the ET ride to Sea Wrold.
          Last edited by JerrodDRagon; 10-07-2009, 02:01 PM.
          Happy Halloween!!!

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          • #6
            Re: Sea World and Busch Gardens Parks Sold To Blackstone Equity Group For 2.3 Billion

            Originally posted by Imagineer Scott View Post
            Interesting to see if they'll be offering Universal Tickets and Aquatica in the same ticket package.
            Seems like a no brainer. Maybe even a twice daily shuttle to Tampa. Or a mass animal and coaster migration inland? (Would there be any way they could close Busch Gardens in Tampa and reopen it in Orlando?)

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            • #7
              Re: Sea World and Busch Gardens Parks Sold To Blackstone Equity Group For 2.3 Billion

              Originally posted by JerrodDRagon View Post
              Sinc they can add the ET rid to Sea Wrold.
              Was ET a fish or a marine mammal?

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              • #8
                Re: Sea World and Busch Gardens Parks Sold To Blackstone Equity Group For 2.3 Billion

                ^it was a joke. lol
                Happy Halloween!!!

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                • #9
                  Re: Sea World and Busch Gardens Parks Sold To Blackstone Equity Group For 2.3 Billion

                  Well spelled. I mean played.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Sea World and Busch Gardens Parks Sold To Blackstone Equity Group For 2.3 Billion

                    So does this change the fate of ShamuChat?

                    Originally posted by Dustysage View Post
                    Watch out Mickey, the competition is heating up. Blackstone could really start turning up the heat with ticket packages designed to increase the number of days people will spend at Blackstone properties in Orlando (Busch Gardens, Sea World, Aquatica, Discovery Cove, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure).

                    In reality, Disney still has a clear advantage, but the competition just got a whole lot more leverage in this competitive market!
                    I would disagree that Disney has a clear advantage. SeaWorld/Universal would now have four theme parks (Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, SeaWorld, and Busch Gardens), a "boutique park" (Discovery Cove), two water parks (Wet&Wild, Aquatica), a shopping district (CityWalk), and a large variety of themed and non-themed hotels. In other words, throw in some inter-park transportation and you'll have a complex at the scale of WDW. At this point, WDW's advantages are their resort, and their reputation.
                    Last edited by MarkTwain; 10-07-2009, 10:02 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Sea World and Busch Gardens Parks Sold To Blackstone Equity Group For 2.3 Billion

                      Originally posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
                      Seems like a no brainer. Maybe even a twice daily shuttle to Tampa. Or a mass animal and coaster migration inland? (Would there be any way they could close Busch Gardens in Tampa and reopen it in Orlando?)
                      I think I found the answer to my own question:

                      C.C. "Doc" Dockery, the retired Lakeland insurance magnate who has long worked to bring a fast train to Florida, said Disney's decision to get on board is "big. It really is."
                      Disney on board: Walt Disney World backs high-speed rail, offers up to 50 acres for station -- OrlandoSentinel.com

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                      • #12
                        Re: Sea World and Busch Gardens Parks Sold To Blackstone Equity Group For 2.3 Billion

                        What's this say for the brewery tour at Busch Gardens in Tampa?
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                        • #13
                          Re: Sea World and Busch Gardens Parks Sold To Blackstone Equity Group For 2.3 Billion

                          Originally posted by MarkTwain View Post
                          So does this change the fate of ShamuChat?



                          I would disagree that Disney has a clear advantage. SeaWorld/Universal would now have four theme parks (Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, SeaWorld, and Busch Gardens), a "boutique park" (Discovery Cove), two water parks (Wet&Wild, Aquatica), a shopping district (CityWalk), and a large variety of themed and non-themed hotels. In other words, throw in some inter-park transportation and you'll have a complex at the scale of WDW. At this point, WDW's advantages are their resort, and their reputation.
                          North America 2008
                          1 Magic Kingdom 17,063,000
                          2 Disneyland 14,721,000
                          3 Epcot 10,935,000
                          4 Disney's MGM 9,608,000
                          5 Animal Kingdom 9,540,000
                          6 Universal Studios 6,231,000
                          7 SeaWorld Orland 5,926,000
                          8 DCA 5,566,000
                          9 Islands O Adventure 5,297,000
                          11.BUsch Gardens Tampa 4,400,000

                          Just because you have four 'Theme/Adventure' Parks doesn't put you on the same level as Disney... To call Busch Gardens or SeaWorld a true Theme Park is laughable: little, to no story is told on any attraction... its just not the same experience in quality, quantity or theme. While there is definately a place in the market for Animal and Sealife parks with roller coasters, they are nowhere near the caliber of a theme park like EPCOT. The numbers dont lie and its important to note that Seaworld and Busch Gardens have the "buy a day get: the whole year free" thing pretty much all year long.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Sea World and Busch Gardens Parks Sold To Blackstone Equity Group For 2.3 Billion

                            Originally posted by Imagineer1985 View Post
                            North America 2008
                            1 Magic Kingdom 17,063,000
                            2 Disneyland 14,721,000
                            3 Epcot 10,935,000
                            4 Disney's MGM 9,608,000
                            5 Animal Kingdom 9,540,000
                            6 Universal Studios 6,231,000
                            7 SeaWorld Orland 5,926,000
                            8 DCA 5,566,000
                            9 Islands O Adventure 5,297,000
                            11.BUsch Gardens Tampa 4,400,000

                            Just because you have four 'Theme/Adventure' Parks doesn't put you on the same level as Disney... To call Busch Gardens or SeaWorld a true Theme Park is laughable: little, to no story is told on any attraction... its just not the same experience in quality, quantity or theme. While there is definately a place in the market for Animal and Sealife parks with roller coasters, they are nowhere near the caliber of a theme park like EPCOT. The numbers dont lie and its important to note that Seaworld and Busch Gardens have the "buy a day get: the whole year free" thing pretty much all year long.
                            Just to clear something up, the figures your using are from the TEA and ERA Report for 2008, which are not official figures and Busch parks have previously corrected the report, by saying that the Busch parks combined brought in more than 25.4 million guests in 2008, 10% more than the 23 million reported in the new 2008 attendance report.

                            I'm happy to see Blackstone have stated there will maintain the current management team at Busch Entertainment and operate it as a separate entity. Orlando needs its parks to remain competitive towards eack other. But I'm sure at the same time a closer working relationship will develope towards both SeaWorld and Universal.
                            Follow me on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/malin1804

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                            • #15
                              Re: Sea World and Busch Gardens Parks Sold To Blackstone Equity Group For 2.3 Billion

                              Disney won't have to worry Blackstone as an investment firm will offer out must of it's aquatic parks after an intial IPO. They have already told there management people they are cutting any and all ties to AB. At Seaworld SD they have already started moving the Clysedales out. Rumored that soon that area will become Santa's Village by December.

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