With the sale of Busch Entertainment Corp. to The Blackstone Group, comes a new name for the company that operates some of the nation’s best known and popular theme parks. “SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment” will replace “Busch Entertainment Corporation”. However even company insiders don’t know if the new name will also replace the “Worlds of Discovery” brand that BEC had been using to unify its theme park properties.
The new name reflects the prominence of the SeaWorld brand in both the family travel industry and among the company’s portfolio of parks.
“It is one of the world’s most widely recognized and respected family travel brands,” said Jim Atchison, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment President. “SeaWorld has been a brand associated with quality family entertainment since SeaWorld San Diego opened its gates for the first time in March 1964.”
Despite the new name, little else about the company changes with today’s acquisition by Blackstone, Atchison said. The leadership team, park portfolio, operating philosophy, commitment to quality and workforce is unchanged: “While this is the start of an exciting new phase in our evolution, we remain dedicated to the same values and principles that have been the foundation of our success for five decades.”
Also announced today was a Google Maps Street View of the Orlando and San Diego SeaWorld theme parks making them now available for virtual visits and adventures.
Street View visits to the parks are accessible via Web and mobile applications. Viewers can start by going to maps.google.com and searching for SeaWorld, Discovery Cove or Aquatica. Then drag the orange “Pegman” icon (found at the top left of the map) for a “walking tour.” Among the highlights -– also seen in “satellite mode” — SeaWorld visitors can look for the world’s most famous killer whale, Shamu.
“We’re thrilled to be among the first theme parks in the world to get the Google Street View treatment,” said Joe Couceiro, chief marketing officer for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. “Now, no matter where you are, you can enjoy an online experience of our parks including seeing their scope and diversity while planning your vacation. The only thing missing is getting splashed by the real Shamu or taking on the best roller coasters in the world.”
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment operates 10 parks across the U.S.: SeaWorlds in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio; Busch Gardens parks in Tampa, Fla. and Williamsburg, Va.; Discovery Cove and Aquatica in Orlando; Sesame Place near Philadelphia, Pa.; and water parks Adventure Island in Tampa and Water Country USA in Williamsburg.