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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

More on SeaWorld

First, have you seen Blue Sky Disney's blog post? An all-new Fantasyland in MK, with a seven dwarves ride, Beauty and the Beast dark ride, Hook's Hollow and Tink meet? It's all just plans right now, nothing greenlit, but way cool.

Now, SeaWorld. As always, my emails are more interesting than my ramblings. Here's one:

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There has been talk for some time now that the parks would be sold off, even before InBev's initial bid. While they are profitable, A-B did not want to continue operating them. They have been sprucing up all of their parks for the last 2 years in an attempt to sell them off at a higher price. A good friend of mine is an executive. We actually spoke 2 months ago about a scenario similar to what you described.

He said that many of the top-tier execs that run the San Diego park have actually either left or are in the process of leaving soon. No one knows for sure what will happen, but all are very aware that the parks will in fact be sold. That mentality has been around for some time now. The hope within the ranks is that Dubai will take interest and make an offer. They feel that it is the best option for the future of the parks. My friend plans on leaving the company some time next year so he can retire after being with them for the last 19 years. Everyone is feeling uneasy about what the future holds for the parks.

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Then there's the fellow who wrote in wondering about Augustus Busch III, who loves the parks the way Walt did. Could Augustus and the Busch family possibly be interested in buying back the parks after their windfall from the beer? Maybe. He only has 100 million dollars at most from the company sale (more like 70 mil), but he could line up deep pocket investors. Like someone with oil money.