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Strong results prompt theme parks to expand, build new hotels

Theme parks are buoyed these days with strong results, particularly increased occupancy in their hotels. Prompted by positive showing various theme parks in the United States have now decided to expand further by building new hotels and thus welcoming more visitors to stay.

SeaWorld Entertainment is the latest theme park to enter into the fray and announce a major restructuring by creating a separate department for resort development. SeaWorld Entertainment has hired the services of a theme-park veteran named Steve Iandolo, who was the brain behind Dollywood's DreamMore Resort. He was also Creative Director for many hotels coming under Universal Orlando.

Media reports also quoted hotel industry experts as saying that Walt Disney World is also planning to add more hotels. Even Universal Orlando, main rival of Walt Disney World, is currently undertaking the construction of its fifth hotel. It is also expanding its fourth hotel as well and wants to double or triple the visitor numbers in future. The companies operating various theme parks though are not ready to provide more information on their plans.

Walt Disney World presently boasts 23,000 rooms across its 18 properties in the United States. It also owns 3,000 timeshare units and 800 campsites at Fort Wilderness. A total of 47 timeshare properties and hotels are owned by Walt Disney Co. world over. Ever since Art of Animation was opened in 2012, Disney World hasn’t constructed its own new hotel. It has however added timeshare suites at the resort. Though, TownePlace Suites and SpringHill Suites have been opened by Four Seasons just outside Disney World at Flamingo Crossing.

SeaWorld Orlando has also plunged into competition in San Diego by swiftly entering into partnership with Evans Hotel Group. There is still enough space for new buildings, and acquisitions would also be considered. SeaWorld is presently relying on eight partner hotels, all of which are situated outside the resort. “SeaWorld” is added to the names of these hotels to show partnership, and those staying at the hotels are provided transportation free of cost to the theme parks.

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