Guests Push Back Against SeaWorld’s “Hidden” Price Increases

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Credit: SeaWorld

There is no denying that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected just about every aspect of our lives as we know it. From Supply chain issues to inflation, everyone around the world has felt these changes in one way or another. Guests visiting theme Parks have felt a lot of these changes as well, with mask mandates and social distancing rules seemingly changing constantly.

As of now, Disneyland and Walt Disney World both have completely dropped their mask requirements, with Universal Studios following suit. Guests have also noticed price increases within certain areas of the theme Parks, including merchandise, tickets, and of course, food.

SeaWorld San Diego entrance header
Credit: SeaWorld

Recently, SeaWorld has been at the center of controversy after a few eagle-eyed Guests noticed that the amusement park had started adding a surcharge to certain purchases. The small price increase was sneakily “hidden” on menu boards, with Guests claiming they could barely see it. One user called it “hidden” and “BS.”

Another example of a surcharge was noticed by theme park report and enthusiast Alicia Stella (@AliciaStella) which you can see below:

Not a fan, @SeaWorld. You want to raise food prices? Fine. But this s*** is unnecessary.

As you can see, an unexplained 5% surcharge showed up on a food receipt, something that Guests and fans have been pushing back against for months now. Dozens of users responded to this original tweet with many calling out SeaWorld. User @BillZanetti said:

“Text is too tiny on the boards, most wouldn’t notice and it’s not a reasonable thing either. Sales tax and automatic gratuity are reasonable expectations, a random surcharge is not.”

User @scottwalker88 said:

“They’re already the most expensive park for food and drink in the area before this. This is leaving a lasting bad impression. I’m fairly certain that I won’t return for a long time regardless of what coasters they build.”

SeaWorld responded to questions about this surcharge in a tweet that reads:

“Hello Nico! As we continue to experience unprecedented increases in the cost of goods, services & labor, we have implemented a 5% surcharge to food & beverage purchases. This will allow us to address these challenges while still providing guests with the best possible experience.”

Seaworld orlando Dolphin Encounter
Credit: SeaWorld

In our original story, Guests were informed that they would receive this 5% surcharge to “cover increased operating costs.” While this language is quite broad, it is most likely referring to issues stated above, such as the supply chain issue as well as inflation.

This comes just after one Guest shared a very unfortunate situation that occurred at the Park recently, going so far to call it “illegal.”

Have you noticed any other price increases at theme parks?

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