Good morning Thrill Seekers,
Today’s post continues our series of interviews with members of the theme park industry, to date we’ve posted interviews with Kelly Morris and Gavin Boswell both from Orlando Attraction Tickets and Nigel McShine-Jones of LEGOLAND Florida.
Nichola Parr, Sales Manager at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment came down to our offices last week and I managed to grab a bit of time with her to talk about 2013 and 2014. Nichola is one of our favourites in the theme park industry, bubbly, friendly and knowledgeable it was a real pleasure to sit down and speak with her, especially as her time is very scarce, straight after the interview she was off to Dublin for a trade show.
Name: Nichola Parr
Who do you work for?: SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
What was 2013 like?: 2013 was a good year for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. We have seen strong performance for the Florida parks out of the UK and just recently the US reported record 4th quarter attendance across all of all parks. We opened Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin back in May and in June we released details of Falcons Fury at Busch Gardens and then just recently in November we confirmed the new ride set to open at Aquatica this spring – Ihu’s Breakaway Falls. So yeah there’s been a lot going on this year.
Your highlight of 2013?: Getting to see Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin when I escorted a trip for travel agents to Orlando in December. There were a lot of Orlando first timers on that trip too and it’s always great to see people react to our parks and the attractions for the first time. Makes you very proud!
Your Best Park 2013?: Busch Gardens has always been one of my favourite parks as I’m a big coaster and thrill ride fan. Also because it’s such a huge park, every time you go you tend to find something new to experience which has always been there, but you just haven’t seen or done it before.
Your Best Attraction 2013?: Being a coaster fan I’d have to say Manta at SeaWorld because there’s nothing else quite like it in Florida. And then SheiKra at Busch Gardens. Front row far left seat…..try it and you’ll know why.
In regards to Theme Parks, what are you most looking forward to in 2014?: There’s so much happening in Florida next year across all the theme parks but I think the most extreme will be the new drop tower at Busch Gardens – Falcon’s Fury, even the construction photos are terrifying!
Make a 2014 prediction…: 2014 will be the year of heights and lots of celebrations for the parks, with Busch Gardens and Aquatica set to open new big attractions and with SeaWorld’s 50th anniversary, so we are expecting to see another strong year. We have a great ticket offer available too, our 3-Park ticket is the same price as our 2-Park ticket throughout 2014 so it makes sense for anyone travelling out to Florida to go see all our parks. With the 50th Anniversary celebrations kicking off this Spring at SeaWorld there is going to be something new to see at all the parks included within that ticket.
I’d like to thank Nichola for taking the time to answer my questions. Reading back through I thought it was a great interview with some excellent and full answers.
I can wait to visit Busch Gardens Tampa and ride Falcon’s Fury, like Nic said “even the construction photos are terrifying!”