On Wednesday (Oct. 18), the company told the Orlando Sentinel it would lay off 350 employees, effective immediately. The cuts come after SeaWorld executives announced a goal to find $40 million in total extra savings through 2018, according to the Sentinel.
Attendance dropped by 353,000 visitors in the first half of 2017 compared to the same time in 2016, according to numbers SeaWorld disclosed in August.
The company ended its controversial orca-breeding program last year, and phased out its theatrical “Shamu” show that featured the orcas, otherwise known as killer whales, in California. Orca shows continue at the company’s Texas and Florida parks, but are slated to end sometime in 2019, according to National Geographic.
The company appears to be making an effort to pivot to rides, as described by the Sentinel:
In Orlando, SeaWorld is building Infinity Falls, a raft ride with a 40-foot drop, that will open next summer. The company also announced this month a new water slide planned for Orlando in spring. SeaWorld is also expanding its Sesame Street offerings at the Orlando park.