ORLANDO, Fla. — For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, Universal’s theme parks had their first profitable quarter, thanks in large part to Universal Orlando.

What You Need To Know

  • Universal's theme parks record their first profitable quarter since the start of pandemic

  • The recovery was fueled primarily by Universal Orlando, executives said in an earnings call

  • Demand has been high at the Orlando parks, with attendance hitting 2019 levels, they said

  • Universal Studios Hollywood in California has seen attendance increase week after week

Comcast, the parent company of Universal Parks & Resorts, released its second quarter earnings Thursday, which showed strong results for a division that has been recovering from the financial blow dealt by the pandemic.

In the second quarter, theme park revenue came in at $1.1 billion, up significantly from the same period a year ago when Universal’s parks were mostly closed. Comcast executives said that recovery was driven by Universal Orlando, where demand has been “exceptionally” strong.

Last month, attendance at the Orlando parks hit 2019 levels, executive said, despite the lack of international visitors due to ongoing travel restrictions.

Part of what drew more visitors was likely Universal’s newest attraction, Jurassic World VelociCoaster, which opened in June at Islands of Adventure to what executives say was some of the highest guest satisfaction scores it’s ever had.

Universal, in recent months, also lifted many pandemic-related measures at its Orlando parks such as guest capacity limits and social distancing.

At Universal Studios Hollywood in California, which reopened in April, the park has been operating without capacity restrictions since mid-June, and attendance has grown week after week.

“We continue to see firsthand pent-up demand for high quality entertainment and family fun outside the home, and we remain incredibly bullish on our theme parks,” NBCUniversal CEO Brian Roberts said in an investors call.

Executives also touted the success of Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan, which, after a few delays, opened earlier this year. Both Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando are expected to get similar lands in the coming years.

For the company overall, Comcast’s revenue rose 20.4% to $28.55 billion, beating Wall Street estimates.


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