Sea World of Ohio was the smallest of the four parks, and also had the shortest annual operating season, restricted primarily by the weather. You can find lots of theory and conjecture around the web about what led to this park's ultimate demise, but the bottom line is the park was not bringing in enough revenue to make its continued operation worthwhile.
In January 2001, over nine years ago as of this update, Busch Entertainment Corporation (BEC) announced the sale of Sea World Ohio to Six Flags Inc. The whales, dolphins, and penguins were moved to other Sea World parks, including Discovery Cove. Six Flags kept all the other marine mammals, fish, birds, etc. and all the shows and buildings, but not the Sea World name.
The park reopened in Spring 2001 and was made part of the nearby Six Flags Lake Geauga theme park. The new combined park was known as Six Flags Worlds of Adventure. Six Flags brought in dolphins from one of their other parks so they would have a dolphin show. The operating second season saw the addition of a killer whale to their collection, an attempt no doubt to bring back most of the shows and exhibits familiar to visitors of the old Sea World park and try to keep the same customer base (speculation mind you, but well founded).
Unfortunately, Six Flags couldn't make the venture work as well as they planned. Eventually, Six Flags sold out to Cedar Fair, who renamed the park Geauga Lake, ditched the animal park concept, and turned the former Sea World section into a waterpark. After a couple of underperforming seasons, at the end of 2007 Cedar Fair gave up on the concept of having a ride park and a waterpark in one and shut down the ride portion of the park. It was redeveloped as a mega-waterpark for the 2008 season, which is now known as Geauga Lake's Wildwater Kingdom. In my opinion if the Sea World park in Ohio hadn't been killed off in 2001, it would certainly be gone in today's (early 2010) economy.
This section wouldn't exist at all if I didn't get so many emails regarding the fate and the history of the Ohio park, plus many of you are keeping the search engines busy busy busy looking for Ohio park information. Most of you are doing with the intent to plan a trip to that Sea World park, perhaps trying to introduce your children to one of your favorite early memories. It's sad that the Ohio park had to go, and it still amazes me 9 years after I originally updated this page with the bad news that over 75% of my site traffic is from people that didn't get the memo that the Ohio park is gone...
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