Next week is going to be huge for investors in theme park stocks. Walt Disney (DIS -0.12%) reports on Tuesday, shortly after the market close. SeaWorld Entertainment (PRKS -0.48%) announces the next morning, just before the start of trading. 

Put another way, both stocks will likely be moving on Wednesday. Which way will they go? Thankfully, we have another major theme park operator -- one that also has a presence in Florida and Southern California, where Disney and SeaWorld house their most popular tourist destinations -- that already offered up its financial results for the three summer months ending in September. Universal Studios parent Comcast (CMCSA -0.25%) reported last week. Disney and SeaWorld shareholders are going to like what their rival was saying.

Mickey and Minnie Mouse touch noses on Main Street.

Image source: Disney.

As the turnstiles turn

Comcast operates Universal Studios Hollywood in California and the expanding Universal Orlando resort in Florida. There are a lot of moving parts to Comcast's various businesses like Disney, but its theme parks segment was rocking this summer. 

Revenue soared 42% for Universal's theme parks during the seasonally potent summertime quarter that ended in September. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) rose even higher, skyrocketing 89% to shatter pre-pandemic levels. 

A lot of things are clicking for the country's most popular theme parks. Margins are exploding, and it's not just the scalable nature of the businesses where high fixed costs start to pay off when attendance levels are climbing. Universal, Disney, and SeaWorld have been able to jack up prices on their single-day tickets, annual prices, and concessions. Consumers aren't flinching. In-park revenue per capita is catapulting higher, particularly at Disney, where it has introduced premium-priced add-ons for enhanced access to park attractions. Operating costs are rising, too, but the pricing elasticity here is giving Stretch Armstrong a run for its money.

Analysts see Disney's revenue climbing 31%, with earnings per share jumping 70% in next week's quarter, but the House of Mouse is a media stock with a cupboard full of properties dragging down the actual growth of its gated attractions. Disney's theme parks have been growing faster than Comcast's attractions in recent quarters, and it should be more of the same next week. 

Turning to SeaWorld Entertainment, Wall Street pros see year-over-year top-line growth of just 10% in next week's report on a 66% increase in earnings. SeaWorld isn't Disney with global fly-to appeal, but even at the local level the bar seems too low here. Both Disney and SeaWorld are giving consumers the brief escapes that we all need after the last couple topsy-turvy years. 

Comcast's parks are rocking, and next week we should see Disney and SeaWorld rolling. It doesn't have to end here, even as we're on the precipice of the global economy unraveling.

"Despite the economic uncertainty that you see elsewhere in the economy, we're seeing no effects of that right now in the theme parks, even in terms of our performance our actual performance or our bookings going forward," NBCUniversal chief Jeff Shell said during last week's earnings call. "The theme park business is really strong and we're seeing no weakness there."   

A lot of companies have been issuing gloomy guidance, but Comcast's Universal theme parks are enjoying the ride. It's a good sign, and suggests that we can expect more of the same from the havens of diversions at Disney and SeaWorld Entertainment next week.