& Aquatica California
San Diego, CA
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
Attraction Rehabs - The following information is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.
Aquarium De La Mer - NOW CLOSED through May 1
Bayside Skyride - Apr. 21 through Apr. 28
Abby’s Sea Star Spin - Apr. 21 through Apr. 25
Elmo’s Flying Fish - May 5 through May 9
Oscar’s Rocking Eel - May 12 through May 15
Riptide Rescue - Sept. 8 through Sept. 19
Freshwater Aquarium - Sept. 2, 2014 through Apr. 30, 2015
Park News - (4/9/14) According to the local news, the bill that was seeking to put an end to Killer Whale shows at SeaWorld in California was essentially “put on hold” at the hearing earlier today, killing the proposal for the year while the author puts it under further review. The earliest it can be brought up again as a proposal wont be until at least mid-2015.
(3/8/14) Just when you thought the fallout of Blackfish might start to die now, the next wave is threatening to hit SeaWorld of California. A California Assemblyman, Richard Bloom, is introducing a bill proposal called the Orca Wellfare and Safety Act. The bill is targeted right at SeaWorld, and only SeaWorld, by banning the park’s ability to keep both wild-caught or captive-bred Killer Whales in the park, to use them in any display or entertainment capacity. The law would also require SeaWorld’s California park to rehabilitate and release their whales back into the ocean if possible.
Since the bill would only impact the California park, the obvious loophole here would be for SeaWorld to just ‘move’ all their California whales to their other parks if need be, making the “release and rehabilitate” part of the bill kind of pointless in the end. So will this bill get passed? Normally, I would say no… that a bill so obviously targeted to cause harm to a single company, from a single Assemblyman, wouldn’t stand much of a chance. But this is California we are talking about… and stranger things have happened there before, especially when it comes to another “issue” between SeaWorld San Diego and a local Politician. The San Diego park has always served as a long standing target for political bile in the region, and looks like it will continue to do so.
So anything can happen. CNN did actually have a decent and intelligent interview with zoologist Grey Stafford about the issued that is worth seeing here.
(1/17/14) SeaWorld reports that they will launch a new night show at Shamu Stadium this summer at all three SeaWorld theme parks (San Diego, Orlando and San Antonio), retiring the old Shamu Rocks show.
(12/31/13) SeaWorld San Diego is now offering the 2014 SeaWorld Fun Card offer. Visit now and for the full-price of a single day admission ticket ($84) you can get a free Fun Card instead that will let you come back to the park over and over again for the rest of 2014.
(11/19/13) SeaWorld San Diego has announced that they believe that their 18-year old polar bear Szenja (pronounced SIN-jah) is pregnant. How do they know she is pregnant? Ask Elvis. Yes… Elvis, a trained beagle who is able to sniff at “fecal samples” from polar bears from around North America and has indicated that Szenja is pregnant.
(11/4/13) SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration is starting up with Clyde & Seamore’s Christmas Special, a new holiday show featuring Santa, live reindeer and more, playing through Jan. 4, 2014 and even more holiday special features starting in less than 2 weeks like the Skytower Tree of Lights (Nov 14), Santa’s Cottage and the return of SnowWorld. Click here for the official site.
(10/4/13) While other waterparks have given it up and closed down for the rest of the season (I’m looking at you Raging Waters, Soak City and Hurricane Harbor), SeaWorld wants to let everyone know that Aquatica will still be open on weekends through to October 20th!!
(6/17/13) The new baby killer whale born at SeaWorld San Diego back on February 14th now has a name. After a voting contest on the park’s Facebook page the whale has been named Makani, which is the Hawaiian word for ‘the wind”. Makani won out with 40% of the total votes over Hako (Scandinavian for “Chosen son”) and Valentino (Italian for “strong”). This is the sixth successful killer whale birth for SeaWorld San Diego.
(6/13/13) SeaWorld San Diego joins in with a price increase of their own this week, despite having just raised ticket prices back in November 2012. The price of an adult ticket is now $79 and $71 for children. Meanwhile we’ve got a new picture showing off the cast of Madagascar Live: Operation Vacation. The new 20-minute show officially opens inside the fully renovated Mission Bay Theater on June 15th.
(1/14/13) According to documents uncovered the Freshwater Aquarium will be demolished. The nearby existing 4,700 sqft gift shop (next to the Shark exhibit) will be remodeled to become a 2,300 sqft retail site and a nearly 2000 sqft new culinary facility.
2014 - New Entrance / Explorer’s Reef / Sea of Surprises - (3/14/14) SeaWorld California has opened their new themed front gate area at last. Check out the photos sent in showing off all the details, inside and out.
(2/17/14) SeaWorld California has sent out a couple of new preview images of the new Explorer’s Reef area which is nearing completion. The park’s new “arrival experience” is slated to open on March 21st, just in time for the park’s 50th Celebration. In addition to adding four freshwater and saltwater touch pools (with sharks, rays, horseshoe crabs and cleaner fish) Explorer’s Reef will also feature a unique wave structure that guests will pass under as well as a new beach-themed concierge-style ticketing area.
(1/7/14) SeaWorld San Diego has opened the newly renovated SeaWorld Store, a large gift shop at the main entrance of the park that gives us our first look at the new themeing that will be incorporated throughout the new Explorer’s Reef area, allowing guests to shop underneath giant coral formations. Check out the pictures below.
(11/22/13) A reader took a spin in the Skytower the other day and sent in our latest main gate construction picture. Lots of new structures are now in place that will change the look of the area once finished.
(10/22/13) A reader sent in a nice collection of pictures showing off the progress on the new entrance area under construction at SeaWorld, as seen from the Skytower.
(7/17/13) We take a quick look at the construction taking place for SeaWorld California’s new entrance area this week over at Westcoaster. While new things are starting to appear, the overall site is still mostly a big dirt field for now.
(6/12/13) A new 18-month long celebration event called A Sea of Surprises will kick off on March 21st, 2014... marking the 50th Anniversary of the grand opening of the original SeaWorld park in San Diego. All three SeaWorld parks in San Diego, Orlando and San Antonio will join in the epic celebration that will see a variety of special experiences added, new shows, pathway performances (aka: Splash Mobs), animal encounters and you may get a visit by the Surprise Squad who will be wandering the park treating guests with special prizes each day.
In San Diego the event will also kick-off with the opening of the new Explorer’s Reef interactive entrance plaza. New giant sea life sculptures will also be put on display and the parks will offer new enhancements and digital services and special park apps to provide a new way to experience the park. Look for the official details to be released, piece by piece at the official 50th Celebration website starting this fall.
Here is a fun fact for you... I helped celebrate the 25th Anniversary of SeaWorld San Diego back when I was a teenager and working at the park. I think I may still have my special Crew Member 25th Anniversary ‘disco jacket’ tucked away in a dark closet somewhere. I also grew up in San Diego “in the shadow of the Skytower” and remember seeing how the park looked in the early years and watched it grow as I grew up along with it, so seeing the park turn 50 next year will also be a bit of a personal celebration for me as well, remembering the fun times of visiting as a guest as well as working alongside old friends as a Crew Member as well. So I must say, “Congratulations to SeaWorld!” on this huge occasion. Now check out this video preview of what’s on the way.
(6/6/13) New construction pictures showing off the current progress of things as SeaWorld California builds a new park entrance area were sent in this week by a reader. Enjoy!
(4/9/13) A construction update on the new main entrance area being added to SeaWorld California was posted to Westcoaster this week.
(1/21/13) A reader dropped by SeaWorld this past week and sent in a look at the closed 4D theater (and notice on the park map) as well as taking a bunch of pictures of the new blue construction walls for the new main gate project area that have gone up to the right of the current entrance.
(10/11/12) SeaWorld California has confirmed that construction will begin this December on a 16-month long project that will see an entirely new themed main entrance area built at the park. The new entrance area will be called Explorer’s Reef and they expect to have it open by March 2014. The new entrance area will not only be faster and more efficient, but will finally create a themed “sense of arrival” for guests upon entering the park.
The existing ticket booths will be replaced with a new beach-themed concierge-style ticking area to buy tickets, sign up for tours, animal interactions and dining experiences. “Explorer’s Reef will transform our guests’ arrival by providing them with unparalleled welcoming services and then transporting them into the world of the sea as they pass under an iconic and stunning wave,” said John Reilly, SeaWorld’s park president. “The promise of SeaWorld will be delivered immediately, giving our guests opportunities to connect with amazing animals as soon as they enter the park.” Guests will enter the park beneath an immense wave sculpture giving them the impression of actually entering an underwater world.” Once inside the new 3-acre Explorer’s Reef area will have a tropical coral themed look to the new animal attractions, buildings, shade structures and shops.
Animal Interaction opportunities will begin right away with a series of four touch pools, featuring a total of nearly 5,000 fish in both freshwater and saltwater environments. Guests can shop in an open air marketplace environment to shop in, as well as new culinary opportunities. During the construction, a new temporary entrance gate will be used just to the right of the current main entrance.
(10/9/12) SeaWorld San Diego has filed paperwork with the California Coastal Commission to completely renovate the park’s main entrance area to include a new ticket booth building, 1000 sqft aquarium, a culinary facility and replacement of the existing turnstyle areas and more.
(7/19/11) SeaWorld California, the first of all the SeaWorld parks, will turn 50 in 2014. We’ve heard rumors about possibly building a new themed main entrance area, possibly similar to the one used in Orlando, and some new special attractions to celebrate the big event. One of these may be a new special night-time version show in the Blue Horizons stadium.
2014 - Aquatica San Diego adding Taumata R
acer - Confirmed - (10/14/13) Aquatica San Diego has announced that a large new high capapcity water slide is on the way to the park for 2014 called Taumata Racer. Taumata Racer is a multi-lane head-first racing slide featuring an 180º enclosed swooping turn before the lanes line-up for a series of high speed drops to the finish line. It will be located between Walhalla Wave and Kata’s Kookaburra Cove and will be ready to open on Memorial Day Weekend, 2014.
2015 - New Attraction - Rumor - (8/16/13) According to the latest gossip, any and all plans to build any kind of Antarctica themed attraction, with or without a ride, in the San Diego park has now been put on indefinite hold. Looks like something else is in the works instead.
(8/15/13) While SeaWorld San Diego is busy building the park’s new main gate / entry area for 2014, I’ve heard about a possible new plan in place for 2015. From what I’m told nothing has been finalized yet, but it seems the park was already looking into remodeling their own Penguin Encounter attraction into their own version of Orlando’s Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin attraction.
However, due to the less than satisfactory guests response to the ride portion of the Orlando attraction, the San Diego version may opt to cut out that part of the plan. Instead they would remodel the overall area around the existing Penguin Encounter attraction and put extra money into making the walk-through animal habitat portion even bigger and better than the Orlando version. Much like in Orlando, they would build the new Penguin attraction on the frame of the existing habitat. If approved, we could see this happen as early as 2015 or 2016.