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SEAWORLD ANNOUNCES NEW OCEAN EXPLORER TO OPEN IN 2017

 

New attraction will create a realm for ocean discovery and exploration!

 

SAN DIEGO (Feb. 16, 2016) – SeaWorld® San Diego will unveil an extraordinary, new attraction in 2017 that will create an expedition of wonder across the seven seas. Ocean Explorer will combine multiple aquariums, exciting rides and digital technologies to engage park guests in an experience centered on exploration and adventure inspiring them to protect the wonders of our oceans.

 

“I’m extremely excited about Ocean Explorer and I know our guests, of all ages, are going to love this fun, interactive and educational new area of the park,” said John Reilly, SeaWorld San Diego’s park president. “The opportunity to see and learn about some of the ocean’s most fascinating creatures, coupled with a mix of distinctive rides and activities, will give our visitors a meaningful experience only SeaWorld can create.”

 

As adventurers on a global expedition of scientific exploration, guests will travel to Ocean Explorer’s remarkable undersea animals aboard submarines, the signature ride of the attraction. Embarking on these mini subs, visitors will become researchers on a mission to collect data and learn how they can help animals. This three-minute experience will include an onboard digital navigation dashboard, as well as a few other surprises along their journey, enhancing the riders’ understanding of the ocean ecosystem.

 

“This newest, fully immersive attraction at SeaWorld San Diego is the next chapter in creating experiences that can create both wonder and curiosity for the oceans,” said Brian Morrow, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment’s vice president of theme park experience design. “Park guests will trek through sea-base stations, make special connections with incredible animals and discover how they too can take action to protect the oceans.”

The heart and destination of Ocean Explorer will be a series of undersea research bases housing specially-designed aquariums and interactive activities displaying unique as well as elusive ocean animals.

 

“I can’t be more thrilled about Ocean Explorer,” said Mike Price, SeaWorld San Diego’s assistant curator of fishes. “We will give our visitors the chance to come eye-to-eye with amazing animals like giant octopuses, huge spider crabs and hundreds of colorful jellies – some of which have never been seen at the park before. We will also give everyone a variety of different vantage points to view the animals by taking them around and inside these underwater habitats.”

 

Guests will discover these newly created aquariums, known as research pods, throughout Ocean Explorer. Enriching educational displays, technologies and graphics will be key components of each pod.

 

Ocean Explorer will also feature an exhilarating wave swinger ride where guests will literally fly through thousands of real bubbles in chairs suspended from the tentacles of a giant jelly. Three family-friendly rides will round out the fun of this immersive, new attraction.

 

“Our guests’ response to new attractions has always been tremendously positive,” said Reilly. “The scope of Ocean Explorer demonstrates our ongoing commitment to creating new and fresh attractions, exhibits and events that provide the exciting, educational and entertaining experiences SeaWorld is known for.”

Construction on Ocean Explorer will begin in summer 2016 on a 3-acre site where the Animal Connections exhibit and the Circle of Flags are currently located on the southeast side of the park. This multi-million dollar attraction is scheduled to open in late spring of 2017.

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^ Manta is a phenomenal coaster, better than most of the coasters at Magic Mountain, imho. It's not huge but it's a decent length and has plenty of punch packed in. I think the main culprit toward them getting anything big, height-wise, is San Diego height restrictions. It's kinda crazy as it states anything west of I-5 cannot exceed 30 feet in height unless voted upon by San Diego citizens.

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Coastal Commission is the real problem. Developing next to the ocean in California is a HUGE process. The hippie San Diego politician that hated Sea World is retired.

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I like what they're doing with this dark ride--sounds like an interesting concept. I wonder if any "underwater" effects will be as cool as the 20,000 Leagues ride at DisneySea.

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  • 1 month later...

I'd say that *IF* they wanted another coaster, you'd see something megalite in size at best thanks to the already mentioned height restrictions. San Diego takes it's coastal sightlines very seriously. Which also makes the discussion of an on-site hotel interesting as well...they will likely have to battle if they opt for a large tower to save space.

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I'd love it if SWSD could get something along the lines of Mako from SWO! It looks awesome!

 

Not gonna happen. San Diego is insane with their height restrictions.

 

 

I know...that's why I'm not getting my hopes up! But it's nice to dream!

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I'd say that *IF* they wanted another coaster, you'd see something megalite in size at best thanks to the already mentioned height restrictions. San Diego takes it's coastal sightlines very seriously. Which also makes the discussion of an on-site hotel interesting as well...they will likely have to battle if they opt for a large tower to save space.

 

You know, I hadn't even considered that might be an issue! That will be interesting for sure.

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When Manta opened at the park, I was able to attend the media event for the ride. While there, I was able to ask about their decision to not go above the height limit of 30 feet above ground. And they basically responded with: We can do what ever we want, we just have to apply for a permit that allows for something over 30ft. Its not hard, but the taller it is, and the closer to the water it is, the more convincing it takes. This is paraphrased and NOT a quote from the people I spoke to.

 

So, like joey said, a Mega Lite is much more likely then something like Mako. Also, the farther away from the water it is, the odd are more favorable.

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When Manta opened at the park, I was able to attend the media event for the ride. While there, I was able to ask about their decision to not go above the height limit of 30 feet above ground. And they basically responded with: We can do what ever we want, we just have to apply for a permit that allows for something over 30ft. Its not hard, but the taller it is, and the closer to the water it is, the more convincing it takes. This is paraphrased and NOT a quote from the people I spoke to.

 

So, like joey said, a Mega Lite is much more likely then something like Mako. Also, the farther away from the water it is, the odd are more favorable.

 

This is probably why the 95 foot tall Journey to Atlantis is a far from the water you can get without being in the parking lot. SkyTower is 320 feet but was probably built before the coastal commission rules.

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The height restrictions in place have nothing to do with the coastal commission. It was a voter approved San Diego city initiative from the 70's that limits all development west of I-5 in San Diego. There are lots of ways around it that people take advantage of, but the restriction itself wasn't a Coastal Commission directive.

 

However, the Coastal Commission does still control development on the coast. SeaWorld negotiated it's lease years later to include a slight exemption to that which made it so no more than 25% of the structures in the park could exceed the 30ft height limit and the majority should be no taller than 60ft. They also have to keep 75% of park featuring educational items. The Coastal Commission had to approve that lease since it involved building stuff on the coast and they made the city of San Diego improve the parks in Mission Bay as part of that.

 

As Chris mentioned, since these terms are pretty vague...they can essentially do what they want with some haggling with the City & Coastal Commission to make sure it complies with that lease.

 

In other words: it's still a convoluted mess for Sea World to build anything, but they can. So give us a MegaLite damnit!

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  • 3 weeks later...

It doesn't necessarily have to be 30ft. See my previous post. 25% of the park can exceed 30ft and should stay below 60ft, but it would be up to the coastal commission to make the final decision.

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With a height restriction of only 30 feet makes you wonder what kind of ride can they build with a "thrill factor" that's not a launch coaster! Any thoughts??

 

Crazy Couch.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Last weekend TPR was invited to check out Sea World's "Seven Seas Food Festival," and I have to say it was great for a newer event. The food was delicious, but expect smaller portions than you are used to if your only previous theme park food festival experience was EPCOT. But did I mention the food was delicious? And being in San Diego, they had a great selection of beer too!

 

Seeing as the name is "Seven Seas Food Festival," there were 7 distinct areas represented: California, France, Polynesia, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Latin America, and Asia. I sampled and took pictures of what I could and was not disappointed!

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Other highlights included Jamaican Baby Back Ribs from the Caribbean

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The three areas with entertainment also had multiple food options (pictured is California)

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Obligatory coaster photo...Manta is still a really fun ride!

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California, France, and Polynesia had entertainment options in addition to their delicious food!

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Thankfully, whale was not on the menu, so here's an obligatory Shamu photo to close..we caught them during a Dine with Shamu experience in the back tank, which allowed for some up close views even if you didn't have dinner there!

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California also had this delicious chicken sausage!

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The Taiwanese popcorn chicken from the Asian station was so delicious I ate it before I remembered to take a picture!

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...And delicious beer! Each weekend a new local brewery takes over!

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No visible construction on the new ride yet

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I think it is important to note this too...Sea World should have made this a focal point of their Blackfish response...

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This display is at the entrance of the park to let you know what is going on

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For diabetics, France also featured a delicious lamb "lollypop"

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The waffle on a stick covered in syrup and bacon was amazing!

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France had the most popular stand...not diabetic friendly!

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France also featured a rotating local craft beer selection!

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The best value is probably this sampler...5 beers and 5 food items! They also sell just food and just wine packages as well.

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