Monday, December 4, 2023

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Opens 10 New Attractions This Year from Coast to Coast

Visitors find out what it’s like to spin, glide, skim and soar like a giant ray as they experience the only flying roller coaster of its kind in the world on SeaWorld’s Manta. Photo: SeaWorld
Orlando, Florida, USA – SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment – the parent company of 10 parks including SeaWorld and Busch Gardens – will unveil 10 new attractions across the country this year, the largest single-year capital investment in the company’s history. 
”Our guests expect thrilling, educational and inspiring attractions at our parks,” said Jim Atchison, President and Chief Executive Officer. “This year delivers our best and biggest line-up yet, from a new killer whale show that inspires guests to make a difference in our world, to an innovative, state-of-the-art coaster combined with an educational animal habitat. No one connects people to animals, the world – and to one another – like we do.”
Orlando, Fla.; San Diego, Calif. and San Antonio, Texas
All three SeaWorld parks: “One Ocean”
Opening at all three SeaWorld parks, “One Ocean” features majestic killer whales as ambassadors of the sea, and the ocean as the center of our natural world. The show educates and connects guests with these remarkable animals as it immerses them in the vivid colors and sensations of the underwater world. At the core of the show is the unifying message that both animals and humans are part of one world, with one ocean, and its future is in our hands to cherish and protect.
“One Ocean” is scheduled to premiere at SeaWorld Orlando at the end of April, SeaWorld San Diego on Memorial Day weekend and SeaWorld San Antonio in June.
San Diego, Calif.
SeaWorld San Diego: Turtle Reef
In addition to the new killer whale show “One Ocean,” SeaWorld San Diego also debuts this summer Turtle Reef – an attraction that will allow guests to get an up-close look at 60 threatened or endangered sea turtles, as well as learn more about the threats sea turtles face in the wild. The attraction also will feature thousands of tropical fish, and a new ride that takes passengers on an exciting rescue mission of their own. The focal point of Turtle Reef is a nearly 300,000-gallon aquarium with a massive underwater viewing gallery.
San Antonio, Texas
SeaWorld San Antonio: Sesame Street Bay of Play
In addition to the new killer whale show “One Ocean,” this spring SeaWorld San Antonio will open Sesame Street Bay of Play, an all-new attraction for families featuring Elmo, Big Bird and all their friends. Sesame Street Bay of Play will include three acres of exciting rides, shows and play areas and will be home to a colorful carousel with all the friends of Sesame Street. Other kid-sized rides include Big Bird’s Spinning Reef, a delightfully playful Ferris wheel; Elmo’s Dolphin Dive, a vertical drop ride; and Abby Cadabby’s Rocking Wave, a ride that rocks forwards, backwards and sideways. Kids can also beat the summer heat at Little Bird’s Splash which features 22 water elements such as bubblers, geysers, jets and dumping buckets. At Big Bird’s 1-2-3 Smile with Me, everyone’s favorite Sesame Street friends will greet, hug and take photos, and make memories. The Happenings stage area features musical performances with Elmo, Abby Caddaby, Zoe and Cookie Monster.
Orlando, Fla.
Discovery Cove:
The Grand Reef
In June, Discovery Cove opens The Grand Reef. This all-new area features multiple levels of exploration, from shallow waters to deeper swimming adventures; from white sandy beaches and hammocks swaying in the breeze, to snorkeling among canyons inspired by reefs from oceans around the world. Guests can step into tranquil, shallow water to discover a below-the-surface world teeming with sea life, or they can snorkel in deeper water as thousands of exotic fish and graceful rays swim around them. Guests looking for an even more exhilarating adventure can take part in The Grand Reef’s innovative experience, SeaVenture, an underwater walking tour using dive helmets.
Tampa, Fla.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay: Cheetah Hunt and Cheetah Run
Opening this summer, Cheetah Hunt is a one-of-a-kind, multiple launch-point coaster that uses the force of repelling magnets to launch riders from 0 to 60 mph in a matter of seconds – not once, but three times. Cheetah Hunt sets a new distance record for a Busch Gardens’ roller coasters at 4,429 feet of track.
Cheetah Run will set a new standard for bringing nature and humans together. This expansive new habitat will give visitors the opportunity to get closer to cheetahs than ever before with elevated, glass-paneled viewing areas. They can also witness the world’s fastest land animal in action during daily sprints conducted by Busch Gardens’ trainers.
Williamsburg, Va.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg: Mäch Tower
This spring, guests will see the massive spire known as Mäch Tower. The tallest ride in the park, Mäch Tower lifts up to 30 riders nearly 200 feet into the air. After rotating at the top of the tower and getting a few seconds to take in the view, riders drop at breath-taking speed. State-of-the-art special effects include enhanced audio.
Water Country USA: Vanish Point
Inspired by the point on a wave where water and gravity form a perfect partnership, Vanish Point supplies two wicked-wet ways to drop out of sight. The crest of this 75-foot tower challenges guests with two wave paths. They can step into a skybox and take a plunge when the floor drops out beneath their feet, or they can get horizontal on a 300-foot speed slide that drops them straight down as soon as they enter. Either way, it’s pure liquid adrenaline.
Langhorne, Pa. near Philadelphia
Sesame Place: “Neighborhood Street Party” and Elmo’s Cloud Chaser
This spring, the “Neighborhood Street Party” parade will allow guests to experience an energetic neighborhood block party on iconic Sesame Street with all of their favorite friends, including: Elmo, Count Von Count, Bert & Ernie, Abby Cadabby, Zoe, Cookie Monster, Rosita, Big Bird and Telly. The parade will feature familiar contemporary songs, as well as Sesame Street favorites that are sure to get everyone joining in the fun. The park’s newest ride, Elmo’s Cloud Chaser, invites families to join Elmo up into the sky where the clouds are as close as their imagination.
SeaWorld parks blogs:
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, a portfolio company of The Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX), operates 10 parks across the U.S. including SeaWorld parks in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio; Busch Gardens parks in Tampa, Fla. and Williamsburg, Va.; Discovery Cove and Aquatica in Orlando; Sesame Place near Philadelphia, Pa.; and water parks Adventure Island in Tampa and Water Country USA in Williamsburg. The 10 parks play host to 23 million guests each year and employ 20,000 people nationwide. 

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Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She reports on design and technical design, production and project management, industry trends and company culture. From 2005-2020 she ran communications and publications for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA and publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association, and has contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a BFA from Pratt Institute. She has lived in Detroit, New York, Oakland, and now Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts community.

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