Wednesday, December 6, 2023

SeaWorld San Diego opens Turtle Reef June 18

SeaWorld guests will enjoy educational interactive elements, including a gaming wall and a touch-screen with a sea turtle tracking map display at the park’s multi-faceted Turtle Reef attraction, shown in this artistic rendering

The focal point of Turtle Reef is a nearly 300,000-gallon aquarium featuring adult Hawksbill and green sea turtles — some more than 50 years old — as well as younger green sea turtles that hatched at SeaWorld in 2009.

“We are thrilled to feature these amazing creatures, some of which are endangered species,” said Thad Dirksen, the park’s curator of fishes. “And our hatchlings are a testament to our stellar husbandry practices and ability to design habitats that allow animals to thrive.”

As guests make their way through Turtle Reef, they will take a journey through the life cycle of sea turtles, learning about where they live, how they nest, what they eat and what threats they face. The total immersive experience also will include a game called Race for the Beach, and a touch screen map, Turtlelink, where guests can learn about sea turtle tracking and SeaWorld’s rescue efforts and conservation. Riptide Rescue, a new ride just outside the aquarium, will spin passengers in boats on a rescue mission of their own.

The new sea turtle attraction will also illustrate how trash and pollution can affect the species, with two cylindrically-shaped aquariums: one with jellyfish and one with trash that can be mistaken for food. This exhibit will help illustrate how sea turtles often confuse trash for food and can die after ingesting these items.

“I think it’s important that our guests can learn that they too can play a role in keeping trash and pollution out of the sea turtles’ ocean environment,” said Dirksen.

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, a portfolio company of The Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX), operates 10 parks across the U.S., including SeaWorld parks in San Diego, San Antonio and Orlando, Fla.; 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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