SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment – owner of 11 U.S. parks including SeaWorld and Busch Gardens – is launching a thrilling mix of attractions and events just in time for the key spring and summer travel seasons.
For five decades SeaWorld has surprised and amazed guests with unique entertainment, thrilling rides and up-close encounters with animals. The original SeaWorld park opened its gates for the first time in March 1964 on Mission Bay in San Diego.
“Fifty years later, the vision for a unique blend of education and entertainment that inspires and motivates people to care about wild animals and wild places, still lives at the heart of what we do,” said Jim Atchison, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment President and Chief Executive Officer.
SeaWorld's 50th Celebration kicked off on March 21, 2014 with a “Sea of Surprises™” in San Diego, Orlando and San Antonio. The 18-month celebration highlights some of the most memorable SeaWorld experiences.
The Busch Gardens parks in Tampa, Fla. and Williamsburg, Va. offer a mix of new extreme thrill rides, and unique entertainment and events that appeal to visitors of all ages. SeaWorld's Aquatica waterparks also make a splash with new attractions in Orlando, San Antonio and San Diego this year.
SeaWorld® Parks, Orlando, San Antonio and San Diego
SeaWorld's 50th Celebration is a Sea of Surprises™ – 18 months, starting March 21, 2014
During SeaWorld's 50th Celebration visitors are invited to take part in the fun through new interactive experiences, shows and pathway performances, even more up-close animal encounters throughout the park and the SeaWorld “Surprise Squad” treating guests with prizes every day.
“Shamu's Celebration: Light Up The Night™” is the new nighttime Shamu Show debuting at all three SeaWorld parks this summer. The show will include new, original music and production elements, as well as new killer whale behaviors. At SeaWorld San Antonio, a 50th themed ski show will also open this summer.
SeaWorld San Diego celebrates 50 years by completely transforming the park's arrival experience. Explorer's Reef™ opened March 21 for the celebration kick-off, and immediately immerses park guests into an undersea oasis. From the moment they enter the park, guests can connect with the sea through multiple touch pools featuring shark pups, rays, skates and delicate little cleaner fish.
SeaWorld guests are often greeted by an animal ambassador, many of whom were orphaned or injured in the wild and given a second chance thanks to the SeaWorld Rescue Team. As part of SeaWorld's 50th Celebration, there will be more surprise encounters with animal ambassadors throughout the day. A pair of Magellanic penguins, a lemur, or even a parade of flamingos could surprise guests at any moment at all three SeaWorld locations.
SeaWorld is known for amazing entertainment and each park will have something new for the 50th celebration. Park pathways come to life with spontaneous entertainment. “Bubble Blowout” is sure to be a guest favorite with a fantastical vehicle creating bubbles of all sizes and shapes. Engaging performances with sea-inspired costumes and props will pop up at unexpected moments to surprise guests throughout the day, like “Splash Dance” and the“Sea Street Band.”
To showcase SeaWorld's commitment to the environment and passion for protecting the ocean, a series of giant sea life sculptures will be displayed throughout the parks. SeaWorld commissioned environmental art group The Washed Ashore Project for a collection of large sea life sculptures – many weighing more than half a ton. The material used to create these pieces comes from the billions of pounds of garbage – mostly plastics – that wind up in our oceans. These amazing works of art point to the urgent need to protect marine animals from such dangers and preserve their ocean habitats.
Busch Gardens®, Tampa, Fla.
Falcon's Fury™ – rising May 1, 2014
Falcon's Fury is the tallest freestanding drop tower in North America, standing at 335 feet. At the ride's highest point there is an element of surprise. Like its bird of prey namesake, riders pivot 90 degrees in midair to a face-down dive position. An instant later they'll plunge 60mph straight down with speed and power like they've likely never experienced before. A variable hold time at the top of the ride ensures you'll never know how long you'll hang before dropping.
The park will also unveil a fully-reimaged land. Currently known as Timbuktu, the fully remodeled Pantopia™ will boast elaborately-jeweled theming and feature thrilling rides and attractions, sensational new food and beverage options, exciting entertainment, shopping, a renovated indoor theater and more.
Aquatica, SeaWorld's Waterpark™, Orlando, Fla.
Ihu's Breakaway Falls™ - opening May 9, 2014
Riders brave a watery free-fall when Ihu's Breakaway Falls - the tallest, steepest and only multi-drop tower slide of its kind in the southern United States - opens in Orlando at Aquatica, SeaWorld's Waterpark on May 9.
Standing at nearly 80 feet tall, Ihu's Breakaway Falls stands at nearly 80 feet with an almost vertical drop for nearly 40 feet. Ihu's Breakaway Falls is the longest water thrill slide of its kind featuring three “breakaway boxes” and four completely different slide paths. Once the floor disappears, riders will drop 20-24 feet per second.Ihu's Breakaway Falls is the only high-speed water thrill slide in the world that propels guests through four, 360-degree spirals.
Busch Gardens®, Williamsburg, Va.
London Rocks™ – debuting spring 2014
Guests will embark on a musical journey that explores the roots of rock-n-roll and transforms the Busch Gardens Globe Theatre into a rousing 25-minute live action and multi-media rock spectacular when London Rocks debuts this spring. A team of more than 200 musical directors, designers, technicians and artists is taking on the new production, four years in the making.
London Rocks is among the many reasons to visit Busch Gardens this year, including the return of the Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival (Weekends, May 23 – June 29)
Colossal Curl™ at Water Country USA® – opening spring 2014
Water Country USA's guests are in for an epic journey on the park's newest thrill ride - Colossal Curl, set to debut at Virginia's largest water park this spring. This mega slide promises to deliver a high-adrenaline, action-packed adventure. Colossal Curl features a funnel element that will swish and swirl guests before whisking them through the ride's enclosed colorful tubes on their way to a wave element that hurtles them high above the park. At 552 feet long, it is almost the length of two football fields.
Colossal Curl will join Vanish Point, the park's first big thrill slide which opened in 2011.
Water Country USA is the sister park to Busch Gardens Williamsburg and offers fun for the entire family with a retro surf theme, resort-style amenities and more than 25 state-of-the-art water rides and attractions.
Sesame Place®, Langhorne, Pa.
Cookie's Monster Land™ – opening May 2014
Sesame Place, the nation's only theme park based entirely on the award-winning show Sesame Street®, will open Cookie's Monster Land, in summer 2014. Cookie Monster will serve as host to all of his monster friends in this colorful and imaginative new land featuring five exciting rides, a three-story net climb and a soft play area for the park's youngest visitors.
The area's feature ride, Captain Cookie's High “C's” Adventures, will take guests around a track with multiple small inclines that mimic the gentle rolling waves of the ocean. On the new Oscar's Rotten Rusty Rockets, guests can join Oscar the Grouch and his best pal Slimey on a space mission in trash-can rocketships. Children 42 inches and taller, can take a ride on Honker Dinger Derby, where colorful cars will move up and down while simultaneously rotating in small and large circles. Flying Cookie Jars will spin guests around in a giant cookie jar 40 feet above the ground for a monster's eye view of the park. Families can also move and groove across the dance floor in spinning disco ball teacups with everyone's favorite furry monsters on Monster Mix-Up.