Early this morning SeaWorld announced a plethora of new and exciting attractions that will be coming to their parks in 2017. These include major new ride additions at three parks, a virtual reality experience, a new orca presentation in San Diego, and new shows and events.
The most groundbreaking new addition for SeaWorld next year is the new and inspiring orca encounters that will first debut at SeaWorld San Diego in 2017. This new orca show will focus on a more natural encounter instead of the typical theatrical shows from the past. This show will have its start in San Diego next year, followed by Orlando and then San Antonio by 2019
Let’s first check out the new additions that are coming to SeaWorld Orlando.
Dolphin Nursery coming to SeaWorld Orlando
SeaWorld Orlando’s Dolphin Nursery will become more interactive in summer 2017, giving our guests the opportunity to get up close to mother and baby dolphins in all new and inspiring ways.
Large-scale acrylic windows will be created offering better guest viewing, including multiple levels to give kids a face-to-face perspective with baby dolphins. And since animal care is our top priority, new slide out areas and lifting floor will allow for easier access to mom and baby for the veterinary and animal care teams.
Plus new multi-purpose digital displays will allow SeaWorld educators to share information about dolphin behavior, biology and conservation with our guests in new ways by interacting with video from underwater cameras, educational content and animal care videos.
Electric Ocean at SeaWorld Orlando and San Diego
Electric Ocean will debut next summer at our parks in Orlando and San Diego as a brand new, end-of-day spectacle. As the sun goes down, the lights and energy go up, offering guests a different kind of fun after dark. The ocean comes to life with bioluminescent lighting, music and pathway entertainment, immersing guests in a glowing sea of wonder.
Kraken Virtual Reality at SeaWorld® Orlando
SeaWorld will debut its first digitally enhanced ride experience as the legendary Kraken roller coaster is transformed into a virtual reality (VR) coaster experience. This thrill ride will be the only VR coaster experience in Florida and guests will embark on a deep sea mission alongside sea creatures inspired by extinct and legendary animals of the past, including the mighty Kraken. A custom digital overlay with uniquely designed headsets, fully integrated both mechanically and electronically into the coaster train delivers a new one-of-a-kind adventure. The new Kraken experience will tie in directly with the attraction Journey to Atlantis.
Seven Seas Food Festival
SeaWorld Orlando’s popular music and food events will expand to a total of 14 weekends in 2017 as part of the Seven Seas Festival. Inspired by street food from Asia, the Caribbean, South America and the Mediterranean, this expanded festival will bring new culinary offerings to guests throughout the park. Plus, guests will be able to indulge in a variety of international, local and seasonal craft brews on tap giving their taste buds a worldly delight.
Here is a look at some of the food you will be able to enjoy at the festival.
Rudolph’s ChristmasTown – SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration
Beloved Christmas character Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and friends, including Clarice, Bumble, the Abominable Snow Monster and Yukon Cornelius, and Rudolph themed attractions will be making their debut as part of the 2016 Christmas Celebration™ at SeaWorld Orlando.
SeaWorld aims to make being a passholder a more valuable experience with the addition of new events and attractions. They also want to offer more special perks like a new passholder lounge that will be debuting at their sister park Aquatica around Easter 2017. The exclusive pavilion will feature concierge service, complimentary sunscreen, a private entrance to Banana Beach, private animal encounters and additional offers.
Flame Craft Bar
Continuing the park’s food and beverage focus, a new dining location adjacent to the SeaFire Grill along the waterfront area will provide a great place to pause for a drink in a casual atmosphere. The Flamecraft Bar will feature 16 seasonal craft brews and a new menu to tempt the taste buds. The bar will open in Summer 2017.
Nautilus Theatre – New Show in Summer 2017
Continuing the park’s focus on entertainment, events and shows, an entirely new experience is coming to the Nautilus Theatre. The dedicated summer show will debut Memorial Day weekend.
SeaWorld San Diego is the park that will be receiving some of the most new and groundbreaking additions with their new, inspiring Orca Encounter.
New Inspiring Orca Encounter at SeaWorld® San Diego
We’ve made some exciting changes at SeaWorld, including introducing a new and inspiring orca encounter, coming in summer 2017. Starting first at SeaWorld San Diego, we’ll introduce new, inspiring, natural orca encounters, rather than theatrical shows, as part of our ongoing commitment to education, marine science research, and rescue of marine animals.
These programs will focus on orca enrichment, exercise, and overall health and will start in San Diego next year, followed by Orlando and then San Antonio by 2019. The new Orca Encounter will be based on killer whale behavior in the wild: what they eat, how they hunt, how they navigate and how they communicate, helping guests gain a deeper appreciation and respect for the orcas and empowering them a sense of determination and purpose to help preserve the future of these majestic animals. This new encounter will have the feel of a live documentary and look at broader themes such as research, rescue, conservation, habitats and distribution, husbandry and care, and social structures.
Learn more about these amazing new experiences here.
Ocean Explorer coming to SeaWorld San Diego
Our goal is to provide experiences that matter for each of the guests that come to our parks so they’ll be inspired to explore and protect the wild wonders of our world. This is just part of the reason we’re excited to announce that next summer our park in San Diego will unveil Ocean Explorer, a new 3-acre area that combines multiple aquariums, exciting rides and digital technologies.
In the signature attraction for the realm, called Submarine Quest, guests will be adventurers on a global expedition of scientific exploration, travelling aboard submarines to see Ocean Explorer’s remarkable undersea animals. Embarking on these mini subs, visitors will become researchers on a mission to collect data and learn how they can help protect animals. This three-minute experience will include an onboard digital navigation dashboard, as well as a few other surprises along the journey, enhancing the riders’ understanding of our fragile ocean ecosystem.
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 like giant octopuses, huge spider crabs and dozens of moray eels – some of which have never been seen at the park before.
Learn more about this exciting new addition here.
Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster™ coming to SeaWorld® San Antonio
In summer 2017, SeaWorld San Antonio is launching a new generation of coaster, which will be the first of its kind in North America. Combining the thrill of the sea with the adrenaline rush of a roller coaster, Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster boasts variety of features inspired by the reality of jet skiing across a body of water. The unique jet ski-style car design is the first such coaster design in North America and engages riders in a straddled seating position. The design will allow riders to lean into a series of banked and serpentine turns, and grip the handle bars as they race over hills designed for maximum airtime, and a pair of high acceleration launches.
Inspired by the Emmy® award-winning program, Sea Rescue®, the coaster enables riders to feel what it’s like to race alongside SeaWorld’s heroic animal care team and veterinarians as they spring into action at a moment’s notice to help rescue animals in distress. The new coaster is unique to SeaWorld’s mission and brings awareness to the brave efforts of the SeaWorld animal teams as they join forces with organizations around the world to help ill, injured, orphaned and abandoned animals. Even the queue line experience will tell the story of a rescue mission and invite guests to become involved in helping protect animals.
InvadR at Busch Gardens Williamsburg – A new wooden roller coaster, InvadR, will join Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s collection of world-class thrill rides. The family thriller will be the park’s first wooden coaster and eighth roller coaster in total. InvadR’s wooden track will be supported by a steel structure, giving riders the stability of steel supports with the classic feel of a wooden coaster.
The Wildlife Docs™: Live at Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay
We’re bringing the stories from the Emmy-nominated weekly show, The Wildlife Docs, straight to guests at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. The exciting and immersive show will feature live animals, video production and live ambassador presenters performers in the park’s Stanleyville Theater.