SeaWorld San Diego is all set to premiere their huge new Ocean Explorer and Orca Encounter area on May 31st. While we will be there for the grand opening, we got an all new sneak peek at the new attractions over the weekend, thanks to Nicholas Pelisek over at ZooNation. While the new Sub attraction wasn’t open, and SeaWorld still had to add a few animals yet, we got a good look at what to expect when the new area and attractions open this week.
Ocean Explorer is set up as an all new area, rather than just a single attraction. Guests will dive down into the new area, and will get to explore many different new attractions, including tons of new animals, and the all new Submarine Quest attraction. The new area is designed to immerse guests into a fun learning environment, all while seeing new animals.
The area will feature a ton of new aquariums, and new smaller attractions. The area is aimed at guests between the ages of 3-12, and is ideal for those who love to learn more about the ocean around them. The area also features a new cafe and shop. We will have more on everything in the new area in the coming days, as we dive into Ocean Explorer ourselves.
Guests will notice that the maps have also changed, with all the new names, and new attractions. The biggest is, of course, the removal of Shamu from the map. Instead we have the Orca Encounter. This reflects the new direction of the park.
One of the most anticipated changes is the Orca Encounter. One Ocean closed at the beginning of this year to make room for a new set, and new show. The Killer Whales are still at the park, and have never left. Instead of using the blanket term, Shamu, or the familiar “Killer Whale” they have opted instead to go with Orca. Orca Encounter features a new set, which is designed to mimic the natural area of the animals. It’s a great new setting, for a more educational show.
Of course, the stars of the show are still the whales. The animals and trainers still interact with each other, and the audience, but on a less showy scale. The animals use more natural behaviors, and will not perform things such as dancing, kissing, and other acts. There is still plenty of splashing, and more fun. The show has been in technical rehearsals all weekend.
Want to see even more pictures from the soft opening? Check out the slideshow below.