The Blue World Project at all three SeaWorld parks will change the way you see Killer Whales, hopefully forever. The all new project at all three SeaWorld parks will, among other things, greatly expand the tanks at SeaWorld, while giving the guests an all new perspective on the animals themselves, by creating a more naturalistic environment, and getting them closer than before. SeaWorld San Diego will be the first park to open the new tanks, and new environment in 2018. While we are about three years from seeing the final result of this huge new project, some new details have come to light about what guests can expect from the experience.
U-T San Diego has an amazing article that details everything going into the new project, including interviews with key creative members. The article does give a more in depth of several key elements that were not previously mentioned, and does tell just how close guests will get to the amazing pod of killer whales at the park.
There will be several different levels of the new experience, and it all starts on the shore. 350 feet of shoreline will surround the tanks, and will be decorated with rocks, plants, and an altogether natural look. While the stadium and the show will still be there, the shore will help transport guests to the natural environment of the whales.
The whales and guests will be no more than 25 feet away from each other, while completely safe, will give the guests the opportunity to see these creatures on the surface. It will also have several shallow areas, no more than four feet deep, that will have entry levels for the whales to slide on, and rub their bellies.
Guests will follow a path that takes them deeper into the world of the orca, and will put them “feet to fin” with the animals. The area will have the longest acrylic piece, giving guests not only an underwater look at the whales, but also the people who are in the lowest level of the exhibit. Trainers will also be in the water, but in areas separate from the whales, helping to give demonstrations of whale behaviors and information. So the trainers will return to the water…In manner of speaking.
The final level is designed to give goose bumps and inspire. SeaWorld will take guests deeper below the surface than ever before. Guests will come face to face with the majestic creatures in their deep water environment, and see the whales play and interact with each other. The area will feature currents made by huge pumps, which will give the whales another element to play with, and another element for people to watch the behaviors.
The whole path to the bottom will be a journey filled with educational materials and interactive elements, using everything that SeaWorld has built up over the years.
This is not replacing the shows, and in this area there will not be any shows or entertainment, the new area will strictly be an environment
allows guests to see the whales at play, and hopefully make the connection between the ocean that SeaWorld has been trying to inspire with for the past 50 years.