The whole SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment chain is getting ready for a busy 2019 with new rides, attractions, and events coming to almost every park. Along with new additions, the company is also using its capital to restore and renovate existing attractions. Multiple roller coasters are being repainted, including Kumba at Busch Gardens Tampa, Apollo’s Chariot at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and Steel Eel at SeaWorld San Antonio. However, it’s fairly obvious that SeaWorld San Diego is getting the most TLC.
SeaWorld San Diego hasn’t had many renovations in the past few years, mostly because decreases in attendance made it hard to justify costly projects. With the addition of Electric Eel plus and more coasters on the way, it’s pretty obvious that thrill rides is helping the park rebound. As a result, the park needs to update older attractions to keep the park modern. Let’s look at all the additions coming to SeaWorld San Diego in 2019!
New Amphitheater Renovation
Mid-2018 rumors pointed to the closing of Pets Rule!, and it was confirmed last month by the park. However, we didn’t know what would happen to the amphitheater. A post from SeaWorld San Diego finally revealed what the amphitheater’s long-term plans would be.
Following the last show on February 28th, the amphitheater will close down. During the months of March and April, the Pets Rule theming will be taken down to create a venue for concerts during Viva La Musica, which takes place weekends from May 4th through 19th.
Viva La Musica is an amazing event that is back after a hiatus of a few years. With the popularity of events like Seven Seas Food Festival, we can bet that this one will be very popular and full of great food. Plus there’s also the promise of some big name concerts in the new venue.
The renovated amphitheater will then be used for Illuminight during Electric Ocean and O Wondrous Night during the Christmas Celebration.
Tidal Twister, the Skywarp Horizon coming to the Aquaria and tide pool area, is almost ready for vertical construction. The footers have been poured and the station ramps are in place. On Thursday, the park tweeted out a picture of the supports, which should be going up over the next few weeks. Normally, coaster colors this bright wouldn’t be allowed by the Coastal Commission, but the low height of 22 feet allows SeaWorld to go with bright, neon colors for the track and trains.
The Aquaria Reef exhibit will be renovated to show off aquacultured fish from Rising Tide Conservation, but the park has not shared any additional details of what may be coming to the Aquaria or the adjacent Aquarium de la Mer, which housed different species of cephalopods before closing. The large octopus that hung from the Aquarium de la Mer has been removed and will most likely get repainted.
Journey to Atlantis
The new Journey to Atlantis is scheduled to open this spring with many of the original special effects restored. In addition, the buildings are being repainted light blue to blend in better with the sky. This means that all of the SeaWorld San Diego roller coasters except Tidal Twister will be different shades of blue. The area will be mostly aqua blue with white and gold accents. The domes are currently a metallic silver, but that may not be the final color. There hasn’t been any added theming so far, but that may change as the flume area is in the process of being repainted.
It’s great to see SeaWorld investing in renovations to ensure that its exhibits will run smoothly for years to come. The park is poised to make major gains in attendance in the upcoming years, and has a great model with the introduction of both renovated animal exhibits and new thrill rides.