SeaWorld San Diego – Madagascar Live and New Entry Complex

Written by Joseph Taylor. Posted in In the Parks

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Published on February 24, 2013 at 4:01 am with 13 Comments

We have a lengthy park update from SeaWorld San Diego today – developments on the new entrance, a brand new show for the summer, and we’ll take a look around at some developments around the park.

NEW PARK ENTRANCE

The walls are still up on the right side of the entrance.

Construction walls around some of the ticket booths

There are two ticket booths.

Walls have popped up completely surrounding the lawn and blocking off a walkway to the entrance/exit.

However, to keep guests from being completely devastated, they’ve put some interesting photos and text about the history of the park. Next year is the 50th Anniversary of the park.

Here are some of the many photos that tell the history of the park. Take a gander at those logos over the years. Which was your favorite?

1964: SeaWorld opens on March 21st on 21 acres on beautiful Mission Bay. Original attractions include dolphin and sea lion exhibits, Japanese Village, Salt Water Aquarium, Sea Grotto, Hawaiian Punch Village and Theater of the Sea, featuring Sea Maids underwater. Shamu arrives in 1965 and the SkyTower opens in 1969.

 

1970s: The park expands with the opening of the Shark Encounter. The dolphin lagoon shows are smash hits. Guest get first look at sea otter and walruses.

1980s: With more than five million gallons of saltwater, Shamu Stadium opens. The Penguin Encounter has the first public display of emperor penguins in the Western Hemisphere. The City Streets variety show was a big hit.

1990s: Wild Arctic debuts with polar bears, beluga whales, and walruses in Arctic –themed exhibits. Guests interact with dolphins after the opening of Rocky Point Preseve. The rescue, rehabilitation, and return of J.J. the gray whale captures the world’s attention.

2000-today: Since the park opened, SeaWorld San Diego’s rescue program has given more than 6,500 ill, injured, and stranded animals a second chance at life. Guests get drenched on SeaWorld’s first water coaster, Journey to Atlantis. Turtle Reef, the world’s largest exhibit dedicated to sea turtles (cough cough), opens. Manta, SeaWorld’s new mega attraction, combines the thrill of a roller coaster with an interactive experience with bat rays. The Shamu show One Ocean, debuts, inspiring guests to care for the natural world we share.

 

Oh don’t worry, we’ll pardon your splash if you deliver on the new entry complex.

Here is a view from the sky. As you can see they’ve already broken ground.

We assume that this will be the temporary entrance – which is expected to open when the major work begins on the main entrance.

A last look at the area.

Here is a look at what is behind the walls surrounding the main lawn and one of the walkways.

Madagascar Live, A New Show for summer

SeaWorld announced recently that they will be opening a new show called “Madagascar LIVE! Operation: Vacation”. They posted on their Facebook page: “The 20-minute musical show follows the antics of Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, King Julien, Mort and the Penguins during a vacation adventure. The show will feature rock/pop music performed by a live band and include both classic and original songs. The characters also will conduct meet and greets with park guests. Additionally, special co-branded merchandise exclusive to the parks, will be available.” No location has been announced as of yet.

The most likely place we can think that this new attraction would go is the Mission Bay Theater (4D Theater). Speaking of which, all signs for Polar Express 4D and Sesame Street 4D have been removed from the facility.

The place has been stripped.

Madagascar is a popular film franchise and should appeal to families and those who love animated films. Though, we’ve got to wonder why SeaWorld San Diego keeps getting the short end of the stick on new attractions compared to SeaWorld Orlando which is getting the amazing new Antarctica. Does a Madagascar live show motivate you? Will you make a visit to San Diego to see it? If not, what sort of attraction would you like to see at SeaWorld San Diego?

Status on Cirque Stadium 

You may be wondering why we didn’t mention Cirque Stadium as a possible location. While nothing has been confirmed or announced, there is – what seems to be like a legitimate casting website looking for acrobats and clowns for “Cirque De La Mer 2013”. You can check out the website here: http://www.world-ent.com/employment/

It seems like they couldn’t find a suitable show to bring to the stadium. It’s not a very easy place to put a show. The area is connected to Mission Bay and that brings a host of complications.

After last year, we’re happy the show is coming back. But it would be nice to see things freshened up a little.  What are your thoughts.

A Look Around Fresh Water Aquarium & Garden of Discovery 

Let’s look around the Fresh Water Aquarium and Garden of Discovery for the last time before they’re removed.

The place has seen better days. But the fish still look wonderful.

On my way out, I noticed this sign. I checked my watch and I was just in time, sooooo…

For about five minutes, none of the fish seemed to notice – or care – that there was anything there. All of sudden one fish takes a bite and…

…more fish join the party. But again, nothing like the movies. It wasn’t even a swarm. The majority of fish didn’t care.  They must be depressed about having to move.

While it is good that they area is being refreshed we are not too thrilled about the whole thing being turned into a restaurant.  We shall see how this plays out.

Here is the Garden of Discovery. Let’s discover it, caption free.

A little of this, and a little of that.

Manta – the ride, not the aquarium – was down for refurbishment.

The lagoon was dried up. Maybe it can get repainted…

Some tests were going on.

Work was also being done on the back half of the ride, you know…the part where the lack of landscaping and theme makes you cry?

TURTLES!

The SkyTower lagoon was being drained as well.

Just a reminder: Aquatica is coming this summer. We are really REALLY excited to see how SeaWorld rethemes the old Knott’s Soak City .

 

For more SeaWorld goodness, check out the latest edition of MiceChat’s SeaWorld Podcast:

That’s it for this week’s update! How would you like to see the park celebrate its 50th anniversary. I look forward to reading your comments and if you have any questions or anything you want to see in the next update.

About Joseph Taylor

Joseph Taylor writes many of the In the Parks articles relating to Sea World and the surrounding San Diego attractions for MiceChat. He is an avid theme park and roller coaster enthusiast centered in Southern California.

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  • Trumpet

    Great Update Joseph

    I can’t wait for the new entrance. It loks like it is going to be big. It is nice that they have the history of the park on the work walls. It gives guests something to do.

    Thanks Again Joseph

    Trumpet

  • http://micechat.com Dusty Sage

    I love the original park logo with the fish globe. So retro.

    I think the Madagascar attraction will really help this park reach the family demographic that they target. It’s just a show, but the animal theme fits in a lot better than the Pirates and Sesame Street attractions they attempted before.

    50 years coming right up. They need to do something bigger than just a new entry complex.

    • josephtaylor

      It would be really disappointing if there weren’t a few big things lined up for the 50th Anniversary. I’d love to see something done with Wild Arctic and the Penguin Encounter, maybe something similar to the Antarctica attraction at SWOrlando.

    • Westsider

      I agree, the 1960′s logo was the coolest. They need to bring an updated version of that back. The current one is the worst, with the weird Star Trek arrow thing meaning absolutely nothing.

      Bring back the 1960′s cool logo Sea World! Stop being so bland and corporate!

  • Fernando Mendez

    I’ve had passes to sea world San Diego for 12 years!!!! this park has grown with me. and the nice part is that this park isnt done growing yet! i cant wait for the new aquatica!

  • jackmurphy1969

    Sea World San Diego has expansion problem s because of its location. Its on leased land in a city park and on the water. Any expansions have to be approved by the city and the California Coastal Commission. Neither entity is interested in Sea World expanding due to environmental and infrastructure issues.

    • josephtaylor

      It’s very sad that they can’t expand and that they have a height restriction. There is a ton of empty space next to the park that could be used for more exciting attractions (or Aquatica could have been built there – instead of putting it a little over twenty minutes away). Now, it isn’t impossible for them to exceed their limitations. Journey to Atlantis was a huge triumph for SeaWorld, and what they should do is bring more attractions – like the TurtleTrek 360 3D and Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin – and present them the same way they did with Journey to Atlantis. It’s not impossible!

  • Eric Davis

    Wonderful update Joseph! Please keep them coming! I love seeing all the projects happening at SeaWorld San Diego! it is so exciting!

  • danielz6

    It bothers me.that they have a Manta ride but no real Manta on display. Its a fine coaster, but ultimately I go to sea world for the animals, and I think they should show a real Manta if they’re going to have this area themed to the Manta. There’s plenty of room for a Manta enclosure, just get rid of that awfully plain Cirque stadium…plenty of space there.
    Also I think sea world San Diego has a lot of room to expand because they have a huge parking lot that can be used for expansion.

  • SanDiegoAl

    Sea World has indeed confirmed that the Madagascar show will be in the former 4D theater.

    • Eric Davis

      There are so many incredible changes coming to SeaWorld San Diego!

  • Baba

    The even hint of a cirque show returning is such a major disappointment. The show was just horrible and should have never stuck around as long for more than a year or two. I am in no way the target audience here, I rather see a generic stunt type of show here. Jumping, falling, jet skis etc. They need a good action show there bad. All the current show are all ‘aww how cute’ or ‘thanks for teaching me’ type of shows. A good non-cutsie, non-educational action packed show is what they need if for no other reason a change of pace and to appeal to a different crowd.

  • vonrollskyway1

    Im very suprised SeaWorld didnt put anything historical about the skyride.Built before the Skytower in June 1967. Real happy Seaworld has kept it running..