SeaWorld San Diego Approaches 50th Anniversary

Written by Joseph Thomas. Posted in In the Parks, SeaWorld San Diego, Southern California Parks

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Published on March 24, 2013 at 4:01 am with 14 Comments

Welcome to another Seaworld San Diego update. This week we share photos of the work on the highly anticipated new interactive entrance to the park.  Next up, we consider what might be going on inside of the Mission Bay Theater.  We round things out with our wish list and theories on what could possibly be coming for the 50th anniversary of Seaworld San Diego.

The New Entrance / Explorer’s Reef

The old ticket booths have been repainted.  You can see their blue roof tops.

The cement work is just about done. If you look back at the last update, you’ll see that it wasn’t even close to being done, so it’s going pretty fast.

A closer look at it the new cement.

Not only has the cement work been completed, but the ticket booths are in place and the queue lines are being set

Oh look! A wave!

Inside the park, the walls surrounding the main construction area have been updated with new renderings of the Explorer’s Reef.

Here are the touch pools… (Interesting that there will be touch pools in the entrance, no?)

 

Here is the new entrance…and I absolutely love the design!

If you take a closer look, you’ll notice that the rendering shows a gift shop just inside the entrance.

Here is a look over the wall. Nothing to report…moving on!

Construction Central: Mission Bay Theater

Walls have popped up all over the place surrounding the Mission Bay Theater.

More walls on the side…

 

…and more walls in the back. We assume that this is where the Madagascar attraction will be going in.

The door is open….but we can’t see inside!!!

There are also more walls on the side of the Bayside Skyride. The ride is open, but we’re guessing this will be the meet and greet area. Any other guesses, anyone?

Cirque 2013

This tower has finished its paint job. Now the other one is getting the same treatment.

Here is another look at it.

An interesting new set piece has been placed.

Nothing has been touched on the main set.

A look around the back end of the set.

What’s interesting is that they don’t really use the middle set anymore like they used to. When the show opened, there was a fantastic pyrotechnic effect, and two characters would fly from the main set to the stage in front of the audience.

Here’s a look behind the trampoline set. You can see more set pieces!

BaySide Sky Ride

Stepping from breaking news, we consider the Bayside Sky Ride.  A classic attraction that offers a unique ride above the bay.

Up, Up and Away!

The ride opened up a little less than a month ago after a brief refurbishment, but it’s still in need of a lengthy one.

Despite that, the view is just gorgeous! You really get to see the beauty of Mission Bay and other parts of San Diego.

Oh look, it’s Downtown San Diego!

One question that folks ask a lot these days is why can’t SeaWorld put a water show like World of Color in this stadium? The answer to that would be that the lagoon is part of Mission Bay and holds a lot of wildlife. So sadly, it’s out of the question. It would be a great place for one.

A Brief “This and That”

“SeaLions Live” has reopened.

Journey to Atlantis is in great form.

 

There are new walls on the side of the Pet’s Rule stadium.

While we don’t know what’s going to come here, it seems likely that another concession stand or retail space will be placed here.

Penguin Encounter: It’s Time for Something New

We are actually big fans of these adorable little birds.  So formal, cute, and playful. How could anyone NOT like them?  But with the recent Antarctica addition to SeaWorld Orlando, the mind races at the thought of a west coast expansion.  Let’s see what is here now.

Well, it certainly doesn’t look as cool as glaciers, but lets go in.

This is the entrance.

 

Here is the entrance wall… WHOA what’s that smell?

There used to be water here, looks odd now

You then board a moving platform where you finally meet…

THE PENGUINS!!!…and the person feeding them.

 

Awwwww…aren’t they cute?

 

My favorites are the Emperor Penguins. How can you not love these guys?

 

Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming….


At the end of the day, it’s an okay exhibit. But it’s very outdated and SeaWorld needs to do something. With the restriction SeaWorld San Diego has on building heights, we’re not too sure if we’ll be seeing Antarctica here anytime soon. Perhaps they’ll think of something just as good. Let’s just cross our fingers that it doesn’t turn out to be another Turtle Reef.

50th Anniversary Talk

The 50th Anniversary of the park is just about a year away, and other than the new entrance and Explorer’s Reef, we haven’t heard anything about major new attractions. So, let’s look around and take note of some possible locations where we could be seeing something new in the future.

The Natallius Pavilion, one of the two event centers in the park.

This location is used frequently but sits on a large plot of land. So much land, that if it was demolished, there could be a major development put here. I know what you’re asking: “Joseph, what could they put here?” My answer to your question is Turtle Trek 360 3D. Now, the Natallius Pavilion is not very far from the Turtle Reef aquarium and would be the perfect location for the attraction. However, the problem here is – once again – the restriction on heights placed upon the park. It is not impossible, however, as we all see with Journey to Atlantis. Of course, they can put other attractions here, but I personally think that Turtle Trek would be the best fit.

The next location would be the plaza between Wild Arctic and the Penguin Encounter. A no brainer attraction to bring here would be Antarctica, both the penguins and the Wild Arctic would mesh together quite nicely.

Next on the list, we have the other event center – which is used for Club Atlantis and SnowWorld. This is such an eyesore – even if it is being used. But, the problem with this location is that it is too small to place anything major here. The only thing I can think of would be to make an extension of the Journey to Atlantis plaza.

We would like to end the list with Shamu Stadium. Of course we’re not saying that they should demolish Shamu Stadium, but we would like to see a high-end new Shamu Show.  This would be an obvious choice, since Shamu is the mascot of the park.

What would you like to see for SeaWorld’s 50th?

About Joseph Thomas

Joseph Thomas 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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  • KingEric

    I am loving all of the incredible changes happening at SeaWorld in San Diego and Orlando! Thank you for the wonderful update!

  • Trumpet

    Great Update Jospeh

    They look like they are doing some great things at the park. They should have a great year this year. How does Manta look new, as it has been a while since it opened. I would like to see if the plants have matured and how they look next to the ride.

    Thanks Again Joseph

    Trumpet

    • josephtaylor

      I’ll cover this in the next update. Thanks Trumpet!

  • Ing5

    Oh come on Joseph. Those “new” walls next to Pet’s Rule stadium were there ALL summer. They said it was going to be a ‘fish taco’ stand. First half of the summer it was “under construction”, the last half of summer it was “closed”. Now suddenly, in march you report it as ‘new’.

  • flayrah

    I just hope the 50th anniversary brings invitations for a cast member reunion of all cast from the past 50 years. Some of us would be pretty old, but it would be an honor to be recognized and remembered.

  • Haven

    Very excited to see the new Sea World entrance next year. I believe Sea World San Diego has some of the best gardens & landscaping I have seen in a west coast park. It always does a good job of reminding me of Disney World with so many green lawns and flowering displays. I am sure the new entry will be beautiful. As for Cirque, I do hope they address the stadium seating better during this remodel. When I last saw this show several years back at least on third of the seats were marked “limited view” for the show. I found that to be ridiculous. One row, maybe…but not one third of the stadium.

  • Fernando Mendez

    I have been a member to seaworld for 13 years and before we talk about what needs to be changed lets talk about how much this park has grown!!! This park was tiny the first time i came in kindergarten there was nothing to do! but now we have a newish dolphin show we have journey to Atlantis we even have an actual roller coaster now!!! Ok so now lets talk about what needs to be changed. I think the penguins definitely deserve a new exhibit for sure. I would love to see them tear down the Natallius Pavilion to give the sharks a new home. Next i want to see pets rule go! that show is just horrible and the “christmas” show they put on was even worse…..it was the exact same show with an even lamer story line then usual. I honestly dont know what they would replace it with tho. 3rd i already bought my pass to aquatica and tho i know nothing is going to be added this summer(which im disappointed yet understanding about since they barely bought it) i want to see alot added this off season for next summer!

    • josephtaylor

      I don’t know if Pet’s Rule should be taken out of the park, but I do agree it needs to be majorly refreshed. For a couple years, it went through a lot of changes from when it first opened, but they haven’t really touched it since. Natallius Pavillion is very tricky because it’s the only event center that they really use. The chances of them taking it out are very slim, but it might happen….and I hope it happens.

      • Fernando Mendez

        Yeah it definetly needs to happen it breally is just to much land to just have there! i mean in 13 years i have only seen it been used a handful of times they can defiently do more to it. But hgonestly i want to see them put in a decent amount of work on aquatica! what about you? do you think aquatica will be worth visiting?

  • Bill

    I wouldn’t wish Turtle Trek on any park. The attraction is simply horrendous.

    • Eric Davis

      I completely DISAGREE. The attraction is emotional, and beautiful, and does something that Disney and Universal have not. It is a great experience, and one I gladly stand behind!

  • stamphead

    I don’t think I will visit Aquatica until they add something new (rapids like Orlando?). I went to Knott’s Soak City last September and it was a let down. Adding a few animals and painting everything isn’t enough but it’s in the right direction.

    Pets Rule? Bring back City Streets :)

    The penguins need a new home.

    • Eric Davis

      I would love to see SeaWorld San Diego get Turtle Trek and Antarctica!

  • vonrollskyway1

    As a VonRoll Skyride fan,thank you for showcasing a ancestor to the late Disneyland Skyway.The SeaWorld VonRoll is in need of some more attention.(I ride it at least 10 times every weekend).It defantly needs a fresh coat of paint and rust removal in some minor areas.For a 46 year old ride it shure has stood the test of time even in a harsh salt water enviroment.Im happy that SeaWorld has kept this true iconic attraction.