SeaWorld Announces 50th Anniversary Celebration for 3 Parks

Written by Norman Gidney. Posted in Breaking News, Features, SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld San Diego

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Published on June 11, 2013 at 9:00 am with 9 Comments

SeaWorld hopes to make a splash with plans for its 50th anniversary in 2014. Promising a “Sea of Surprises,” all three SeaWorld parks (Orlando, San Diego, and San Antonio) will be celebrating an 18 month anniversary blast. New shows, up-close animal encounters, entertainment and prizes will mark the occasion, along with a whole new entry complex for the park that started it all, SeaWorld San Diego.

Reinforcing their year and a half long festival of fun, “Surprise Squads” will roam the parks, awarding special prizes and treats to unsuspecting guests.

MiceChat will be here to bring you more news and information about SeaWorld’s big anniversary as information surfaces.

SeaWorld San Diego New Entrance

Take a walk under the sea. SeaWorld San Diego is well into creating a brand new entrance for its original park that will further immerse guests in the wonders of the Ocean. It is a fitting start to the major re-theme effort which kicks off for the park’s 50th anniversary.

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Designer Brian Morrow (Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, Turtle Trek) is heading the redesign of the San Diego park and has one goal; to get the guests invested in the animals of the park the moment they approach the entry.  The new entrance plaza, called “Explorer’s Reef,” is meant to be a metaphorical journey from shore to seafloor.

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Photo of the entrance construction taken June 10th, 2013. The SeaWorld San Diego Parking Lot is in the distance.

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The Press release for the new entrance states…

The new front gate concept will replace the existing ticket booths with a beach-themed, concierge-style ticketing area that will provide guests with a single location to purchase admission, as well as sign up for tours, animal interactions and dining experiences. Also eliminated will be the glass window between the guests and park’s ticketing service representatives, creating a more open and personal experience.

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We were honored to meet with Brian Morrow last week and he explained that he wants all guests to have their first animal encounter within 30 seconds of entering the park. Located mere feet inside the turnstiles  of the San Diego park, touch pools are being constructed as we speak, where you will be able to interact with sea life.

Both saltwater and freshwater, the 24,000-gallon touch pools will allow guests to connect with sea life in an intimate way. Four hundred brown-banded and white-spotted bamboo sharks, as well as more than 4,000 cleaner fish will highlight the interaction experience. The number of fish in the touch pools will total nearly 5,000.

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Please join us in wishing SeaWorld a very happy 50th anniversary! We hope it’s a splashing success!

About Norman Gidney

Norman Gidney, also known as Fishbulb, produces and edits many of the articles on MiceChat. Tune in every Tuesday for the Orlando Parkhopper and every Friday for In The Parks. But you'll also find his photos in the Weekly Round Up, SAMLAND, and numerous other columns on the site.

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9 Comments

Comments for SeaWorld Announces 50th Anniversary Celebration for 3 Parks are now closed.

  1. They’ve come a long way in 50 years. I’ve been visiting since I was old enough to walk, and I never get tired of going back to visit Shamu, Dolly, and all my aquatic friends. Looking forward to seeing what Brian Morrow and SeaWorld’s creative team have cooked up for this big anniversary!

  2. I can’t wait to see this celebration take shape!

  3. SWSD will officially be 50 on March 21, 2014. Later this year SWO will be turning 40 on Dec 15, and SWSA is celebrating it’s 25th year of opperation as they opened on May 25, 1988.

  4. I’m really hoping for some fun classic logo merchandise. Just last week at Orlando, I already saw T-shirts and other things with the late 80s/early 90s logos. I had to pick one up for the nostalgia factor alone.

    It’s great that SeaWorld has made it to 50, and it’s amazing how much more SeaWorld has become over the years. World class attractions, shows, and great animal exhibits.

    • Me too. I think they are fully aware of the nostalgia factor and we’ll see much more of that sort of merchandise as the 50th approaches next spring.

  5. Smells like “Year of a Million Churros…er Dreams” all over again ;)

    But in seriousness, I’m excited to see how the SWSD entrance pans out…the construction zone is massive relative to the size of that park. And considering how busy it can get in-season, I hope some other new suprises are in store for the 50th. Or at least finish landscaping around Manta.

    • It’s completely year of a million dreams. But I think that will work well for SeaWorld. They’ve made it to the ripe old age of 50, that’s saying something. And I’m totally fascinated that they are using the 50th as a springboard to reinvent the look of the park.

  6. The one thing I hope SeaWorld focuses on is San Diego. Having all three parks involved is great, but they’ve already done enough with Orlando and San Antonio…well, I’m not even going to talk about that. San Diego is the FIRST SW park and it is very much lagging from Orlando, which should not be the case. I get it, Orlando has much more freedom than San Diego, but that doesn’t mean that SD shouldn’t be putting out stellar, E-Ticket attractions, which they haven’t really put out much.

    Here is my wish list:
    1. A new, spectacular Shamu Show: This is something that is direly needed. One Ocean was great as a quick fix for having the trainers being put out of the water, but having an educational themed show, especially one as tacky as One Ocean, is not 50th Anniversary material.

    1.5. A new Shamu NIGHT show: I wouldn’t mind if they revamped Shamu Rocks, but I would prefer a new night show spectacle of some sort.

    2. New attractions! The penguin encounter is immensely outdated and could be replaced with a better version of Antarctica! (I say better version because MOSTLY everything that comes from Orlando is better in San Diego.) They can add Turtle Trek! They can start an entirely new E-Ticket attraction! There is a lot of wasted space in San Diego!

    3. Refurbishments! They can really do some cleaning up with the attractions that they already have! They already made major improvements at the World of the Sea aquarium. Could this be a start?

    We already know that there will be a new resturant and shopping center replacing the Aquarium of the Pacific. I’m hoping that this resturant and Explorer’s Reef aren’t the only attractions that they’ve got planned!

  7. Love that SeaWorld has kept there 1967 Von Roll Skyride. Hats off to them..