We have a special SeaWorld article for you today featuring an interview with the Corporate Vice President of Entertainment for SeaWorld Parks, Dennis Wirzman. He’ll give us a glimpse of what’s in store for the 50th Anniversary of SeaWorld, along with some great news about shows, parades and more! We also look at the 3 new attractions coming to Aquatica in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio, and we wrap up looking at Christmas decorations now up at SeaWorld Orlando and a brand new episode of the Unofficial SeaWorld Podcast. Let’s dive in. . .
Interview with Dennis Wirzman – Corporate Vice President of Entertainment
With 2013 winding down, and the holiday season now in full swing, we were able to sit down with Dennis Wirzman to talk about the upcoming floats in the Macy’s Holiday Parade, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parades, along with some surprises to keep an eye out for during the upcoming Sea of Surprises Celebration starting March 21st at SeaWorld in San Diego, Orlando and San Antonio.
MiceChat: For people who might not know, what is the “Sea of Surprises“?
Dennis Wirzman: The Sea of Surprises is SeaWorld’s 18 month celebration of delighting guest for 50 years! This kicks off next year on March 21st, in all 3 SeaWorld Parks. We have been working more than a year developing some new guest experiences that we think are going to be wonderful and delightful! We are excited about them and can’t wait to premier them next year!
MC: What can guests expect next year when they visit SeaWorld during the Sea of Surprises?
DW: Our current in park offerings are a tough act to follow! The guest experience in the park is terrific, the animal interaction, the shows, and our team members are incredible, and the challenge for us is how do you top that?
So, we will be premiering new and different animal interactions than you have ever experienced before. We will debut some new music in the parks! We will have some new decor in the parks, that will bring the celebration to life. And we are developing a NEW nighttime show in the parks, which will have some great new music.
MC: One of the items that was announced early as part of the Sea of Surprises was that you would have floats in both the Macy’s Holiday Parade and the Pasadena Tournament of Roses. Why did you decide to have floats in both parades?
DW: Both of these parades are iconic, they are family centric, and we all remember watching them with our families. The Macy’s Parade kicks off the Holiday Season, and the Rose Parade kicks off the New Year, and we wanted to be part of both of those celebrations. We thought it was a perfect opportunity to share the spotlight with those two events, and we want to help people get excited for this event kicking off in a few months.
MC: Will you be using the same float in both parades, or are you going to be using different floats in each parade?
DW: We will have two different floats. The Macy’s float is designed and built by the Macy’s Parade Studio, we work closely with their design team, and we have had a great time collaborating with their team with a lot of sculpted foam, it has a nice and beautiful undersea environment theme. Very beautiful and very realistic. We are very excited about that.
Then with the Rose parade, one of the rules is that all of the visible elements must be live flora. We worked closely with them on the design, and this year, the theme is “Dreams Come True” and when we heard that we thought what a perfect connection for us as well, because as guests come to our parks and connect with the ocean, we make dreams come true! The float is based on a little boy who is about to dive and discover the wonder and the beauty under the sea.
MC: Are there any celebrities we should keep our eyes open for who will be riding the Macy’s Holiday Parade Float?
DW: Well that is top secret, but we will share it with MiceChat and the Unofficial SeaWorld Podcast. On the Macy’s Float we will have Titus Burgess, a famous broadway singer (who originated the role of Sebastian in the Little Mermaid on Broadway) and Beverly Stauton a singer on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars! We are thrilled that they are joining, and they will be singing a song that fans will be familiar with from One Ocean titled “One Song.”
MC: And who can we expect to see on the Rose Parade float?
DW: On the Rose Parade float, people will recognize some familiar faces of Team Members from SeaWorld who you have seen on daytime talk shows, or on ABC’s SeaRescue TV show.
MC: Is there any hint of surprises we should be looking forward to as part of the 50th Celebration?
DW: I’ll give you one word… Bubbles.
We cannot wait to experience SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration the Sea of Surprises, and we will have more coverage on this 18th celebration as it nears!
New Attractions coming to Aquatica in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio
A few months ago, SeaWorld started teasing on twitter that #NothingTaller was coming to Aquatica Orlando, and since then there have been numerous announcements about additions coming to all three Aquatica parks!
After months of rumors and speculation, it has finally been revealed that Aquatica Orlando will be getting the tallest and steepest multi-slide drop tower in Orlando called Ihu’s Breakaway falls named after Ihu Aquatica’s colorful gecko. Here is the teaser video, demonstrating how terrifying this attraction will be when it opens in 2014.
Aquatica San Diego
In October, SeaWorld announced that the brand new Aquatica in San Diego would be getting a new 375ft long slide named Taumata Racer that will be open by Memorial Day weekend 2014. This racing ride, will send riders through a 180 degree turn through a tunnel and then down a steep slope before they cross the finish line at the bottom.
Aquatica San Antonio
Aquatica San Antonio’s announcement went in a completely different direction, than the other two Aquaticas. Instead of a new slide, Aquatica in San Antonio, is going to be adding a whole new experience, taken from Discovery Cove in Orlando. Aquatica San Antonio, will be adding a free flight aviary, that will have the lazy river pass through it, and also have a relaxing area for guests to unwind and chill as they watch beautifully colored birds from all over the world fly over head. With this addition Aquatica in San Antonio is quickly becoming an incredible hybrid water park/boutique park.
Christmas Set Up at SeaWorld
Before we can get to 2014 with the Sea of Surprises, and the new attractions at all 3 Aquatica parks, we still have an incredible Holiday Season ahead of us at SeaWorld Orlando. From November 23rd to December 31st, SeaWorld Orlando throws what most consider the best Holiday Celebration in Central Florida. With 7 special shows and attractions included with your daily park admission, it is an incredible family friend Holiday event.
Christmas Tree Up and Decorations
When you enter the park, the beautiful towering Christmas tree is now up, and all around the park you can find Christmas trimmings around buildings and light poles turned into snowmen.
On the Waterfront you will find the village decked out and ready for the holidays, with lights and decorations everywhere.
Sea of Trees
On the lake between the Waterfront and Shamu Stadium is the Sea of Trees, a beautiful water and light show that will take place at night during the Holidays.
That wraps up our SeaWorld coverage. We will be back soon with more news from SeaWorld Orlando and San Antonio as they both get ready for a great Holiday season. But until then, enjoy a new episode of the Unofficial SeaWorld Podcast with your hosts Eric and Mike as they interview an Former SeaWorld Killer Whale trainer about why people love SeaWorld and why you should love SeaWorld too!