Just over three months ago, SeaWorld announced at its Investor Day presentation that new conservation-themed rides and experiences would be coming to its theme parks. The time has finally come, and SeaWorld San Diego announced today that it will begin construction on a brand-new realm for guests to explore that will immerse them in the stories of biological researchers featuring a wide variety of unique aquatic species that will be new at the park.
Ocean Explorer at SeaWorld San Diego is going to transport visitors into an all-new realm of the sea, and it will allow them to get a glimpse into what it’s like to be a member of a marine biology research team. The new multi-million dollar expansion set to debut at SeaWorld San Diego will feature a number of new attractions and up-close animal experiences, including several flat rides, a headliner dark ride, and a collection of unique aquariums.
The headlining attraction of the new realm will most certainly be the three-minute long submarine dark ride, which will allow guests to board a submarine research vehicle and traverse the depths of the oceans. Along their journey, they will encounter a series of “sea-base stations,” which will feature one-of-a-kind interactive aquariums, each known as “research pods.” The aquariums will allow guests to marvel and connect with such elusive species as giant octopi, spider crabs, and hundreds of jellyfish.
SeaWorld has also announced that the ride will incorporate incredible new digital technologies, which may relate to the technology partnership with Panasonic announced at the Investor Day presentation.
Some of the unique digital technologies incorporated into the new ride will include onboard digital navigation dashboards in each submarine ride vehicle, which will allow guest to learn about the species they encounter at each sea-base station. The dashboards will be interactive, as riders will be able to collect data on the ride, as well as receive information about the threats these species face in the wild and what they can do to help.
The submarine ride will most certainly be ground-breaking and incredible, but the new Ocean Explorer land will include even more experiences to explore. In addition to several family-friendly flat rides, Ocean Explorer will feature a wave swinger ride, in which guests will fly through thousands of bubbles as they swing around the tentacles of a giant jellyfish.
The “research pod” aquariums will also be accessible to guests not on the rides, and each aquarium will be equipped with interactive educational displays that will incorporate even more ground-breaking technology and visuals teaching guests how they can help to protect these species in the wild.
Ocean Explorer will breathe new life into the park’s current Animal Connections exhibit and Circle of Flags area, which occupies a 3-acre footprint. Construction on the project will begin this summer, and is expected to be complete in spring 2017.