SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Unveils New Attractions For 2017

27 Sep 2016

SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. today announced its extensive line-up of new attractions, shows and events for 2017, including Florida's first virtual reality roller coaster at SeaWorld Orlando.

SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: SEAS), a leading theme park and entertainment company with 12 destination and regional theme parks, today announced its extensive line-up of new attractions, shows and events for 2017. The announcement includes major new ride additions at three of its theme parks; a virtual reality experience in Orlando, a new orca presentation in California, and new shows and events at many other park locations.  All totalled, the company will invest approximately $175 million in capital spending, one of the largest new attraction years in its more than 50-year history.

Highlights include:

Kraken® Virtual Reality (VR) Roller Coaster, SeaWorld Orlando - Summer 2017

SeaWorld will debut its first digitally enhanced ride experience as the legendary Kraken roller coaster is transformed into a virtual reality (VR) roller coaster experience.  This thrill ride will be the only VR coaster experience in Florida. Guests will embark on a deep sea mission alongside sea creatures inspired by extinct and legendary animals of the past, including the mighty Kraken.  A custom digital overlay with uniquely designed headsets, fully integrated both mechanically and electronically into the coaster train, delivers a new one-of-a-kind adventure.  The addition of VR to this fan-favourite brings a new level of excitement and interest in Kraken, for both new and returning guests.

Dolphin Nursery, SeaWorld Orlando - Summer 2017

SeaWorld Orlando’s Dolphin Nursery will become more interactive in 2017, giving guests the opportunity to see mother and baby dolphins up close like never before. Large-scale acrylic windows will be created offering better guest viewing, including multiple levels to provide children a face-to-face perspective with baby dolphins.  New slide out areas and a lifting floor will allow for easier access to mom and baby for the veterinary and animal care teams. The next generation of multi-purpose digital displays will allow SeaWorld educators to share information about dolphin behaviour, biology and conservation with guests in new ways by interacting with education and animal care video content.

Ocean Explorer, SeaWorld California - Summer 2017

SeaWorld California will unveil Ocean Explorer, a new 3-acre realm combining multiple aquariums, exciting rides and digital technologies. The area is designed to engage park guests in an experience centered on exploration and adventure, inspiring them to protect the wonders of our oceans.

In the signature attraction for the realm, called Submarine Quest, guests will be adventurers on a global expedition of scientific exploration, travelling aboard submarines to see Ocean Explorer’s remarkable undersea animals. Embarking on these mini submarines, visitors will become researchers on a mission to collect data and learn how they can help protect animals. This three-minute experience will include an onboard digital navigation dashboard, as well as a few other surprises along the journey, enhancing the riders’ understanding of our fragile ocean ecosystem.

The heart and destination of Ocean Explorer will be a series of undersea research bases housing specially-designed aquariums and interactive displays that showcase unique and elusive ocean animals like giant octopuses and dozens of moray eels, as well as huge spider crabs and spiny king crabs. Both crab species will be new to SeaWorld California.

The Ocean Explorer realm will feature five new family-friendly rides in total, including an exhilarating wave swing ride where guests will fly through thousands of real bubbles in chairs suspended from the tentacles of a giant jellyfish.

New Orca Encounter, SeaWorld California - Summer 2017

SeaWorld California will introduce new, inspiring, educational orca encounters, rather than theatrical shows, as part of its ongoing commitment to education, marine science research, and rescue of marine animals. These live documentaries will focus on orca enrichment, exercise, and overall health. This change will start in its California park next year, followed by Orlando and then San Antonio by 2019.

The new Orca Encounter will be based on orca behaviour in the wild: what they eat, how they hunt, how they navigate and how they communicate, helping guests gain a deeper appreciation and respect for the orcas and empowering them a sense of determination and purpose to help preserve the future of these majestic animals.  This new encounter will look at broader themes such as research, rescue, conservation, habitats and distribution, husbandry and care, and social structures.

The new behavioural-based orca experience, will inspire as well as educate guests about the majesty of these complex creatures, and reinforces the company’s commitment to provide educational experiences with the park’s resident orcas.

Electric Ocean, SeaWorld Orlando and California - Summer 2017

Electric Ocean will debut next summer at SeaWorld parks in Orlando and California as a brand new, end-of-day spectacle event. As the sun goes down, the lights and energy go up, offering guests a different kind of fun after dark. The ocean comes to life with bioluminescent lighting, music and pathway entertainment, immersing guests in a glowing sea of wonder.

The Wildlife Docs™: Live, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay - May 2017

A live version of the great stories from the Emmy nominated weekly show, featuring live animals, video production, live ambassador presenters and performers in the park’s Stanleyville Theater. The show is directed by acclaimed Broadway director and choreographer Jeff Whiting.

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer® & Friends, SeaWorld Orlando, California, and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay- 2016 Christmas events, continuing in 2017

Beloved Christmas character Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and friends, including Clarice, Bumble, the Abominable Snow Monster and Yukon Cornelius, and Rudolph themed attractions will be making their debut as part of the 2016 Christmas Celebration events at SeaWorld parks in Orlando, Florida, and California, and Christmas Town at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida.  Rudolph & Friends will return for the 2017 season, with additional Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer-themed experiences for families to enjoy the Christmas spirit even more.

2017 Events

SeaWorld and Busch Gardens deliver year-round fun with special events at each park. Seven Seas Food Festival, a popular music and food event at SeaWorld in California and San Antonio, is now coming to Orlando in 2017. SeaWorld Orlando’s popular music and food events will expand to a total of 14 weekends and roll-up under the Seven Seas brand. Other park events include: Lunar New Year and Wild Days at SeaWorld California and the Red Carpet Series at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

“We are extremely excited with the scope and depth of the new attractions and events coming to our SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks in 2017,” said Joel Manby, President and Chief Executive Officer of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. “In developing new experiences we want guests to have fun, but also be inspired, and our parks are uniquely suited to create meaningful and fun vacations.”  He added, “We want our guests to share experiences that matter, and our 2017 additions truly reinforce that mission.”

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