SeaWorld launched their “Sea of Surprises” celebrations on March 21 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first opening of a SeaWorld park in San Diego which opened in March 1964. SeaWorld Orlando opened on December 15, 1973.
The celebrations will run across all three SeaWorld parks in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio for around 18 months.
SeaWorld is taking a leaf from Disney’s books with their impromptu “Surprise Squads” in the parks every day offering entertainment as well as prizes such as front-of-line passes, reserved seating, discounts, celebration t-shirts, Shamu-themed merchandise and behind-the-scenes animal interactions.
You can also expect more up-close animal encounters with SeaWorld staff showing their animal ambassadors including an alligator, lemur, flamingos, penguins, pelican, eagle and other birds to guests as they walk around the park. Many of the animal ambassadors have been rescued by the SeaWorld Animal Rescue Team.
Look out for “splash dances” featuring a landscaping crew who lose control of their hoses and sprayers near the Nautilus Theater and a “bubble blowout” vehicle which rides around blowing bubbles in the Shamu Happy Harbor area.
The SEA Garden has been completely redesigned and is home to four amazing larger-than-life colourful sculptures made from beach debris and trash by the Washed Ashore Project. Here you will also be able to learn about many of SeaWorld’s animals including many they have rescued.
SeaWorld has also been working on a new night-time killer whale show. It will be called Shamu’s Celebration: Light Up The Night. It starts June 21 with an all new soundtrack, lighting and animal behaviours and replaces Shamu Rocks.
The regular daytime killer whale show, One Ocean, reopens on April 11 in time for Easter, following refurbishment of the Shamu Stadium.
There will also be a new show called “Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation” coming to Orlando plus new interactive apps, games and video content.
SeaWorld is running a Celebration Sweepstakes competition on Facebook with 50 trips to SeaWorld as prizes. The competition is only open to residents of the 48 contiguous states of America; i.e. excludes Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. More details can be found on SeaWorld’s Facebook page here.
As part of the celebrations, both SeaWorld and Busch Gardens have reintroduced the $50 weekday ticket for US residents. Tickets are valid until May 5, 2014.