“At SeaWorld San Diego, we’re reinventing the arrival experience of a theme park with Explorer’s Reef,” said Brian Morrow, SeaWorld’s creative director. “Guests will have a new way of approaching the park, entering the park, and exploring the park right off the bat.”
The new 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, 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.
“Explorer’s Reef will transform our guests’ arrival by providing them with unparalleled welcoming services and then transporting them into the world of the sea as they pass under an iconic and stunning wave,” said John Reilly, SeaWorld’s park president. “The promise of SeaWorld will be delivered immediately, giving our guests opportunities to connect with amazing animals as soon as they enter the park.”
Guests will enter the park beneath an immense wave sculpture, nearly 30 feet tall and 100 feet long, giving them the impression of actually entering an underwater world.
“The wave portal came to us as a very simple idea of going to the beach, wading into the shallows and diving into the water,” said Morrow. “We’ve all wondered what that would look like, and that’s what we’re creating with this new arrival experience.”
Once inside the park, the tropical coral-theme design of the new animal attractions, buildings and shade structures will give guests the feeling of walking on the bottom of the ocean. It is in this undersea oasis that visitors will also have their first chance to interact with a variety of fish in four different touch pools.
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.
“The animal experiences will be fantastic at Explorer’s Reef,” said Morrow. “Guests will be able interact with incredible sea creatures, including sharks, rays, skates, horseshoe crabs, and the delicate little cleaner fish will nibble at your hands when you put them in the water.”
Explorer’s Reef, which will encompass more than three acres at the front of the park, will also include new and innovative retail and culinary opportunities for guests.
For more information, visit www.seaworldparks.com/SanDiego.