Today was the first day of IAAPA and to kick things off, I attended a press conference by SeaWorld that talked about all the great strives they have made in 2018 and all the things to look forward to in 2019. And let me tell you, there is a lot to look forward to.
I had a good spot!
To start, they talked about all that they have done this year by interim CEO John Riley. They have made several eco friendly choices like removing plastic shopping bags, straws and lids, built new rides that people want to ride (such as the brand new Infinity Falls), and they were recently named “Best Theme Park” by the Orlando Sentinel. But what good company focuses JUST on what they have done and not what’s next. Not SeaWorld, they then fired off all that they have in the works for next year.
They started out with Tigris, the new roller coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa that is themed to tigers (finally!). It boasts 3 launches, the most in Florida. They then talked SeaWorld San Antonio with 3 new turtle themed experiences. Two rides, Riptide Rescue and Sea Swinger, and Turtle Reef, a walk through attraction to look at turtles, will be added there. Busch Gardens in Virginia will get Finnegan’s Flyer, a swinging attraction, and a new water coaster at their Aquatica which will be the first in Virginia. Aquatica at Orlando will also receive a new water slide call Karekare Curl.
The two biggest announcements made were related to SeaWorld Orlando and San Diego. The latter will be receiving a new roller coaster named Tidal Twister. It will feature dueling elements and some amazing thrills. Orlando will be receiving a full land based on Sesame Street including a daily parade and feature Super Grover Box Car Derby. Sadly, they did not say how to get there.
The real MVP of the conference was Elmo showing up.
So that was SeaWorld’s breakneck speed press conference. They talked about so many major things in 15 minutes (like a Nintendo E3 Direct). Overall, it seems like SeaWorld is doing their part to keep their growth going at a great rate, and based on these announcements, it looks like this will keep happening.