The SeaWorld Parks family has all sorts of new and exciting attractions, shows and events coming up in 2017. New additions include new rides at three theme parks, a virtual reality experience and a new orca presentation. These additions will provide family thrills, unique learning experiences and a deeper understanding of SeaWorld’s commitment to conservation.
From the press release …
“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. We want our guests to share experiences that matter, and our 2017 additions truly reinforce that mission.”
SeaWorld San Antonio – Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster (summer 2017)
Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster, inspired by riding a jet ski, combines the thrill of the sea with the adrenaline of a multi-launch roller coaster and the inspiration of animal rescue. The ride’s unique jet ski-style car design is the first of its kind in North America. Riders sit in a straddled seating position, which allows for leaning into a series of banked and serpentine turns. Riders can grip the handlebars as they race over hills and a pair of high acceleration launches.
Wave Breaker is inspired by the Emmy award-winning show “Sea Rescue.” The roller coaster allows guests to race alongside SeaWorld’s heroic animal care team and veterinarians as they jet into action to help animals in distress.
Along with being a thrilling ride, Wave Breaker brings awareness to the efforts of the SeaWorld animal teams as they join forces with organizations around the world to help ill, injured, orphaned and abandoned animals such as dolphins, sea turtles and other marine animals. The interactive queue tells the story of rescue missions and invites guests to become involved in SeaWorld’s efforts to protect animals.
Wave Breaker stats:
- Reaches heights of up to 61 feet
- 2,600 feet of track, most of which is directly over the water of the park’s Ski Lake
- Minimum height requirement of 48 inches
SeaWorld San Diego – Ocean Explorer (summer 2017)
SeaWorld San Diego will unveil Ocean Explorer, a new three-acre realm that combines multiple aquariums, exciting rides and digital technologies. The area is designed to engage park guests in an experience centered on exploration and adventure, which in turn will inspire them to protect the world’s oceans. The new realm will feature five new family-friendly rides, including a wave swing ride where guests will fly through thousands of real bubbles in chairs suspended from the tentacles of a giant jellyfish.
In Submarine Quest, the area’s signature attraction, guests will be adventurers on a scientific exploration as they travel aboard submarines to see Ocean Explorer’s undersea animals. This three-minute experience will include an onboard digital navigation dashboard as well as a few other surprises that are designed to enhance guests’ understating of our fragile ocean environment.
The heart of Ocean Explorer is a series of undersea research bases housing specially-designed aquariums and interactive displays. These displays will showcase unique and elusive ocean animals like giant octopuses and moray eels as well as huge spider crabs and spiny king crabs. The crab species are new to SeaWorld San Diego.
SeaWorld San Diego – New Orca Encounter (summer 2017)
SeaWorld San Diego will introduce a new, inspiring and educational orca encounter rather than the theatrical shows of past years. These live documentaries will focus on orca enrichment, exercise and overall health. The encounter will also delve into topics such as research, rescue, conservation, habitats, husbandry and care and social structures.
The new Orca Encounter will be based on orca behavior and teach guests things such as:
- What they eat
- How they hunt
- How they navigate
- How they communicate
SeaWorld’s new orca concept is designed to help guests gain a deeper appreciation and respect for the orcas as well as the desire to help preserve their future. This is part of SeaWorld’s ongoing commitment to education, marine science research and the rescue of marine animals. This change starts in the San Diego park, and it will be followed by Orlando and San Antonio by 2019.
SeaWorld Orlando and San Diego – Electric Ocean (summer 2017)
Electric Ocean is a brand new, end-of-day spectacular event. As the sun goes down, the lights and energy go up, and the ocean comes to life with bioluminescent lighting, music and entertainment to immerse guests in a glowing sea of wonder. It debuts next summer at SeaWorld parks in Orlando and San Diego.
SeaWorld Orlando – Kraken (summer 2017)
SeaWorld will debut its first digitally enhanced ride experiences as the legendary Kraken roller coaster is revamped and 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 Kraken. A custom digital overlay with uniquely designed headsets, fully integrated both mechanically and electronically into the coaster train, deliver a one-of-a-kind adventure. The addition of VR to this fan favorite coaster brings a new level of excitement and interest to Kraken for new and returning guests.
SeaWorld Orlando – Dolphin Nursery (summer 2017)
SeaWorld Orlando’s Dolphin Nursery becomes more interactive as guests will have the opportunity to see mothers and baby dolphins up close like never before. Large scale acrylic windows will be created to offer better guest viewing, including multiple levels to provide children with a face-to-face perspective of the baby dolphins. New slide out areas and a lifting floor will allow much easier access to mothers and babies for the veterinary and animal care teams.
Multi-purpose digital displays will allow SeaWorld educators to share information about dolphin behavior, biology and conservation with guests in new ways.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg – InvadR (spring 2017)
InvadR, a new wooden roller coaster, joins Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s coaster collection in 2017. The family thrill coaster is the park’s first wooden coaster and the eighth roller coaster in its line-up.
- Minimum height requirement of 46 inches
- More than 70 foot drop
- Nine airtime hills
- More than 2,100 feet through wooded terrain and an underground tunnel
- Wooden track on steel supports
Located in the New France village, the coaster’s theme puts riders in a battle between a group of invading Vikings and the villagers. In a unique industry move, fans have been given opportunities to vote on ride details, theming and even the name.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay – The Wildlife Docs Live (May 2017)
A live version of the stories from the Emmy-nominated weekly show will feature live animals, video production, live ambassador presenters and performers. Presented in the park’s Stanleyville Theater, “The Wildlife Docs Live” is directed by Broadway director and choreographer Jeff Whiting.
SeaWorld Orlando, San Antonio and San Diego and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Williamsburg – Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer & Friends (Christmas 2016 and continuing into 2017)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and friends Clarice, Bumble, the Abominable Snow Monster and Yukon Cornelius will be making their debut as part of the 2016 Christmas celebration events. Expect Rudolph-themed attractions and lots of other fun moments with these classic characters.
Rudolph & Friends will return for the 2017 season with additional Rudolph-themed experiences for families to enjoy the Christmas spirit.
2017 SeaWorld Park Events
- Seven Seas Food Festival – SeaWorld San Diego, San Antonio and Orlando (new for Orlando)
- Lunar New Year and Wild Days – SeaWorld San Diego
- Just for Kids and Summer Nights – SeaWorld San Antonio
- Food & Wine Festival and Bier Fest – Busch Gardens Williamsburg
- Red Carpet Series – Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
For a complete list of events, rides and attractions, please visit SeaWorldParks.com.