Surprises Around Every Corner During SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration

50th icon_cropped SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration sculpture lets SeaWorld® San Diego guests know they’ve arrived and that a special celebration is under way.Image: Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld® San Diego

SeaWorld® is having one whale of a celebration! On March 21, 2014 the marine park that is home to world-famous Shamu® the killer whale turned 50.

That’s right, SeaWorld has been inspiring, educating and entertaining guests of all ages for five decades and in honor of this momentous milestone, the park is celebrating in a big way: SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration, featuring a Sea of Surprises, is under way with surprises around every corner at all three SeaWorld parks!

SeaWorld San Diego

The centerpiece of the 50th Celebration at SeaWorld San Diego is a brand new arrival experience called Explorer’s Reef™. With Explorer’s Reef, park guests are immediately immersed into an undersea oasis. This massive construction project has reinvented how guests approach, enter and explore the park. Explorer’s Reef was inspired by waves crashing over a coral reef, as well as up-close encounters with marine life. Visitors actually enter the park beneath an immense wave sculpture that is nearly 30 feet tall and 100 feet long. Then, guests can immediately connect with sea through multiple touch pools featuring sharks, rays and delicate little cleaner fish that gently nibble at guests’ hands when they put them in the water.

Other highlights of the 50th Celebration include even more surprise encounters with animal ambassadors throughout the day and the SeaWorld Surprise Squad roaming the park giving away prizes and special gifts, which could include exclusive access to rides or behind-the-scenes experiences, Shamu-themed merchandise, reserved show seating and more. And, the park’s pathways are filled with impromptu entertainment, such as the Sea Street Band (a lively 10-piece brass and percussion ensemble), the Bubble Blowout (an interactive bubble experience that kids will love!) and Splash Dance (a wacky landscape team that loses control of their hoses and breaks into a comical dance routine).

Explorers Reef Imag

White-spotted bamboo sharks are among the species of marine animals that kids of all ages will be encouraged to reach in and connect with at Explorer’s Reef™, SeaWorld® San Diego’s new arrival experience. Image: Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld® San Diego

The 50th Celebration also highlights SeaWorld’s commitment to the environment and passion for protecting the ocean through a series of giant sea life sculptures on display throughout the parks. At SeaWorld San Diego, guests will find a tufted puffin, trigger fish, sea lilies and sea turtle between Cirque Stadium and the Bayside Skyride. SeaWorld commissioned environmental art group Washed Ashore to use ocean debris to create these large-scale art pieces, which serve as a reminder that our animal friends need healthy environments.

To follow the fun and join the celebration, visit

A bit of SeaWorld’s History

SeaWorld San Diego opened its gates on March 21, 1964. Founded by four University of California Los Angeles graduates, the marine park started out on 21 acres with a small display of marine animals. SeaWorld drew about 400,000 visitors that first year. Five decades later, it has grown into one of the largest and most respected marine zoological facilities in the world. SeaWorld San Diego is now home to more than 27,000 animals.

Information supplied by SeaWorld and correct at time of publication, March 2014


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