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News & Rumors


SeaWorld California
& Aquatica California

San Diego, CA
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment




icon_STOPPark News - (6/3/22) Electric Ocean returns to SeaWorld San Diego from June 4th through to August 14th, as well as an encore over Labor Day Weekend. The park’s Bayside Amphitheater which has been under construction as of late, will reopen over the summer as a new concert facility, with a line-up of performers coming each Saturday over the summer.
    Also new this season is “Adrenaline!”, a “maximum- energy show of extreme stunts featuring America’s Got Talent Star and renowned daredevil Annaliese Nock. Known for holding the Guinness World Record Holder for most somersaults on a Wheel of Death in one minute, this fearless entertainer and cast of performers will have hearts racing as they maneuver through various acts in this all-new exciting show.”
    ElectroBlast will also premier with a “A high-energy bioluminescent percussion show that creates a sensory electronic rhythmic dance atmosphere that captivates audiences of all ages! The rhythm and beats will inspire guests to move and groove to the hip-notic sounds of this energized, immersive musical experience.”
    Don’t forgot the fireworks as IGNITE will return to light the night sky above the park with a show that can be seen from all across the park.
    Visit the official website for all the details and keep an eye on the park’s social media as the performers in the summer concert series get announced.
    (5/15/22) Good news for Howl-O-Scream fans, the park’s new Haunt initiative will return for a second run in 2022 on select dates between Sept. 17 through Oct. 31. You can see details here.
    (5/6/22) SeaWorld San Diego will launch the park’s Viva La Musica event on weekends in May, starting May 7th and ending May 22. “This entertaining offering includes an incredible lineup of headline performances by musical tribute bands plus musical acts playing throughout the day and new festive menu items, the event is sure to spice up the weekends this month. All shows are included with park admission.”
    You can check out the details and the full concert line-up at the official website.
    (4/30/22) While previously we had heard that Skyline Attractions had reopened Tidal Twister at the park once again, we’ve had a steady stream of reports claiming that this was short lived and that the ride was apparently down once again. Even the park’s website now lists the temperamental attraction as being “Temporarily Closed” once again. No word on when it may reopen, but it could be awhile...
    (4/10/22) I haven’t heard much from those visiting SeaWorld San Diego lately, but for those wondering Skyline Attraction did post 4 weeks ago that their Tidal Twister ride at the park is back open. Given that the ride was a bit temperamental in the first place, I’d expect that it may still be suffering from bouts of downtime here and there, but just curious is anyone has ridden this year and if there were notable improvements to the ride experience or not.

    (3/29/22) According to the local news SeaWorld San Diego is said to owe the city about $10 million in unpaid rent that racked up during the pandemic. After months of negotiations the city of San Diego told SeaWorld they needed to start paying their debt in installments starting now otherwise they will have late fees and other penalties added on.
    SeaWorld’s argument however is that they feel the matter and amount of the missed payments is incorrect, based on the fact that the state shut down the park, not allowing it to operate, and that the rent payments were not required while the park was under a mandated closure. During normal operations the payments from SeaWorld are based on a revenue-share style agreement based on both income generated from admissions as well as in-park spending. This is normally higher than the set minimum rent which is said to be $866,775 per month, or $10.4 million a year.
    Other businesses in the area also agree that “a fairer sharing of the burden should have been carried out by the city, just like was done with many other municipal lessors up and down the coast.” “The city is getting 100 percent of rent from lessees who had zero percent of their revenue coming in.”  In addition, when compared to other businesses who were able to minimize their expenses during the mandated shutdowns, being an animal based park, many of SeaWorld’s expenses did not go away at all, so the park feels that they deserve some “special consideration” due to the unique circumstances. For now SeaWorld says they will continue to remain in talks with the city about the situation in the hopes that they can come to an agreement that will work for both parties.
    (3/5/22) SeaWorld San Diego will host the Seven Seas Food Festival at the park starting this weekend and every weekend through to May 1st. The event features live music, entertainment and over 150 new special food and beverage options to try. Drop by the official website for all the details about the event and to see special deals on Food & Drink Sampler passes you can buy in advance.
    (2/4/22) SeaWorld San Diego is hosting an all new Mardi Gras event this year on select dates starting on Feb. 5th through to Feb. 27th. The new family friendly event  will feature a Mardi Gras parade with a live band, as well as colorful music performances and festive performances throughout the park. All new menu items will also be added during the event featuring Mardi Gras-inspired Creole and Cajun cuisine.
    (1/30/22) SeaWorld San Diego - Is Another New Ride In Planning?
    (1/27/22) Park Journey takes a trip to SeaWorld San Diego to check on the park’s off-season refurbishment projects to Journey to Atlantis, Shipwreck Rapids and Tidal Twister, as well as get a peek of Emperor ahead of the grand opening.
    (1/23/22) SeaWorld San Diego has hired Jim Lake to serve as the Park President, who will be the park’s 4th in the past 6 years. Jim comes to SeaWorld with 30 years of experience with Disney and having served as GM of Disneyland and will serve as both President for SeaWorld San Diego and the soon to open (March 2022) Sesame Place San Diego theme park.
    Jim Lake actually arrived back in November to replace the previous President, John Dunlap, who only joined the park in May 2021 before departing for “personal reasons”. If you’ve seen some of our previous reports on other SeaWorld Entertainment parks, Dunlap joins a growing list of past-presidents who departed after very short terms for similar reasons relating to possible disputes with the company’s board of directors.
    (10/17/21) I believe the SeaWorld Skytower in San Diego has been closed since the COVID shutdown in early 2020, but according to a post on FB by Stand With SeaWorld, the cabin seems to be undergoing refurbishment and is now listed as “Closed through Spring” which seems to indicate a plan to reopen it in 2022, maybe around the time Emperor opens. You can also click here to see new artwork for that “Underwater Cantina”.

    (8/29/21) In an interesting post, Skyline Attractions has confirmed that they are working with SeaWorld San Diego to get Tidal Twister back up and running after an extended closure that started with the COVID pandemic. Look for Tidal Twister to reopen in the near future.



icon_STOP2022 - Emperor / B&M Dive Machine - (2/18/22) SeaWorld San Diego has sent us an official POV video of their new Emperor roller coaster (B&M Dive Machine style). Check it out below while we wait for the grand opening to take place on March 12th!

    (1/22/22) SeaWorld San Diego has confirmed that at long last, Emperor, the park’s new dive coaster, will open to guests on March 12, 2022.

    (8/28/21) It’s official, Emperor, the new B&M Dive Machine coaster built for SeaWorld San Diego is now set to open in March 2022.
    (3/16/21) Emperor is now testing again at SeaWorld San Diego and you can see some video footage of it in action below. Looks like the park is trying to finalize all the testing that needs to be done so they will be able to open the new coaster hopefully when the full park experience is ready to return sometime after April 1st guidelines allow for it.

    (8/3/20) SeaWorld San Diego has confirmed that their new Emperor roller coaster will not open until 2021. 
    (3/30/20) For those dreaming of when you’ll get to ride roller coasters again… enjoy this aerial video of Emperor at SeaWorld San Diego, which hopefully will be nearly ready to open once the time is right to reopen the theme parks.

    (3/10/20) SeaWorld San Diego ended yesterday with some fantastic news, showing off the park’s new Emperor coaster (B&M Dive Machine) making a successful test run! Check it out below.

    (2/26/20) SeaWorld San Diego sent out the first detailed look at the Emperor lead coaster car this week along with two other great images showing off various elements of the coaster’s layout. They also reported the official stats of the now complete ride, which will feature a 153 foot lift hill before the 143 foot vertical face-first dive, hitting speeds of over 60mph on the 18 passenger trains (3 rows of 6).

Emperor car

Emperor coaster at SeaWorld

Emperor wide shot

    (11/20/19) At long last SeaWorld San Diego has announced the NEW name for their B&M Dive Machine. Introducing “Emperor”... and yes, it is themed after the Penguin. But would  you believe there are actually a few other Penguin themed coasters out there in the world? I see at least two in North America and one more in China.
    I’ve also determined that this will be the first B&M “D6” Dive Machine to be built in North America, which unlike previous Dive Machines, these trains will only seat six riders across, and feature a smaller track size than the full size Dive Machines.
    (1/7/19) SeaWorld San Diego dropped one hell of a bomb about what they are planning for 2020. They are planning to add a new coaster called Mako, but unlike the Orlando park’s Mako, the version planned for San Diego will be a mini B&M Dive Machine coaster standing 153 feet tall and placed very close to the park’s Journey To Atlantis ride, with a 143 foot vertical first drop. If approved as planned, it will end up being the Longest, Tallest and Fastest Dive Coaster in all of California… which simply means it will be bigger than Hangtime at Knott’s Berry Farm. I would also bet that unlike the sister Dive Machine coasters at the Busch Gardens parks (Sheikra and Griffon) this one won’t feature wide trains, but instead will likely be the more cost friendly “D6” design that only seats 6 riders across each row and uses a smaller size track. The major elements in the layout will be an Immelmann, Hammerhead, Barrel Roll and Flat Spin.


icon_STOP2023/2024 - S&S Screamin Swing - Rumor - (1/30/22) I’m passing on this rumor with a huge grain of salt, but according to the source SeaWorld San Diego now may be in line to add an S&S Screamin’ Swing ride like the new Tidal Surge under construction at the sister park in San Antonio or the Finnegan’s Flyer that was built for Busch Gardens Williamsburg. I’m told that if this goes through, the new ride could replace part of the land used for the park’s failed Submarine Quest ride.


icon_STOP2023/2024 - Wild Arctic Replacement / New Launched Coaster - On Hold - (4/30/22) Last we heard, SeaWorld San Diego was still working over the plans to add a new launched coaster to repurpose some of the former Wild Arctic building, and the land immediately to the east of it, which last time I checked wa just part of the park’s “boneyard”. ParkFans has come across a revised set to those coaster plans, now a little shorter than the pre-COVID version that was once envisioned.

    (10/6/21) Screamscape has been told that there definitely seems to be some progress on putting the roller coaster project intended to replace Wild Arctic back on track once again, after it was abruptly canceled during the early days of the COVID pandemic. According to the new filings, the permit application now does not expire until October 2022, and has the scope of the job listed as “adding a new attraction to the Wild Arctic area of the park. The Project will remove the existing four Wild Arctic Simulators and reuse the existing building for the new rider load station. consists mostly of interior remodel with track extended to the East.”
    Assuming little has changed from the last time this project was being greenlit, the rumored ride was a multi-launch roller coaster that could roam over Arctic themed terrain, and most with cars themed as snowmobiles. If the company followed along from past projects, then this could be similar to the Intamin built Jet Ski themed Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster at SeaWorld San Antonio, but with arctic theming. Wave Breaker features two tire propelled launches (one from stand-still and the other as a speed booster in mid-ride).
    You can catch our video of WaveBreaker below.

    (9/23/21) Before the COVID Pandemic reared its ulgy head, SeaWorld San Diego was working on plans for what appeared to be a multi-launched terrain coaster from Intamin that would use the former Wild Arctic simulator building as a station and queue. The arctic theme was expected to stay with the ride rumored to be themed as a wild snowmobile themed coaster ride experience through a frozen landscape.
    The project was shelved for the time being due to COVID and we feared that might be the last we ever saw of it. While we don’t have any evidence to back this up yet, a tweet from does indicate that the project may be active once again. While they believe it could open as early as 2023, with Emperor not opening until Spring 2022, and if there is still extensive landscaping to be done for the project, I’m thinking this could end up being a 2024 project.
    Anyone else know more?

    (3/13/21) Despite rumors to the contrary earlier this year, a new report confirms that the previously filed permits for SeaWorld San Diego to build a new launched coaster as a replacement for the Wild Arctic simulator ride have now been canceled. In fact, according to the official permit status screen captures they posted, this project was said have been canceled back on March 18, 2020, right around the time that all the theme parks in California were shut down last year.
    We can always hope that the project may just be on indefinite hold and wasn’t going to be ready to proceed before the permits expired, but for now it looks like it will be awhile before the park is ready to proceed with their next big ride. Fortunately they have Emperor up and ready to go for guests this year and it is sure to be a pleaser for the local market for years to come as the first B&M coaster in San Diego.
    (1/11/21) Remember that rumored new coaster that SeaWorld San Diego had in development that would reuse the former Wild Arctic ride building as well as the connected land behind it?  At the time we had speculated that it may have a Snowmobile theme to it, and according to one source the coaster is said to still be in development and planning to finish construction sometime in 2022. I don’t know if this means they are planning to open in 2022, or finish coaster construction in late 2022 with time to add theming and other elements for a possible 2023 opening. Either way, it sounds like SeaWorld is serious about adding this next coaster to the park very quickly, which is probably a good move as this coaster mixed with the opening of Emperor in 2021 should bring a good number of guests back into the park once they are allowed to fully reopen.
    (12/29/19) The local news has confirmed that the last day to ride the Wild Arctic helicopter simulator ride at SeaWorld San Diego will be on January 10th. After that, it will close down so they can begin work clearing it out for a new coaster attraction to open at the park in 2021.
    Please note that the animal habitat side of the attraction will remain open and is not going anywhere. The simulator ride started out as a stand-alone submarine themed attraction called “Mission: Bermuda Triangle” opened in 1994. Internally referred to as MBT (which also stood for Motion Based Theater, because at the time the park technically was not supposed to add “rides”), the simulator ride was a copy of a similar attraction that opened two years before at the Orlando park, and was later cloned at the ill-fated SeaWorld Ohio park. Following in the footsteps of the Orlando park, the MBT simulator was reworked into an arctic themed helicopter ride in 1997 that would take guests for a ride to the article and land at a frozen base station, which was presented in real-life as riders exited the ride and walked into the frozen themed Wild Arctic animal habitat.
    Since the animal side is staying, it isn’t known if the new coaster attraction will attempt the same concept of letting the riders exit through the animal exhibit, or if they might try to reverse the flow of the queue and let coaster riders pass through the animal exhibits while waiting to ride. Of course it is also possible that the new coaster and existing animal exhibit will simply be turned into two entirely separate attraction experiences and not cross over at all,other than to maybe share the same gift shop as an exit point.
    (12/12/19) Behind the Thrills is back with a new update about the 2021 proposed coaster project to take over the Wild Arctic attraction building. This includes a layout of the site showing off what appears to be a multi-launch coaster layout that will repurpose at least half of the Wild Arctic simulator attraction to be used as the queue and station for the new coaster project. As previously rumored, it does look like this may be themed as a wild snowmobile ride through a frozen arctic landscape.
    While they give their impression of how the layout may go, when I look at the layout, I’m seeing a coaster that could actually travel in the opposite direction from the way they think it will go, but at this point, either could be correct and I don’t see any clear markings to indicate the direction of travel yet.
    I will say that knowing the building structure as I do, those simulator rooms are very tall and deep, and while I can see them being used for the coaster for sure, I would almost be disappointed if they didn’t take the opportunity to use this open vertical space for a fun little ‘drop track’ effect, much like on Universal’s Hagrid coaster in Florida, or on Verbolten at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. And while the coaster track in the layout is only shown using up two of the four simulator bays, I know there is underground access from those bays to the two bays on the other side of the building, which could be used for a maintenance shed for the trains as well, unless SeaWorld is planning on keeping two of the simulator cabins in working condition.
    Either way, this should prove to be an exciting and fun ride experience if the layout is even half as fun as Hagrid’s was, with lots of twists, turns, acceleration points and fun themed landscaping to enhance the sense of speed.
    (8/6/19) Back in March the park confirmed that they were looking to replace their old Wild Arctic simulator attraction with a new arctic themed attraction that would be only be 30 feet tall at most. A few ideas have been floated around since then, but a new update from our friends at Behind the Thrills strikes a chord with me, as they claim the idea is to add a new family coaster to the park that would re-purpose the large attraction building for part of the ride experience as well as extend outwards into the parking lot area beyond for the majority of the high speed ride track.
    While they were thinking more along the rides of Premier Rides who just built Electric Eel, I’ve got an entirely other idea that would also perfectly keep the arctic theme. What if this were to be a Snowmobile themed launched coaster featuring multiple launches through a frigid arctic landscape of ice and snow? Think of this as a frozen themed version of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motobike Adventure, but with the cars themed to snowmobiles instead of bikes. The idea isn’t as crazy as it might sound either, as the popularity of Hagrid’s would bring a lot of interest in having this style ride on the west coast, and Intamin did just create a launched Jet Ski themed version for SeaWorld San Antonio called Wave Breaker that opened in 2017. Here is another little known fact, as I was once told that SeaWorld’s Wave Breaker did not start out as a Jet Ski themed ride at all… as the initial concept was said to be for it to have an arctic theme and snowmobile themed vehicles and be located elsewhere in the park, closer to their Penguin Encounter. If any of this is true, it does sound like the corporate office may have dusted off those old plans to build a new and exciting ride concept for SeaWorld San Diego.
    (3/22/19) According to the local news SeaWorld San Diego is looking into ideas to replace the park’s Wild Arctic simulator attraction. A park spokesperson confirmed that after 25-years of service, they are looking to “replace the ride experience at the attraction” with a new kind of arctic themed ride, but one that will be lower than 30 feet in height. Little else was revealed other than that this project is something they are planning for 2021.
    Previous rumors had indicated that the park may have been planning to also renovate the park’s Penguin Encounter this same year, which sits across the plaza from the entrance to Wild Arctic. If this plan is still in the works, it would likely see the animal exhibit completely renovated, much like what was done in Orlando… but without the costly dark ride experience that was added in Florida.
    Fun note… going way way back to the time I spent at this park, there was one a dream of creating some kind of attraction that could sit between the Penguin Encounter and Wild Arctic, that could offer two different experience, one that would offer a trip to the south pole and unload guests at the Penguin Encounter while the other would be a trip to the north pole, dropping guests off inside Wild Arctic. It is also worth mentioning that while the park says it is time to replace the ride… this could be misleading as the sister attraction built at SeaWorld Orlando is a few years older and still operational.



Track Record

SeaWorld California
San Diego, California
SeaWorld Parks & Ent.

Abbreviation: SWC & SWSD
Opened: March 21, 1964

Open: Year Round

Fun Facts:
- The San Diego park was the very first Sea World park, later called SeaWorld California for years before a strange marketing concept wanted to rename the park SeaWorld San Diego, which is just too long and confusing when viewed with SeaWorld San Antonio.
- Several of the visionaries who created Sea World went on to create other parks such as Magic Mountain and Wet ‘n Wild.
- The Walt Disney company seriously considered buying the Sea World chain of parks in the late 80’s from bankrupt HBJ but only wanted the California and Florida parks and not the parks in Texas and Ohio. The chain was instead sold to Anheuser-Busch, marker of Budwesier.

Newest Developments:
2019 - Tidal Twister

2018 - Electric Eel

2017 - Ocean Explorer Realm w/ Submarine Quest  plus Orca Encounter

2015 - Dolphin Days show

2014 - Explorer’s Reef / New Entrance, Taumata Racer (Aquatica)

2013 - Madagascar: Live
and Aquatica

2012 - Manta

2011 - One Ocean, Riptide Rescue & Turtle Reef

2010 - Blue Horizons, Wonders of the River



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