SeaWorld has had a rough couple of years, but 2019 ended up being a bright spot for the resort, as attendance rose dramatically and consistently during the first half of the year for the first time in almost a decade. And though the company did see a downward trend towards the end of the year and has had some leadership issues as well, it's been a pretty good year overall with new attractions and announcements keeping fans excited for the future. And speaking of, it looks like 2020 will be bringing a lot of changes to SeaWorld parks that will continue to shift this park's identity.
1. One Ocean Shamu Show at SeaWorld Orlando to end December 31, 2019
One Ocean, the iconic Shamu show at SeaWorld Orlando that has run since 2011, will have its last performance on December 31, 2019, before debuting Orca Encounter, a new educational show where guests will learn about killer whales’ role in the ocean ecosystem, behaviors the animals exhibit in the wild and the importance of conservation to their habitat and animal welfare practices at SeaWorld.
Though this change has been a long time coming (Once Ocean has been phased out at other SeaWorld parks as well), this is another step towards this park's evolving mission when it comes to animal education vs. entertainment. Which will also be reflected in another move, that is coming in January as well...
2. Wild Arctic closing at SeaWorld San Diego to make way for new attraction January 10th
Wild Arctic is one of the longest-running simulation rides in the country, operating for nearly 25 years at SeaWorld San Diego. And while this attraction certainly has its fans, SeaWorld has announced that they will be closing down this simulator attraction on January 10, 2020 to make way for a new experience in the future. We don't know what this experience will be, but it has been confirmed that the arctic animals will still be a part of whatever replaces Wild Arctic at SeaWorld San Diego.
And though rumors abound about the end of Wild Arctic at SeaWorld Orlando, for now at least, this simulator is safe in Florida.