SeaWorld seems to be full of surprises lately and they could all be an indication of a bigger and better things. It all started a couple weeks ago when it was announced Black Stone sold all of their investment stock, and therefore ownership of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, to a Chinese investor company who has a major history with theme parks.
And now, SeaWorld Orlando has announced a brand new, record breaking, water attraction coming to its park in 2018! Couple all this together with the new direction the parks are taking with its animal shows, moving from tricks to a focus on education, and we could be seeing the a brand new SeaWorld evolving right before our eyes!
Coming in 2018 is Infinity Falls, a brand new rapid ride featuring a 40 foot hill, the world’s tallest drop! Riders will climb aboard their 8 person raft before beginning their journey along the freshwater rivers of the rainforest. As they make their way through the jungle, riders will discover ruins of an ancient civilization while encountering beautiful waterfalls and fountains.
The river will soon progress to a more intense section based on world-class category IV rapids before coming face to face with a first-of-its-kind vertical lift before they plunge down the 40′ hill!
Once at the bottom, the raft will drift past Harmony Village, ending the riders’ adventure with a message of inspiration and conservation. And that is what will be one of the cornerstones behind this new attraction. It will be connected to SeaWorld’s new additional focus of education behind conservation and how we are connected to the world, and in particular with this new land, a connection to the world’s rivers.
SeaWorld has released a full backstory to the new attraction. Check it out.
Not long ago, a drone sent to explore the jungles of South America discovered previously-uncharted structures in a remote area along the banks of a freshwater river. A group of explorers and scientists were sent to investigate the discovery. Upon arrival, they set up base camp near an abandoned structure. They studied and explored the river, falling in love with its power and the nature living along its banks. Inspired by the river, they developed a sustainable camp for others to visit and explore so they, too, cold learn more about the jungle and how their connection to the waters of the world.
Infinity Falls will have a 42″ height requirement and will travel through 1520 feet of track. It be located in the back section of the park as the centerpiece of a new rainforest themed area! Guests will be fully immersed under a rainforest canopy while being able to learn about South America and its fresh water ecosystem with interactive activities and exhibits. SeaWorld will even have South American animal ambassadors present in the area showcasing animals native from the areas.
All of this comes as a big move towards SeaWorld’s desire to focus more on water; mainly stories about and our connection to it. It plans to open up a conversation and discuss fresh water ecosystems, the animals which rely on them, and how humanity impacts all of it. But most importantly, how we can make a positive impact.
Infinity Falls and its rainforest themed area marks the beginning of something new for SeaWorld. It could quite possibly be a whole new era for the park and the start of a major transition and evolution of SeaWorld as we know it. For instance, we’ve known for a while now SeaWorld was planning to do away with it’s main Shamu shows and re-purpose them; the shows will now focus on education over pure entertainment. They also closed the popular Blue Horizons dolphin show to do the same.
In recent years, SeaWorld has been adding more and more year-round seasonal events for its guests. They’ve also been moving more towards attractions, but not just attractions, themed attractions and even major themed lands. Infinity Falls is another huge leap forward. To sum all this up, the park is changing from just a marine park with shows, to a theme park with education. Sound familiar?
That’s right. SeaWorld could quite possibly be in the process of becoming just like its neighboring park of Busch Gardens Tampa! A major theme park based all around Africa, housing all kinds of animals, hosting multiple educational shows about the animals, teachings of conservation, all while being home to world class thrill rides!
Now, this is all just speculation, but the timing is there. Black Stone, who never really seemed to have the proper budget for these parks, is no longer the main investor and the Zhonghong Group would most likely want to help the company grow and prosper. SeaWorld is still trying to fix their image after Blackfish and changing what the park is about is a great way to go about doing it. Infinity Falls is just the beginning.
What do you think fellow geeks? Are you excited for Infinity Falls? Do you think SeaWorld is changing for the better? Thanks for reading. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for all of your geeky needs!