Back in November, SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby gave a presentation on the future of the SeaWorld parks. In the presentation, he showed imagery of a number of new rides, one of which was a submarine themed dark ride.

Today, SeaWorld San Diego announced this dark ride, ‘Ocean Explorer,’ will be coming to the park. The attraction is set to open in 2017, combining interactive dark ride technology and live marine life.

First, guests will embark in mini-submarines. Then, guests will collect data and learn how to help animals. There will be onboard navigation and other surprises throughout the three minute journey. The ride will feature a message of conservation and is intended to spark interest in marine life.

In addition to the submarine dark ride, there will also be a wave swinger attraction in the expansion. Guests will hang on swings themed to the tentacles of a giant jellyfish as they swing through bubbles. “Three family-friendly rides will round out the fun of this immersive, new attraction” according to the park, so there is certainly more to be heard about this project!


Along with the rides, this new experience will feature multiple new animal exhibits. There will be hundreds of colorful jellyfish, giant pacific and tropical octopi, and Japanese spider crabs featured in the attraction.

Construction is set to begin on the three acre attraction this summer. It will be located where the Animal Connections exhibit and Circle of Flags currently stand. The attraction will open in Spring 2017.

My Take – This attraction sounds like it could be a fantastic dark ride. The implementation of technology, marine life, and conservationist message could combine into a fantastic attraction. But, my only concern is whether or not this will be another ‘flop’ like Antarctica at SeaWorld Orlando. Although I have not experienced the dark ride myself, several members of the theme park community see it as a major flop for SeaWorld. Hopefully, SeaWorld has learned their lesson on the attraction, and has improved upon Antarctica. I am hopeful for this ride and I cannot wait to hear more about what it is!

What do you think of this new dark ride? Do you think it will be another ‘flop’ like Antarctica was? Let us know in the comments and be sure to follow Theme Parks and Travels on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for more information! You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel! Finally, don’t forget to give our west coast correspondent, Michael, a follow on Twitter and Instagram!

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