SeaWorld unveils plans for new Dolphin Habitat opening in 2016

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March 06, 2015
SeaWorld San Antonio announced today that the park will begin construction this spring on a significant addition that will open in 2016. This project, one of the largest single capital investments in the park’s 27-year history, will include a revolutionary new area for dolphins located in the northern part of the park.  These changes will nearly double the size of the park’s dolphin pool and allow guests to experience these amazing mammals in new, more powerful ways.

The habitat will be dramatically transformed into two new ways to experience dolphins. First, SeaWorld guests will finally be able to go beneath the water’s surface to see dolphins swimming and playing underwater. Large viewing panes for underwater viewing will allow guests to see how these magnificent creatures swim, interact and play from an entirely new vantage point. But the most dramatic change to this area is the introduction of a new facility that will allow guests to swim with dolphins in a naturalistic environment. The new addition, which will be named Discovery Point, will borrow its look and feel from the company’s Discovery Cove® park in Orlando, Florida by offering guests a dolphin swim experience in a lush, tropical setting.

Wider Waters and Deeper Connections
Starting March 23, SeaWorld will close the northern part of the park to guests to make way for the revolutionary updates to its dolphin habitat. Access to Dolphin Cove® and the park’s Sharks/The Coral Reef attractions will be restricted until the project is completed in May 2016.
This project reflects SeaWorld’s ongoing commitment to improve its animal habitats while providing new ways for guests to make connections with the animals in its care. Updates to the park’s dolphin pools will nearly double the water volume of the habitat, enlarging the pool to hold more than 600,000 gallons. The improvements will also benefit SeaWorld guests, allowing them to have access to expansive underwater viewing windows where they see dolphins swimming, playing and interacting from a new vantage point.

The Discovery Point Experience
When completed in May 2016, Discovery Point will become the hub for three of the park’s animal interaction programs serving as a starting point for guests as they journey to Beluga Bay, Sea Lion Shallows and Dolphin Lagoon. These programs compliment the park’s other interaction programs with stingrays and penguins which will remain unchanged.

In the dolphin swim experience, guests will meet bottlenose dolphins during an interactive adventure and learn about dolphin behavior and communication, along with SeaWorld’s dolphin research and rescue efforts. After their classroom presentation and discussion on dolphins’ natural history and physiology, guests will wade into shallow water and become acquainted with one of these fascinating, intelligent dolphins through close contact during this one-on-one dolphin encounter. Then, taking the adventure one step further, guests can interact with their dolphin in deeper water for an exciting dorsal fin tow ride back to shore. Paid reservations must be made for this program, and participants must be at least 6 years old to swim with dolphins. Children ages 6 to 12 must be accompanied by a paying adult who also is participating in the dolphin swim experience.

“Guests have asked repeatedly for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim with these fascinating animals,” said Dan Decker, park president of SeaWorld & Aquatica San Antonio.  “Up until now, we’ve only offered this experience in Orlando so this will make it much more accessible to guests in our region. As an accredited Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) facility and world leader in animal care, these future attractions will not only revolutionize the way our guests connect with and learn about our animals, but it will allow us to continue SeaWorld’s excellent standard of care,” Decker added.
Updates on Discovery Point will be made available at VisitDiscoveryPoint.com and by following the hashtag #MoreToSea on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
 
About SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc.
SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: SEAS) is a leading theme park and entertainment company delivering personal, interactive and educational experiences that blend imagination with nature and enable its customers to celebrate, connect with and care for the natural world we share. The Company owns or licenses a portfolio of globally recognized brands including SeaWorld®, Shamu® and Busch Gardens®. Over its more than 50-year history, the Company has built a diversified portfolio of 11 destination and regional theme parks that are grouped in key markets across the United States, many of which showcase its one-of-a-kind zoological collection of approximately 89,000 marine and terrestrial animals. The Company’s theme parks feature a diverse array of rides, shows and other attractions with broad demographic appeal which deliver memorable experiences and a strong value proposition for its guests.

SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. is one of the world’s foremost zoological organizations and a global leader in animal welfare, training, husbandry and veterinary care. The Company collectively cares for what it believes is one of the largest zoological collections in the world and has helped lead advances in the care of animals. The Company also rescues and rehabilitates marine and terrestrial animals that are ill, injured, orphaned or abandoned, with the goal of returning them to the wild. The SeaWorld rescue team has helped more than 24,000 animals in need over the last 50 years.

 
Contact:
Brian Carter, Director of Communications and Interactive Marketing
(210) 523-3635