SeaWorld Announces New Attractions for Its Three American Parks |

SeaWorld Announces New Attractions for Its Three American Parks

There’s going to be more SeaWorld to see soon. (Yes, I cringed as I wrote that.) The family of aquatic-themed parks announced today that it’ll be adding a major new attraction to each one of its three American parks in early 2024. Those are in Orlando, San Diego, and San Antonio, if you aren’t up-to-date on your SeaWorld info—which wouldn’t be a shock, given the animal rights issues that have become synonymous with the parks over the last decade.

Let’s start with Florida, if only because it is closest to me personally. (Geographically, not, like, spiritually, or anything.) SeaWorld Orlando will be the home of a new family coaster called Penguin Trek, which will whisk guests through an Antarctic expedition before ending at the park’s penguin habitat. This coaster will have cars that resemble snowmobiles and a track that runs both inside and outside, which means there should be ample room for some quality theming here. Also guests as small as 42” can ride it, so it shouldn’t be all that rough or rigorous of a coaster. The press release does mention a 77” upper limit, so I’ve got to think that a solid chunk of Orlando Magic players past and present will have to miss out on this one. Poor Shaq: nobody loves fun more than that dude.

SeaWorld Penguin Trek

Next up, San Antonio will be getting a flume coaster called Catapult Falls. In keeping with the “bigger, faster, steeper” state of coaster development, Catapult Falls is being touted as the first launch flume coaster in the world, and the first one in North America with a vertical lift. Theme parks love advertising “firsts” like this for all of their new coasters, and clearly that mentality has carried over to water-based coasters, too. 

SeaWorld Catapult Falls

Finally, San Diego, the very first SeaWorld, will be welcoming a brand new jellyfish exhibit next year. Jewels of the Sea: The Jellyfish Experience sounds like an aquarium-style interactive exhibit focusing on what the press release calls “the mysterious underwater world of glowing and graceful jellyfish.” It’ll also feature behind-the-scenes opportunities and the option to touch jellyfish, which doesn’t sound very enticing to me, but will probably excite animal-loving children built of sturdier stock.


All three attractions are scheduled to open at some point in Spring 2024. The Orlando and San Antonio rides reflect SeaWorld’s growth into a more traditional theme park (remember, these places didn’t really have rides, per se, until the ‘90s, after Busch Gardens bought them from the textbook company Harcourt Brace Jovanovich). San Diego’s jellyfish exhibit, meanwhile, feels like the kind of edutainment that SeaWorld, along with its controversial live animal shows, built its name on. 

Those live animal shows are still a part of the theme parks. SeaWorld announced it would end its killer whale breeding program and phase out its signature orca shows after the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010 and the release of the 2013 documentary Blackfish, with the current generation of orcas representing the parks’ last. The shows continue, though. Dolphin shows have removed certain riskier stunts, like trainers riding the dolphins like surfboards, but remain a regular part of the parks. Of course, many aquariums feature similar animal shows, such as the Georgia Aquarium’s dolphin show. Ideally the regular introduction of new rides like Catapult Falls and Penguin Trek will continue to move SeaWorld closer to a more humane and animal-friendly future.

Related articles

PREMIERE: Listen to Bloomsday’s New Single “Virtual Hug”

Today, Bloomsday—the musical project of New York singer-songwriter Iris James Garrison—has released their latest single, “Virtual Hug.” The track follows previous releases “Where I End and You Begin” and “Dollar Slice,” all of which are...

2024 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductions Announced: Cher, Dave Matthews Band, A Tribe Called Quest & More to Be Enshrined

Tonight, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced its 2024 inductees. Those voted in include Ozzy Osbourne, Dave Matthews Band, Cher, A Tribe Called Quest and Mary J. Blige, along with Peter Frampton,...

Charly Bliss Announces New Album Forever

Charly Bliss have announced Forever, the band’s first new album in five years. The upcoming LP is set to release on August 16 via Lucky Number Music. Forever features the band’s most vibrant music to date, centering...

Hinds Announce New Album VIVA HINDS

Today, Spanish rockers Hinds have announced their long-awaited fourth LP, VIVA HINDS, a nod to fans greeting the band with exclamations of “¡VIVA HINDS!” before shows. Co-bandleaders Carlotta Cosials and Ana Perrote are christening this new era...

Indie Rock Producer and Musician Steve Albini Dead at 61

Few people made as a big a mark on the last few decades of rock ‘n’ roll as Steve Albini. The producer, musician and all-around provocateur died of a heart attack today at the...

Latest articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here