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June 11, 2013

Theme World: SeaWorld's Celebration  & Drop Into Busch


News today from Tampa & Orlando. We start here at  home
SeaWorld tweeted out word yesterday of a "major announcement." Immediately the interweb buzzed about what it could be: a new ride, a new show (the video kind of hinted at that). Well now we know. 

Today  SeaWorld announced a nationwide celebration at all three parks (Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio) nationwide in honor of the original park's 50th Birthday.

Taking a page from the Disney playbook -- "Sea of Surprises" will be an 18-month-long celebration with "new interactive experiences, new shows and daily entertainment, more up-close animal encounters throughout the park, and a Surprise Squad treating guests with prizes every day.  "

It kicks off on March 21, 2014. The original SeaWorld in San Diego opened in March 1964. And San Diego gets the biggest addition: an entire new entrance plaza called Explorer's Reef -- complete with  touch tanks for sting rays, sharks and cleaner fish.

Here in Orlando -- Antarctica is new enough that it will be a focus of the marketing effort throughout the celebration.

antarctica sign

What else will be get? "surprise encounters with animal ambassadors throughout the day.  A pair of Magellanic penguins, a lemur, or even a parade of flamingos could surprise guests at any moment "


 Remember the "Surprise Squad" I mentioned?  Prizes range from plush  and t-shirts -- to saved seats at the shows -- to behind the scenes tours."
Here's the video SeaWorld posted about the event.



Here's a link to the website for SeaWorld's 50th Celebration,

The bigger announcement came at the other end of the I-4 Corridor at SeaWorld's sister park.

Face your fears folks. Busch Gardens Tampa is adding "Falcons' Fury" -- the tallest drop ride in North America.

falconfury1
At 335 feet tall -- Falcon's Fury is so tall it will have to have warning lights for airplanes. It will be 100 feet taller than the Sheikra dive coaster.  

sheikra1_460x345

And "FF"  has a unique feature. When you reach the top -- your seats will swing forward 90 degrees. So you will face straight down as you drop with 31 of your closest friends.
 Here's a video grab of what you'll see.
dropview

That came from this Busch Gardens video announcing the attraction with its 5 seconds of free fall.


"Falcons Fury" opens in the Spring of 2014 at the site of the former Sand Storm ride in the Timbuktu section of the park

Speaking of rides -- a heads up that Universal's Transformers is now open at least part of the day, pretty much every day. Its official opening is June 20th.

More from Theme World tomorrow.

Until then, keep your emails, questions, and comments coming!

Here's a link to my most recent Theme World Blog entries.

See you in the parks!