SeaWorld Orlando's Future Plans

LintemuthStudios

Veteran Member
Nov 7, 2016
4,780
Fantastic Worlds
A launched wing coaster honestly sounds pretty fun, especially if it could be decently themed like Fenix at Toverland, though I cringe at the thought of yet another roller coaster taking up almost all of the remaining unused space in the park. SWO's attraction lineup isn't nearly as lopsided as BGT's but it could still use another indoor ride and some flat rides in order to really have all the bases covered. The penguin name is bizarre since the park's centerpiece attraction is devoted to penguins.
What ever happened to the rumors about a Sesame Street dark ride, Wild Arctic flying theater, and general re-theme of the surrounding area? I was pretty stoked about that; those three additions would be a big boost for the park.

After seeing the parking lot's new parking lot-themed entrance arch and BGT's new suburbia-themed exterior, I'm apprehensive about any changes they might make to the park entrance. Whoever's pushing these changes seems intent on making the parks look as generic and utilitarian as possible, for whatever reason, and I would hate to see the beautiful harbor-themed entrance replaced with a vast concrete plaza emulating the entrance to Cedar Point.
Seaworld isn't Universal or Disney. This is a coaster park now, and that's great for Orlando.
 

GAcoaster

V.I.P.
Nov 30, 2012
3,577
Orlando
How about a boardwalk type midway with 4 inexpensive flats and a family GCI. Like a wave swinger (jellyfish) ferris wheel (sand dollar), octopus, tilt-a-whirl (clam shells) and a GCI.
The more I think about this, the more I like the idea. Just looking at the space there the other day after reading this and thinking how well that could work. Especially if building something in the Bayside Pathway area necessitates them having to open that pathway full time for access, it would make sense to have more than one attraction back there. If that was the case, perhaps building an area of flat rides first, then going back in and in another year or two add a coaster as the centerpiece.
 

HandsomePete

Newcomer
Jul 8, 2019
77
Thankfully they’ve finally realized that SW is closer to the regional park tier now, so they have to have something every year to plaster on billboards for 6-8 months.

But coaster or no coaster in 2021, it’s borderline negligence that they haven’t built a hotel yet.
 
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shiekra38

Veteran Member
Dec 13, 2009
9,861
Florida
Whoever's pushing these changes seems intent on making the parks look as generic and utilitarian as possible, for whatever reason, and I would hate to see the beautiful harbor-themed entrance replaced with a vast concrete plaza emulating the entrance to Cedar Point.
Ironic, I think Cedar Fair parks are exactly who they have their eyes on in terms of new business model
 

HandsomePete

Newcomer
Jul 8, 2019
77
The area around SW is so saturated with hotels, there's no real NEED for one, unless they plan to offer something that neighbors cannot. With an aquatic theme park, I'm not sure how you do that aside from having a few aquariums in the lobby.
It’s saturated with new hotels because there was demand literally on the doorstep that SW left begging.

A 300-key hotel with - as you said - something as simple as nice aquariums and moderate theming would pull 80% occupancy and $120 a night without breaking a sweat. When your margin is 3%, leaving an opportunity that’s an easy 30-40% is, yeah, negligent.
 
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xxbrothawizxx

Rookie
Feb 17, 2014
104
Really hope they go with a launched model if they're going with the wing coaster. Getting rid of the harbor aesthetic at the entrance would be a big mistake. The lighthouse is a nice photo op, and I generally think the area looks quite nice. Expanding it further to accommodate the ride would be nice, but I'm not sure where that expansion could even go.

I'm cool with Sea World moving toward a more regional park style, but I still think they should pursue a few of the dark ride attractions. Sesame getting a dark ride and Wild Arctic becoming a flying theater needs to happen. I still can't get over how much of a disappointment Empire of the Penguin is because of how great the area looks and the fact that the investment in all that means that a mediocre attraction will have to stick around for the foreseeable future. If they had knocked that one out of the park, the other improvements I mentioned would have made the park near perfect in my view. Tbf, I waited nearly an hour and half when I rode it the first time. I enjoyed it more with a 10min wait, but it's still underwhelming. I'd like to see the Gsats on that one. I'm sure the lower speed guests enjoy it enough.

Another disappointment is how they have given up on theming. Manta is such a beautifully designed rollercoaster and I thought it would start a new phase for them. Empire followed and impressed with theming, but since then they've seemingly given up. Mako looks fine but is unimpressive (desperately wish they had carried the sunken ship theme much further with just one or two tanks with some nurse sharks). They further stripped the theming from both Atlantis and Kraken. Infinity falls is fine, but also not particularly impressive. Ice breaker seems like it's going to turnout the same way when it could have gotten some really nice Empire like theming, especially because it's not very large. Sesame looks great, but only because of the IP. I expect the Wing coaster will follow in Mako and Ice Breaker's footsteps rather than Manta's. A shame, but we'll just have to take the good with the bad during this transition. I just hope they won't go too far. As much as I like Cheetah Hunt and it continues to be very popular (or is it capacity issues that keep the line so long?), losing Rhino Rally drastically changed the feel of BG to me. It never had much for families, but that ride really was a such a standout attraction that it made up for the deficiencies in a big way. I've said in the past that I'd like Sea World to become Marine BG, but I don't really mean a full transition. They're still in Orlando and should try to remain in the middle ground between regional and Disney/Universal theme park.
 

SWBGFan

Rookie
May 17, 2017
106
Couldn't agree more with the statement above. Sesame Dark ride and Wild Arctic Flying theater would really round this park out nicely. Then they can focus on major additions every few years and spend more capital on fully fleshed themed experiences akin to Manta, Verbolten, Cheetah Hunt, Cobras Curse.
 

shiekra38

Veteran Member
Dec 13, 2009
9,861
Florida
Couldn't agree more with the statement above. Sesame Dark ride and Wild Arctic Flying theater would really round this park out nicely. Then they can focus on major additions every few years and spend more capital on fully fleshed themed experiences akin to Manta, Verbolten, Cheetah Hunt, Cobras Curse.
I think Manta and Cheetah Hunt are an example of what makes the SeaWorld parks special....The blend of animals and rides

Although I don't think we'll be getting any new animal displays ever again
 

GAcoaster

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Nov 30, 2012
3,577
Orlando
I think Manta and Cheetah Hunt are an example of what makes the SeaWorld parks special....The blend of animals and rides

Although I don't think we'll be getting any new animal displays ever again
I think we might see updated animal displays. Nothing "new", just redone existing exhibits, sometimes as part of a new attraction.
 
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SWBGFan

Rookie
May 17, 2017
106
I think Manta and Cheetah Hunt are an example of what makes the SeaWorld parks special....The blend of animals and rides

Although I don't think we'll be getting any new animal displays ever again
SeaWorld San Antonio just got the new Turtle Reef area this past year, I wouldn't rule it out completely, but for the immediate future, I would say we're going to be getting more rides.
 

GadgetGuru

Premium Member
Dec 2, 2011
2,221
Seattle, WA
It’s saturated with new hotels because there was demand literally on the doorstep that SW left begging.

A 300-key hotel with - as you said - something as simple as nice aquariums and moderate theming would pull 80% occupancy and $120 a night without breaking a sweat. When your margin is 3%, leaving an opportunity that’s an easy 30-40% is, yeah, negligent.
I keep going back and forth if a SeaWorld hotel would be a good idea.

SeaWorld doesn’t have the expertise to run a hotel like Disney, so they’d probably want to have a partnership with a hotel chain like Universal does.

I just don’t know if many of the hotel chains would want to do a partnership for a single hotel. SeaWorld can’t sustain a bunch of hotels like Disney or Universal can.
 

Disneyhead

Legendary Member
Jul 24, 2008
10,392
Orlando, FL
I keep going back and forth if a SeaWorld hotel would be a good idea.

SeaWorld doesn’t have the expertise to run a hotel like Disney, so they’d probably want to have a partnership with a hotel chain like Universal does.

I just don’t know if many of the hotel chains would want to do a partnership for a single hotel. SeaWorld can’t sustain a bunch of hotels like Disney or Universal can.
SeaWorld is already partnered with Marriott and Hilton. I am sure one of them would be happy to run a SeaWorld Branded hotel.
 
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shiekra38

Veteran Member
Dec 13, 2009
9,861
Florida
I keep going back and forth if a SeaWorld hotel would be a good idea.

SeaWorld doesn’t have the expertise to run a hotel like Disney, so they’d probably want to have a partnership with a hotel chain like Universal does.

I just don’t know if many of the hotel chains would want to do a partnership for a single hotel. SeaWorld can’t sustain a bunch of hotels like Disney or Universal can.
They would outsource it for sure
 
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UAN17

Rookie
Jul 7, 2015
404
I’m kind of ok with them going down the dark ride / flying theatre route more than a coaster at this stage, as sometimes you just don’t want to be flung around so it’s nice to have options. They’re also missing a tame, highly themed boat ride. Pirates are off bounds for obvious reasons, but sinbads at Disneysea, Navi River Journey, and various other examples prove options are out there with a little imagination. The coasters are fine, but I don’t think they alone are enough to make a park stand out. I can do coasters in the UK.

Not knocking coasters though. Seaworld lineup is fun, but the animals, shows, landscaping are as important in making the park appeal to me.
 
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GAcoaster

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Nov 30, 2012
3,577
Orlando
It's understandable to want a dark ride, but the problem with dark rides is creating a compelling story or at least creating an interesting concept for one which will withstand the test of time. Unless you're Disney or Universal, that's a tall order. That's why most theme parks don't have one, or if they do it's either not very good, or changes IPs and stories periodically.

Of non-Disney or Universal parks in the US, I can only think of one truly successful dark ride that has lasted for any length of time, and that's Monster Mansion at Six Flags Over Georgia. And even that has been tweaked and updated over time. The other problem is keeping a dark ride's effects and figures working consistently, which even the big parks have challenges with.

Let's see how the Sally Sesame Street ride holds up in the next year or two. I know the Justice League rides they built for Six Flags were impressive when they opened, but are not aging well, but then again Six Flags maintenance has a lot to be desired.
 
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UAN17

Rookie
Jul 7, 2015
404
It's understandable to want a dark ride, but the problem with dark rides is creating a compelling story or at least creating an interesting concept for one which will withstand the test of time. Unless you're Disney or Universal, that's a tall order. That's why most theme parks don't have one, or if they do it's either not very good, or changes IPs and stories periodically.

Of non-Disney or Universal parks in the US, I can only think of one truly successful dark ride that has lasted for any length of time, and that's Monster Mansion at Six Flags Over Georgia. And even that has been tweaked and updated over time. The other problem is keeping a dark ride's effects and figures working consistently, which even the big parks have challenges with.

Let's see how the Sally Sesame Street ride holds up in the next year or two. I know the Justice League rides they built for Six Flags were impressive when they opened, but are not aging well, but then again Six Flags maintenance has a lot to be desired.
The Sesame Street 4d shooter ride in Port Aventura is very very good. I’d say it’s my favourite shooter in the world, and I don’t speak Spanish! It’s the combination of screens, with 4D elements (smells), and animatronics which make it everything Toy Story Mania should have been. There’s also a really fun section where the ride turns into almost a simulator where speed is simulated very effectively. I was so impressed a park like Port Aventura pulled it off. In Europe I think both Efteling and Europaark also have fantastic dark rides. We’re severely lacking in the UK mind.
 

shiekra38

Veteran Member
Dec 13, 2009
9,861
Florida
The Sesame Street 4d shooter ride in Port Aventura is very very good. I’d say it’s my favourite shooter in the world, and I don’t speak Spanish! It’s the combination of screens, with 4D elements (smells), and animatronics which make it everything Toy Story Mania should have been. There’s also a really fun section where the ride turns into almost a simulator where speed is simulated very effectively. I was so impressed a park like Port Aventura pulled it off. In Europe I think both Efteling and Europaark also have fantastic dark rides. We’re severely lacking in the UK mind.
I could 100 percent see this coming to SW and maybe BGT...But only after another coaster
 
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