Ten years ago, the very nature of SeaWorld changed forever.controversial documentary black fish (2013) paint a horrific picture of life in captivity with their most popular attraction, which has turned even the most casual park visitor into an animal activist.
Now, Sea Life Park is entering a new era. in May, The first SeaWorld park outside the U.S. Opened on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Due to the hot desert climate, it’s completely indoors here. It’s also completely devoid of orcas, setting up a shiny new future for the entire SeaWorld franchise.
Technically, it’s owned by a different owner than SeaWorld as you know it. SeaWorld entered into an agreement with Miral similar to that between Disney and the Oriental Land Company. Miral rents licenses and is also responsible for its entire $1.2 million budget.
We recently visited this brand new location to see how it differs from its US counterparts.
As you enter the park, you are immediately immersed in its first landmass – the aptly named Abu Dhabi Ocean. Touch pools and live pearl fishing tell the story of the emirate’s maritime history.
Guests then walk through “One Ocean” through which you can access to other lands in the park: Micro Ocean, Tropical Ocean, Endless Ocean, Rock Point and Polar Ocean. These are completely different from anything SeaWorld has done before. That’s it.
Dolphins make new headlines
Let’s get this out of the way first: yes, there really are no killer whales. Shenmue is officially out. In fact, the only sign of an orca comes from a few murals and some projections in One Ocean.
Instead, the dolphins took the spotlight. The park’s biggest show is the twice-daily dolphin show at the Tropical Ocean Amphitheatre.see this Sea life flips, jumps and dives 20 minutes, a SeaWorld tradition. The big difference is that their human trainers are kept at a distance. Trainers never go into the water with the dolphins, but simply reward their skills through interaction. Given the negative dolphin-related headlines SeaWorld Orlando has been subject to in recent months, it’s not surprising that the two entities are completely out of touch.
Shows also involve interaction. In each episode, the show’s spiritual host chooses a young guest whose mission is to remind viewers of the importance of respecting wildlife. Please note: As is common at SeaWorld, the first few rows of the amphitheater are mostly splash zones. Get ready to get very, very wet.
For an additional fee, guests can also interact with dolphins during small encounters. These events take place several times throughout the day and involve in-depth discussions on dolphin behaviour, as well as opportunities to feed some of SeaWorld Abu Dhabi’s resident animals.
Sea World Classic Returns
SeaWorld Abu Dhabi only has one big coaster, but it’s a great one.
Although it has the same name as the roller coasters at SeaWorld Orlando and SeaWorld San Diego, Manta is a unique experience Apparently, it’s been played for more hours (17 to be exact) than any other roller coaster in the world.
Get ready for an exhilarating roller coaster that includes 17 playable moments, zero-gravity flips, and a bioluminescent tunnel that showcases Thunder Reef marine life.
It has more in common with the San Diego iteration of the ride, and it’s nowhere near as intense as Orlando, but it’s still the best of the three. At least for us.
After boarding a giant manta ray, the tour takes you through a miniature aquarium filled with deep-sea creatures. Before you know it, you’re on an outdoor thrilling track, including the world’s first zero-gravity flip. If it’s an adrenaline rush you’re after, I recommend asking to sit in the back (it’s easy to secure, and the wait times throughout the day are relatively short).
SeaWorld’s best rides yet
As if Manta wasn’t enough, SeaWorld Abu Dhabi has arguably the best rides at SeaWorld to date – in any park.
if you have always there Avatar sailing flight Imagine a more vivid and immersive simulator experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort. That’s Hypersphere 360 - a simulator attraction located in the park’s arctic region.
Welcomed by your host, Dr. Jules, and her robotic sidekick, VERNE, you sit on roller-coaster seats in a circular room.
This room was later followed by your underwater voyage All the while dazzle you with 360-degree natural graphics of the deep ocean. The technology is incredible and the crown jewel of SeaWorld Abu Dhabi’s line-up of attractions.
Goodbye Fireworks, Hello Drones
Since the park is entirely indoors (with the exception of the Manta), it’s no surprise that there are no fireworks at SeaWorld Abu Dhabi.Instead, the park’s version of the spectacle takes place in the same ocean – the central hub of each landmass except abu dhabi ocean.
Usually shown twice a day – one around noon and one in the late afternoon – the 360-degree screen in the room plays an inspirational film about oceans around the world, Drones are on display everywhere. These add a singular beauty, creating a truly unique “Daytime Spectacular”.
SeaWorld Abu Dhabi has a lot of that going on, and the park really uses the latest and most immersive technology that SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld San Diego and SeaWorld San Antonio have yet to achieve outside of roller coasters.
Entertaining and entertaining is the new goal
Blackfish (2013) greatly tarnished public perception of animals in captivity, and SeaWorld Abu Dhabi offers a glimpse into how the marine park program remains relevant and moves forward.
While SeaWorld Orlando has pivoted largely into the thrill zone, its Middle Eastern location’s focus is on education. Every area of the park is integrated into the curriculum.Abu Dhabi Marine teach guests Learn about the region’s maritime history, Rocky Point offers live lectures on creatures found in the Pacific Northwest, and Antarctica offers insight into the frigid climate Different kinds of penguins in the world.
SeaWorld Abu Dhabi is also home to the Yas Seaworld Research and Rescue Centre. If you go downstairs from One Ocean, you’re plunged into the heart of the facility – the windows look out to SeaWorld’s veterinary center, kitchens (yes, dolphins feast on SeaWorld Abu Dhabi), Dolphin Rehabilitation Pooland research room. You get lucky with what you see during your visit but we saw two dolphins relaxing in the pool and a team member told us they are currently training.
What else do I need to know?
SeaWorld Abu Dhabi is a testament to SeaWorld’s commitment to positive change.Their website Make it clear that they are committed to the welfare of the animals – and that at no point will their lineup include killer whales.
Won’t. SeaWorld Abu Dhabi will not have orcas/killer whales.
Although orcas/killer whales are not part of the Sea Life theme park, we will be offering opportunities to educate the community and raise awareness of this inspiring creature as well as other species of marine life.
SeaWorld Abu Dhabi will integrate up-close animal experiences, including the largest and most advanced aquarium in the region, bringing visitors the latest in interactive technology. This next-generation park will be an engaging, educational and inspiring family destination with an emphasis on marine life care and conservation.
It’s also worth noting that most of the animals are imported from other parks where the level of care is nowhere near the standards of SeaWorld Abu Dhabi, which has strict temperature and environmental controls.
Are you interested in visiting Sea World Abu Dhabi? Let us know in the comments!