Sea World (Australia)
|Location||Southport, Queensland, Australia|
|Owner||Village Roadshow Theme Parks|
|Opened||30 October 1971|
|Operating season||Year round|
Sea World is a marine mammal park, oceanarium, and theme park located on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. It includes rides, animal exhibits and other attractions, and it promotes conservation through education and the rescue and rehabilitation of sick, injured or orphaned wildlife. The park is commercially linked to Warner Bros. Movie World and Wet'n'Wild Gold Coast as part of the theme park division of Village Roadshow.
Sea World was founded by Keith Williams in 1971. It was originally known as the Surfers Paradise Sky Gardens, which presented "water ski shows that combined sos, aqua ballet and action". In 1971, the Surfers Paradise Ski Gardens moved to land on the Spit. Major dredging works were required to build the new ski lake. A year later, the Surfers Paradise Ski Gardens became known as Sea World with the introduction of dolphins, marine displays, a replica of the Endeavour, a swimming pool, licensed restaurant and gift shop. Extra additions over the next decade included the purchasing of competitor marine park, Marineland, and the transfer of animals and exhibits to Sea World as well as the addition of more shops and food outlets.
In 1984 Keith Williams sold the park to Pivot Leisure. Later in 1988 Pivot built the 400 room Sea World Nara Resort. In 1991 Pivot Leisure, Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow jointly developed and opened Warner Bros. Movie World, a Hollywood theme action park, at Oxenford on the Gold Coast. Also that year Pivot Purchased Wet n' Wild Water park located next to the site of Warner Bros. Movie World. In 1993, Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow jointly acquired Pivot Leisure's interest in Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World and the adjoining Sea World Nara Resort.
- In 1975, the Sea World train opened. "The train is a two-third scale replica of Queensland's famous number 6A10, which is now on display at the Queensland Railway Museum. The ride was designed and built by Sea World."
- In 1978, the first major ride was added to Sea World. The Viking's Revenge Flume Ride opened. This ride was custom-built at a cost of $350,000.
- In 1981, the park's first roller-coaster opened. Originally known as the Wild Wave Rollercoaster, it was accompanied by the Pirate Ship and Carousel. The Wild Wave Rollercoaster changed its name to the Thrillseeker and closed in 2002.
- In 1982, the Corkscrew rollercoaster opened. The ride is an Arrow Dynamics Sitdown Looper and features three inversions.
- In 1986, Australia's first monorail opened, the Sea World Monorail System. This ride features three stations throughout the park.
- In 1987, Sea World welcomed the Water Park and Lassiter’s Lost Mine ride. Lassiter's Lost Mine ride was the second water ride for the park and was made in house.
- In 1989, the Sky High Skyway opened. It features a unique bird's eye view of the park.
- In 1993, Sea World is taken over jointly by Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow.
- In 1994, Bermuda Triangle opened and replaced Lassiter's Lost Mine ride. It used the same ride system but featured updated ride theming. Sea World opened the 3D theatre Sea Dream.
- In 1998, Pirates 3D Adventure debuted at the 3D theatre. The film uses "a series of special effects that enables the audience to feel part of the adventure".
- In 1999, Cartoon Network Cartoon Beach opened featuring five children's rides and an interactive water fountain.
- In 2003, Pirates in 3D was replaced with Planet SOS in 4-D. This film features an environmental message presenting the issues of global warming, ocean habitat destruction, and deforestation.
- In 2004, the park opened "Shark Bay". This system of artificial lagoons allows sharks to be viewed from both above water and underwater. Sharks exhibited include large and potentially dangerous tiger sharks and bull sharks.
- In 2005, the ski show received a makeover and became Waterski Wipeout. Also the water park got a makeover with the relocation of The Plunge from Wet'n'Wild Water World.
- In 2006, the Sea World Eye was introduced for a limited time. Swiss manufacturer CWA Constructions built the 60-metre high wheel which featured 42 air-conditioned gondolas.
- In 2007, Sea World introduced Sesame Street Beach. Sesame Street Beach replaced Cartoon Network Cartoon Beach with the addition of a new stage show and a new ride.
- In 2008, Jet Rescue opened. Jet Rescue is a motorbike launch coaster made by Intamin which features jet-ski cars. It is themed to a sea-lion rescue. Also 'Ray Reef' opened featuring over 100 rays 'flying and gliding' under the water. It is Sea World's first new wildlife exhibit since 2004.
- In 2009, Sea World updated and renewed several things. In early 2009, the Pirate Ship attraction closed and removed from the park. Waterski Wipeout performed its last show on 20 July 2009. Pirates Unleashed opened on Boxing Day as a replacement. In September, Sea World announced the opening of Ocean Rescue, a new film for their theatre replacing Planet SOS in 4-D. A new educational exhibit also opened in 2009 titled Shark Attack which replaced Dugong Discovery. The Corkscrew rollercoaster was rethemed and renamed to become the Sea Viper.
- In 2010, the park closed Shark Attack, the Sea World Aquarium, Ocean Rescue, Bermuda Triangle and part of the Water Park to construct new attractions. In September, Castaway Bay opened in former location of the water park. It is a children's area featuring Sky Fortress (a climbing structure), Sky Climb (a set of high ropes) and Battle Sails (a water battle). Also in September, Ocean Rescue was replaced by Happy Feet 3D Experience. In October, Sea World closed the Bermuda Triangle for routine maintenance before closing the ride permanently. Its replacement was expected to be open by late 2011, but ultimately it was replaced in 2013 by the Storm Coaster. Sea World also opened Penguin Encounter, an Antarctic penguin exhibit where Shark Attack And Sea World Aquarium once stood on 26 December 2010. During the summer school holidays Sea World ran Jet Stunt Extreme as a temporary jet-ski-based stunt show located on the Sea World lake. It operated for a limited season until 23 January 2011. Sea World has noted that it could become a permanent addition depending on the overall success of the show.
- In 2011, Pirates Unleashed had its final performance on 20 July. Jet Stunt Extreme returned on 17 September 2011. On 16 August 2011, Sea World announced a partnership with Nickelodeon which would see characters like SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer appear in park shows from Christmas 2011. SpongeBob ParadePants and Dora's Best Friends Adventure began on 17 December 2011. Towards the end of the year, Happy Feet 3-D Experience was replaced with SpongeBob SquarePants 3-D. Sesame Street Beach was replaced with Beach Break Bay.
- In 2012, Sea World announced that they would be launching Dinosaur Island, an interactive dinosaur exhibit. The exhibit opened to the public on 16 June 2012. In December 2012, Sea World announced a "wild" attraction, set for a 2014 opening. Although the attraction was initially promoted in-park and construction began, Sea World has since removed all promotion of the attraction. A 2013 report in the Gold Coast Bulletin suggested the attraction would be a multimillion-dollar African jungle exhibit, including gorillas, hippos, and crocodiles.
- In 2013, the park officially opened Seal Harbour, a seal and sea lion exhibit, originally scheduled to open in December 2012. A water powered jet pack was also added to Jet Stunt Extreme. In December, Sea World opened Storm Coaster, a Mack Rides Water Coaster, replacing the former Bermuda Triangle ride.
- In 2014, Sea Viper and Dinosaur Island were closed.
- In 2015, Sky High Skyway was closed and Beach Break Bay was replaced with Nickelodeon Land.
- In 2016, Viking's Revenge Flume Ride was closed permanently.
- In 2017, Dora's Best Friends Adventure was replaced with Paw Patrol on Holiday.
- In May 2019, Sea World announced The New Atlantis precinct, which will feature three new rides:
- Vortex is an 18 metre (59 ft) HUSS Top Spin and is projected to open in December 2019.
- Trident is a 52 metre (171 ft) swinging tower ride and is projected to open in April 2020.
- Leviathan is a wooden roller coaster manufactured by Martin & Vleminckx and designed by The Gravity Group; in a world-first, its Timberliner trains will feature two backwards-facing seats. It is projected to feature an approximately 909 metre (2,982 ft) track length, and reach a maximum height of 27 metres (89 ft) and top speed of 85 kilometres per hour (53 mph). It is projected to open in December 2020.
Rides and attractions
- Storm Coaster is a Mack Rides Water Coaster. The ride soft opened on 2 December 2013 as a replacement for the Bermuda Triangle which closed in 2010.
- Nickelodeon Land is a themed zone featuring several rides specifically designed for children. The area was originally themed to Cartoon Network when it opened in 1999 before being rethemed to Sesame Street in 2007. In late 2011, it was rethemed to have the generic theme of Beach Break Bay. The area features 6 attractions including the Carousel and Beach Ball Bounce. In 2015 it was refurbished into Nickelodeon Land adding a Zamperla roller coaster and 4 new rides.
- Castaway Bay opened in September 2010. It is contains a new children's area featuring Sky Fortress (a climbing structure), Sky Climb (a set of high ropes) and Battle Boats (formerly Battle Sails, an interactive water battle). It is located at the northern half of the Water Park.
- The Reef opened in December 2017. It is splash zone expansion to Castaway Bay with over 80 water canons, spouts and an array of oversized marine animal sculptures.
- Jet Rescue is Sea World's only dry roller coaster. The ride is themed around the journey of a Sea World Rescue Team on a mission to save marine life. Riders board a jet ski and race at speeds of up to 70 kilometres per hour (43 mph) around a highly twisted and banked track.
- Sea World Monorail System was the first monorail system in Australia. It allows guests to travel between three stations throughout the park.
- Paw Patrol on Holiday is a live stage show featuring Chase and Marshall from Paw Patrol at the Nickelodeon Stage. It began in December 2017.
- Affinity is the latest incarnation of Sea World's dolphin show. The show features similar tricks to previous shows with only the storyline and music changing. The show is set in Dolphin Beach which is the largest sandy bottom lagoon ever built for dolphins containing five different pools and more than 17 million litres of water. Each show caters for 2,500 guests.
- Jet Stunt Extreme is a live jet-ski-based stunt show located on the Sea World lake. It previously operated for a limited season over the summer of 2010–2011. Due to the success of the show it replaced Pirates Unleashed and became a permanent addition from September 2011 onwards.
- SpongeBob SquarePants 3-D is a 3D film currently showing in the Sea World Theatre.
- Seal Guardians is the latest incarnation of the sea lion presentation, which began showing twice daily in early 2018.
- Turtle Power is a live show shown on a stage adjacent to Nickelodeon Land featuring the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles characters.
- Our World of the Dolphin is an educational presentation on Sea World's dolphins and conservation and rehabilitation efforts. This show takes place at the front dolphin pools of Sea World daily.
- Dolphin Nursery Pool is part of Sea World's highly successful dolphin breeding program which has resulted in dolphin births. The exhibit allows guests to see young dolphins develop under the protective watch of their mothers.
- Penguin Encounter is a 96-square-metre (1,030 sq ft) Antarctic penguin exhibit featuring a 220 cubic metres (7,800 cu ft) pool with under and above water viewing.
- Penguin Point is an exhibit featuring little penguins. Unlike Penguins on Parade, the previous penguin exhibit at Sea World, Penguin Point has a larger, more open style. It contains a variety of substrates including gravel, rock and grass as well as a large pool. The exhibit can house up to 60 penguins.
- Polar Bear Shores is Australia's only polar bear exhibit. It was one of the most technologically advanced exhibits for polar bears when it opened in 2000. Guests can view the polar bears from three viewing platforms: ground level, underwater and above ground. As of 2017[update] there are four polar bears in Polar Bear Shores: Liya, Hudson, Nelson and Mishka.
- Ray Reef allows guests to meet, feed and learn about one of the ocean's most misunderstood inhabitants. The exhibit features over 100 rays.
- Rescue Point Lighthouse showcases the achievements of Sea World's Research and Rescue Foundation.
- Seabird Rehabilitation Aviary is designed to house birds under care and rehabilitation. According to the official website, "many of the sea birds housed in this area will never return to the wild due to severe disabilities which have been caused mostly by mans’ ignorance and careless ways. For example, we have received pelicans that have had a broken wing from being caught in fishing line. Their wings have since been amputated. Those that recover from their injuries are free to leave at any time."
- Seal Harbour is a seal and sea lion exhibit which opened in January 2013. The exhibit has the capacity to feature up to 20 animals including Australian sea lions, California sea lions, New Zealand fur seals, and subantarctic fur seals.
- Shark Bay is the world's largest man-made lagoon system for sharks. The exhibit consists of four zones allowing for viewing and interaction. The zones include a touch pool, an inter-tidal zone, a reef lagoon and a shark lagoon. Four 10 x 3-metre windows allows all guests to see the sea life featured in these pools.
- Animal Adventures: for an additional fee, guests can take part in Animal Adventures where they can swim with Sea World's marine life.
- Sea World Books is Sea World's latest franchise. The franchise offers educational children's books about various marine animals.
- Sea World Cruises and Sea World Whale Watch make use of Sea World's "luxurious cruiser". During the winter months (when whales are travelling up and down the Gold Coast), Sea World operates whale watching tours. For the rest of the year, Sea World takes guests on a ride around the calm canals of the Gold Coast.
- Sea World Helicopters allow guests to choose between 5 different tours of the Gold Coast ranging from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. For a further additional charge, guests can purchase a souvenir DVD of their flight.
- Sirens of the Sea Photography is available during the run of the Sirens of the Sea show in the 2017-2018 Summer school holiday season. This upcharge allows you to get up close and personal with the mermaids, and have photography taken with Sea World's mermaids 5 times a day after their show times.
Sea World Resort and Water Park
As the name suggests, Sea World Resort and Water Park is an adjoining Resort and Water Park to Sea World. In 2008, the Sea World Water Park became part of the resort with regular park guests having to pay an additional fee to make use of the water park. In 2010, part of the Water Park was demolished to make way for Castaway Bay.
Television series filmed at Sea World include the Australian children's programmes Toasted TV (since early 2007), Camp Orange, H2O: Just Add Water, Dolphin Cove and Mako: Island of Secrets. The Shak was originally set at Sea World before being moved to WhiteWater World.
- Sea World Research and Rescue
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- Penguin Point | Sea World. Retrieved 30 September 2009 from the official website.
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- Rescue Point Lighthouse | Sea World. Retrieved 30 September 2009 from official website: .
- Seabird Rehabilitation Aviary | Sea World. Retrieved 28 September 2009 from the official website.
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- Media related to Sea World (Australia) at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website
- Official website
- Nature Works – Zoos and Animals – including at Sea World