SeaWorld San Diego will once again operate as a zoo starting Feb. 6. 

The theme park hasn’t been fully open since the mid-March 2020 shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as a licensed, permitted and accredited zoo, SeaWorld had opened some of its animal exhibits beginning last summer.

But even those limited operations had to end in early December, a surge of COVID-19 hospitalizations led to a new stay-at-home order across much of the state. The order was lifted this past Monday, leading other California parks to expand operations, such as reopening outdoor dining at Disneyland Resort. 

Along with reopening animal exhibits, SeaWorld San Diego is still offering its Sesame Street Parade of Lights Drive-Thru Experience on select dates through Feb. 24.

SeaWorld Orlando’s Seven Seas Food Festival returns Feb. 5

The 2021 edition of SeaWorld Orlando’s Seven Seas Food Festival starts on Feb. 5, featuring the event’s biggest beverage selection to date. 

According to a SeaWorld press release, the menu will feature more than 75 cocktails and wines, along more than 75 craft beers. Of course, you shouldn’t drink on an empty stomach, and the menu also features more than 50 food items at 26 festival marketplaces. 

Some of the selections at Seven Seas Food Festival (SeaWorld)

“After a year of limits on international travel, guests can plan a safe, limited-capacity visit to the park where they can roam the expansive open-air grounds and embark on an international flavor journey inspired by the tastes and smells of the Caribbean, Italy, Brazil, Asia and beyond,” SeaWorld said. 

The park’s usual COVID-19 rules still apply, requiring face masks, physical distancing and temperature checks. 

Unlike pandemic-era food festivals at Disney World and Universal Orlando, Seven Seas will still feature live concerts from bands such as Air Supply, Blue Oyster Cult, Chris Janson, and Jeremy Camp. More performances will be announced throughout the festival, which runs on Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday through May 9.  

Orlando’s Icon Park breaks ground on new attractions

Construction has officially begun on the record-breaking drop tower and slingshot rides coming to Orlando’s International Drive.

Icon Park — most famous for the 400-foot-tall Wheel — is adding two more skyscraping attractions in December 2021. The Icon Park Slingshot will be the world’s tallest slingshot ride at 300 feet, while the Icon Park Drop Tower will be the world’s tallest free-standing drop tower at 430 feet, reaching a speed of over 75 miles per hour.

Icon Park drop tower and slingshot rendering

Rendering of the new attractions coming to Icon Park in 2021 (Icon Park)

  

The I-Drive complex also boasts the world’s tallest swing ride, the 250-foot-tall Orlando StarFlyer. 

“ICON Park’s three stunning thrill rides added to our seven other world class attractions make the Orlando Entertainment District the ideal place for friends and families looking for restaurants and attractions to satisfy different tastes in food and entertainment,” said Icon Park president and CEO Chris Jaskiewicz. 

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