SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The opening of SeaWorld’s latest thrill ride comes as the theme park continues to rebound from backlash over the film “Blackfish.”
For the second year in a row, SeaWorld is opening a new roller coaster -- this one named the Tidal Twister -- at its San Diego park.
The Tidal Twister features dueling track cars that travel 30 mph around an infinity loop and cross in the middle.
The ride comes on the heels of the wildly successful Electric Eel, which opened in May 2018.
In addition to roller coasters, SeaWorld has added new attractions such as a Sesame Street parade, five new Ocean Explorer kids rides and a revamped whale show.
The new additions led to a 20 percent jump in attendance.
According to public records, 3.8 million people visited SeaWorld in 2018. That number was up from 3.1 million the year before, and it is considered the theme park’s first major visitor increase in almost a decade.
SeaWorld’s attendance numbers have been up and down since “Blackfish” premiered in 2013. The documentary looks into allegations of animal cruelty at the park and focuses on Tilikum, a killer whale involved in several deaths while in captivity.
With the release of the film, SeaWorld saw its stock drop, eventually bottoming out in 2017.
The company laid off staff across the country in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and in April 2019.
However, the theme park’s continued push to open new attractions has seemingly turned the tide.
The trend will continue into 2020, with SeaWorld already announcing another roller coaster called Mako for next summer.