Can SeaWorld's new attractions get you back?

Posted at 5:15 AM, May 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-26 10:08:50-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - SeaWorld is taking a big step this weekend in trying to get San Diegans back through its turnstiles with the debut of two new attractions.

On Saturday, the park will open Ocean Explorer and the Orca Experience for its Memorial Day weekend visitors.

Ocean Explorer is a new area that features a mini-submarine ride that simulates deep sea exploration.

The Orca Encounter replaces the famous Shamu Show, which closed earlier this year. The new show is more passive and meant to highlight orcas in their natural environment. The killer whales will no longer perform tricks.

SeaWorld has been trying to boost attendance since the 2013 documentary "Blackfish" called into question its treatment of orcas. Its stock price plummeted, and the park had layoffs last year.

RELATED: SeaWorld San Diego debuts 'All Day Orca Play' program

In its latest earnings report, SeaWorld said San Diego attendance was lacking in the first quarter because its new attractions were not active.

Jennifer Maurer, who recently took her 15-month-old daughter to SeaWorld, said she left the park surprised.

"I didn't know it was more of an amusement park," she said. "I thought it would be just animals."

Maurer said she liked the idea of the new attractions because it means more things to do with her daughter.

In mid-June, SeaWorld will unveil a new light show that will replace its nightly fireworks.

In 2018, the park will unveil a new high-speed roller coaster mimicking an eel.

For the next few weeks, the park is offering discount tickets on its website.