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SeaWorld planning for aerial drone show test run

Posted at 5:43 PM, Nov 14, 2019

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Come February, SeaWorld San Diego is hoping to fill the night sky over Mission Bay with the lights of a drone show.

The California Coastal Commission began considering their proposal for a test run at a hearing near San Francisco Thursday.

For decades, fireworks capped off a day of summer fun at SeaWorld. A few years ago - amid ongoing concerns over impacts on wildlife, water quality and pets - SeaWorld scaled back the shows, in favor of laser light shows. Now comes another high-flying option in the form of the drone light shows like those that have wowed at places like Universal Studios and Disney World.

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SeaWorld applied for a 15-night test run from February 4 through 18. Using GPS technology, more than 500 12-ounce drones would fly up to 400 feet in the sky, forming shapes with on-board lights in a five minute show, accompanied by music on the ground.

"I think it would be amazing to see it," said Alan Trachman, a Los Angeles resident who has visited SeaWorld San Diego about 15 times.

Industry observers believe if successful, the drones could eventually replace some or all of the fireworks shows.

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If the idea is approved, SeaWorld will be required to monitor noise, light and any bird strikes during the test run.