SAN DIEGO (KGTV)-- For the first time since December 2020, SeaWorld San Diego will begin welcoming guests to its zoo Saturday morning.
"We will be opening as a zoo for the first time since early December and welcoming back all of our guests, and we couldn't be more thrilled," Park President Marilyn Hannes said.
The park was forced into shutdown twice since the start of the pandemic last March. Since then, Hannes said they have improved on implementing new COVID rules.
"We've had plenty of time to practice, so all of the stadiums have marked seating and signs and distancing markers so that you know where to stand and you know where to sit," Hannes said.
Guests will get their temperatures taken at the entrance, and they will have to be masked unless they go into the designated relaxation zones. Staying six feet away is still a must.
The park's most popular attractions, including 'Orca Encounter' and 'Dolphin Day' live shows will be back, as well as all of the park's outdoor zoo exhibits. New exhibition, 'Rescue Tails,' is a program that teaches participants about some of the park's recent marine rescues.
"When you think about all of the children that have been homeschooling all this time, we're not just a fun day out," Hannes said. "You can learn a lot too."
All guests, including annual pass holders and Fun Card members, must pre-register online before heading to the park. This is so SeaWorld can keep track of their guest count, which maxes out at 25-30% capacity.
"We don't want them to drive all the way down here, only to find out that we are at our limit for our controlled capacity right now," Hannes said.
The roller coasters, rides, and play areas will remain closed. But Hannes said she hopes to open those portions of the park in the new future.
"I think this is the way forward," Hannes said. "I think this time, it's going to stick. I'm hoping no more Stay-At-Home Order, and this helps us get one more step open for all of San Diego, and we all move forward together."