SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Some rides at SeaWorld San Diego finally reopened on Monday after being closed for more than a year.
The popular Electric Eel and Tentacle Twirl are back up and running, so are the smaller rides in the Sesame Street Bay of Play. SeaWorld is taking a phased approach to reopening rides. Manta is scheduled to reopen in the coming weeks. Other rides like Riptide Rescue, Shipwreck Rescue and Journey to Atlantis are still closed, but set to reopen by the warmer summer months.
The park has been operating as a zoo and aquarium for months, but with the orange tier increasing capacity to 25 percent or about 9,000 guests for SeaWorld, it is now back open as a theme park.
Only California residents are allowed at this time, temperature screenings are required before entering, masks must be on at all times, and rides have limited seating for social distancing.
Party sizes are limited to no more than three households. The park will also continue the indoor and outdoor animal attractions as well as the outdoor animal presentations.
“I think the attitude here is hopeful; we are really hopeful and optimistic that we are moving in the right direction,” said Corrine Brindley, the park’s corporate vice president.
A SeaWorld spokesperson tells ABC 10News approximately 50 new employees started over the weekend, and about 40 more are expected to start this week.
“We are busy hiring, hiring, hiring,” said Brindley. “We’ll be hiring about a thousand people for both this park and Aquatica down in Chula Vista.”
Seaworld is also offering a limited-time SoCal Resident Pass. For $9 a month, SoCal residents can get unlimited visits to SeaWorld for a year, and 50 percent off of general parking.