My friend took her daughter to SeaWorld today for an extra special early Valentine's present! She got to do a Dolphin Interaction!! I know, so cool. I would probably do a Penguin interaction (duh) but honestly, my favorite part of SeaWorld are the Bat Rays! And if you ask anyone who's been there with me, I'm like Moana's Grandma up in there! Hula-dancing the rays in my direction!
So how long have people been enjoying SeaWorld? Since March 21, 1964! The first location opened in San Diego, California with 21 acres along the shore of Mission Bay. The first park had four investors (George Millay, Milt Shedd, Ken Norris and David DeMott). The men had originally planned on opening an underwater restaurant. The park opened with an initial investment of $1.5 million, 45 employees, several dolphins, sea lions, and two saltwater aquariums, SeaWorld drew more than 400,000 visitors its first year. The first Orca, Shamu, arrived on December 20, 1965, from Seattle, Washington.
SeaWorld became a publicly traded company for the first time in 1968 and then went private again and has changed owners a handful of times in the past few decades before inital offering to the public once again in 2013, the same year Blackfish debuted. There's been good and bad press for SeaWorld, but currently they are on the upswing with their recovery efforts boasting the recuse of over 36,000 animals to date.
Do you have a fun SeaWorld story?