SeaWorld has announced changes to its leadership, following the resignation of CEO, Sergio Rivera.

Rivera’s announcement that he was resigning as CEO was made just days after SeaWorld said 90% of its employees would be furloughed during closures in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a company press release, Rivera resigned because of disagreements over the board of directors’ involvement in the decision making at SeaWorld.

Marc Swanson has stepped in as interim CEO of SeaWorld and will serve as CEO at least until the parks reopen, which are temporarily closed because of the pandemic. Swanson was chief financial officer and treasurer at SeaWorld and has worked for the company for nearly 20 years.

Employees at SeaWorld parks were temporarily furloughed without pay from April 1. According the company officials, staff are eligible to receive unemployment benefits.

During the parks’ closures, the animals continue to be looked after, company officials said.



A new attraction has been announced for SeaWorld San Diego in 2020. Known as Emperor, the penguin-themed dive coaster will be the first floorless dive coaster in California.

The ride is named after the Emperor penguin, which can dive at an incredible depth of 1,800ft. The attraction is 153ft. tall and will be the fastest and tallest floorless dive coaster in California.

Riders will reach speeds of over 60mph and will be suspended and then dropped at heights of over 150ft. Thrill-seekers will be plunged 90 degrees into loops resembling the motions of Emperor penguins diving from cliffs into the sea.

Rollercoaster design specialists Bolliger & Mabillard, which are based in Switzerland, have built the Emperor.

The new penguin-themed dive coaster will be launched at SeaWorld San Diego in the summer of 2020. The ride will be next to the park’s Journey to Atlantis attraction.

Emperor will be the third new coaster to open at SeaWorld San Diego in three years, following the opening of the Electric Eel in 2018 and the Tidal Twister in 2019.



Since it first opened its doors in 1965, SeaWorld has rescued 36,000 animals in its ongoing mission to help stranded, ill and injured marine and terrestrial animals.

Working in partnership with animal care experts, rescue specialists and veterinarians, the much-loved amusement park has been successfully rescuing and rehabilitating animals for almost 55 years.

As Donna Wieting, director of NOAA Fisheries’ Office of Protected Resources, said: “SeaWorld’s work rescuing and rehabilitating wild animals is of the highest calibre and the reason why the rescue team has been a long-standing and valuable partner.

“We also value SeaWorld’s mission to educate the public about marine wildlife conservation and the role they play in protecting animal habitats,” Wieting continued.

Jon Peterson, senior leader of Zoological Operations at SeaWorld Orlando, describes SeaWorld’s commitment to animal rescue: “Our teams remain on the frontlines of marine mammal rescue because of our enduring commitment to supporting rescue, rehabilitation and return,” said Peterson, adding: “In a perfect world, animals would never need to be rescued, but until that changes, our teams will continue to work closely with our partners to help save these animals.”

For every ticket purchased for SeaWorld Orlando, San Antonio and San Diego, funds go towards the rescue and rehabilitation of the animals that are rehomed at the resort.

Tidal Twister proves a hit at SeaWorld San Diego


SeaWorld San Diego’s new rollercoaster the Tidal Twister is proving to be a hit with visitors of all ages. The coaster opened at SeaWorld San Diego in late May this year.

The horizontal duelling coaster experience is the first Skywarp Horizon from Skyline Attractions at SeaWorld San Diego. The ride was launched in partnership with Ride Entertainment.

According to Ride Entertainment, the attraction has started off well with visitors young and old enjoying riding on the coaster.

As Adam Sandy of Ride Entertainment commented:

“We are honoured that SeaWorld put their faith in us to help deliver a world’s first attraction. In a park with so many different types of coasters, the Skywarp Horizon really defines itself as a different attraction.”

The attraction has a marine theme, centred on coral reef protection and sustainable aquaculture. It takes guests on a journey of twists and turns along a figure of eight track as the trains reach speeds of 30 miles per hour.

Tidal Twister features two trains, each of which holds 16 passengers, who face one another in forward and backward facing seats.

The new rollercoaster is situated next to the resort’s aquarium and Aquaria touch pool.