Mako – New Dive Coaster + Other Changes for SeaWorld San Diego – Our Thoughts

Sean: SeaWorld San Diego is planning on expanding the park not just through new events but also new attractions, such as one of California’s largest roller coasters. At a recent forum last week SeaWorld San Diego presented their plans for the next few years in detail. Among special events and touch ups around the park, too come new encounters and the chain’s second “Mako“.

2019 is the park’s 55th anniversary, appropriately they’re launching the SeaWorld’s 55th Celebration. This will come with a new focus on the park’s impressive rescue program accomplishments, conservation efforts, research and the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute. The park will also launch a pass holder event, as well as a special celebration weekend March 21-24. The special celebration weekend will feature special entertainment, culinary specials, merchandise specials, and of course animal experiences.

The park is also bringing back the night time spectacular Electric Ocean this summer. The event is already one of our favorites, but the proposed Brilliant Sea show, a 500-drone powered show in the sky would elevate the event even further. The park recently ended nightly fireworks for budgetary and environmental reasons. The park’s “Park to Planet” motto would be lived up to with the entertainment in the sky. As of now SeaWorld is still in developing stages with Intel.

SeaWorld San Diego will also be updating their entrance to reflect special events and a modern aesthetic. 

With a continued and intensified focus on the rescue efforts of the SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment company, the entrance to the parking lot too will see a new look, much like the entrance gates the new look will be simplified yet sleek and modern.

SeaWorld San Diego will be celebrating a special Year of the Shark along with a relaunch of the park’s Shark Encounter. Much like in Orlando, the Shark Encounter will receive a new modern aesthetic with more education pumped throughout. The encounter is already one of our favorites and will soon feel much like the modern new Turtle Reef next door. 

The new Shark Encounter is part of the Mako addition. Mako being the park’s new roller coaster which will be located somewhat dislocated from the Shark Encounter.

Mako, the park’s new Dive Coaster, slated to open in 2020 (if the permits and zoning all get approved and finalized), will be located on a plot of land behind Wild Arctic and Journey to Atlantis. Journey to Atlantis will reopen in  2019 with new track, boats, and the original effects. The plot of Mako land is rumored to have been approved already.

San Diego’s Mako may share a name with Orlando’s, but the rides will be quite different both in looks and ride experience. SeaWorld San Diego is looking to add a 153 ft tall B&M Dive Machine, with a vertical drop of 143 ft in height. The trains will be much like the SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment floorless Dive Machines at the Busch Gardens parks (SheiKra and Griffon), and will likely seat guests 8-across in a train of 3 cars. It is possible that, due to the smaller nature of this installment, the trains will be 6-across (like Baron 1898 at the Efteling). Either way, the type of coaster will offer a completely unique experience not only for the park, but for the West Coast. (The installment of a B&M Dive Machine will be quite different than that of HangTime, a Gerstlauer Infinity Coaster, at Knott’s Berry Farm).

SeaWorld’s skyline is very clean, and with the addition of Mako it will remain clean, the park is again going with colors that will blend with the sky and not obstruct the Mission Bay skyline. As of now it looks like the colors will be very similar to Alpengeist at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, utilizing teal color for the supports and white for the track.

I’ve read several people’s comments online regarding Mako being the name of both SeaWorld coasters (Orlando and San Diego), and people are taking issue with the recycling of the name. I must disagree. The name is brilliant, short, memorable, modern, and fits exactly the theme and aesthetic that the park is going for. They already have it trademarked, and these rides are on opposite coasts. If anything, nobody should be surprised as Manta works incredibly well for both the Orlando and San Diego versions, which are quite different. I am very excited for this major SeaWorld San Diego coaster, that unlike Electric Eel, really sets the park on the map as a must-visit for coaster enthusiasts.


We’re incredibly excited for SeaWorld San Diego, which in just a few seasons will have become one of the best lineups of attractions in the state. Please note that most pictures seen above are a courtesy of behindthethrills.com

For our brand new SeaWorld Orlando update with KareKare Curl and Sesame Street construction, please click here. 

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