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Seaworld Opening Rides, Extending Hours And Hiring Back Staff

SeaWorld San Diego's Electric Eal roller coaster is being used again for the ...

Photo by Guillermo Sevilla

Above: SeaWorld San Diego's Electric Eal roller coaster is being used again for the first time in more than a year, April 12, 2021.

In a sign that San Diego's economy is bouncing back, SeaWorld San Diego reopened rides and attractions on Monday after more than a year of closures.

"We’re very hopeful that things are moving in the right direction," said Corrine Brindley, SeaWorld San Diego's vice president.

Listen to this story by Matt Hoffman.

Brindley said it took a lot of work to get to this point. All the rides closed in March of last year, and it was not until this February when they started operating again as a zoo, opening their animal displays.

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"And at that point we could demonstrate that we can keep people six feet apart, we can require people to wear their masks, we have a lot of plexiglass and special barriers in place," she said.

Now that San Diego County is in the state’s orange reopening tier the park can open at 25% capacity. In addition to masking and social distancing, state officials want everyone who visits SeaWorld to be a California resident.

"When you make that reservation — because reservations are required — then you will attest at that point that you are in fact from California," Brindley said.

Reported by Matt Hoffman , Video by Guillermo Sevilla

Not everyone at the park Monday was a state resident.

Some people said they were visiting from places like Arizona. Officials recognize it is up to individuals to be responsible and are hoping people will be honest when buying tickets. For now, that restriction does not go away until the tier system goes away on June 15.

SeaWorld laid off 95% of their staff when the pandemic first hit. Now with rides opening, they are extending park hours and are currently filling open positions.


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Matt Hoffman
Health Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a general assignment reporter for KPBS. In addition to covering the latest news and issues that are relevant to the San Diego community, I like to dig deeper to find the voices and perspectives that other media often miss.

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