by Photo courtesy of SeaWorld

Starting this weekend, SeaWorld is hosting its own New Orleans-style Mardi Gras during February. 

This family-friendly New-Orleans style event will feature live music, colorful costumes, festive performers, kids games, and Mardi-Grass-infused Creole and Cajun food on Saturdays and Sundays through Feb.27. This will be one of many events hosted at the marine park to draw visitors. 

The park will debut its latest attraction Emperor, on March 12. It is a roller coaster named after the emperor penguin and billed the tallest, longest, and fastest dive coaster in California.

SeaWorld’s new President of Operations Jim Lake, who spent over 30 years of experience with Disney and teaches hospitality at California State University, Fullerton, said the ride is about a 143-feet drop and reaches about 60 miles an hour. 

Its original opening date was in the Summer of 2020, but it was pushed back several times due to the ongoing pandemic and financial strains due to park closures. According to SeaWorld’s most recent third-quarter report, 7.2 million guests visited the park, an increase of 5.7 million guests from the third quarter of 2020, and the total revenue was $521.2 million, an increase of $415.1 million from the third quarter of 2020

The most recent figures show SeaWorld generated a net income of $102.1 million, the second-highest third-quarter net income.  

In November, Lake was appointed president of SeaWorld and Sesame Place, becoming the company's fourth president in six years. He will open Sesame Place next month in Chula Vista, which is themed after the children’s show Sesame Street.

Sesame Place is aimed to be family-friendly, and for kids of all ages. It will feature dry rides, water rides, parades, a show, and an interactive neighborhood. It will open as a Certified Autism Center (CAC) as designed by the International Board of Credentialing and continuing education standards (IBCCES). 

Staff will receive training before the park’s debut. According to the park’s website, Sesame Place focuses on providing every family with an enjoyable and memorable visit offering specialized services to guests with autism and other special needs. 

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