SeaWorld San Diego is testing drones as an environmental fireworks replacement

For the environmentally conscious crowd, getting rid of Shamu at SeaWorld isn’t enough. The fireworks need to go, too.

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SeaWorld San Diego received approval for a two-week drone show trial run, according to a Thursday report from The San Diego Union-Tribune. The limited-run light show could use up to 500 drones to replace the vibrant nighttime explosives that are a go-to for theme parks.

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Visitors who stop by SeaWorld San Diego between Feb. 4 and Feb. 18, 2020, may be treated to a five-minute drone show, as noted in the commission’s guidelines. The drones also can’t exceed 400 feet.

SeaWorld did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment regarding its permit approval or whether its move toward drones is driven by a desire to be environmentally friendly.

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However, in the last few years, SeaWorld San Diego has scaled down its use of fireworks while it disputed court cases brought forward by environmental activist and attorney Marco Gonzalez of the Coast Law Group.

“We started looking at fireworks with SeaWorld and the Big Bay Boom. We’ve been doing this for 15 years,” Gonzalez told FOX 5 San Diego when the legal battle heated up in 2014. “Our goal has always been about protecting sensitive bodies of water.”

In the meantime, the aquatic theme park attempted to reel in visitors with an Electric Ocean attraction until it finally readopted its fireworks show this summer.

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Despite this, SeaWorld San Diego appears to see drones as a modern solution to a modern problem. The commission staff report acknowledged that “changing tastes and technologies, as well as recognizing the impacts fireworks may have on birds and water quality in the surrounding area.”

If the drone show is successful after the 15-day trial run in February, SeaWorld San Diego will have to seek further approval to make the tech-forward light show a permanent addition to the amusement park’s lineup.

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SeaWorld will join the ranks of Universal Studios Hollywood and Walt Disney World, which have used aerial drone shows as attractions in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Disney Springs.