SAN DIEGO — SeaWorld is switching from zoo/aquarium to theme park. That means guests can ride the roller coasters again, but, due to the state's new theme park regulations -- the park will now only be open to California residents.
Starting Monday, screams will be heard at SeaWorld again as some of the roller coasters and smaller rides will have passengers after more than a year of being stagnant.
This was made possible due to SeaWorld switching into the theme park category after the state entered the orange tier.
"There's pent up demand for roller coasters and rides for young one as well," Marilyn Hannes, Sea World San Diego park president, said.
But, tourists hoping to enjoy SeaWorld may have to wait a little longer.
"As a theme park, we will not be able to have visitors from outside of California at this time, but we look forward to changing guidance very soon," Hannes said.
Californians will need to make a reservations online to keep attendance within the capacity limit of 25%.
Guests will also have to wear masks and social distance.
You'll also notice the ride platforms will have plexiglass dividers.
And, for those who live out of state and have already purchased tickets or season passes, they will be able to use those when restrictions loosen up again.
"And there's a lot of exciting rumors and projections about June being even better where things will change again, so I'm optimistic that we are going to have a summer that is much more back to normal than what we experienced last year," Hannes said.
Even during the pandemic when SeaWorld was closed, employees cared for animals around the clock, like two otters who were rescued from Alaska.
"We still had our staff here caring for them and they eat shrimp and clams and market price items, so it is not cheap to feed an otter," Jeni Smith, with SeaWorld, said.
The park was able to care for animals and keep staff employed, but took a big financial hit, so having more attractions to offer will hopefully drum up some more attendance and excitement.
The park is also hiring for hundreds of positions in a short amount of time, so if you are interested, now is the time to apply online.
WATCH: SeaWorld San Diego Park President, Marilyn Hannes talks about changes to the park
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