San Diego, CA

SeaWorld Orca Experience

Our design team assisted in the creation of a unique controls system to enrich the Orca Encounter with features underwater bubbles and water jets.

View of the Orca Experience stage at the SeaWorld San Diego location

Value Delivered

The new LEED certified Orca Encounter educational program replaced the One Ocean killer whale show at SeaWorld San Diego. The new innovative killer whale experience included a new stage background with a 140-foot-long infinity screen featuring documentaries of orcas in the wild, in addition to faux mountains and plant life.

In addition to the work on the Encounter stage, an Orca Enrichment system was added to the project. The scope for this portion of the work included the design and construction of an instrumentation and controls system that would allow trainers to trigger enrichment features, such as underwater bubble curtains, medium pressure water jets, and a camera system. The features could also be triggered by motion detectors around all the pools, or by software or hardwired stations. 

Client Objectives

In 2016, SeaWorld announced that they would no longer perform their signature Shamu shows and would discontinue its breeding program. The amusement park shifted focus from animal entertainment to education. Park visitors now learn about sea life and have the exciting thrills of a traditional theme park.


We aided with the design of a 12,000 Volt-Amps lighting inverter and connection to an emergency generator to provide a new life safety egress lighting system, allowing shows to continue well into the evenings.

Our team also provided the infrastructure and equipment needed for a future tone generation system within the pools, as well as construction of full electric service and telecommunications systems.

Client Background

SeaWorld is one of the largest marine animal rescue organizations in the world and it owns and operates thirteen recreational destinations in the United States, including eight theme parks and five water parks.