Huge crowds welcome Sea World’s return from shutdown
CROWDS have flocked back to Sea World as the Gold Coast theme park celebrates its reopening after a three-month shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Parent company Village Roadshow last week announced that Sea World and Paradise Country would resume operations on Friday and hundreds of people lined up before opening for a first look back inside the Gold Coast tourism icon.
About 2000 Sea World staff arrived for work to a round of applause, many of them starting their first shift in months.
Queensland Tourism Minister Kate said it was exciting for the park to again welcome guests.
For Sarah Lueth and her family from Scarborough, the reopening could not come quick enough.
Having returned to Australia in March after living in the US for many years, she said she was excited to return to the scene of so many happy memories.
"I wanted to go here as soon as we got back to Australia, but obviously that wasn't possible," she said.
"But we couldn't wait so as soon as they said they were opening we were keen to come."
Village Roadshow CEO Clark Kirby said the park would initially operate at a reduced capacity with strict COVID-safe frameworks and was hopeful of attracting a couple of thousand guests.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary has also reopened this morning.
Movie World and Wet'n'Wild will open next month with Dreamworld expected to announce a return date in the coming weeks.
Originally published as Huge crowds welcome Sea World's return from shutdown