A look at SeaWorld San Diego’s new parade route

This past Saturday, SeaWorld San Diego debuted a new street parade based on Sesame Street. While SeaWorld usually lacks the budget afforded by the Disney parks, their audio and lighting installations are usually top notch – and their new parade route infrastructure reflects that.

Now, we’re not talking about a Disneyland Resort-esque system that has had the luxury of refinement over the last several decades. But we are talking about a concentrated effort at creating a very competent system that does what it needs to do. In fact, this system far exceeds what Universal, Knott’s and Six Flags has to offer, so kudos to the SeaWorld team for their system design.

Lighting

For lighting, SeaWorld relies heavily on the FUZE PAR z120 IP LED fixture from Elation. This is a weather resistant LED par with motorized zoom, RGB color mixing, dimming and strobe effects in a single package. Compared to other LED pars that I’ve seen, these Elation fixtures offer a very nice diffused glow with great color mixing that doesn’t resemble the harsh transitions that often plague other LED fixtures. The COB LED arrangement coupled with good optics also helps eliminate the grid of LEDs that we’re used to seeing, which helps produce that very nice soft glow.

An array of eight fixtures flank each pole (supplied by AV Poles and Lighting), while signal is provided by the park’s fiber optic network.

Audio

Meanwhile, for audio, SeaWorld has deployed two weatherized Meyer Sound UPJ-1Ps with a U bracket affixed to an Adaptive Technologies Group attachment where audio is required. Because this is a self-powered box, localized power and signal are provided for both UPJs.

As for low frequency support, SeaWorld has elected not to install additional subwoofers, which means that the parade system can sound fairly dry if you’re not in an area that doesn’t already deploy a high impact system. As it currently stands, only the entrance of the park and the Ocean Explorer land deploy a dedicated top/subwoofer system, so there’s no low end for you should you decide to stray away from both areas. If you do stand in either zone, the JBL AE subwoofers compliment the UPJs nicely.

Cumulatively, the system sounds very good, and you can tell that there was some thought and care behind this new arrangement. The UPJ-1P is compact, linear and flat, with fairly prodigious output for its size, and they seem to fit this application well. Though, I’m curious to see how the boxes withstand the sometimes brutal San Diego sun and salty air over time.

As for the parade float system, Sesame Street Party Parade also uses Meyer, with tiny UP-4XPs providing much of the parade float audio.

Since this is a lighting and audio blog, I don’t have too much to say about the parade other than it was very cute. Their new experience clearly drew some substantial crowds, and I hope this signals an upbound for the struggling company.