Legoland to reopen its aquarium this Saturday, but the theme park will have to wait

Legoland Sea Life Aquarium
A young boy makes his way across a display window at the Sea Life Aquarium at Legoland.
(Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

The Carlsbad park is allowed to open its Sea Life attraction because the state and county have granted permission for aquariums to reopen


Following a three-month closure due to COVID-19, Legoland’ Sea Life aquarium, filled with more than 4,000 sea animals, will reopen Saturday, the Carlsbad park announced Wednesday.

While Legoland and other theme parks have yet to receive word from the state as to when they will be allowed to welcome visitors, aquariums and zoos fall into a separate category that was cleared for reopening about a week ago. The San Diego Zoo and Safari Park also plan to open to the public on Saturday.

“We were really hoping to be able to open the entire resort all at once, but seeing as how we still don’t have approval and guidelines for the park, at least we can offer our guests the beautiful aquarium,” Legoland spokeswoman Julie Estrada said in an email. “Sea life is not only relaxing and therapeutic for guests that have been cooped up for months, but it’s something families can enjoy together in a safe environment.”

Legoland and SeaWorld are both hoping to reopen their parks July 1, but Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office has yet to make any announcements about when amusement parks will be allowed to resume operations.

In order to comply with public health guidelines mandating social distancing, the Legoland aquarium will be operating at reduced capacity, so visitors are being asked to make online reservations for the date and time of their visits. There will be enhanced cleaning and cashless payments, and face coverings will be required for all visitors and employees.

In the months that it has been shut down to the public, the aquarium has seen the arrival of baby cuttlefish and is currently awaiting the birth of baby horn sharks, Legoland said. Featured at the aquarium is a 200,000-gallon ocean tank where visitors can walk below sharks, rays, tropical fish and other sea animals.