^The Dolphins went backstage because the Rays needed a large temporary exhibit. They have three times as many Rays as they do Commerson Dolphins, so they could be placed in a smaller backstage tank. Now that Manta is open, I believe they have been put back in their tank by Atlantis. I'll check next time I go.
I hope we hear more soon one exactly what changes they will be making to the park. I can't imagine any slides will be taken out, but will we be seeing any kind of "signature" slide that they can market as a headliner? This acquisition has obviously been in the works for a while, so I wouldn't be surprised if we did see a new slide of some kind come spring.
I may try to do a little digging into the project to see if I can find out more on what exactly they plan to do.
Now, to address all this talk about "Busch Gardens Wild Animal Safari Park"....
The San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park (formerly The Wild Animal Park) is actually looking the best it ever has right now. They've drastically improved and remodeled several guady areas of the park, adding a Bat enclosure and a play gardens for families, and removing the eyesore upcharge portable motion simulator . Sure, the focus of the park has shifted to a variety of Upcharge experiences in addition to their normal lineup, but there's no reason to complain when their normal lineup is still 100x better than your average zoo.
I can't see SeaWorld Parks Entertainment looking to acquire this, mainly because the park operates on a Not For Profit basis. The park does tremendous amounts of animal research and development, and their African Plain area hold the very last Southern White Rhino in the entire world. The Soological Society is not looking to sell one of their most valuable assets to a company. SWPI operates for profit, and would change the way the park and it's research functions.
And before people start whining about how the park sucks
, give it another chance
. It's done a complete 720° turnaround from just a few short years ago. Yes, the original Tram is gone. Yes, the new one isn't as long (however you do get pretty close to all the exhibits). If they ever build the second Tram loop for Asia, then the park will finally be complete again. As it stands, the Asian area of the park still feels like it's stuck in the 1980's, and is deteriorating.
So to summarize for all the people who skimmed the post and decided not to read the wall of text, SWPI will most likely NEVER be acquiring The San Diego Zoo's Wild Safari Park.