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Concord Mills’ Sea Life aquarium to open Feb. 20

SEALIFE0116_01
Jeff Siner - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
Shoppers pass by the new Sea Life aquarium front at Concord Mills on Wednesday. The aquarium, which is currently under construction, will feature a 36,000-square-foot aquarium that is expected to open Feb. 20.

Sea Life, the aquarium that will give people a chance to walk “under” an ocean of marine animals, will open to the public Feb. 20, officials have announced.

Construction on the 36,000-square-foot aquarium is nearing completion at Concord Mills. When open, the attraction will feature 5,000 creatures, including sharks, stingrays, an octopus, seahorses, jellyfish and other animals.

Sea Life will be the 100th attraction operated by Merlin Entertainments, based in Poole, England. The company also operates Legoland, Sea Life and Madame Tussauds wax museums in New York, Washington, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Atlanta, Phoenix and Minneapolis.

Grand opening ceremonies are planned for 10:30 a.m. Feb. 20, and owners say they plan to hire 40 people at a job fair Saturday and Sunday at the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord.

Sea Life attractions will include:

•  An ocean tunnel that allows visitors to see sharks, rays and other fish swim over their heads.

•  An interactive touch pool

•  A giant Pacific octopus, the largest species in the world

•  A presentation theater

•  A children’s play area

•  Educational talks and feedings during the day.

Sea Life admission prices and hours also have been announced.

Admission will be $21 for ages 13 and older; $17 for ages 3-12; and free to those 2 and younger. Through Feb. 19, tickets are $16 for all ages if bought online at www.visitsealife.com/charlotte-concord/buy-tickets/.

A season pass is $50 for an individual or $192 for a family of four, with a fee of $45 for additional family members. Family pass members will get a sneak peek of the aquarium Feb. 15-16.

Sea Life will operate from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. daily, except noon-7 p.m. Sundays.

Parking will be on the back side of the mall at Entrance 7.

Information is available online or on Facebook or Twitter.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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