I went and checked out Wild Days this Sunday, mainly to see Jack Hanna, but I figured I check the other stuff out as well.
Had a funny moment with some Asian tourists at Dolphin Point right when the park opened. I'm sure some of you are familiar with the asian tourists and their weird ideology that it's more important for people to know you were some place then to actually enjoy your time there. This is why they take sooooo many pictures of themselves standing in front of things, gotta show off to the people back home. Well this lady is standing next to me with her family, waiting for the dolphins come by so they can pet them. She's there for a good 15 minutes, but they aren't really getting close to the edge. Eventually her husband turns her around and wants to get a picture of her in front of the dolphin tank. As he's setting up the shot, a dolphin comes by and actually stops on the little ledge on the edge of the pool, right in front of me and right behind her. I start to pet it, until it starts splashing its tail. I take a couple quick steps back to avoid getting soaked, but this lady hangs in their and lets her back get completely drenched just to take this photo. The way the wall is set up, the dolphin was hidden from the cameras view, but she still had to get that shot.
On with the event though. I did the special showing of Blue Horizons first. This is probably my favorite year round show in Orlando and while the show itself was as awesome as always, the special Wild Days tag was disappointing. They brought the Pilot Whales out and had a trainer basically brag about how great SeaWorld is and how the government wanted them to house the whales. Total feel good campaign for the park, and the whales didn't do anything but eat some fish along the edge of the pool. Not a great start to the event for me.
I dipped out of the stadium after the show, over to the Nautilus Theatre to get a good seat for the 11:00 Jack Hanna show. They had some hilarious bloopers during the pre show, but most of it was more "look how great SeaWorld is". He kicked off the show by talking about the documentary for about five minutes and pointed out Dawn's mother in the crowd. He had nothing but great things to say about the park, and their conservation efforts. I'd like to think a guy his age, who's been doing this for so long, isn't just doing it for the money and actually means what he says. It was a really touching moment and a great way to start off the show. The show itself involved a lot of animals being brought out onto the stage where he would give a little background on each and tell a few funny stories. He's a fascinating guy and I could have listened to him talk about different animals all day long. But the show ended and I hopped in line to meet him. Got a chance to thank him for his remarks about Blackfish and let him know that I support SeaWorld. He seemed to really appreciate it, and shook my hand three times, lol. This was the highlight of the event by far.
Went to do Shamu Up Close next, and this was the lowpoint of the day. They advertise it as a continuos show in the back pool. Well I stood around for an hour and the only excitement I got to see was a trainer throwing some ice chunks to the orcas. They kept repeating over the PA that if anyone had any questions they should ask one of the employees walking around. Of course whenever they did that, the employees would get bombarded with people wanting to know when the show would start. They just kept saying it was up to the trainers, but I only ever saw that one trainer get close to the pool. Very disappointing.
I finished out my afternoon with Pet's Ahoy, one of the other Wild Days shows, and the only show I hadn't seen at SeaWorld. Unlike Blue Horizons, there was no preshow tag. The show itself is hilarious, and has a TON of animals in it. I enjoyed it much more than say Clyde and Seymour, where the emphasis seems way more on the script than the animals. The trainers talked for maybe three minutes total in the whole show which I was happy with. I feel like One Ocean and the Clyde and Seymour shows don't focus nearly enough on the animals. It's a whole lot of talking. Blue Horizons has a lot of non-dolphin portions, but at least the cast are doing wicked acrobatics during these portions. Anyway the special tag on Pets Ahoy began after the show ended when at least half the theatre had already left their seats; not great planning. It really only involved the trainers talking about adopting pets, and was about as entertaining as an infomercial on the subject.
I skipped the Clyde and Seymour Wild Days show, just because I'm not a huge fan, and I figured there's three more weeks to see it. Overall I was disappointed in the event, but the Jungle Jack show itself was awesome!
Something I'll remember forever!
He talked a lot about Cheetah Run over at Busch Gardens here.
The Pilot Whale tag. Seriously, this is it. I wanted to get some more pictures, but they just led them to their back pool after this and started the regular show.
Love the Pet's Ahoy set!
That awning thing was filthy. Seems like bringing guests backstage would have been a perfect excuse to clean up back here...