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SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

P. 266: Reef Plunge and more announced for Aquatica!

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Interesting article trying to please those bandwagon Blackfish supporters. SeaWorld's reasoning to me makes plenty of sense, I know the public schools all have their spring breaks around Easter and the Orlando parks typically are more crowded around then..

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  • 3 weeks later...
^That has been rumored since before Manta was built. I'd place my bets on Busch Gardens Tampa Bay getting a hyper before SeaWorld Orlando ever does.


Yeah, that sounds more realistic. Of course, I'd love one at either of those parks.

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Aquatica Trip Report 6/30/2014


Hello all! I thought I would share my experience at Aquatica Orlando with you! I haven't been since March of 2008.


Of course I was one of the first cars in the parking lot and one of the first people to be at the rope/chain drop. When the park opened, my family and I threw our belongings on some lounge chairs and headed straight for Ihu's Breakaway Falls. I'll post my review of every slide below but we left the park at 12:00 as the FL rain came and we finished every slide. The trees and scenery really have grown in over the year and the park looks really nice. Theming is great and had a great experience.


1) Ihu's Breakaway Falls 10/10

I've never done a drop box slide before and I was the first rider of the day. I was really nervous and climbing all of those stairs didn't help to try and keep me calm. I chose the Green first not knowing the differences between all three and I was blown away! What an experience! We went back up the tower and there were about 15 people in front of us. It took about 10 minutes until it was my turn as there was only one person working the entire tower. I did the blue next and that seemed to have a longer drop and was a bit more intense. Due to the lines being long, I didn't get to try the Orange but did manage to do the Purple later. That was really intense and should not be counted out at all!


2) Omaka Rocka 10/10

This was also new to me and I was also really shocked by it! This slide was just fun. We did both blue and purple and managed to re-slide later in the day. I thought the Blue was a bit better. The last turn at the end was a surprise and very quick. I loved those funnels! Very fun slide!


3) Whanau Way 10/10

These slides are really really really FAST! The ones with the double dip at the end...I rode with my cousin and I was in front. I left my seat on the second dip and got a lot of airtime! It was just insane. We rode all four. The line was actually shorter later on in the day!


4) Tassie's Twisters 8/10

I think they replaced some parts on the blue slide because they didn't have the streaming jets throughout the bowl. I prefer the Proslide ones just because you don't ever get stuck on those. A fun slide nonetheless but not the greatest.


5) Walhalla Wave 9/10

I forgot how fast this slide was! In 2008, I thought it was just mediocre but even with two people, you really shoot up the sides of the slides! Pretty fun slide. The line for the slide was at the bottom of the entire staircase when I left.


6) HooRoo Run 8/10

This is a fun and quick slide but I think BubbaTub at Wet N Wild was a lot better because it seemed faster and steeper there. This slide has really faded too. It was pretty fun with some slight airtime.


7) Taumata Racer 10/10

I haven't been on too many different types of mat racers but this is the best one I've rode! The drop at the end makes it the best! Lots of fun! My fastest time was 7.55 seconds to the bottom! We rode 4 times to try every color, not every slide. This is a really great mat slide.


8) Roa's Rapids 10/10

Simply stated...one of the best lazy rivers ever! Really fast and lots of fun!


9) Dolphin's Plunge 6/10

I don't get this slide. You can't see like anything for the split second you are underwater with the dolphins. I think if it was a slower slide and you were under the water for more than like 1 second, I would think this slide would be worth it. It just isn't.


10) Walkabout Waters 10/10

Love dumping big buckets on not only the kids...but the adults! I was hanging around at one bucket for about 15 minutes in there!


I think I covered all of the slides. It was a really fun day! Got pretty crowded later on in the day and it seemed as if the lifeguards weren't ready for the park to open as there was only like one person for all of Ihu's Breakaway Falls. Lots of trees grew in which I liked to see! Overall a very fun day at Aquatica! I still think the overall atmosphere at the Disney water parks are a lot better though

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Southwest Airlines and SeaWorld Entertainment are ending their 25-year-old marketing partnership, officials with both companies said Thursday, as the airline has been urged by animal rights activists to terminate the relationship.


The partnership won't be renewed at the end of the year when the current contract expires. As part of the partnership, three Southwest airplanes had various SeaWorld animals painted on their bodies. Those planes will be painted over to Southwest's traditional look. SeaWorld also had Southwest signs in its parks, and Southwest offered vacation packages to SeaWorld, as it does to other tourist destinations. The vacation packages will continue.


SeaWorld officials said the decision was mutual.


SeaWorld wants to concentrate on growing markets in Latin America and Asia, the marine park company said in a statement.


"Southwest and SeaWorld have enjoyed their long relationship, and wish each other continued success," the statement said.


SeaWorld has parks in Orlando, Florida; San Antonio and San Diego.


Southwest spokeswoman Marilee McInnis said it was a business decision as the airline intends to focus on international service.


Earlier this year, animal rights activist held a rally and dropped off a petition at Southwest, urging the airline to end the relationship. The activists cited the documentary "Blackfish," which explores what may have caused the killer whale Tilikum to kill SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010.


The documentary argues that killer whales, when in captivity, become more aggressive to humans and each other. Since the documentary, several entertainers have pulled out of planned performances at SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. parks.


Regarding the pressure from the activists, McInnis said Southwest has been in "listening and education mode."


"We ... have engaged and heard from conservationists, SeaWorld supporters, and others on all sides of this issue," McInnis said.


The president of the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said in a statement that workers in her office were delighted to hear the partnership was ending.


"Champagne corks were popping at PETA today when we heard that Southwest will no longer support SeaWorld and will repaint its planes," said Ingrid Newkirk. "The second I heard the good news, I knew that I'd be booking my next trip on Southwest."

Edited by jedimaster1227
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Second Quarter results may look scary, but SeaWorld announcement to come in the following days! (Fingers crossed)


Also, SeaWorld has plans for international expansion (as well all know), but Pan-Asia, Russia, and India seem to be the ideal locations; which seem pretty odd...


Any thoughts?

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I'm in the opposite camp actually, I'm actually enthused that there was any rise in attendance(in the second quarter). This whole movement should pass over in the coming years. Shares may be down by a lot, but they will definitely rise as long as there isn't as much negative press and good announcements to follow.


As a big SW fan, I'm ecstatic to hear about all these announcements that we've got coming. I'm not quite sure exactly what these big plans are that the SeaWorld podcast is referring to, as I don't know exactly what it could be. I know for a fact that they will announce their new Sea Lion show. I suspect a potential refurbishment of Wild Arctic, which is long needed. A suspended theater would work perfectly. Kinda like Soarin at Epcot. It definately is a possible refurbishment plan given Europe in the Air at BGW and SeaWorld's close ties with Falcon Treehouse. However, it would probably be hard to market considering the two attractions would be pretty similar and within such close proximity. The only possible things I could think of are refurbishing Journey to Atlantis. Blue Horizons is getting pretty old too(9 years strong!), I heard one of the employees say that it is the best rated show in the park so that means it probably be around for as long as the Clyde and Seamore show that just left had been.


Aquatica definitely has some potential for expansion. I would like to see something like Stingray falls at Aquatica SA in that park, especially considering the two current family tube rides are kinda eh and tucked away in the back. Some completely unique water attraction that combines animals and thrills would be awesome since Ihu's Breakaway Falls doesn't feature any animals as far as I could tell. Lastly, Discovery Cove will probably not get anything because they got a few expansions just a couple years ago even though in my opinion, the park does just need one more attraction.

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New York Mag - SeaWorld: Remember When We Said That Blackfish Movie Didn’t Hurt Us? Well, Never Mind.


For months, people have wondered if Blackfish — the amazing, award-winning, depressing-as-hell documentary about chronic mistreatment of orca whales at SeaWorld's amusement parks — would have an effect on SeaWorld's bottom line. At first, SeaWorld's PR machine adopted the say-nothing strategy, figuring the controversy would blow over. Then it began an aggressive campaign to discredit the film, with slogans like "The Truth About Blackfish," while insisting to investors — the people who really matter, that is — that all was fine. "We can see no noticeable impact on our business,” CEO Jim Atchison said in March. Incredibly, Atchison even hinted that Blackfish had been good for SeaWorld: “The movie in some ways has actually made perhaps more interest in marine mammal parks and actually even about us."


Today, SeaWorld changed course, and admitted, finally, that the backlash is taking a toll after all.


SeaWorld's stock is plummeting more than 20 percent today, after quarterly earnings that showed shrinking revenue and lowered guidance for next quarter. In today's press release, SeaWorld admitted for the first time that Blackfish may be hurting attendance, blaming people skipping their parks owing to "recent media attention surrounding proposed legislation in the state of California."


That legislation, the "Orca Welfare Safety Act," has been tabled while further studies are conducted. So SeaWorld isn't in immediate danger of losing its money-minting orca shows just yet. But the backlash shows no signs of subsiding. And if SeaWorld refuses to reform its practices and end orca shows, it could find itself in the shoes once occupied by industries like Big Tobacco — which remained enormously profitable even as its public image was being attacked, then woke up years later to find that, actually, all those anti-smoking ad campaigns had made a mark.


SeaWorld has shown it can play defense in the face of a PR crisis. Now the question is whether it's taking seriously the long-term threat of a generation of kids thinking it's more concerned about its profits than the welfare of its whales.


Here's a link to the press release mentioned in the article

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Very disappointed with the results. But I expected it. Let's hope this is their rock bottom.

I hope so, too. Having watched Blackfish a couple of times now, it amazes me how people cannot see that it's so obvious propaganda for pro-animal rights groups. I mean, look, if you dig deep enough, you can find faults with ANY company and with a good editor you can exploit them and paint a bad picture on anyone. It's just a shame that they are doing it to a company that has actually done more good in the recent decades, and just because they don't particularly agree with something, they are making it appear that their "opinions" are "facts" and getting a whole lot of ignorant people to buy into it.


But like you said, let's hope this is their rock bottom and they can bounce back from it.

Edited by robbalvey
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Sad to hear. Can't say I didn't see this coming, however. I've been visiting SWSD at least 3 times a year for the past 25 years. I know what they stand for and support them 100% as well as the rest of the SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment family. I have a feeling it might get worse before it gets better. I sincerely hope I'm wrong......

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I have a feeling it might get worse before it gets better. I sincerely hope I'm wrong......

I'm hoping that the "worse" part is right now. If there is one thing I've seen at the Orlando park over the last few months of going there is that this summer has been PACKED. I also know that the Shamu show was closed for a few months while they did some renovations, and I have no idea if that had anything to do with the decline in revenue (doubtful as it was not a busy time when it was closed), but there is that factor.


I know that I certainly hear about Blackfish a lot less now than I did six months ago, so maybe people are on to being weekend activists for other things? Who knows. I guess we'll just have to wait until the next report and see how they are doing...

Edited by robbalvey
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^ Yup. It's disturbing to read. Like I said, it's Idiocracy happening right in front of us. They all want the parks to release the animals into the wild but have ZERO intelligence on the subject matter to know that they would all die if they did that. And if you try to explain it to any of them using logic or science, you get pages and pages of abusive, vulgar hate comments.


You can't fix stupid...

Edited by robbalvey
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WOW! That project came out of the blue (pun intended). It looks spectacular. Hmmm. I wonder if that is the reason why BGW is getting a small foot print roller coaster. I think that in the coming years they may not invest a lot in other attractions due to the size and scope of these projects at all of the SW parks. But wow...I am impressed

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