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SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

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

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^ Technically, Wave Breaker was the last Intamin SeaWorld purchased, so if this made any sense at all to begin, then wouldn't they have gotten a half-off deal with Wave Breaker and not Falcon's Fury lol?

 

I'm pretty sure the decision making process went something like this:

 

Guy 1: "Hey. Let's install a rapids ride at Orlando!"

 

Other dude: "Yeah, great idea! What manufacturer should we purchase it from?"

 

Guy 1: "Well... only essentially two manufacturers make them, and every other rapids ride we own across the company is an Intamin one, so... uh, Intamin".

 

Other dude: "Oh, ok."

 

It's not rocket science lol.

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Really like how Sea World/Busch Gardens have forged their own distinct style/aesthetic. The sculptural drop reminds me of Cheetah Hunt's sculptural supports, and is really out of the box and different for a rapids ride. Kinda futuristic meets natural. Looking forward to see how it turns out.

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^ Technically, Wave Breaker was the last Intamin SeaWorld purchased, so if this made any sense at all to begin, then wouldn't they have gotten a half-off deal with Wave Breaker and not Falcon's Fury lol?

 

I'm pretty sure the decision making process went something like this:

 

Guy 1: "Hey. Let's install a rapids ride at Orlando!"

 

Other dude: "Yeah, great idea! What manufacturer should we purchase it from?"

 

Guy 1: "Well... only essentially two manufacturers make them, and every other rapids ride we own across the company is an Intamin one, so... uh, Intamin".

 

Other dude: "Oh, ok."

 

It's not rocket science lol.

 

Awwww! That's so cute the way things work in your world.

 

In the real world RFPs are sent to the manufacturers with the proposals evaluated before making a decision.

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^ Technically, Wave Breaker was the last Intamin SeaWorld purchased, so if this made any sense at all to begin, then wouldn't they have gotten a half-off deal with Wave Breaker and not Falcon's Fury lol?

 

I'm pretty sure the decision making process went something like this:

 

Guy 1: "Hey. Let's install a rapids ride at Orlando!"

 

Other dude: "Yeah, great idea! What manufacturer should we purchase it from?"

 

Guy 1: "Well... only essentially two manufacturers make them, and every other rapids ride we own across the company is an Intamin one, so... uh, Intamin".

 

Other dude: "Oh, ok."

 

It's not rocket science lol.

 

Awwww! That's so cute the way things work in your world.

 

In the real world RFPs are sent to the manufacturers with the proposals evaluated before making a decision.

The main point of that is that only two manufacturers currently make rapids rides, but are you suggesting the uncommon possibility that any manufacturer would take on a proposal? I understand any company that doesn't currently make rapids rides could come out at anytime with one, but are you suggesting that Seaworld still sent proposals into say Mack or somewhere, even knowing they currently don't provide them?

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Just because they are building a rapids ride doesn't mean that was all they looked at. They could have said "let's build a water ride" and asked for a RFP from several different water ride manufacturers and chose to go with the Intamin rapids ride.

 

Dollywood didn't decide to build a wooden coaster for 2016. They decided to build a coaster and received RFP for both wood and steel coasters, for example.

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Just because they are building a rapids ride doesn't mean that was all they looked at. They could have said "let's build a water ride" and asked for a RFP from several different water ride manufacturers and chose to go with the Intamin rapids ride.

 

Dollywood didn't decide to build a wooden coaster for 2016. They decided to build a coaster and received RFP for both wood and steel coasters, for example.

I understand that. I made the dialogue over-simplistic and made the assumption that they were making serious inquiries into installing a rapids rides for the sake of arguement, i.e. that they had a preferred mindset or inclination to a particular ride type already. Obviously the decision process doesn't happen that way, but that wasn't the point of the post.

 

So let's say they generically sent out RFOs for any and all water rides. I wonder how many other manufacturers besides Intamin and Hafema tried to sell them a rapids rides. To my knowledge, if any other company did sell one to Seaworld, it would be their first (ignoring knockoff clones here because a reputable park like Seaworld probably wouldn't send a knockout company any RFP's, right?).

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Kraken has closed for its transportmation into Kraken Unleashed, which opens June 16.

 

They just posted a facebook live about it and showed us behinds the scenes - here is the link

 

The gist is:

- Old Kraken sculpture leaving

- Old Theming in Queue leaving

-New "3D Objects" essentially new kraken/queue theming

-Queue will have videos instructing riders on how to put on the headsets

-Queue will be themed after a sea base

-One of the trains is already converted to VR (Screencap below)

 

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Kraken VR Train

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Eh....I'm not feeling how that looks...as much as I hate the VR being added. I'll never put it on when I ride. I'm sure for every one of us that don't care for this being added, there are several others who will ride it just for this. To each their own I guess. Hopefully they'll have everything worked out by the time I go back in September with wait times and possible technical issues. I will say the entry area and queue definitely need a refreshing. It would be great if they could enclose it with AC in the process.

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Yeah, the old Kraken entrance was one of my favorites ever.

 

Yeah, same, I always liked walking through the cave to see the Kraken Eggs, it was always kind of a cool "hidden" aquarium at SeaWorld. But oh well, I'm sure the new entrance will look great what ever they end up doing with it.

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^^I feel like that padded compartment for the VR goggles is a perfect 'puke catcher'. Seriously, isn't it going to get gross?!!?

 

My first thought upon seeing that picture.

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I'm surprised that everyone liked sock puppet / paper mache Kraken so much?!?!? Sure, the cave with the eggs looks great, but the big sock puppet guarding it always looked a little C+ level park to me!

 

You're not wrong, but that also doesn't mean I didn't kind of like it a little bit. Besides we don't know what a Kraken really looks like, they might all be sock puppets in the wild.....

 

 

 

Also, I just noticed this picture on Google images of someone finish up painting opening year, they should have totally left a person in it's mouth as a thematic element.

Edited by Hilltopper39
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A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend one of the first showings of the new Dolphin Days show at SeaWorld Orlando. This show replaced the beloved Blue Horizons that ran at the Dolphin Theater for 11 years. As one of the first new shows under the new SeaWorld direction, Dolphin Days strips away most of the theatrical flair and story that its predecessor had, but manages to maintain the excitement and the awe of the previous show while giving guests a more educational, insightful look into the show's namesake stars. The Dolphin Theater has been left as is, with the last Blue Horizons show having finished on the day before this debuted--the show sets remain despite being mostly unused. The high diving platforms, acrobatic rigging and fountains of the previous show are in place but do not play a part in the show. New music joins the show experience as the trainers introduce each dolphin individually with their own unique trick that will catch the audience's attention.

 

Most surprisingly is the continuation of the dolphin trainers' in-water interactions with the dolphins... If not the increased amount of time within the show in which they do so. It is these very interactions that keep the new show from being overly preachy and educational, but further emphasizes the important bond between carer and caregiver that SeaWorld has so heavily focused on over the last few years.

 

Overall the show manages to accomplish exactly what SeaWorld intended... A less theatrical presentation that doesn't lose the value of what drew guests there in the first place. There's definitely more of an informational takeaway with this new show, but the tricks and the worth of lining up early and getting a good seat are still there. There's still the standard audience interaction and the splash zones are still used for a portion of the show... I walked away feeling relieved that this show is still very much in the vein of what I know and love about SeaWorld. Dolphin Days falls somewhat between the dolphin shows I grew up with and the modern show I spent the last decade loving as a young adult. The DNA of SeaWorld shines through in this show and while some may miss the cirque-esque theatrics of Blue Horizons, Dolphin Days is a worthy follow-up that does right by SeaWorld amidst today's changing demands from guests of a marine park.

 

On a totally separate track, this was also my first visit to SeaWorld's Seven Seas Food Festival. The successful event has already run at several of the other parks in the SeaWorld Parks family (it is a sister event to the food and wine festival at Busch Gardens) and it is off to a strong start for its first year. Encompassing the previous Bands, Brew & BBQ event and Viva La Musica, the new festival features a event-wide menu in additional to seasonal offerings tied to the previous events in which it includes. The festival runs mostly during the weekends but has also been running for select weekdays with a limited menu due to the festival's popularity. The event is running for a few more weeks so I strongly recommend stopping into the park to check it out along with the new Dolphin Days show!

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Like with Blue Horizons, Dolphin Days has multiple shows each day.

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Over on the festival side of the event (remember, the booths are mostly located throughout the park), the concert stage at Bayside Stadium is accompanied by a series of beer booths and a smaller entertainment stage.

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The "superman" trick from Blue Horizons still takes place too!

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A child from the audience is chosen to interact with a dolphin up close... And gets a little wet in the process!

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And this signature trick still takes place too!

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One of my favorite moments from the Blue Horizons finale returns when the dolphins all jump in unison across the theater.

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The former Blue Horizons set remains intact even though its elements are mostly unused in the new show.

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The pre-show features three humorous construction workers heckling guests as they enter the theater.

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It is a welcome relief to see that the dolphins are still extremely active throughout the show.

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The trainers still actively perform in the water with the dolphins, which is a great surprise as well!

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The audience really seemed to respond to all of the tricks within the show!

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The parrots from Blue Horizons still appear in the show, flying overhead which definitely catches guests off guard.

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One of my favorite moments from the Blue Horizons finale returns when the dolphins all jump in unison across the theater.

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The Smokehouse Tavern (one of the seasonal booths) offered the park's signature spare ribs (a favorite tradition of my family's that I've always indulged when I can) and a Yuengling-infused grilled kielbasa sandwich!

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At the Caribbean Market, the Shrimp Cake, Seafood Ceviche and the Cinnamon Slow Roasted Pork Belly were all winners!

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The Florida Market (my favorite booth of the event) featured Coconut Shrimp, Shrimp Mac & Cheese (my favorite savory dish of the event), a Fried Kataifi Orange and the Key Lime Martini (my favorite dessert of the event). I came back for seconds!

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The Mediterranean Market features Sea Scallops Provencal, Smoked Cured Salmon, a Grilled Lamb Chop and the Dark Chocolate Guinness Mousse Parfait, all of which were awesome!

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The Bacon & Cheddar Hushpuppies from the North Atlantic Market were my second favorite savory item out of the entire event menu. The Grilled Venison Sausage Slider was a great option too!

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The Pacific Coast Market has some of the most unique menu items of the event including the Braised Pork Cheek and the Grilled Cheese Pound Cake (an item brought over from the sister event at Busch Gardens Tampa).

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The braised pork cheek is wrapped in banana leaves and served with a savory apple polenta and red wine reduction. Such a great dish!

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The Ahi Tuna Tartar (bottom left) and the Hawaiian Pineapple Dream Cake (top right) from the Polynesian island Market both impressed... The Hawaiian Pineapple Dream Cake was a standout of the entire event!

 

The Gulf Coast Market's Braised Short Ribs, the Cheese Grits & Shrimp Casserole and the Wild Berry Chocolate Bread Pudding were all great as well!

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Both the Polynesian Island Market and the Gulf Coast Market enjoy a convenient location in the shaded structure to the right of the entrance of Wild Arctic.

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Over at the Korean Market, the Korean Beef Taco and the Roasted Sweet Potato Taco were both a large and particularly flavorful! The Watermelon Slushy with Soju, Ginger Liqueur, Simply Syrup and Lime Juice was perfectly smooth and refreshing!

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The Chicken & Sausage Gumbo from the Gulf Coast Market was another win for the event.

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Thanks for the report, Adam...the new Dolphin Days show (I found myself humming the song Dancing Days by Led Zeppelin - lol) looks like a hit & the food offerings at the Seven Seas festival look like they're trying to compete with some of the great offerings at a certain park just down the road.

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Nice report! Glad to see someone else loving dolphin days as much as I did. I was down there for the first day of the new show and got to see the very first one and my gf and I both enjoyed it more than blue horizons. We both really loved the food festival as well, we ended up doing the 15 item deal and it lasted us for 3 trips since we didn't spend the whole day any of the days.

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The Seaworld/Busch parks really know how to crank out some amazing looking food for these festivals/events.

 

I really like Kraken, and I don't mind the current Kraken entrance. I'm really not a fan of VR so I'm glad these parks are making it optional. The VR always looks pretty cheesy, though I admit it's cool what they can do with technology. That, and I'm not fond of putting anything on my face that was just on someone else's face in the hot/humid weather of the southern US...

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That food looks great!

 

Thanks for the report about the dolphin show. I actually think I would like Dolphin Days better than Blue Horizons. I came away from Blue Horizons wishing there was more of the dolphins in it. When they announced Dolphin Days I was worried there wouldn't be any sort of dolphin tricks or acrobatics but I'm glad they have kept it. Watching the dolphins jump and flip in unison mesmerized me as a child and still mesmerizes me as an adult.

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