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SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

P. 276: Penguin Trek construction update!

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It could be because the Busch parks are owned by a completely different company with a different approach at new rides/attractions.


I've noticed that Blackstone seems to be investing in rides that AB probably wouldn't have (Mach Tower, Cheetaka, Manta West, and the possible prototype launcher coming to BGW come to mind). Blackstone enjoys taking slightly bigger risks in their investments.


The whole copyright ordeal seems interesting though.



I don't really think that's the case since sheikra, manta east, jungala, aquatic, Allure, and some of the other attractions in question were all built before Blackstone took over ownership of the parks. The "new style" of design in the parks was established and executed several times while they were still owned and operated by busch. Besides I think Blackstone is more of a "owner" than an "operator" and after th purchase was made the parks more or less continued to exist and operate the same as before. So I dont really think Blackstone really had anything to do with new era of the Seaworld parks.

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I was at that first show with Tilikum on Wednesday. It was actually pretty emotional. Lots of SeaWorld nerds there. The crowd was really excited to see him back. No booing or negativity--just the opposite, in fact.

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SeaWorld parks across the U.S. will soon debut an all-new Shamu show this spring and summer, connecting you and your family to the sea with a new level of energy, excitement and vibrancy as it educates and inspires you to make a difference in this world.


SeaWorld Orlando launches One Ocean on April 22.


“One Ocean” features SeaWorld’s majestic killer whales as ambassadors of the sea, and the ocean as the center of our natural world. The show connects you with these remarkable animals and immerses the you in the vivid colors and sensations of the underwater world. At the core of the show is the unifying message that both animals and humans are part of one world, with one ocean, and its future is in our hands to cherish and protect.


This new show is what you love about our parks – thrilling entertainment that educates and inspires you to celebrate, connect and care for the world we share.

One Ocean features spectacular whale behaviors, including thrilling high-energy leaps and multiple whales performing simultaneously. The whales interact in new ways with trainers, the audience, each other, and even the set itself. In one segment, the whales play amid giant fountains.


Shamu Stadium – with its three-story set, panoramic LED screens and hundreds of surround-sound speakers – will feature special effects that envelop you in the show experience, including brilliantly colored lights; soaring fountains; stunning underwater imagery and an original, contemporary musical score with global rhythms.


But even more important is the educational message the show imparts: we are all part of one world and have the power to make a difference. The message of caring and respect for the world we share is woven throughout the show – encouraging guests to make a difference through their own everyday actions.

Find out more at SeaWorldOrlando.com/OneOcean.




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Meet Project Manager Iulia Lopez Siemen as she takes you through a construction update in this video focusing on the installation of the acrylic panels at The Grand Reef at Discovery Cove in Orlando.


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Manta sure is an amazing roller coaster. I think that Manta is way better than Batwing at SFA Maryland.

I just love the way Manta is gliding and Swooping, Diving through 4 inversion on the 3,350 feet of track because you're face down from start to finish. I also like the entrance of Manta where you can see Rays as you move through the entrance.

And I love the speed of nearly 60mph. This roller coaster is a must to ride I rate Manta 10+

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SeaWorld parks across the United States are counting down the days to the debut of the all-new killer whale show "One Ocean." The show connects guests to the sea with a new level of energy, excitement and vibrancy as it educates and inspires them to make a difference in this world. "One Ocean" opens at SeaWorld Orlando on Earth Day, Friday, April 22; at SeaWorld San Diego on Memorial Day weekend and SeaWorld San Antonio in June.


“One Ocean” features SeaWorld’s majestic killer whales as ambassadors of the sea, and the ocean as the center of our natural world. The message of caring and respect for the world we share is woven throughout the show, encouraging guests to make a difference through everyday actions.


We will post a series of video vignettes now through the grand opening that take you behind the scenes with trainers, producers, designers and educators as they collaborate on every aspect of the new show - from set design, lighting and special effects to costumes and an original symphonic score.


First up is where every creative project starts: the inspiration.



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  • 1 month later...



Freed from the constraints of owners more interested in brewing beer than building theme parks, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is accelerating plans to expand into new businesses, including movies, television and hotels.


After flirting with the idea for years, the Orlando-based theme-park operator will release a feature film this month through SeaWorld Pictures, the company's new film division. The sea-turtle documentary, expected to reach as many as 400 theaters this summer, is the first of what executives hope will be a long line of SeaWorld-produced nature films that capitalize on the company's reputation for marine-life expertise and buttress it against criticism from anti-captivity activists.


SeaWorld wants to make more than movies eventually. Company executives say they are exploring new projects in television, publishing and consumer products.


At the same time, SeaWorld is working on plans to build its first hotel. And it says it is making progress toward its first international theme park, with the most likely location somewhere in Southeast Asia.


With such projects, SeaWorld is borrowing a page from the playbooks of other large theme-park operators such as the Walt Disney Co., all of whom are searching out new sources of growth to confront what experts say is a nearly maxed-out American theme-park market. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has devoted much of its capital spending in recent years to building up "flanker" businesses, such as cruises and time shares, and to international expansion, including the $4.4 billion Shanghai Disneyland resort scheduled to open in about five years.


SeaWorld's expansion plans come even as it pumps nearly $200 million this year into new rides and shows for its 10 existing U.S. amusement parks, which collectively draw more than 20 million visitors annually.


"There are really a few things that we're focused on as a company. One is looking forward to grow the parks we have," said Jim Atchison, SeaWorld Parks' president and chief executive officer. "But we'll also look for ways to expand the business internationally or into new geographic markets. We'll also look for ways to grow the business from a tangential standpoint, into other lines of business."


Bolstered by an internationally recognized brand, SeaWorld executives have longed for years to branch beyond theme parks. But their plans proved difficult to sell to higher-ups within longtime owner Anheuser-Busch Cos., for whom theme parks were a one-off business that lacked a direct tie to the company's core business of making and selling beer.


But that's no longer an obstacle for SeaWorld, which in 2009 was sold by Anheuser-Busch InBev to the Blackstone Group in a deal worth about $2.5 billion.


Now, a key corporate goal is to "take such a wonderful, established brand and really expand it beyond the borders of our parks," said Scott Helmstedter, a former entertainment producer who in April was hired as SeaWorld Parks' new chief creative officer.


June 21 film premiere


The first glimpse of SeaWorld's plans will come June 21, when "Turtle: The Incredible Journey" premieres in a 3-D theater at SeaWorld San Diego. The documentary follows aloggerhead sea turtle on a 9,000-mile journey from hatching to maturity to a return to its Florida nesting grounds.


Developed by Hannover House, a small production studio, the film was initially released in Europe. SeaWorld purchased the film's North American distribution rights and made it the launch film for its new SeaWorld Pictures banner.


The movie will begin with a limited release in New York and Los Angeles, as well as Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio — the three cities with SeaWorld marine parks. But it will spread to about 40 markets and 300 to 400 theaters by the end of the summer, and will be followed by a DVD release in November.


SeaWorld says it has patterned the release schedule after "March of the Penguins," the surprise 2005 hit that did $127 million in worldwide ticket sales.


Helmstedter said other film projects are already in the works. SeaWorld Pictures intends to produce original movies and acquire more films for distribution.


SeaWorld wants to move into related businesses as well, including television and publishing. And Helmstedter said SeaWorld also wants to build a consumer-products business, potentially licensing merchandise to sell through retail chains.


Putting hotels at parks


Big-ticket construction projects are also on the horizon. Atchison said SeaWorld is "actively pursuing" plans to build one or more hotels at some of its existing U.S. parks.


"It's a good fit with our business," Atchison said. "I don't know that it makes sense in every market where we have a park. But certainly there are some markets where I think we could get in the hotel business in an on-property format that helps better the guest experience."


Atchison would notdeclined to identify the locations SeaWorld is considering for a hotel. But the company has five parks — SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld San Diego, Sea World San Antonio, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Virginia — that each draw at least 2million visitors a year, according to industry estimates. SeaWorld Orlando is the biggest park in the chain, with annual attendance about 5.5million.


"Our analysis suggests that, if you could generate 2 million or more attendance on an annual basis, there may be an economic argument for building a hotel, particularly if those 2 million people are derived from the tourist market," said John Robinett, a senior vice president with the market-research company AECOM in Los Angeles.


Farther afield, Atchison said SeaWorld is developing plans to expand internationally. SeaWorld, like other big theme-park chains, is particularly interested in China and neighboring countries. Though not certain, Atchison said it is "probable" that the company's first overseas park will be built in Southeast Asia.


"There's a few opportunities that we're putting a lot of effort into right now," he said.


Atchison said he thinks there is still room for SeaWorld to grow in North America, particularly with some of its niche brands. He singled out the limited-admission park Discovery Cove and the water park Aquatica, both in Orlando, and the children's park Sesame Place, in Pennsylvania, as likely targets for expansion.


"Do I think that in the U.S. marketplace there's a place for 10 more SeaWorlds? Probably not," Atchison said. "But there's probably other locations that could support other concepts that we have and, I think, do very well."


SeaWorld has also sent us a press release about the latest of a rehabilitated manatee.


This afternoon, SeaWorld Orlando’s animal care team released 1515-pound Lil Joe the manatee into Lake Dexter in Astor, Fla. The SeaWorld team fitted him with a tracking device before the release so that his health can be monitored. Lil Joe was released into Lake Dexter where several other manatees already live, and will help him get acclimated to his new environment. After the release, Lil Joe was seen nibbling on nearby vegetation, which is a good sign.




Edited by jedimaster1227
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I would totally stay at a Sea World or Busch Hotel! It's always a bummer that more US parks don't have awesome resorts attached to them like so many European and Asian parks do, this is a step in the right direction for sure!

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This is a positive step forward for the SW chain- and for the BG parks as well. Yes, there are tons of hotels around the parks, and for the most part are decent- but the idea of having a resort-hotel on or near property would be amazing to me, and something I'd gladly shell out the sheckels for.

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A Sea World San Diego hotel would make a killing. There's nothing for families in MIssion Bay...Just all the standard hotel/motel chains close by.

Edited by Jew
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I love Seaworld Orlando, just went yesterday and had a great time. The park is always delivered very well. After the new Shamu show the whales all hung out at the glass for a long time and it was really cool to see them hang out in a group like that. The coasters at Seaworld are a couple of my favorites. Kraken is a great ride, i don't know what the third element is called but it's one of my favorite elements on any ride. Finally getting used to the loop on Manta, can't imagine the pretzel loop getting any more intense than this one and Tatsu. I am getting a little addicted to it where in the beginning it just felt like my head would explode. I am a back of the train coaster rider and Manta delivers a phenomenal ride in the back, the front really yanks you through the course. Saw the dolphin show for the first time in a long time and it was mostly great. I don't really love the acrobat part of the show but the part where all the birds fly around makes up for it big time. I was only in the park for 4 hours and did quite a lot, 2 shows, 6 coaster rides, fed dolphins, fed self, fed self ice cream, hung out at the shark pool for a while, Manta's aquarium side and more. The beauty of having these places so close is you can just drop in after the heat of the day and spend a few casual hours in the park...and summer nights are coming.

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SeaWorld Orlando has sent us a press packet including photos and video from the grand opening of Discovery Cove's The Grand Reef.


Discovery Cove - the ultimate, all-inclusive tropical retreat where guests swim with dolphins - has taken immersion to new depths with the opening of The Grand Reef.


The new reef – an all-new area of Discovery Cove – features multiple levels of exploration, from shallow waters to deeper swimming adventures and white sandy beaches, to snorkeling among canyons inspired by reefs from around the world.


“The Grand Reef takes Discovery Cove’s world-class animal encounters to an all new level -- several, actually,” said Stewart Clark, the park’s vice president. “It’s what our guests expect from us, unforgettable connections with the sea and making memories that will last forever. This could only be created by Discovery Cove.”


Visitors just need to get their feet wet to enjoy The Grand Reef, or they can choose to go deep. They can step into tranquil, shallow waters to discover a below-the-surface world teeming with sea life, or they can snorkel in deeper waters as thousands of exotic fish and graceful rays swim around them.


Surprises abound. Families can seek discoveries along the water’s edge or cross a bridge to see sharks swimming below. They’ll play hide-and-seek with thousands of beautiful fish, from small colorful wrasses to large spotted eagle rays. Further out in the reef, stunning habitats create the feeling of swimming right alongside venomous lionfish and sharp-toothed reef sharks, each safely behind glass. Guests can take paths and bridges to the reef’s islands and hidden grottos as they delve into the reef from above, around and below.


Those looking for an even more exhilarating adventure can take part in The Grand Reef’s innovative experience, SeaVenture, an underwater walking tour. Wearing dive helmets, guests find up-close excitement around every corner, each step yielding a new discovery. They’ll come across lionfish and sharks (safely behind massive panoramic windows), one-on-one touches with unique animals and schools of fish and gentle rays swimming by. SeaVenture is a once-in-a-lifetime, undersea experience available for a nominal fee.


The Grand Reef is the perfect balance between adventure and relaxation, a fully immersive tropical escape, new to discover in Orlando this summer and beyond.


Discovery Cove is a full-day experience where guests can swim with dolphins, hand-feed exotic birds, snorkel through beautiful fresh and salt water lagoons and relax on pristine, white-sand beaches. In addition to the park’s one-of-a-kind animal interactions and lush natural beauty, Discovery Cove delivers superlative, personalized service, and unlimited access to an unparalleled array of first-class amenities.


Discovery Cove amenities include meals, snacks and beverages throughout the day’s adventures, towels, wet suits and swim gear, plus a pass for unlimited admission* to either SeaWorld or Aquatica in Orlando or Busch Gardens in Tampa to be used surrounding a Discovery Cove visit. Guests can upgrade to the Ultimate package which includes admission to all three sister parks for an additional fee. Advanced reservations are required.


Seasonal rates for Discovery Cove’s Dolphin Swim Day Resort Package start at $199 (rates for Day Resort Package without dolphin swim experience and guests ages 3-5 start at $129). Prices vary seasonally. For reservations or more information, visit DiscoveryCove.com or call 1-877-434-7268.




The all-new Grand Reef at Discovery Cove in Orlando features multiple levels of exploration, from shallow waters to deeper swimming adventures and white sandy beaches, to snorkeling among canyons inspired by reefs from around the world.


The Grand Reef footprint: 2.5 acre area, with close to a million gallons of water

Water temperature: A comfortable 77 degrees

Animals: Approximately 10,000 animals, representing 125 different species of fish, rays and sharks



Thousands of tropical fish dart through crystal-clear waters, creating a whirlpool of color inside the reef’s grottos and crevices. Discovery Cove’s experts chose only colorful species whose natural populations are healthy and sustained. The fish include angelfish, butterflyfish, wrasses and tangs as well as larger, unusual-looking hogfish and filefish.


Fishy highlights

A showcase moment happens when snorkelers get up-close to venomous lionfish – all safely behind panoramic windows. Thousands and thousands of schooling sardines, shining in the sun, will swim freely throughout the main reef. Combined, the animals in The Grand Reef eat almost 150 lbs of food each day.



Dozens of rays, gliding through the water, are a beautiful sight. Four species of rays will fly among swimmers, including spotted eagle, cownose, southern, and bluntnose rays.


Ray highlights

Spotted eagle rays are found in Caribbean and Pacific waters. Unique animals with white spots and greater than 5-foot wingspans, eagle rays are a protected species. Discovery Cove has one of the few – and most successful – eagle ray breeding programs in the world.



Long and slinky, a variety of exotic eels swim among The Grand Reef’s canyons. Good news – they’re safely behind glass. Other interesting species -- grouper and triggerfish -- make their home with the eels.


Eel highlights

Eels are really just elongated fishes, ranging in length from two inches up to 12 feet for the giant moray. There are approximately 800 species of eels, a predatory, toothy fish.



Exciting new views of sharks allow non-swimmers to gaze down from above while snorkelers and SeaVenture participants can gaze through 10-foot-tall panoramic windows into a habitat filled with zebra, nurse and blacktip and whitetip reef sharks.


Shark highlights

A species new to Discovery Cove, zebra sharks are found in Southeast Asia, Southern Africa and Western and Northern Australia. Cream-colored with spots, they’re born with stripes – suggesting a sharky zebra. They’re also known as Australian leopard sharks.



The Grand Reef’s innovative experience, SeaVenture, is an underwater walking tour where guests -- wearing dive helmets -- will feel right at home under the sea. Easily climbing down a ladder and setting foot on the reef floor, guests immediately come eye-to-eye with sharks through a full, 8-foot-tall, 21-foot long panoramic window. During their journey, guests encounter velvety rays, exotic-looking lionfish hiding under a dock – and even touch a star fish or sea urchins found along the way. The adventure ends with schools of fish feeding around the divers with the massive open reef as the backdrop.


SeaVenture highlights

Some say it’s like walking on the moon – but surrounded by fish. SCUBA certification is not required. The program is about an hour long for groups of up to six people per excursion. The cost is $59 per participant.


Removable Coral

Discovery Cove is using a unique technology to ensure The Grand Reef’s man-made coral maintains its vibrant colors. Each piece of coral – most weighing a ton – is inflatable. When filled with air, the coral sections float to the surface for easy maintenance and cleaning. Overall, The Grand Reef will have 90 pieces of the colorful coral in four different sizes.


Salt Water

It takes about 140 tons of salt to make The Grand Reef’s crystal clear water. The recipe is a closely guarded secret.


Beach Sand

Discovery Cove has found the perfect beach sand for The Grand Reef and it’s used throughout all of the resort. Mined at nearby Davenport, Fla., the sand is from Florida’s ancient beach dunes. More than 5 million pounds will be used at The Grand Reef, and every pound is sifted and grated. This makes the sand just right – not too coarse and not too fine.



Eight new cabanas will be found at The Grand Reef. These private, shaded areas are available for rental at an additional fee and are located at the water’s edge. Complete with table and chairs, chaise lounges and rolled towels, the cabanas provide a special place for guests to relax when they’re not in the water, swimming among thousands of tropical fish.



And for Theme Park Review's official coverage of the grand opening of The Grand Reef, visit this page.







Edited by jedimaster1227
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I noticed a shark in the outer pool at Shark Encounter yesterday that I had never noticed before. It was about 6 feet long and more cheetah spot looking than anything It had long ridges down it's body. I was just wondering if they were holding it there for use at Discovery Cove.


I looked it up and it is another of the zebra sharks mentioned in the press release. The shark itself is a very impressive looking critter but seems to lay low like a nurse shark.

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Its interesting that SeaWorld want to expand their brand and are looking at China, because VRTP (Village Roadshow Theme parks) the ones that own Wet'n'Wild Water World Gold Coast-Hawaii-Phoenix and potential Sydney, Warner Bros. Movie World Gold Coast and of course Sea World on the Gold Coast and they have said their interested in expanding their brands to China. Interestingly a couple of years ago VRTP actually put forward plans to build a park in Melbourne very similar to Busch Gardens Africa and their Sea World already has a resort attached to it!! And to top it off SeaWorld Entertainment Parks & Entertainment parent company Blackstone just bought Sydney Attractions like Wildlife World, Sydney Tower and Sydney/Melbourne/Manly Aquariums from VRTP and they say they would like to see Lego and Madam Tussaud's here!!

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Turtle: The Incredible Journey, a family documentary directed by National Geographic Explorer’s Nick Stringer and distributed by SeaWorld Pictures, debuts Friday, June 24th in Orlando.


Turtle: The Incredible Journey is an award-winning film that follows the life and migration of a loggerhead turtle from hatching to maturity and a return to its original Florida nesting grounds. The loggerhead turtle, a threatened species, has one of the longest and most difficult migratory patterns of any marine animal: Sea turtles newly hatched on the East Coast of the United States (usually in Florida) make their way from the sand into the ocean, and then begin a voyage that can span the entire Atlantic Ocean, only to return decades later to that same beach.


The movie is playing at Pointe Orlando and Oviedo Marketplace. Check listings for show times.


“This is a remarkable story crafted by one of the world’s most gifted documentary filmmakers,” said Scott Helmstedter, Chief Creative Officer for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. “Turtle: The Incredible Journey does what our parks have been doing for more than five decades: inspire, enrich and entertain. Helping bring this film and its powerful message of the fragility and beauty of our oceans to the public is what SeaWorld is and what we have always been about.”


Stringer’s documentary team follows the loggerhead turtle on an adventure of more than 9,000 miles guided only by instinct. Stringer and his camera crew spent two years following loggerhead turtles on their trips across the ocean, and have captured on film the remarkable life cycle of a beautiful creature that struggles to survive in an increasingly unforgiving environment.


The film is narrated by Academy Award nominee Miranda Richardson, and will be released to theaters in both standard theatrical formats as well as 3D in selected locations.






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  • 3 weeks later...

SeaWorld Orlando has sent us a press release regarding their latest release of their rehabilitated animals back into the wild.


Today three green sea turtles were released back into waters of Florida’s east coast. All three turtles were rehabilitated by SeaWorld Orlando’s animal rescue team.


The first turtle to be released --a quite large, 20-inch turtle-- was brought to SeaWorld’s rehabilitation facility in January of this year with pneumonia. Considered a sub-adult, this female green sea turtle was given around-the-clock care by the Park’s turtle specialists. She was released today in Eddy Creek, and the aquarium team has confidence she will do just fine back in the wild.


A turtle that was recently brought to SeaWorld for a shell infection and barnacles also was released today. Barnacles can cause stress and disable the flippers of the turtle. After carefully removing the barnacles, the aquarium team nursed the young turtle’s shell back to health. Turtle specialists are optimistic about the turtles release back into Cape Canaveral.


The day of turtle releases ended with the third green sea turtle which was rescued in December of 2010 for fishing line ingestion, which is a common injury for sea turtles. SeaWorld’s care team aided this turtle back to health by removing the line and monitoring the turtle’s weight until it reached a healthy benchmark. The fastest of the three turtles took off into the waves, which aquarists say is a good sign.


“Today’s release went well, and we’re happy that the turtle’s are fully recovered and are safely back into their natural habitats,” said Dan Conklin, SeaWorld Orlando’s Supervisor of Aquarium.


Since the sea turtle rescue program began at SeaWorld Orlando in 1980, more than 1,530 sea turtles have been cared for by the park's vets and turtle experts. Each was either rescued by the staff or brought to the park due to cold stress, injuries from nets, fishing line and hooks, ingestion of trash such as plastic bags, boat strikes, natural causes and oil contamination. The team's success rate in caring for turtles with such a wide variety of injuries is amazingly high: 68% of the turtles brought to SeaWorld in the past 30 years have been returned to the wild after hands-on care and TLC.


Coinciding with today’s release is this Friday’s, June 24, launch of "Turtle: The Incredible Journey", the first movie from SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment’s newly formed SeaWorld Pictures division, in theaters across the country and at Pointe Orlando and Oviedo Marketplace in Central Florida.


It's a stunning family documentary and award-winning film that follows the life and migration of a loggerhead turtle from hatchling to maturity on a two-year adventure of more than 9,000 miles guided only by instinct. The film is a remarkable example of wildlife documentary filmmaking and is narrated by Academy Award nominee Miranda Richardson.


A 20-inch, female, green sea turtle that fully recovered from pneumonia at SeaWorld Orlando, released at Eddy Creek on June 22, 2011.


SeaWorld’s animal care team does final checks on a green sea turtle before its release into Cape Canaveral on June 22, 2011.


SeaWorld’s animal care team measures female, green sea turtle one last time before its release into Eddy Creek on June 22, 2011.


SeaWorld’s animal care team helps ease the green sea turtle into Eddy Creek by on June 22, 2011.

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SeaWorld Orlando has sent us a press release regarding a new ticket offering for their Summer Nights event.


SeaWorld Orlando’s Summer Nights just got even better with a new after-3 p.m. ticket. The special admission and special price – only $49.99 - brings more flexibility, fun and value to Orlando’s best nighttime theme park entertainment.


After dark, SeaWorld is filled with a new kind of energy and unforgettable nighttime shows. There’s Shamu Rocks, a high-energy rock ‘n’ roll extravaganza of lights, sounds and, of course, the park’s biggest star, Shamu; the hilarious hijinks of the evening-only sea lion show, Sea Lions Tonite; under-the-stars coaster rides on Manta, with riders swooping and gliding through the night; and Reflections, SeaWorld’s spectacular of soaring fountains and dazzling fireworks, that ends the night with a sky-filling celebration.


It’s the amazing fun of SeaWorld’s Summer Nights, after 3 p.m., for only $49.99. And during Summer Nights, through August 14, SeaWorld is open until 10 p.m.


In addition, a special Summer Nights after-3 p.m. ticket and dining deal is available for only $59.99. This amazing package includes a wristband to enjoy all-you-care-to-eat-and-drink at participating restaurants. This deal can be purchased online or at the Information Counter upon arrival.


There are also special deals for families looking for an all-day SeaWorld adventure. Adults pay the kid’s price and get a 2nd visit free. As with all of SeaWorld’s special events, Summer Nights is included with park admission.


For more information, visit SeaWorldOrlando.com.


We'll be there this Sunday to experience Summer Nights, so expect more coverage of this fantastic event next week!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Interesting rumors from Screamscape:


2012 - Turtles 4D & Happy Harbor Water Fortress - Rumor - (7/20/11) I’ve heard from a sharp eyed guest that construction has begun behind the current Manatee attraction area for the park’s 2012 attraction, which is said to be Turtles 4D, a edited down in-ark 4D theater version of this summer’s “Turtle: The Incredible Journey” film. (see below)

    From what I’ve been led to understand the current Manatee attraction area will be revamped into a Florida wilflife themed area and serve as home to alligators, turtles, manatees and other local species, but allow for the tie-in with the new Turtles 4D attraction as well.

    I’ve also been told we can look for some other improvements to come to Happy Harbor this year as well, as the large fake ship will be removed and replaced with a new Water Fortress style attraction. (No word on if they will have a huge dumping bucket of water or not…)


2013 - Dark Ride / New Penguin Home - Rumor - (7/20/11) A old rumor has returned once again with a full head of steam, as I’m told that the entire Penguin Plaza area is slated to be removed sometime in the early 2012 to make way for a major dark ride attraction for 2013. Don’t cry for the penguins however, as I’m told that a brand new and improved home for them will be built as part of the massive 2013 project. Going along with that, I can only assume that the dark ride may have some kind of Antarctica theme as well.

    As for the dark ride itself… it’s been said that SeaWorld Orlando was eyeballed for a ton of different dark ride concept ideas following the introduction of Curse of DarKastle at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. If you’ve never been on DarKastle, it’s basicly a copy of the Spiderman style ride experience, themed within a haunted European castle full of ghosts, werewolves and other creatures of the night. In short… it’s an awesome alternative to Spiderman, and outside of the Orlando area, it really stands out in Williamsburg as a top notch E-Ticket attraction.

    Curse of DarKastle opened way back in 2005 however, based on Spiderman’s basic concept from 1999. So by the time any new ride opens in 2013, one would expect to see some leaps forward in the technology department or even some changes in the overall concept as well. So while I can’t say that this will or wont be a copy of the same basic idea for sure, I have also heard a hint about ‘trackless cars’ being looked into for it as well. My only request is this… please do not make this themed to Happy Feet… ok?


The Future - Wild Arctic Replacement - Rumor - (7/20/11) We’ve talked a bit about rumored future projects said to be on the way for SeaWorld Orlando over the next couple of years, but what else may be on deck long term?  Apparently the new management has come to terms with the fact that Wild Arctic just isn’t a big draw anymore and said to be pondering possible solutions to the problem.

    Unlike any other simulator ride, it just isn’t as easy as reprogramming the ride itself to use a new movie because the ride exits into the massive Wild Arctic themed animal habitat area, so a new Arctic themed ride may be the only item to fit the bill. While I’m sure they could rework the flow of traffic through the building if necessary with some structural modifications to turn the structure into two separate attractions (New Ride and Animal Habitat) I’m not sure if they area ready to take the easy way out just yet. They also have to consider that whatever they do in Orlando, they will likely end up doing in California as well to the Wild Arctic attraction there, and find a way to make it work for both.

    The one item still keeping Arctic the same for the next few years is the special deal the park signed to convert the ride into a Polar Express ride for the holiday season, which has been quiet a popular attraction with the guests, and likely a big reason behind the reason they are looking into new ideas for the future. I’m told that this winter is actually the last year for the Polar Express contract, though the holiday attraction is so popular, an extension is likely to be signed for keep it going for a few more years.

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I was out there yesterday and will probably go back tonight. Having a pass to Seaworld is so cheap it's like stealing. The coasters are really pretty good and serve as a nice fix once or twice a week. I was just thinking while at the park that for one penguin encounter needs an upgrade and for two, Seaworld would be well rounded to add a dark ride. I was surprised to see the screamscape update today. Obviously they should build a Hyper instead but I would be happy with a dark ride. I will have Quick Queue, the beer sampler and a chicken fajita sub please. Later.

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SeaWorld Orlando has sent us a press release regarding the arrival of a stranded pilot whale to its new cetacean rehabilitation facility.


Early Saturday morning, SeaWorld Orlando’s animal experts and rescue team transported a young pilot whale to the park’s new Cetacean Rehabilitation Facility. The 9-foot, nearly 600-pound whale was being cared for in Key Largo, Fla., by SeaWorld staff and other volunteers after it and 20 other pilot whales beached themselves in the lower Keys in early May.


The National Marine Fisheries Service and other animal experts considered the two-year-old female whale to be a “dependent calf” that could not be returned to the wild and was in dire need of extensive hands-on treatment. SeaWorld Orlando was chosen to provide a home and long-term care for the animal because of the park’s experience with pilot whales and expertise in animal husbandry and care, especially with stranded animals.


For the five-hour trip to Orlando, the whale was carefully placed in a stretcher and then into a large, water-filled transport unit in a cooled truck. The whale was continually monitored by park animal experts and chief veterinarian, Dr. Chris Dold, during the trip. According to Dold, “It’s still too early to tell her long-term prognosis, but she traveled well, she’s getting settled into her new surroundings, and we’re cautiously optimistic about her future.”


This pilot whale calf is the first resident of SeaWorld's new, 40,000-gallon rehabilitation pool, a facility designed specifically to rehabilitate whales and dolphins rescued from the wild. At the facility, the park’s animal experts will monitor the whale round the clock, performing physical examinations and additional testing. SeaWorld’s goal is to have her join the company’s other pilot whales in the near term.


In the past 45 years, more than 18,000 animals have been rescued and cared for by SeaWorld’s animal rescue experts. The ultimate goal for every animal SeaWorld rescues is to return it to the wild. For the few the government deems unable to survive on their own, such as this pilot whale, SeaWorld is willing to provide a permanent home.




SeaWorld Orlando’s rescue team carefully moves a young pilot whale early Saturday morning, July 23. The whale - one of more than 20 that beached themselves in the lower Florida Keys in early May - is considered a dependent calf and is unable to be returned to the wild. The National Marine Fisheries Service chose SeaWorld as the whale’s home because of the park’s expertise with pilot whales and other stranded animals. The whale was being cared for by SeaWorld and volunteers at the Marine Mammal Conservancy in Key Largo, Fla.


Stranded animal experts from SeaWorld Orlando gently place a young pilot whale into the water at the park’s animal rescue facility early Saturday morning, July 23. The whale - one of more than 20 that beached themselves in the lower Florida Keys in early May - is considered a dependent calf and is unable to be returned to the wild. SeaWorld animal care staff will monitor the whale round the clock. The National Marine Fisheries Service chose SeaWorld as the whale’s home because of the park’s expertise with pilot whales and other stranded animals. The whale was being cared for by SeaWorld and volunteers at the Marine Mammal Conservancy in Key Largo, Fla.


SeaWorld animal rescue expert, Victor Marsich (front) and veterinarian, Dr. Chris Dold, monitor the young pilot whale moved to SeaWorld in Orlando from the Marine Mammal Conservancy in Key Largo, Fla., early on Saturday, July 23. The whale - one of more than 20 that beached themselves in the lower Florida Keys in early May - is considered a dependent calf and is unable to be returned to the wild. The National Marine Fisheries Service chose SeaWorld as the whale’s home because of the park’s expertise with pilot whales and other stranded animals.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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SeaWorld Orlando has sent us a notice about a new dolphin calf being born at the park this week!


A dolphin calf was born Tuesday morning at 9:36 a.m. at SeaWorld Orlando. The calf weighs 35 pounds and is 40 inches long, with the sex unknown at this time. It was seen nursing and bonding with its mom, both a good indication that the calf is doing well. Park guests can see the pair at SeaWorld’s Dolphin Nursery. In the nursery pregnant dolphins, new mothers, their calves and experienced moms live together.




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Wild tangent warning!!! That pizza buffet is just comical. I have been meaning to try it for a while and finally did, it was bad, very bad. Good concept done badly. The salad wasn't awful and I did manage to eat 3 slices without getting sick so not all bad. Last complaint, why is it you can create awesome shows and rides and not a decent soft serve cone, seriously.


Cute dolphin. I love Seaworld and Manta is from Jesus. Brilliant rides on Kraken last night as well.

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  • 1 month later...

SeaWorld Orlando has sent us details about their newly expanded Halloween Spooktacular offering, returning at the beginning of October this year.


Halloween meets the sea during SeaWorld Orlando's Halloween Spooktacular, the ultimate family-friendly event featuring an ocean of Halloween fun where children can trick-or-treat, dance with whimsical sea creatures, catch silly and spooky shows and create sea-themed arts and crafts.


SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular takes place every weekend in October: 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, and 28-30. This daytime event runs from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., leaving the littlest of trick-or-treaters wide-eyed for the fun-filled activities. For all of the “spooktacular” savings, visit SeaWorldOrlando.com.


Spooktacular Highlights Include:


New! Penelope’s Party Zone

New this year, a lively underwater environment immerses children in the wonders of the sea through kid-friendly music, games, and colorful characters. Located at SeaWorld’s Bayside area, this zone comes to life when guests dance and play along to the spooky sound waves broadcast by a live DJ. With countless bubbles floating overhead and colorful pumpkin fish gliding beside you, this Halloween party is sure to provide non-stop fun for all ages.


New! Apple Decorating Post

Kids and parents alike can have a “splash” creating their own sweet treats at this new decorating station. Tasty apples can be dipped – for a nominal fee – with the decadently-flavored sauce of choice: white chocolate, fudge, or caramel, and then topped with sprinkles to finish them off.


Sesame Street’s Countdown to Halloween Show

Don’t miss Count Van Count on a quest to find his friends, Elmo, Zoe and Telly in this live musical stage show. Along the way, The Count meets dancing skeletons who will have everyone in SeaPort Theatre shaking, rattling and rolling.


Trick-or-Treating Under the Sea

Offering more than 1 million pieces of trick-or-treat goodies, costumed youngsters can search for hidden “sea” treasures using their Spooktacular maps at more than a dozen different locations. Each station features an assortment of sweet treats, including a variety of candies and healthy-choice options.


Spooky Sand Art Station

Another new element this year, children (and adults too) can make a multi-colored sand souvenir at this interactive arts and craft area where sea-themed glass bottles -- in the shape of dolphins, turtles, starfish and more -- are filled with an array of vibrantly-colored sands.


Strolling Entertainment

Penelope Pumpkin fish, Shamu, Dolly Dolphin, Shivers the Polar Bear, Pete and Penny Penguin, a mermaid, and a walking-talking spider-crab are among the many fanciful sea creatures that will join the colorful, playful schools of pumpkin fish welcoming trick-or-treaters as they stroll through the park. Photo opportunities with these “spook-tastic” characters create lasting memories!


More SeaWorld Halloween Fun:


Count Von Count’s Spooktacular Breakfast “Booffet” One of Sesame Street’s favorite residents, The Count, gets into the Halloween spirit with his friends from Sesame Street at Count Von Count’s Spooktacular Breakfast. Little ones will sing, groove and mingle side-by-side with Sesame Street characters, while listening to Halloween-themed music and enjoying a special breakfast “booffet.” Following the breakfast, kids can get their photos taken with the characters for memories that will last forever. Reservations can be made online, at the Information Counter or by calling 1-888-800-5447.


SeaWorld’s Holiday Family Sleepovers (6 p.m. – 9 a.m. on Oct. 21, 22, 28 and 29)

Families can snuggle into a spooky slumber surrounded by exotic fish, rays, and sea dragons inside the floor-to-ceiling aquariums at Manta. Cost is $78 per person or $103 (includes next-day park admission). A pizza dinner and breakfast are included. Program is for children in grades K-5 and their families. Sleepover reservations can be made by calling 1-800-406-2244.


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