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Photo TR: SeaWorld Orlando 'One Ocean' Media Day


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Today, I had the incredible opportunity to participate in the media day for SeaWorld Orlando's newest addition, 'One Ocean', a replacement for the previous Shamu show, Believe. Integrating new fountains, set design and whale movements, as well as reintroducing Tilikum into the spotlight, SeaWorld has truly created an amazing show that stands apart as my favorite Shamu show to date, and my favorite SeaWorld show since Cirque de la Mer (the Orlando version).

 

Most people know that I'm not a show person, but something about this one captivated me. It features a beautiful set, a fantastic mix of video imagery and real life motions, as well as a moving soundtrack that will surely have me buying as soon as it is released. The care and detail behind this new show far exceeds anything I've seen offered entertainment-wise by SeaWorld Orlando, and I'm thrilled to say I'll be going back for more when I return.

 

Based on what I was able to see and experience today (between the two shows I saw), SeaWorld Orlando has a real winner on their hands, and a crowd-pleaser at that. The lines for the show were insanely long with eager guests waiting to see Shamu's latest turn and I don't see those crowd's subsiding anytime soon. I expect a long and healthy run to come from 'One Ocean' and I look forward to seeing it again as soon as possible.

 

Did I mention that the soundtrack is stuck in my head now?

 

Video will be online soon, but in the meantime, please enjoy these photos from today's event!

 

EDIT: Here are the highlights from the media-only segment of the day, including the performance by Spencer Lee, the Jack Hannah appearance and two interviews!

 

[coastertube]http://www.themeparkreview.com/coastertube/play.php?vid=Sequence_01_1_mfaf[/coastertube]

Here is the full Spencer Lee performance of One Song.

 

[coastertube]http://www.themeparkreview.com/coastertube/play.php?vid=00002_jw3z[/coastertube]

Here's the full show in video (minus the ads and the Here's to the Heroes spot).

 

[coastertube]http://www.themeparkreview.com/coastertube/play.php?vid=oo_kz1t[/coastertube]

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So we're here today to see a brand new Shamu show...

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Sharky shark shark shark shark...

 

(Hi Dave!)

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The former set pieces from Believe have been majorly redressed and expanded upon to create a wave bursting from the center of the stage. The video, fountains and motions of the killer whales flow amazingly with this design in perfect precision.

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The logo of the show...

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Jeff Johnson counts it.

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They also show a great video on SeaWorld's animal rehabilitation efforts.

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It is time for the trainers to come out publicly for the first time for One Ocean!

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It is time for a splash zone warning!

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Duly noted, thank you!

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As with the previous show, a brief salute to the armed forces in the audiences was done, as a part of the Here's to our Heroes program at the SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Parks.

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Then the resort president came out to introduce the show, speaking about Earth Day, and also taking the time to introduce Jack Hanna who was also present.

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It's time to start!

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Taking a page from Believe's book, the story shows several individuals at the moment of their inspiration...

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Transitioning into who they become down the road...

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Notice the whale-tail necklace? Julie Scardina, Corporate Curator, Animal Training, told me that it was carried over from Believe into this show because it had taken on its own significance with guests and they wanted to maintain that connection, not for merchandise purposes, but for its ability to better spread the show (and SeaWorld's) message.

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This one shares a moment with Shamu...

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That translates into her becoming one of the trainers in the show...

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And the onscreen story seamlessly jumps into reality!

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Into the song, two of the trainers emerge on stage to lead to motion.

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These jumps never fail to impress!

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Beautiful.

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One of the enhancements made to the stadium for 'One Ocean' was the installation of 35 fountains that shoot water across the pool, also splashing guests in the front rows of the splash zone.

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Want to get wet? Sit here!

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With all of the new fountains in use, the stadium takes on a whole new character that gives the show even more energy.

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The trainers dance along the bottom of the stadium with the killer whales as water rushes over them and the guests.

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Mother and child float along together in a tender moment.

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The signature wave...

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*speechless*

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Motherly love...

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And I'm proud to announce that Tilikum is once again a star at Shamu Stadium!

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I forgot how big he really is...

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He also makes the best splash waves.

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Got em!

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Incoming!

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*jaw hits floor*

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All of a sudden, six hundred (yes, that is the official figure) choir members engulfed the stadium to join in the singing of the show's finale, "We're One."

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Jack Hanna stayed around after the show to meet guests.

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While waiting for our second viewing of the show, we notice this new feature. Similar to the Laugh Floor, you text in your name and it appears on screen.

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It works!

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At the end, guests can text in to help push along their SeaBuddie in a race to the finish. Think the midway game with the water gun, except that texts are your ammo instead.

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One photo with a trainer, for posterity.

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Happy to represent Theme Park Review once again!

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It looks so great!

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Here's the new mechanics of the fountains down in front.

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And this was the crowd waiting to get into the next showing... 2 hours after we left!

 

It looks like we've got a hit on our hands! Congrats SeaWorld!

Edited by jedimaster1227
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^In my opinion, it is 100% a better show, both based on Believe before it was trimmed and after. I did enjoy Believe, but it didn't resonate with me in the way that One Ocean does. There were no dull points in the show for me, even during the slow emotional songs. I was interested in every fountain motion, in every killer whale movement, in every bar of the soundtrack and in every change of the video. Everything about it kept me engaged in a way that no other SeaWorld show ever has.

 

I'm sure there are others who after seeing it will disagree with me, but like with other shows I favor, something about this one just worked. No complaints on my part.

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Great report Adam. Is the chorus going to be part of the main show once it opens at all the parks? Were they just sitting in the audience during the show? Seems to me like those may be seats that could be filled with guests if the show gets really popular. Glad to see that they are going back to Killer Whales jumping around. Believe was kind of boring in my opinion except for the Shamu dance that everyone did during the Soak Zone part of the show. The fountains look like a nice touch! Can't wait to experience this first hand!

 

Jimmy "Only one picture with a trainer?" Bo

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^The chorus was just there for the grand opening show as were the One Ocean banners that dropped down during the finale, the resort president and Jack Hanna speeches or the Spencer Lee performances (shown in the video). They walked in from all of the entrances of the theater, so they didn't take anyone's seats. Interestingly enough, there were a good many that came back for the second show to see it from the guest side rather than being a part of the performance.

 

I took over 400 photos and 45 minutes of footage, including video of the entire show. Once the video is online, I'll post the remainder of the photos (not all 400, but a good selection), including some with trainers.

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I may have missed it if it was mentioned but were the trainers in the water with the whales at any point in the show or is that still on hold? I wonder if they have plans to re introduce the trainers in the show at some point or another in the future. Looks like those new fountains really soak the splash section and of course Tilly still soaks everyone. The one thing that I always disliked about the old show was how much the whales splash the splash zone. Its cool in June/July/August but on a cold day in December or January I wish they could just do more flip tricks instead or something. But nice report , really looking forward to seeing the new show.

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^The trainers are not in the water at all in the show. When I interviewed several of the creative heads involved in the creative process of designing and executing the show, they all confirmed that this is a dry-only show when it comes to trainers. I asked specifically if there was any accommodation or planning done to allow for changes to be made down the road, but from the sounds of it, any changes would have to be made with the introduction of an entirely new show after this one.

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Here are the remainder of the photos I took during the two shows at the 'One Ocean' Media Day!

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I see some stars ready for the show to start!

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Needless to say, the first show was packed!

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While waiting for the show to begin, guests were clapping along to the music. The same pre-show energy still exists at this new Shamu!

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Interesting!

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Wicked!

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The behind the scenes video had some great production value and helped the time pass by while waiting for the show.

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It is almost time!

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Here we go!

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As final preparation for the show was underway, ads for Discovery Cove and Aquatica played on the screens.

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Such a fun set of slides!

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I've gotta get back here! I haven't had a chance to ride Roa's Rapids, but I've heard nothing but great things!

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You don't say!

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It's time to thank our heroes...

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Jack Hanna and the resort's president before the grand opening kickoff seen in the video in the original post.

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The visuals in One Ocean flow seamlessly.

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I don't know why, but I love the look of this one!

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It's time to start!

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Logo fade...

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One of the inspired adults from the beginning of the show leads children in a whale-watching tour.

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Woosh!

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It never fails to impress.

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The screens still rotate, and in this show it works just as well!

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Just a little bit of dancing here and there...

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Just chillin'...

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Off he goes!

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(Continued)

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Awe!

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Here they go again!

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Are you ready to get wet?

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And the Shamu Chant returns!

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Shamu! Shamu!

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Shamu! Shamu!

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Tilly!

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Deep Impact.

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Cannonball!

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One of the many new fountains that has been installed in Shamu Stadium.

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It all blends so well!

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The choir is scattered throughout the crowd.

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Dive! Dive! Dive!

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And now we come to a close...

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And scene!

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Such a great day!

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This trainer used to be the main male trainer for Believe.

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Just for the first showing, the finale of One Ocean triggered the dropping of these banners. Certainly a nice touch!

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The main marquee has been updated to reflect the new show's arrival.

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After the show, the killer whales were allowed to relax in the main pool.

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The behavior trainers have retained the old Believe costumes for use in between shows.

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Time to look at the tech behind the new fountains!

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So long!

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Another fountain, up close.

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A look at some of the new decor details.

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And this was the line for the third show of the day.

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I was able to catch the show yesterday, and I must agree that it is a LOT better than Believe was. Every movement of the show was perfectly timed and everything flowed together seamlessly. Also the soundtrack for One Ocean is great, matching the moods of each of the show's segments spot on. There's a lot more trainer/guest interaction in One Ocean in comparison to Believe as well, watched a few of them use the fountains to get the people in the first few rows even more wet.

 

Speaking of the wetness, HOLY COW! I've never seen something that soaks this many people at one time. The new fountains shoot up to the perfect height to basically cause it to rain on the first 5 rows of seats. Tilly is astonishing as well, when he came out in the show I was watching he managed to get a couple splashes all the way up to the handicap area.

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