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SeaWorld San Diego (SWSD) Discussion Thread


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So Screamscape is reporting that Blue Horizons may be on its way out the door in San Diego due to people not responding well to the Cirque style show. As much as I love Blue Horizons and it is my favorite show in each SeaWorld park it's in, I can see why the market in California is much more responsive to the old dolphin show with the lighthouse. It's also quite funny because one of the camp counselors in Orlando told me last year that Blue Horizons is actually Orlando's highest rated show. He said that the people in Orlando love the "cheese factor"! This rumor does make a lot of sense because San Diego has been kind of testing the water recently with some more interactive and less theatrical dolphin shows. It's kinda sad to see the show go if this is true considering its only been 5 years since they built the beautiful set for the show (which in my opinion is way better then the one in Orlando). The stadium is scheduled to be closed from September 8th to the 18th so this may be Blue Horizon's last summer season, but I do find it hard to believe that the 10 day downtime could be used to change the set dramatically so I'm curious to see how much they'll actually change the set for this new show.

Edited by colinx
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Blue Horizons was cool at both parks but my initial response when I saw it in San Diego for the first time was "cool, but I wanted to see more of the dolphins." So I totally get why they'd be changing it. It's interesting that Orlando is more interested in the show than San Diego is. Are Californians just more spoiled on cirque shows or something? I'd like to hear someone's explanation for this.

 

When I did go see the show, however, the stadium was full. So I'm not sure if I just hit it on a day/time that it was full and it normally isn't or if people are writing bad reviews of it or what.

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Blue Horizons was cool at both parks but my initial response when I saw it in San Diego for the first time was "cool, but I wanted to see more of the dolphins." So I totally get why they'd be changing it. It's interesting that Orlando is more interested in the show than San Diego is. Are Californians just more spoiled on cirque shows or something? I'd like to hear someone's explanation for this.

My guess is that people who go to Orlando are more interested in entertainment rather then learning as it's a bigger vacation destination. Also could be many of the tourists that go to San Diego are used to a more educational experience with the San Diego Zoo

Edited by colinx
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Blue Horizons was cool at both parks but my initial response when I saw it in San Diego for the first time was "cool, but I wanted to see more of the dolphins." So I totally get why they'd be changing it.

 

I totally agree. Every time I see the show, watching divers do flips off high platforms for half the show seems like a chore. Don't get me wrong, they're talented acrobats, but I want to see the dolphins. I also think they could have done much more with the story. I'm personally very happy to hear that they're changing the show, especially if the new show will be more like the original one.

 

Maybe it's just the fact that I don't go to the park frequently, but when I saw the holiday show it seemed to feature the animals more than the regular Blue Horizons show. Am I wrong in this?

 

Also, does anyone else think that the Shamu show could feature the whales a bit more? There's not a ton more they can do without waterwork, but the new movie seems more drawn out and less interactive than the one in Believe.

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San Diego native here, I sorta grew up at SeaWorld. The first time I saw Blue Horizons, I laughed. It seemed way too corny for the locals. I think it suits Orlando a lot better. The over the top performance works better there, rather than the more laid-back vibe from Seaworld SD.

 

Also, I know I may be in the minority here, but I haven't been to the park since Blackfish came out. I would go if someone bought tickets for me, but not pay my own money.

With that new Orca enclosure posted a few pages back...that may convince me to give this park another try. It looks ten times better for the whales. It still isn't the best, but it's better.

I miss that park a lot, and seeing it on a daily basis has reminded me of my fond memories of the place even more. I think I went every week or so from around age 7 to 16-ish. The last time I went was right after Manta had opened, and I got to ride it twice. My heart is so torn.

(Same with Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. Medusa is one of my favorite rides, but I don't want to give that park money after seeing how poorly their big cats are treated.)

 

Anywho, if those plans for the new orca enclosure go through, I can personally say that a lot of locals will definitely flock back to the park, myself included.

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Oh Blackfish, how I despise thee.

 

Seaworld posted an awesome response video, go check it out on their youtube channel. There's also a great response video from a former trainer named Kyle Kittleson that goes to show just how deceiving Blackfish is. These videos do a better job of explaining why I hate Blackfish better than I can, but the bottom line is Seaworld's killer whales don't have terrible lives like the activists want you to believe.

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Thank you, I'll check that out! I'm aware that Blackfish is a load of crap, haha. Greatly exaggerated, but with a pinch of truth in there. I still think that the enclosures and the shows are...less than stellar for the whales. I don't think they live horrible, agonizing lives. I just think there's more Seaworld could do for their whales specifically to make said lives a lot better. (The new enclosure being a huge start!)

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What about the shows and enclosures make you think they're not ideal for the animals? The whales want to do the shows or they wouldn't do it. Seaworld feeds them plenty, so they're not doing it because they wouldn't get fish otherwise. No one can force the whales to do anything, they do what they do because they want to.

 

The animals have around-the-clock care. They don't need to worry about predators, environmental issues, food, and they have the best veterinarians at their disposal. At most zoos and aquariums, the animals live much longer than they would in the wild.

 

Also, Seaworld has donated millions of dollars to rescue and conservation, one of the top donators in the world. In the last 50 years, they have rescued over 25,000 animals. They give homes to the ones that wouldn't survive in the wild. They educate the public about endangered species and get people to love and care about animals they might have not been able to experience otherwise.

 

When you spend money at Seaworld, you're not just paying to continue to run the park, but you're paying for the constant research and conservation efforts that the company makes. I've heard that Seaworld has learned more about orca behavior than many marine biologists have in studying wild orcas. Also, orcas in the Pacific Northwest are becoming endangered, and Seaworld is stepping up to help them.

 

Obviously, you can do what you want with your money, but you should weigh both sides before automatically believing a very flawed and deceptive movie.

 

I'm no expert, but I work for the company now (at Busch Gardens) and I've been able to witness firsthand what this company does to help animals, and I've been able to talk to some people who have a lot to say about Blackfish.

 

I don't mean to ruffle your feathers or say you're wrong for believing what you do, I'm just really passionate about this and when someone says that Blackfish has caused them to dislike Seaworld, I want to step in and put in my two cents so they can at least hear the other side of things.

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I hope the new show just has more dolphins. The old show is very tired and the whole "I was actually a trainer the whole time!" Schtick is equally as old.

 

Also... When is SWSD going to get a new attraction? Its been how long since Manta?

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Thank you, I'll check that out! I'm aware that Blackfish is a load of crap, haha. Greatly exaggerated, but with a pinch of truth in there. I still think that the enclosures and the shows are...less than stellar for the whales. I don't think they live horrible, agonizing lives. I just think there's more Seaworld could do for their whales specifically to make said lives a lot better. (The new enclosure being a huge start!)

This. Regardless of your opinion of the film, it's driving some much needed improvements to the parks that will make them way better for both the animals and the people that visit.

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Thank you, I'll check that out! I'm aware that Blackfish is a load of crap, haha. Greatly exaggerated, but with a pinch of truth in there. I still think that the enclosures and the shows are...less than stellar for the whales. I don't think they live horrible, agonizing lives. I just think there's more Seaworld could do for their whales specifically to make said lives a lot better. (The new enclosure being a huge start!)

This. Regardless of your opinion of the film, it's driving some much needed improvements to the parks that will make them way better for both the animals and the people that visit.

 

A good improvement? Absolutely. Much needed? Probably not. While I am a huge fan of what they are doing with the enclosures, it's not like the whales were swimming in a bathtub before. I believe the current enclosure is something like 5+ million gallons, 30-50 feet deep, and has multiple pools to which the whales have access (including the large show pool). That's not small, even for a whale. Just seeing how small the whales look in the tank and then seeing how gigantic they are up close on my last visit gave me a respect for the current enclosure Seaworld has.

 

That being said, I give HUGE props to Seaworld for doing what they're doing with the Blue World project. I think this really needs to be put into perspective, just how much Seaworld is sacrificing for their whales by doing this. The new tank will hold 10 MILLION gallons of water. That puts Seaworld's whale tank alone at something like the second or third largest aquarium in the world. 10 MILLION gallons. For 10 whales. Not to mention the $100s of millions of dollars they're throwing at this. If this were a roller coaster park like Cedar Point an investment of that size better break 1000 feet.

 

As an interesting side note, there's a chance this may just fix the collapsed dorsal fin issue. If the whales have water currents and more space to where they don't have to spend so much time at the surface, I predict some of the younger whales' fins won't collapse over.

 

I hope the new show just has more dolphins. The old show is very tired and the whole "I was actually a trainer the whole time!" Schtick is equally as old.

 

Also... When is SWSD going to get a new attraction? Its been how long since Manta?

 

Manta was just three years ago. SWSD is not overdue, especially with the Blue World project coming along. I know you didn't specify roller coaster, but I'm sure some people will think that's what you meant. IMO this park does not need more roller coasters. Manta is crammed in as it is, plus they have the 30 foot height restriction to work around. A new attraction would have to be a new animal exhibit or something like the penguin thing in Orlando. Personally I really want to see the Commerson's dolphins back on display. I love those little guys!

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Thank you, I'll check that out! I'm aware that Blackfish is a load of crap, haha. Greatly exaggerated, but with a pinch of truth in there. I still think that the enclosures and the shows are...less than stellar for the whales. I don't think they live horrible, agonizing lives. I just think there's more Seaworld could do for their whales specifically to make said lives a lot better. (The new enclosure being a huge start!)

This. Regardless of your opinion of the film, it's driving some much needed improvements to the parks that will make them way better for both the animals and the people that visit.

 

As an interesting side note, there's a chance this may just fix the collapsed dorsal fin issue. If the whales have water currents and more space to where they don't have to spend so much time at the surface, I predict some of the younger whales' fins won't collapse over.

 

I think that is quite an interesting theory and certainly one that would be good for research to find out a based claim on why their fins tend to flop.

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Blackfish: January 19, 2013

Blue World Project Announcement: August 15, 2014

 

I don't think the Blue World Project is a response to Blackfish at all. A project of this scale had to have been in planning for years. When Mark Rose talked to us, he talked about how far in advance all of the rides at Busch had been thought up. According to him, ideas for Sheikra were discussed in the 90s and put on the shelf until later. Cheetah Hunt as a concept was introduced in the early 2000s. I don't remember exactly, but the basic idea I got was that they thought of ideas/started making plans YEARS in advance. I think it's safe to say that a project of this magnitude had to have been conceptualized a long time ago.

 

I am interested in why the fins flop over. Someone told me it was a recessive trait that is common in Seaworld orcas because a lot of them are related. A quick internet search and reading a few pages sounds like it's more complicated than just a "deficiency" or "recessive trait." I don't think the whales are worse off for having it, but I doubt this new habitat will reverse the issue.

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There are a billion different explanations for the fin. SW made a video that said it was because their whales spend so much time at the surface. In the wild, I'm pretty sure the whales still spend quite a bit of time sleeping at the surface, so I'm not sure of the validity of the claim.

 

I always thought it was because the currents in the ocean that made the fins necessary for the whales mobility don't exist in manmade tanks. Thus, the dorsal fin is essentially useless in captivity and flops over because it never has any stress placed on it. This would not explain why some wild whales have collapsed fins, however.

 

I don't think anyone really knows the cause. I'm pretty sure it's not reversable; Keiko's fin never stood back up. I was just thinking some younger males whose fins have not collapsed yet may never have their fins collapse in the new habitat.

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  • 3 months later...

I orignally posted this in the wrong Sea World thread, my bad. But anyway here we go,has anyone been following the Blue World Project news out of California? Sea World was granted the permission to build the larger habitats for the whales however the commission slapped an amendment on it that prohibits Sea World from breeding anymore whales there or transporting whales in or out of their California park. Can Sea World beat this ridiculous amendment or are they doomed to over time lose their whale population as they age and pass on?

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I have, it's interesting. I don't think that the CCC really has the right/credentials to say whether or not these animals should be allowed to breed. That is like dooming one animal to die alone. Breeding provides a lot of enrichment for the whales as well. I'm disappointed and I hope they can fight against that.

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I just want to see Sea World come out smelling like a rose for once. Time for the activists to sink back to the bottom of the septic tank where they belong. I really hope this stipulation can be beat. Say a prayer for this great organization Sea World Parks.

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I orignally posted this in the wrong Sea World thread, my bad. But anyway here we go,has anyone been following the Blue World Project news out of California? Sea World was granted the permission to build the larger habitats for the whales however the commission slapped an amendment on it that prohibits Sea World from breeding anymore whales there or transporting whales in or out of their California park. Can Sea World beat this ridiculous amendment or are they doomed to over time lose their whale population as they age and pass on?

 

Probably the latter. To be really honest, they would be doomed to have that happen any ways due to the limited genetic pool they have of orcas. Either they'd end up being severely inbred, or alternately, they'd need to find new genetic lines (see also: Russia's decision to wild catch more orcas). I'm not personally bothered by it though, as I'm not that hot on performing animals being any theme park's centerpiece and would rather they transition away from that.

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So I'm a bit late to this Blue World discussion and don't rmemebr there being any real detail about the project after it was announced but after watching the preview video the new enclosure looks spectacular but I'm curious will the stadium and the whale show be kept as part of the expansion or is that going to kind of go away as they introduce a massive enclosure. I could honestly see a really well done habitat beaing alsmost as effective as the traditional show that they have now in Orlando and San Diego.

 

For me personally the show isn't nearly as entertaining without the trainers swimming with the whales and performing the stunts so if they just transtioned away from the show to a massive habitat enclosure with a viewing are where the whales could still "perform" on a less formal basis I could see that being a win win for everyone. I was at SeaWorld saturday and could have sat in the viewing area for hours just watching the orcas swim and play, dind't even feel the need to watch the show.

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I was at SeaWorld saturday and could have sat in the viewing area for hours just watching the orcas swim and play, dind't even feel the need to watch the show.

 

This is how I feel. If you need the orcas to pushing humans in the water to be entertained, maybe be honest with yourself and admit you really don't care much about them? Watching a 6-7 ton animal jump in the air is pretty goddamn amazing to me, and a really great enclosure I think would be just as interesting as synch'ed up pop music and backflips, if not more so. Imagine a tunnel like in the Sea World and Merlin shark exhibits running through the center of a 50-60ft deep tank with them swimming above and below.

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I was at SeaWorld saturday and could have sat in the viewing area for hours just watching the orcas swim and play, dind't even feel the need to watch the show.

 

If you need the orcas to pushing humans in the water to be entertained, maybe be honest with yourself and admit you really don't care much about them?

 

I don't think that's entirely true, I meant I could have sat and watched them swim all day and dind't feel the need to see the One Ocean show becuase I'm not a huge fan of it, but the old Believe show that included the interaction was one of the best live shows I've ever seen in a theme park, it was spectacular.

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Sea World has had an increasingly harder time doing things in San Diego even before this. It's become much tougher to add rides due to restrictions. I world have done this project at the other two parks and used a more peer pressure approach to gain approval at San Diego. Plus that would have given them more time to regain their footing. Trying to appease the crazies in California was wrong, they are not appeasible. Anyhoo, this project is more about expectations the general public as a whole has concerning zoo and Aquarium exhibits. The aquariums and zoos get more and more elaborate with their displays and habitats. This drives competition and diminshes the need to "see" Sea World. SeaWorld has to differentiate itself from the Sealife's and Ripley's and so on by adding over the top exhibits only they can do. Blue World is this type of attraction. It's right up there with the Whale Shark tank over in China. This makes you stand out.l over the smaller places that all have a shark tube that was once exclusive to Seaworld, Same goes for Pengiuns, zoos copied that quickly.

 

Look, what makes Orcas more special than any other animal in a zoo? Elks graze over hundreds of acres yet I some on a quarter acre at the Memphis zoo. To the folks really spearheading this, Orcas are the choosen vehicle that drives the larger cause of closing all zoos down. That's the ultimate goal, the bios of some of those involve in Blackfish prove that out. Google how many trainers have been killed at zoos by elephants. I'm still waiting on BlackDumbo to air. It's a risk one takes on when they sign up for that occupation . It's like a race car driver knowing a crash in the wall may end their life but yet they race.

 

Back to Seaworld and it's increasing competition in sealife. Still don't understand why it didn't developed an aquarium/Sesame Street combo like Sealife/Lego for me to markets. I can think of several places like St. Louis or Nashville where this might work.

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I was at SeaWorld saturday and could have sat in the viewing area for hours just watching the orcas swim and play, dind't even feel the need to watch the show.

 

If you need the orcas to pushing humans in the water to be entertained, maybe be honest with yourself and admit you really don't care much about them?

 

I don't think that's entirely true, I meant I could have sat and watched them swim all day and dind't feel the need to see the One Ocean show becuase I'm not a huge fan of it, but the old Believe show that included the interaction was one of the best live shows I've ever seen in a theme park, it was spectacular.

 

There's no doubt that it is a spectacle, but if you're really interested in seeing the animals and care about their well being, do you need to see someone flying 30 ft in the air?

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Look, what makes Orcas more special than any other animal in a zoo?

 

There's a number of reasons why they were chosen, but the biggest difference between them and 99.999% of zoo animals in the United States is that orcas perform tricks and most zoos are long since out of the circus act business. Even circuses have had to change; Ringling Bros. is retiring the elephant tricks after years of complaints about their treatment of the animals. A fair amount of those complaints stem from entirely legitimate causes.

 

Are there some people who would like to see all zoological parks closed down? I'm sure. There's a very long, steep slope from "End orca breeding program" to "close all the zoos and end pet ownership".

 

Back to Seaworld and it's increasing competition in sealife. Still don't understand why it didn't developed an aquarium/Sesame Street combo like Sealife/Lego for me to markets. I can think of several places like St. Louis or Nashville where this might work.

 

They were slow to the punch and lack the finances to really gun for this due to being saddled with so much debt from the Blackstone acquisition and spinoff.

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