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Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:42 am

Looks like it should be good with all the inside/outside sections of the ride. I reserve my judgement until some real 3D renderings of the ride are shown though.

Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:53 am

Hopefully, Donna Frye doesn't try to interfere this time.

Although I do think that she has a point about JTA being ugly.

It's a shame that it didn't turn out like the original renderings, it would have been gorgeous. Of course, I heard that it was Donna Frye's intervention that led Sea World to change the original plans anyways.

A lot of enthusiasts started calling her "Fugly" when this happened.

Anyways, I really like the sound of this, I'm not a big fan of inversions, but I am kind of hoping for one as there is not a park in San Diego that has one.

Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:07 am

Xmeister wrote:Although I do think that she has a point about JTA being ugly.

It's a shame that it didn't turn out like the original renderings, it would have been gorgeous. Of course, I heard that it was Donna Frye's intervention that led Sea World to change the original plans anyways.

A lot of enthusiasts started calling her "Fugly" when this happened.

Anyways, I really like the sound of this, I'm not a big fan of inversions, but I am kind of hoping for one as there is not a park in San Diego that has one.

JTA went through a good number of redesigns before they put in the San Diego version. I was lucky enough to see several of the early ideas, one of which actually even had a more X-Files style theme for some strange reason, alluding that there was an alien force under the water behind the chaos. It just sounded odd... I'm glad that idea died. I think it came up as a quick idea of how to explain the elevator lift... like an Alien Abduction or something.

The early designs had more interior sections and featured two traditional lift hills instead of the one lift and one elevator lift that was used in the end. As I recall, one of the designs even featured the two lift hills going up side by side... matterhorn style. Except that there was supposed to be some kind of wall or barrier in between the two so that they would never see each other.

In the end I believe the design changes to JTA came about due to two main factors. I'm sure the bitching by "Frye and her Fuglies" had a hand in the park trying to cut back on the size of the building. But the other side of an early move to cut back on the amount of dark ride elements actually came from Busch's displeasure with the Orlando version.

The story they intended to tell in the Orlando version was always unclear. The audio system was just not designed well and you couldn't understand much of what was being said to you during the ride. They spent a lot of money building these big sets and effects for the Orlando ride, but had to turn a good number of them off over the years because they either got the riders too wet, screwed with the ride's numerous sensors or just malfunctioned way too often and were too expensive to maintain. So in the end it was decided that since the story couldn't be clearly told... they would just not try to tell a true story at all in San Diego. We can see where this design concept led in the next step to the creation of the Texas ride which is entirely outdoors.

There is one important thing to remember about the Busch theme parks that many outsides don't know. While the Busch theme parks are all about quality and they'll spend lots of Capital $$$$ money up front to buy the best equipment in most cases (or what they had believed to be the best at the time...). This is why they generally buy only B&M coasters. They pay more for them, but they deliver a quality product, open on time and have the best maintenance record going. From time to time they experiment with other companies when they need to try something new (GCI for Gwazi, Vekoma for Rhino Rally) but if they feel the product was not up to their standards, then don't look for them to work with that company again.

While this all sound good so far... the dark side of this story hits the parks later. Once the final checklists have been finished and the keys have been handed over to the parks... it was now up to the park's to maintain these attractions from their own maintenance budgets, which are always never big enough.

Again... take a look at the first Journey To Atlantis in Orlando as a prime example, as this was the very first dark ride attempt by the Busch parks. There was no set people already in place who knew how to handle all the various equipment, effects and technology in that kind of dark ride and up to that point the only "rides" the park had ever had before were the Skytower and Arctic simulators. Very quickly the various departments were over their heads... and without the proper budgets to do things right.

At least Williamsburg had a huge ride maintenance department with years of experience dealing with the Pompeii ride behind them when they got DarKastle. However SeaWorld San Diego soon found themselves in the same spot at their Orlando counterparts with their version of JTA.

Just a glimpse into the inner workings of your typical BEC theme park. Lets hope they take what they've learned from JTA in San Diego and put it to use on this 2010 ride. Oh... and no inversions. They'll want to keep this sucker low to the ground and given it's location in the back of the park in an area that is pretty an empty hole right now, you probably wont even be able to see this ride from outside the park.

Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:24 am

^Interesting stuff, Lance--thanks. BGE still has occasional fits with DarKastle (for example, the "dining table" scene wasn't working last Sunday) and Pompeii, but they usually address them pretty quickly.

I've never been to Sea World in San Diego (have been to Orlando's), but a new coaster would prompt me to check the place out--finally. As much as I enjoy JTA in Orlando, the dark-ride portion always seemed kind of goofy.

Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:28 am

It's interesting.. I had heard this new coaster would be a Mack from a pretty reliable source. So I'm betting on another Mack, especially since Sea World is very happy with Journey to Atlantis. Yes, even though the enthusiast community does not approve ;).

Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:28 am

Very interesting stuff, Lance. Thanks for the inside info.

Wed Jun 04, 2008 12:27 pm

Thanks for the info Lance!

Any news about a possible storyline?

Thu Jun 05, 2008 9:16 pm

I'd be cool to theme it aptly "The Posideon Adventure".

SeaWorld San Diego announces new Dolphin show

Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:36 am

I have attached the press release below.

Summary: Dolphin Discovery will have its' last show on Labor Day 2009. A special dolphin show will run in Shamu Stadium starting in late November. Blue Horizons will start its' run in May 2010 in Dolphin Stadium.


SAN DIEGO (Aug. 5, 2009) – There’s something new on the horizon at SeaWorld: a breakthrough theatrical spectacular that unites sea and sky with visions of Broadway as it showcases majestic animals and spirited performers. “Blue Horizons” — featuring energetic bottlenose dolphins, a colorful array of exotic birds and amazing acrobatic performers — is scheduled to open May 2010 at SeaWorld San Diego. “We’re delighted to bring ‘Blue Horizons’ to SeaWorld,” says the park’s general manager and executive vice president, Andy Fichthorn. “Dolphins are one of the most beloved and adored animals in the world, and it’s exciting to combine the grace and energy of such an amazing creature with a theatrical production that will be truly spectacular. We believe our guests will love this new and fantastic show.”

To create “Blue Horizons,” SeaWorld collaborated with the entertainment industry’s most inventive and artistic experts, marrying great theatrical extravagance — seen in the larger-than-life set, dramatic costuming and intriguing show development — with the awe inspiring feats of SeaWorld animals and trainers. At the center of “Blue Horizons” is Marina, a young girl whose vivid imagination sets the stage for an extravaganza of graceful dolphins, magnificent pilot whales and a rainbow of exotic birds.

“Blue Horizons” features action both above and under the water, as a cast of divers and aerialists, dressed in eye-catching costumes symbolizing sea and sky, plunge off the elaborate set into, and also propel out of, the deep blue water. “ ‘Blue Horizons’ is truly unique as it seamlessly blends the amazing power and grace of SeaWorld’s dolphins and pilot whales with the lavish splendor of Broadway,” said Stanley Meyer, “Blue Horizons” set designer and show consultant. Meyer, best known for his work designing the Broadway musical ”Beauty and the Beast,” created the set for SeaWorld Orlando’s “Blue Horizons,” which has been a hit with audiences there since 2005.

“Only SeaWorld could create such a spectacular concept, a type of show that can be seen nowhere else in the world,” said Meyer. “It sets a completely new benchmark for awe inspiring entertainment.” Using elements of the sea and sky — and a young girl’s vivid imagination — as his inspiration, Meyer designed a whimsical, yet dramatic, atmosphere with an immense rising sun, hundreds of iridescent bubbles, and an elaborate, 40-foot-high framework which envelops the pool and balances divers and aerialists as they plunge from bungees and soar on “cloud swings.” While these characters sway through the sky and dive off the set, the true stars of the show grace the waters below. SeaWorld’s dolphins and pilot whales leap their way into this dreamy adventure. African crowned cranes, coral bills, black vultures and other bird species soar over the audience as they ascend toward the horizon. The stirring, original musical score for “Blue Horizons” is performed by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.

At SeaWorld San Diego, Dolphin Stadium will be completely transformed for “Blue Horizons,” including an entirely new set; trusses, diving boards and bungee swings for the aerialists and divers; a new sound system; high-tech water features; and an additional 700 seats for guests.

SeaWorld’s current dolphin show, “Dolphin Discovery,” debuted in 1996 and is one of the longest running shows in the park’s 45-year history. It showcases SeaWorld’s family of bottlenose dolphins and pilot whales in a high-energy show with some surprise comic moments. The “Dolphin Discovery” finale will take place Labor Day weekend so that construction can begin. During construction, guests will still be able to enjoy a special dolphin show, which will take place at Shamu Stadium beginning in late November 2009.

General park information is found at www.seaworld.com.
Last edited by larrygator on Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:22 am.

Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:38 am

^Its about time. Both San Antonio and Orlando had upgraded their shows while San Diego kept the old one plugging along. I wonder how similar the set will be to the Florida version.
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