SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

P. 645 - A report from SeaWorld's re-opening
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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby Rollercoaster Rider » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:47 pm

Kumba9 wrote:^REO Speedwagon, BareNaked Ladies, and Willie Nelson.....for that matter, may improve
Willie probably can't remember most of the words to his songs anyway.

Still, you need to do stuff to get guests attention from Disney/Universal.
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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby GwaziBSRider1 » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:49 pm

^ Well, they do have the marine life. I don't recall seeing an orca swimming around in the lake at IOA. :p

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby kidcoaster 2 » Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:21 pm

Two more drop out.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — More entertainers have canceled their appearances at SeaWorld Orlando following the recent release of a documentary that raises questions about the effects of captivity on whales.

Representatives for Trisha Yearwood and Martina McBride confirmed Monday that the country singers have joined the ranks of recording artists who have pulled out of performing at the park's February concert series, Bands, Brew and BBQ.

A SeaWorld spokesman also confirmed that 38 Special had pulled out of their scheduled concert at the marine park.

They joined Barenaked Ladies, Willie Nelson and Heart in canceling their appearances.

The documentary, "Blackfish," explores what may have caused a 12,000-pound orca named Tilikum to kill veteran SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010. Tilikum pulled her into a pool. The orca was also involved in two other deaths.

SeaWorld spokesman Nick Gollattscheck said in an email that SeaWorld officials respected the performers' decisions but were disappointed. He said other bands have been booked to replace those who have dropped out, and the new lineup will be announced once all the recording artists have confirmed their appearances.

Many of the performers canceled after fans launched a petition campaign on the website Gollattscheck said SeaWorld officials expect more performers to be targeted in similar campaigns.

At least they mention that they already have replacement bands. Assuming that they will have already known of the problems the activists are causing they won't back out. I have a feeling soon that the whale nuts will loss their 15 minutes in the spot light.

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby Cyrbuzz » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:55 am

Like I always say you can't fix stupid. These people really need to get a clue and hear the park's side of the story and get their facts straight. As with all things I believe this will blow over soon and they will run out of steam on this whole nutty campaign.

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby TPDave » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:57 am

^^ Exactly, the people now in shouldn't change their minds and then the momentum should drop. At least that's what I hope would happen!

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby Double0Kevin » Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:46 am

Propoganda... It does some crazy things. I think these bands need to grow a pair and do the shows. Not that I would want to see any of these acts anyways.

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby netdvn » Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:16 am

From what I've read on other sites, the bands are distancing themselves from the controversy, not Sea World. .38 Special just pulled out because of some crazy backlash on their Facebook page not too long ago. For a while, all these artist pages were being hammered with hate comments.

- Chances are you'll probably see them play at the Busch parks in the future once this whole Blackfish thing dies down.
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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby Jalek » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:12 am

I want to thank Robb for posting links to my blog post about CNN and Blackfish on ThemedReality. For the most part I am not critical of the film and it's not my intent to discredit it. I am an advocate for the humane treatment of captive animals, which is different from being an animal rights advocate. In the end, SeaWorld will do what is right and I will continue to eat meat.

After reading through over a thousand postings on my blog and other websites, as well as comments on facebook and twitter, here are a few things I'd like to share about the film and its promotion:

1. Based on the large number of comments concerning content in the film that isn't actually in the film, I'm under the impression that a lot of people commenting about it haven't actually seen it. Just like a lot of people commenting about my blog post didn't take the time to read what I wrote.

2. Although Gabriela Cowperthwaite, the director of the film, claims she does not come from an animal rights background and that it was never her intent to make an animal rights film, this is indeed an animal rights film. Advocacy films tend to end with images of common people working to make a change. Blackfish ends with footage of animal rights protesters at SeaWorld's entrance. in addition, Cowperthwaite has both embraced and been embraced by peta.

3. The neurologist who features prominently in the film, Dr. Lori Marino of Emery University, is Science Director for the Nonhuman Rights Project, a fact not disclosed in the film. This organization's mission statement is "to change the common law status of at least some nonhuman animals from mere “things,”which lack the capacity to possess any legal right, to “persons,” who possess such fundamental rights as bodily integrity and bodily liberty, and those other legal rights to which evolving standards of morality, scientific discovery, and human experience entitle them."

4. There are two edits in the film that can lead to an easy misinterpretation of the facts. The first is at the end of the film, where a charity run for the Dawn Brancheau Foundation and an interview with her sister about the Foundation's work immediately follows the footage of animal rights protesters at SeaWorld's entrance. This gives the impression that the Foundation and her family support the removal of orcas from the parks, which could not be farther from the truth. The family has and continues to refuse to discuss the issues of Dawn's death and of orcas in captivity.

5. The second edit takes place near the beginning of the film. Following footage of the 1970 captures in Puget Sound, which were done for Sea World when it was owned by the partnership of Milton Shedd, Ken Norris, David Demott, and George Millay, and mention of the Orca deaths during those captures (which has been documented for decades), the film mentions that Sea World switched their capture location to Iceland. The film then immediately cuts to footage of Tilikum being captured in the North Atlantic. I have seen numerous comments about SeaWorld capturing Tilikum and how his family died during the capture. Sea World was not involved in the Tilikum capture and there is no evidence of orca deaths during that incident. The entire third chapter of David Kirby's book Death at SeaWorld dramatizes Tilikum's capture and does not mention any orca deaths.

There are sites on the internet that provide the same sort of distortion. mentions in an article titled "Ten Things You Don't Know About SeaWorld" that "Orcas that were at SeaWorld before 1972 were likely kidnapped from their ocean homes. For example,Tilikum, a 32-year-old orca, was captured at the age of 2 by a marine "cowboy." Tilikum wasn't taken from his natural environment because he was injured—instead, he was torn away from his family against his will and confined to a small concrete tank for a hefty profit."

The piece fails to mention that Tilikum, who was captured in 1983, resided at Sealand of the Pacific in Victoria, British Columbia until the park closed in 1992, at which time he was relocated to SeaWorld Orlando. Many of Tilikum's issues are the result of his treatment in Canada and not at SeaWorld. Note that SeaWorld of Hurt is a website owned by peta.

6. All of the performers who have cancelled gigs at SeaWorld have and continue to perform at casinos. These are institutions where large numbers of people are encouraged to perform addictive and potentially damaging acts of gambling in an enclosed environment without natural sunlight while having their judgement distorted by copious amounts of free alcohol.

7. Without CNN and now Netflix, public exposure to the film would be minimized. Theatrically, the film only showed in 99 theaters (my market not being one of them) and made just over $2 million in box office receipts. CNN continues to promote its ownership of the film. has posted a news piece each time a band has canceled its SeaWorld performance. Each piece mentions both CNN as owning the film and having broadcast it. For instance, the piece on REO Speedwagon states: "The fans became upset after watching the CNN documentary "Blackfish," which first aired on CNN in October." CNN also has used the sensationalist headline "SeaWorld Fights for its Survival" for an on air segment about SeaWorld appealing the ban on trainer contact with whales. As evidenced by the company's recent expansions - Manta, Turtle Reef, Explorer's Cove, Aquatica in San Diego, Aquatica and its expansion in San Antonio, and TurtleTrek, Antarctica, and expansions to Discovery Cove and Aquatica in Orlando - I'm pretty sure that SeaWorld is not dependent on human interaction with orcas for its future survival. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, CA also gives a good example of how a marine life/theme park can survive without orcas.

8. Although the switch from Anheuser Busch to Blackstone is discussed in the director's commentary on the DVD, ownership of SeaWorld and ownership changes are never mentioned in the film itself. This gives the impression that SeaWorld is under the same ownership and management now that it had been in the 1970's and 80's. At the time of Dawn Brancheau's death, Terry Prather was managing Water Country, a waterpark, in Virginia. Prior to that, he was with Jazzland/Six Flags New Orleans and Six Flags America. Before that, he was Managing Director of the prestigious Witte Museum in San Antonio. Now, I'll grant that Terry did work in maintenance and water quality at Sea World San Antonio from its opening in 1988 to 1997, but from knowing people in those fields at theme parks, I'm pretty sure that gave him an intensive understanding of the importance of safety.

9. If the footage of animal rights activists and Lori Marino's testimony are removed from the film, it becomes a documentary about workplace safety.

10. One thing I learned early on in the marketing of attractions is that the key to successful marketing is to target mothers - they're the ones who make all the decisions in today's modern family. And mothers feel sympathy for other mothers. The filmmakers play on this in their publicity for the film. Cowperthwaite frequently refers to herself as having been a "SeaWorld mom" who regularly took her kids to the park. The producers of the film, Judy Bart and Erica Khan are described as moms who, once their children were grown, decided to start a production company to produce films that "both inspire and entertain." (Not sure how all of Khan's children can be listed as grown, when her bio mentions them as ranging from ages 10 to 25). I've been unable to find anything about these two women. Their production company, Our Turn Productions, is registered with LA County to a nice three bedroom home in Huntington Beach owned by a lawyer. I have no desire to pursue this further, but there certainly is a question as to where these two women procured the funding for the production.

Other than the two edits and the lack of labeling of Dr. Marino that I've described above, I have no issues with the film. It's a good movie and I encourage you to see it if you're interested. But it's not the definitive piece on the issue and I will continue to do research on the business, scientific, and historical fronts before I get to the point where I'm comfortable making an opinion on the matter.

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby denning » Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:19 pm

I recently watched Blackfish. It was very well made and obviously slanted. However the interesting part is that you clearly see the animals loved, were loved by, the trainers. As well you see the facilities are very clean and well-kept. Basically the critique against Seaworld is no different than against any Zoo or aquarium.

The only truly sad parts were the stories of the babies being sent to other parks away from their mothers. And the grieve that the mothers felt. No explanation is given for the policy - and based on the slant of the film - one would believe that they should be kept together. Perhaps there is a safety reason for doing it. The film never explains seaworld's side.

The other negative is some of Seaworld's PR about the death of Dawn being her fault and the age that whales live when compared to in the wild. Once more info is known that spin looks bad but honestly no different than any other organzation.

Long story short Dawn loved her job. Loved the whales. It is a high risk - high reward job - like car racing. She died doing what she loved.

Watching the whales made me want go to Seaworld even more. We are going for the first time in two weeks.

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

Postby melissa@OT4U » Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:25 pm

As a person that has lived near SeaWorld for almost 20 years, it is the one park that I always kept an annual pass for. Their admission price is online with the other theme parks in the area but they put those dollars to use. They provide an education, fun & interactive place for children & adults. They do a lot of rescue & rehabilitative work form marine life.I did watch the documentary but was able to see many discrepancies and falsehoods in the film. I have read your article and in response to your comments about the singers withdrawing I think another analogy can be used in place of casino's. Everyday animals are tortured & killed for cosmetic testing. I do not see any of the named celebrities giving up wearing make up! Instead many celebrities are paid millions to endorse cosmetic lines. If you believe inn something believe 100%-do not pick & choose due to political pressure. I for one will not support any othe celebrities that have pulled out of playing for SeaWorld. Thank You, Melissa


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