SeaWorld definitely seems to be feeling the effects of the Blackfish saga. Even their CEO; Jim Atchison stepped down amid a raft of cost savings that even saw the demise of the Seamore and Clyde Mime.
What will become of the fabulous but beleaguered ocean park remains a mystery, but it might be fair to assume that some huge changes could be heading to the SeaWorld Entertainment Inc theme parks.
Busch Gardens Tampa – Tampa, Florida
Busch Gardens Williamsburg – Williamsburg, Virginia
SeaWorld Orlando – Orlando, Florida
SeaWorld San Antonio – San Antonio, Texas
SeaWorld San Diego – San Diego, California
Adventure Island – Tampa, Florida
Aquatica Orlando – Orlando, Florida
Aquatica San Antonio – San Antonio, Texas
Aquatica San Diego – Chula Vista, California
Water Country USA – Williamsburg, Virginia
Sesame Place – Langhorne, Pennsylvania
Discovery Cove – Orlando, Florida
It does kind of make you wonder whether a bunch of those parks could get merged or closed if any new owners came in to trim costs and move the theme away from animal entertainment.
Let’s hope that the Orlando sites survive in a form that can endure another 20 years of politics, public acceptance and booming interest that Central Florida always seems to attract!
On the theory that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, SeaWorld’s Parks might have a slightly different opinion these days.
Always weathering the storm of animal rights campaigners, SeaWorld has performed well in the public eye, considering the challenges it faces.
Recently, though, things have been getting tougher than they’d like at SeaWorld, thanks mainly to one particular killer whale: Tilikum.
The huge Orca seems to have a mind of its own, and the result has been tragic on more than one occasion.
Right now, the Blackfish thing appears to be blowing over to some degree as the public perhaps learn from the documentary, what they always probably knew.
Yesterday Monday 12th August 2013, a Federal judge agreed that SeaWorld was indeed complying in good faith with the strict new safety regulations that have turned their Shamu show inside out since their ‘Believe’ show reopened as the much tamer ‘One Ocean’.
Humans and Animals are no longer allowed to interact and gone are the days of trainers riding along on the nose of an Orca at high speed!
The judgement allows SeaWorld to operate ‘as is’ which is something for a theme park that has long feared the potential closure of its signature exhibit.
Visitor reactions will be important and the theme park industry will be closely watching the annual gate attendance figures for 2013 when they are announced in July of 2014.
I love SeaWorld.
It offers a really pleasant break from the ‘magic’ of Disney or the brain rattling roller coasters of Busch. Strolling around the beautiful walkways of Orlando’s marine themed park is always a pleasure.
It’s not often that a theme park attraction takes a few unexpected days out of the schedule during a busy spell over the summer, but Shark Encounter is currently down for some kind of brief maintenance work.
Well, when I say ‘brief’ that was based upon the announcement on their website stating that the attraction is closed for maintenance from the 15th July though the 19th July.
As I write, it is still down today on the 23rd!
If you’ve ever worked in a high pressure business, say for example a car plant or airport, you will know by now, that ‘heads are on the block’ whenever something big fails.
With proper maintenance and care, attractions should never need to close for mechanical work.
Alternatively of course, it may be an animal related problem. I can’t think for one minute that looking after an ‘off color’ shark is a particularly easy or pleasant task!
Let’s hope this rather quaint and aged attraction is back into action soon, it is one of the coolest things to experience as you slowly glide beneath the sharks on the moving walkway!