New Killer Whale Show to Open at SeaWorld
Look for 10 new attractions at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment to debut this spring, including a new killer whale show called "One Ocean" at SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld San Diego and SeaWorld San Antonio.
"One Ocean" will replace the "Believe" show, which ran for five years in all three SeaWorld parks. The new show has an educational, environmental theme, with a focus on teaching the public about orcas.
"These types of attractions can connect people to animals, nature and the environment, and can provide the inspiration to want to care about the world," Julie Scardina, SeaWorld's top animal trainer, tells the Associated Press.
Later this month, SeaWorld will also re-launch the "Dine with Shamu" killer whale show at SeaWorld San Antonio. The Orlando and San Diego parks will follow in the spring.
The show has been suspended since last year when trainer Dawn Brancheau was dragged into the water and killed by a six-ton orca named Tilikum shortly after the performance.
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SeaWorld designed the new show for trainers to work exclusively from the stage, instead of in the water with the killer whales.
"We are now staying out of the water. We don't know when or how that's going to change. So we said, 'Let's design this one to facilitate that and go in that direction,' "said Julie Scardina, SeaWorld Parks' curator of animal training, reports the Orlando Sentinel.
Dennis Speigel, president of International Theme Park Services, a global consulting agency, tells AP the new attractions "will take the edge" off the trainer death incident, but he added that he didn't think the death had much of an impact on SeaWorld attendance overall.
Some of the other attractions announced by the company include a cheetah-themed coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and a close-up viewing area of real cheetahs, including a chance to see them run in a daily workout session and a swim-through artificial reef at Discovery Cove in Orlando where visitors can snorkel with marine life.
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Artist rendering, AP/SeaWorld