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Meanwhile, at SeaWorld...

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment - (4/23/13) Just while SeaWorld was enjoying their successful IPO run… they were blindsided in almost WWE style fashion by the announcement that not only was PETA amongst their new shareholders, but that PETA had bought enough shares “to give us the right to attend and speak at annual meetings and to submit shareholder resolutions asking for policy changes.”

Yep… and if you couldn’t guess, their first order of business “as part owners of SeaWorld” is that the group is formally requesting that all of the chain’s Killer Whales be released. They are also planning to start an educational campaign they’ll lead against the other stockholders about the evils of SeaWorld and the practice of captive marine mammals in parks.

Yep… things are going to get VERY interesting for SeaWorld Entertainment very quickly. See why I previously urged them to keep the company private and away from the manipulations of greedy investors as well as those with a private adjenda. But even I couldn’t have dreamed of a plan so sinister as what PETA has unleashed upon SeaWorld this week, as they attempt to destroy the company from the inside. I don’t imagine that the other stockholders will put up with their antics for long, but I’m not sure what they can do about it either. They may simply be forced to just put up with them at the meetings, much like how families try to ignore the that one crazy relative who only comes to the big family gatherings, drinks too much and then complains loudly to everyone about how good everyone else had it while they suffered endless untold hardships. (Or something like that…)

In other news, SeaWorld’s CEO hinted that one of the companies long term goals may be to cast their net into International waters and see what kind of global opportunities there are for the SeaWorld brand. There was no mention of the previously announcement project to build parks in Dubai however on a man-made island shaped like a Killer Whale.

Source - Screamscape

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  • 1 year later...

SeaWorld are still struggling this year after Blackfish last year. Their Q2 results show a drop in attendance although they had hoped that the opening of Diagon Alley and New Fantasyland at the competition would give them a general boost as more people are in the area (although surely that'd be more noticeable in the Q3 results). So how are SeaWorld battling this? Well there's all the general ideas of cutting costs etc but they are going to expand all of the Killer Whale enclosures with San Diego being the first to receive this in 2018. It's called the Blue World Project and does look really good and an improvement but is it too late? Would they benefit more from just removing the Orcas and focus on re-branding themselves and continue to push their conservation?

 

Here's some concept art.

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This is certainly how all animal enclosures should be like but it's going too take 4 years to complete just one of them with Orlando and San Antonio receiving theirs in 2019/20. Will it all be over for SeaWorld before then?

 

In other news, the 15 year old Clyde and Seamore take Pirate Island show has come to an end :( this was by far the best attraction at SeaWorld that wasn't Manta and it's been part of every visit I've made to Florida. Fans of the park and the public love this show and everything about it and in my eyes it's quite risky to be changing it in a time where they are already struggling. The new show could be just as good, better or worse. If it's the later then many will be disappointed. SeaWorld have filed for a name though: Clyde and Seamore Sealion High. As long as they keep to the same ideas and them mime is still used at the beginning I can see it being great. Concept art for it has also gone up.

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And some interesting information about it all here: http://behindthethrills.com/2014/08/rumor-mill-permits-filed-show-that-clyde-and-seamore-will-go-back-to-school-at-seaworld-orlando-next-year/

 

And finally, with plummeting share prices rumours are beginning to swirl about a buyout. Two companies rumoured, one being the Chinese Wanda Group which is seeming more likely (although with the Chinese's stereotypical treatment of animals and Orcas in particular that could be an awful move) and the other being Comcast. Now with Comcast investing so heavily into Universal and planning to continue on doing so they are loving the theme park side of entertainment and talks of a third Universal park still go on. With a buyout of SeaWorld could they transform it into that third park and bring in some IPs to help boost visitor numbers. Only time will tell.

 

Yay for bringing a topic back from the dead!

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I think Seaworld as it was is long gone. No matter how you look at it, that Blackfish documentary has done the brand name so much damage that the Seaworld name is pretty toxic and giving the Orcas larger tanks isn't going to be enough. The sad thing is, they do so much for conservation of other species and it makes me wonder if the more the shares plummet, the more visitors stop going, what effect will it have on the good work that Seaworld has done and continues to do.

 

Way to many what if's in my post. 

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I don't think it's totally fair the abuse they're getting, seems to be the social media band wagon to hate them. As Mark pointed out, they do a lot, and prob more than other animal parks, quietly avoiding the tarnish brush.

If there's anything to really hate about Sea World, it's their awful ride operation! ;-)

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I think Seaworld as it was is long gone. No matter how you look at it, that Blackfish documentary has done the brand name so much damage that the Seaworld name is pretty toxic and giving the Orcas larger tanks isn't going to be enough. The sad thing is, they do so much for conservation of other species and it makes me wonder if the more the shares plummet, the more visitors stop going, what effect will it have on the good work that Seaworld has done and continues to do.

 

Way to many what if's in my post.

I don't think this is fair. There's a lot more to Seaworld than simply the Orca show, and it seems to be that this is the thing which mainly causes problems. I think Seaworld could easily survive without the Shamu show. It seems to me to be a massive gamble spending so much money on improving Orca tanks when really the social climate is moving so quickly towards the idea that those animals should not be in any kind of captivity - a bit like how we no longer really tolerate circus animals (well kept or not).

I'm so tired of the theme park community rounding on Blackfish, as far as I'm concerned it made a lot of people look very silly, and unable to put basic human empathy before their love of theme parks. And I don't mean empathy towards whales, that's up to the individual, but empathy towards the idea that many people no longer find it acceptable. Sorry Mark9, not at all directed at you.

Two arguments that need to be put to bed by sensible theme park fans:

1. Seaworld does a lot of charity work - it's nonsense to say that this and the Shamu shows are intrinsically linked - Seaworld could continue to operate without that one attraction and still make profits to give to conservation work. It's not Blackfish that has 'killed all the turtles' because of its success in turning people away from the park, but rather Seaworlds decision not to abandon orca shows - it's fine to continue, but people are free to be uncomfortable with it and not go.

2. The orcas can't be moved back into the wild - yes, obviously, but there's a big difference between this and stopping exhibiting them. Even if they said that after this generation they would no longer be exhibiting them it would be a statement of intent - so far the silence has been deafening.

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I don't think SeaWorld will ever stop exhibiting Orcas, the only thing that will stop them is a law being passed to make it illegal, which I can't see happening either. There was a bill trying to be passed to stop the San Diego park from keeping its Orcas and that stalled immediately, as SeaWorld has the support of the government, if only because it is a major attraction and employs a lot of people.

It's easy to say that SeaWorld could survive without the Orcas, but there are a huge part of who SeaWorld are and are the biggest attraction of all the parks, over any other ride or attraction, and losing them would make a massive difference in their attendance.

Personally I thing the Blue World Project is a great announcement, for one it does address some of the negative press they have been getting (regardless of whether or not it was deserved), and it also gives the parks a proper Orca exhibit, as at present it is only really possible to see the Orcas in the show, or in a relatively small underwater viewing area, this will make a huge attraction for the park.

Blackfish has obviously done what it set out to do, which was make headlines and hurt SeaWorld, but over time SeaWorld will bounce back and Blackfish will be forgotten. I'm not sure that I would like to see anybody takeover the SeaWorld parks, the danger with Comcast is that it will bring in a load of IPs, which I don't think the park needs at all, it has been able to create lots of attractions based on original themes, and I think it would be a shame if that was lost.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 5 months later...

So although Seaworld is still presumably in money doubts and attendance fallings... they are investing heavily at least in Orlando. What with BG Tampa opening a new coaster next year (supposedly a Mack launch or something) and Orlando opening the new sea lion show this year you wouldn't expect much else. But today something was announced...

 

 

Something is stirring beneath the surface at SeaWorld Orlando, preparing to rise from the ocean depths and soar to thrilling new heights. Get ready for the frenzy of SeaWorld’s new 200-foot-tall coaster. In 2016, this thriller will take its place atop the food chain as Orlando’s tallest, fastest, and longest coaster. 

 
More details on the new addition will surface in late-May. SeaWorld is a one-of-a-kind theme park with a variety of attractions including awe-inspiring animal encounters, thrilling rides and spectacular shows. Follow #nothingfaster as the frenzy starts.

Okay getting the tallest coaster in Florida isn't too hard but still! 

 

Many rumours flying around about it but it will be 200ft at least, over 4000ft long and faster than 70mph. 

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It's also the fiercest ride!

 

Rumours circulating: It'll be themed to a shark but the fastest shark (maybe we'll see a Shark Encounter refurb finally!). Hyper coaster by B&M is a strong bet with Seaworld's B&M trend but they've worked with Mack a lot recently and they are probably more financially available. Talks it may also be a launched coaster which might support the Mack rumours more. 

 

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This image posted by Rob on TowersStreet shows the rumoured area of development and with Shark Encounter middle left on the picture it would work with a overhaul of that area. What with the Nautilus theatre being empty and seasonal now. That area of the park feels like it needs developing when you're in it too!

 

Further details will be revealed towards the end of May, exciting times!

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  • 1 month later...

It's been announced. MAKO. A 200ft 73mph B&M Mega coaster!

 

 

Sink your teeth into SeaWorld’s unrivaled new coaster, Mako™. Arriving summer 2016, this 200-foot hypercoaster soars to the top of the food chain as Orlando’s tallest, longest and fastest coaster. Scream through the deep dives with unmatched speed and predator power. Fly through the air with the grace and agility of the ocean’s apex predator. 

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Pretty cool entrance!

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Plaza and it dips into the SWO lagoon :D

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Woosh!

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So it doesn't go around the lake behind Kraken, it goes over it!

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And it looks the like the Shark encounter walk through thing will finally get a makeover to go alongside the new ride (presumably much like the penguin enclosure got with Antarctica and the Manta aquarium linking with that queue.)

 

http://youtu.be/O4pFi1awh3o

 

And the website.

http://seaworldparks.com/en/seaworld-orlando/attractions/rides/mako/?from=Home_promo

 

Gonna be a good year for Orlando with this, Kong and Frozen all opening up!

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Mako looks cute but it's nothing new tbh! Nice to see another B&M Hyper though! I assume there might be a Manta-esque splash on that last corner too but who knows!

 

Also the line at the end of the video...

 

"Inspired by one of the fastest sharks on the planet" doesn't sound incredibly dramatic haha :P

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Mako looks cute but it's nothing new tbh! Nice to see another B&M Hyper though! I assume there might be a Manta-esque splash on that last corner too but who knows!

 

Also the line at the end of the video...

 

"Inspired by one of the fastest sharks on the planet" doesn't sound incredibly dramatic haha :P

 

I suppose for Florida it's pretty different to anything else there. 

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  • 2 months later...

SeaWorld are doomed if they do, doomed if they don't in a way. If they remove the Orcas they lose the Shamu brand which is huge and look like they back down so they'll be attacked for the next thing and so on until they have no animals left in captivity. If they keep them then this just keeps spiralling.

The killer whale project was a good idea but they've shelved it at Orlando until they know what effect it has at San Diego if any.

The new people seem to have a good take on the problems though. One of the guys has come from the Silver Dollar City lot with his first project he's overseeing being Mako. This is the direction I think they should go, theme stuff to the sea with exhibits incorporated like Manta's aquarium and the Shark one with Mako. Shows like Pets ahoy and Clyde and Seamore are good to because using these animals for shows is common.

Antarctica would have been good at achieving this to but the ride just isn't that good. But theming the parks to the ocean shouldn't be too hard a move.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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