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SeaWorld Orlando: General Discussion

I think there is probably a massive difference between SeaLife and Seaworld, I wouldn't know as I haven't done any of the Seaworld parks. I was well aware of the conservation focus in the SeaLife centres, but I still came away feeling a bit grubby, fish should be in the sea, not gawped at in glass cages.
Look forward to discussing it with you over a pint on the Beach this year though Mako!
You may have hearts. You also have wallets. I wonder what you use more. All these improvements aren't being done for the animal's sake, it's for PR in the wake of things like Blackfish.

You don't save animals by putting them in tiny tanks and making them do tricks to be gawped at.
I use my wallet to donate to SWBG conservation fund & WWF. I also volunteer at Manchester Dogs' Home. I have never been paid by SeaWorld or any zoo/aquarium for that matter. Please don't try to question my personal integrity, I would never question yours.
Should it really have to take the demoralising practice of entrapping such intelligent animals in frankly appalling sized tanks for you to donate or volunteer to charity? I don't think so.
I was only defending myself since my integrity was being morally questioned and quite frankly attacked, I don't think that's unreasonable. I don't see why this always has to dip down to personal attacks. I prefer to talk science rather than insult or degrade people as there are passionate and respectable people on both sides of this issue.
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There's quite a lot of not incorrect, but misleading information in that link above.

On another note, the park are said to be adding a Sea Rescue themed River Rapids attraction in 2018 before the Orca Encounter in 2019. Hopefully I should be over there getting experience in Florida's diverse and amazing marine science industry by then!

The park is really expanding well to make it a must visit on any Orlando vacation!
Glad to see they're expanding their water ride offering and ploughing a lot more into rides in general now.
They're presumably concerned about the loss of the park's USP.

If it makes for a better park I'm all for it, currently if I were to go back it would probably just be a case of riding all the major coasters and then moving on to a rival park.
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^That's exactly the wrong way to go about this park imo. They have 3 fantastic B&Ms (which arguably puts them as the best place for thrill coasters in Orlando with most agreeing that Mako is the best in Orlando).

But there is so much more to this park! I love the shows but I totally get that they're not everyone's thing so forget about them for a minute. Journey to Atlantis & Turtle Trek are both really great attractions and I'm sure the 2018 River Rapids will be as well. Antarctica is a decent dark ride imo despite the slating it gets, the penguin habitat at the end is quite spectacular! Wild Arctic Ride is atrocious, and the park are currently looking for ways to kill it off, but the exhibits at the end are still really good.

It's my favourite park in Orlando and I spent 9 days there in 2016 compared to 4 at Universal (didn't even bother with Disney's prices) and I never got bored. Now I get that I'm not your average person when it comes to SWO, but I think someone could easily spend a day at the park even if they don't want to see any shows.

Lastly, the park won't be losing their USP anytime soon, the Orcas will be around for decades still. Anyways, Orcas are not necessarily the USP, animals are!
As much as I want to love the park, it seems like there has been too little done before blackfish came out. Now, it is at a point where it is too late and guests satisfaction will only decrease due to more closed attractions and less staff there. Mako for attendance wise achieved very little. The only proper pull factor for me is the 3 b&ms but if I visited some other american parks, they would be very similar so really the park is trouble in my eyes. I also want to say I would visit after blackfish but the shows seriously need to stop, as soon as possible
Erm, you should really check some facts. There have been no closed attractions at SeaWorld Orlando, the park is fully operational!

Secondly Mako reversed a decline in attendance caused by the poor economy in Brazil to flat, so in that sense it did it's job well. (For the record, attendance increased in 2015 before you start blaming Blackfish). San Diego took the Blackfish hit, not Orlando.

If you want the shows to stop, good luck to you. I have many friends who work in the animal care/training department at SeaWorld and the shows are without doubt the biggest draw to the park and the amazing new Orca Encounter will open in 2019. A brand new show, Dolphin Days, opens in less than a month! The shows are the hallmark of SeaWorld, they will change from theatrical to more educational, but they aren't going anywhere thankfully!
If they hadn't built Mako I probably wouldn't bother going back at all TBH. I've never been comfortable with the idea of keeping wild animals in captivity for entertainment side of the park (though the pets show is good, I've no issue with domesticated animals) and there weren't enough major rides back in 2015. We spent 2 part days there, the second of which was only because we'd missed out on Atlantis the first time due to a storm arriving at just the wrong time.

I wasn't even a particular fan of anything they do have - I'm not a big fan of flyers, Kraken is one of the worst major B&Ms I've done and Atlantis is just all right (apparently several major effects weren't working when I rode which probably didn't help). Wild Arctic was unbelievably dated and the less said about the utterly underwhelming Empire of the Penguin the better.

I think I also rather resent SeaWorld for them using Busch Gardens to prop up the more central park, as Busch has by far the better ride line up and is much more my sort of park.
I love Kraken! It's in my top 5 coasters in fact, but each to their own I guess.

The shows mainly just display extensions of natural behaviours that are conditioned using positive reinforcement ONLY. Don't let anyone tell you that we deprive animals of food or use physical punishment, first of all that would be illegal and secondly if that happened you would have a mass exodus of marine biologists, veterinarians and animal care specialists from the park. Lastly, the theatrics that you see in today's shows will soon be no more, come back to the park by 2019 and you will see absolutely massive changes with more natural habitats and educational presentations instead of theatrical shows :)

Busch Gardens is a fantastic park, and in truth has outperformed SeaWorld in recent years. BGT is perfectly balanced between rides and animal attractions which is what makes it such a firm favourite for many. This is an approach the company is now taking SeaWorld in. To thrive in the Orlando market SeaWorld has to rebalance, it needs more rides to go alongside it's world class lineup of animal attractions. Getting rid of the animals is not the answer, SeaWorld always has and always will be about the animals, that's why the new Dolphin Nursery is opening this summer, Orca Encounter will open in 2019 and the park will continue to expand its rescue and rehabilitation efforts in coordination with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Service. More rides are coming, many more. SeaWorld will have the balance of Busch Gardens sooner than a lot of people expect. Mako opened last year, River Rapids will open in 2018, there's also something very exciting scheduled for 2020. Watch this space ;)
There have been some major 'temporary' closed attractions which have not been operating for multiple months. Unless sea world improves, I will just visit animal kingdom and Busch gardens for animal themed parks