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SeaWorld Orlando: General Discussion

SeaWorld have responded to some of Screamscpae's queries regarding VR on Kraken:
Screamscape said:
SeaWorld Orlando responded back with some extra information about their new Kraken VR system coming in 2017. When we questioned how they would be handling the issue of cleaning the equipment between riders if it was mounted to the train itself:
“Having the VR headgear integrated into the seat both mechanically and electronically not only provides a more reliable synchronization to the ride experience, but offers our Ambassadors easy access to sanitize the headsets after each and every ride cycle. The Kraken station is also being modified allowing for more ambassador positions to assist guests as they load the train and prepare for the VR experience on Kraken.”
Screamscape also asked about what would happen if a guest did not wish to partake in the VR experience, either because they found it cumbersome, clausterbobic, or just simply wanted to opt for the pure traditional roller coaster experience:
“Guests that do not wish to use the VR Experience can still enjoy Kraken as they always have by simply leaving the VR headset in a secure pouch attached to the coaster seat.”
So there you have it… now we just have to wait and see how this turns out.

I think they've also said that they may run more trains than usual to keep throughputs up. Let's see how long that lasts!

I understand why they want to connect the headsets onto thr ride car, but surely a system could be developed that would allow headsets to be handed out and fitted to guests in the queue line then simply tethered onto the train after a guests sit down rather being connected permanently.

Mako is ace! I was expecting it to be about on par with Silver Star but something about it took it to the next level, still not sure what. Of course I can't compare to any other B&M hypers but for what it's worth I loved Mako. The colour scheme looks great as well.

Agree entirely. Was expecting Mako to be something similar to Silver Star but it was absolutely amazing and on a whole new level but I couldn't explain why. Definitely a suprise addition to my top coasters.

On a slightly separate note stumbled across this article on another forum,


Even if as suggested it was a developed as a result of a law suit, good to see a park taking some initiative and finding ways to work with manufacturers and allow people who otherwise wouldn't be able to enjoy their attractions.
My non-geek friends rode Mako and said it was pretty much "the same" as Silver Star (as far as they were concerned).

I think it's got a little bit more variety than Silver Star. There is one deceptively low hill and the turn around elements come right at the point the air time hills get a bit samey. One of them also has a lovely close encounter with a support.

But as I said before I don't know why it felt better it just did. I was also ridding with a whole group that had never been on a B&M Hyper before which helped.
From memory Mako packs in a lot more airtime than Silver Star with almost every hill/turn feeling like it's trying to launch you out of your seat. A near miss with the supports on the turn and few quick direction changes at the end give it a nice extra dimension. Silver Star is a great coaster but Mako is far better, got off it and would've gone straight back into the queue if I had the chance :)
Just got back from a day at Seaworld today, Mako is a fantastic ride with loads of airtime on every hill. I haven't been on Silver star so cant compare it to that, I would say I slightly prefer shamballa overall though. It's the perfect ride for Seaworld and everyone was laughing and cheering by the end of the ride. Hopefully get another couple of rides on it next week after visiting Aquatica.

I noticed they were selling off, -a lot of the wild artic merchandise, I wonder if this where they plan to add the rumoured Seaworld Rescue dark ride for 2018 to replace the very dated simulator. The park also does lack a good family coaster though with a lower height limit and think they need a good family coaster for there next coaster investment.
Rode Mako just under a month ago, several times due to there being no queue. It was a fun ride but nothing spectacular, my personal view is that out of the 3 B&M hypers I've experienced, it's the weaker of the 3 (shamb, Mako and Silverstar).

The last few banked corners are good fun thought, it's an ok ride, not mind blowing.
SeaWorld have announced the passing of Tilikum the orca.

The SeaWorld family is deeply saddened to announce that one of its most well-known orcas, Tilikum, has passed away. Tilikum passed away early this morning, January 6, surrounded by the trainers, care staff and veterinarians that provided him around-the-clock world-class care.

Like all older animals, Tilikum had faced some very serious health issues. While the official cause of death will not be determined until the necropsy is completed, the SeaWorld veterinarians were treating a persistent and complicated bacterial lung infection. The suspected bacteria is part of a group of bacteria that is found in water and soil both in wild habitats and zoological settings.

Tilikum’s veterinarians and caretakers delivered various treatment regimens over the course of this illness, which consisted of, among other things, combinations of anti-inflammatories, anti-bacterials, anti-nausea medications, hydration therapy and aerosolized antimicrobial therapy.

While today is a difficult day for the SeaWorld family, it’s important to remember that Tilikum lived a long and enriching life while at SeaWorld and inspired millions of people to care about this amazing species.

Tilikum’s life will always be inextricably connected with the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Dawn Brancheau. While we all experienced profound sadness about that loss, we continued to offer Tilikum the best care possible, each and every day, from the country’s leading experts in marine mammals.

“Tilikum had, and will continue to have, a special place in the hearts of the SeaWorld family, as well as the millions of people all over the world that he inspired,” said President & CEO of SeaWorld Joel Manby. “My heart goes out to our team who cared for him like family.”

Tilikum became a part of SeaWorld’s family 25 years ago. Estimated to be about 36 years old, Tilikum was near the high end of the average life expectancy for male killer whales according to an independent scientific review.

Tilikum was not born at or collected by SeaWorld. He came to us from Sealand of the Pacific in Canada. SeaWorld has not collected a whale from the wild in nearly 40 years, and this past March we announced the end of the orca breeding program effectively making the whales currently at SeaWorld the last generation of orcas under human care.
I feel physically sick. It was expected, but that doesn't make it any easier. Despite what some may have you believe, at 36 Tilikum was an old male Orca, the average life expectancy for the Icelandic population of Orcas is 30 years. I can't believe I just saw him this past July. RIP Tili, you have inspired me and an entire generation to care for our oceans and were a beacon in the darkness for so many of us. You will never be forgotten. Rest in peace Tilikum.
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"Granny"is the Orca you're referring to. The average lifespan for a MALE the Icelandic ecotype of Orcas (which is where Tili originates from) is 30 years. (Some ecotypes have much longer averge lifespans however most of SeaWorld's Orca population descend from the Icelandic ecotype, therefore it is misleading for people to compare SeaWorld's average Orca lifespan to that of the entire global population.) Granny is a interesting case as we actually have no idea how old she was. Estimates ranged from 50-105 depending on who you asked. NOAA estimates that granny was actually closer to the 60 years of age mark. It must be noted that female Orcas live longer than male Orcas do and it should also be remembered that different ecotypes of Orcas have different average life spans. At 36, Tilikum just about exceeded the average life span for his gender in his Icelandic ecotype :)
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Indeed he was treated poorly in the early days, food deprivation, dark and cramped conditions were common at SeaLand in Canada. The last 25 years of his life were significantly better, it was a pleasure to visit him on career camp this past July and I look forward to seeing his first son Kyuquot in Texas this summer. The SeaWorld staff are so passionate and their love for the animals shines through every moment that you spend with them. Tilikum inspired so many people (myself included) to care for the oceans, if it wasn't for him I wouldn't be volunteering at Manchester Dogs' Home and pursuing a career in marine biology and animal conservation. I owe everything to him really.
I just think that when over half of his 21 offspring actually died before him, there's clearly something unnatural about captivity that is seriously detrimental to the orcas' health.
You're right in saying that cap born offpring have historically had a higher mortality rate, however if you put this in a graph you'd see a steady upward trend getting steeper and steeper. I'm not trying to pretend that everything has been perfect, but things have gradually improved and they continue to do so.
I don't think capitalism has quite gone so far that SeaWorld can privatise an ocean and until then SeaWorld's facilities will never be good enough for orcas.
I hadn't done an aquarium in years, but did the Sealife Centres at Towers and Blackpool this year, just to get mileage out of my pass, the last one I went to being inside Blackpoo Tower (where the Dungeon is now) about thirty years ago.
I came out feeling pretty bleak, the fish looked cramped and sad, as caged animals often do.
I know the centres claim to be conservation minded, but the places reminded me of the third rate zoos of years gone by, like the one in the Tower, where Jungle Jim's is now, cramped cages and unnatural behaviour... and the centres are there to make a profit.
Not seen Blackfish, and I can't say I am likely to, but I would be happy if all the Sealife centres closed down.
Excuse the long post but this is something I'm very passionate about. I can't speak for SeaLife but I can speak for SeaWorld. All I can say is that in my opinion they provide first rate care for all of their animals and shutting them down would be a disaster for wildlife. That's why they have respected supporters like the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network, American Humane Association and many more. Over the last few decades, SeaWorld has rescued 30,000 animals from dolphins to Manatees to birds to Sharks. Unlike activists will tell you it is not SeaWorld who decides if these animals can be released, it is the Federal Government as they are the ones who 'own' them. Animal expert Jack Hanna credits SeaWorld's rescue team with the fact that Florida Manatees are not extinct today. If SeaWorld were to close, the ramifications on many marine species would be very large indeed. SeaWorld is accredited by many global animal welfare organisations such as AZA, AMMPA, IMATA & AHA as well as respected scientists and marine mammal health professionals such as Dr Kelly Jaakola, Dr Todd Robeck, Dr Paul Ponganis & Dr Pamela Yochem. It is quite worrying sometimes when people watch a 90 minute movie or read a piece of poorly written anti SeaWorld text and suddely think they're fully qualified marine biologists, actually it's quite insulting to the people who have worked their a**es off to study cetaceans and other marine species for their whole lives and also to the dedicated team of vets, trainers and animal care staff who are boots on the ground caring for these magnificant creatures day in day out for very little money. Despite what you might think we're (I use we as I've done several weeks of career programmes at SeaWorld) not monsters. We have hearts, we have brains. We're not stupid. We know that having a 10,000 pound Killer Whale in a man made habitat is not ideal. But we do our very best to ensure that their lives remain stimulating, rewarding and healthy. I think we're doing a pretty good job at it. If it helps any of you out, as part of a new partnership with the Humane Society of the United States the Killer Whale breeding programme has ended so these will be the last Orcas at SeaWorld. The partership also includes efforts to stop the horrible practice of shark finning which needlessly murders millions (yes, MILLIONS) of sharks every year. Fishermen take the sharks out of the water, cut their fins off and then throw them back to die a painful death. MILLIONS. It's a tragedy. That's why organisations like SeaWorld are so important. We're not monsters, we care, we have hearts and we are taking action.