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On your next visit to one of the SeaWorld theme parks, it might be a good idea to bring one of those reusable grocery bags, and this is especially the case if you’re planning to stock up on souvenirs for your little one—or yourself. The parks have decided that plastic this and plastic that aren't the best for the environment, so they’re planning to ditch a lot of their disposable items in favor of those which are reusable.
Within the next year or so, SeaWorld will phase out their use of plastic bags across all of their parks. They don’t want anyone to rethink a potential purchase of a giant stuffed Shamu, so SeaWorld will still reluctantly hand out bags; however they will be totally made of recycled paper. Of course they will also be pretty darn happy to sell you a snazzy reusable SeaWorld shopping bag as well.
SeaWorld Orlando is located right in the middle of a theme park battleground, and they’re not going to just sit back and let Universal Studios and Walt Disney World have all the fun. They’ve already built new coasters and other attractions, but another round of upgrades and improvements might just keep Shamu ahead of Harry Potter and Mickey Mouse.
For one of the park’s largest expansion ever the place is going back to its roots, and they’re doing even more stuff with the animals. SeaWorld is planning to add a new penguin exhibit, but it’s going to be a little bit different than visiting the zoo. Arriving towards the beginning of 2013—Antarctica — Empire of the Penguin—will bring a whole new array of shops and restaurants to the park along with plenty of penguins.
Of course the centerpiece will be a brand new attraction, but one of the many highlights is the plan to introduce some frigid temperatures to park visitors—like Antarctica cold. They’re still finalizing what exactly the new ride will feature, but they’re promising “closer-then-ever animal connections” with “state-of-the-art interactive ride technologies.”
Worlds-Scariest-Roller-Coasters / Roller Coasters / SeaWorld / Theme Parks / Amusement Parks / Holiday Travel / Florida Travel / → All Tags
Sea creatures and aquariums might not be the first thing you think about when it comes to the holiday season, but SeaWorld Orlando is looking to change that. Since the weather stays warmer in Florida there is still plenty of fun to be had this month, and there’s no better roller coaster ride to experience during the holidays than Manta.
The people over at SeaWorld think that the Manta coaster does a great job of simulating what it’s like to sail through the water like a ray, but we’re thinking that this coaster does a great job of scaring the bejesus out of you. The coaster is shaped liked a creature from the deep and once strapped in, you’ll be swooping and soaring at speeds of close to 60mph. It’s not all up and down either, as this coaster goes through four inversions while you try to hold onto your seat as you navigate around 3,500 feet of track.
SeaWorld / Shamu / Amusement Parks / San Diego Travel / Zoos / → All Tags
SeaWorld has taken some hits this past year, most notably the highly publicized death of a trainer from a killer whale at the Orlando location. But the San Diego, Orlando and San Antonio theme parks are looking to revamp their offerings in hopes of getting out of its slump for 2011.
To avoid tragedies like the February incident, in which the trainer was killed by the orca during a live performance, the parks will pull their signature five-year-old "Believe" show. It'll be replaced with another Shamu show, but this one won't have trainers interacting with the mammals. And hopefully it'll have a better name than "Believe."
When we climbed aboard a Southwest flight from San Diego to Chicago yesterday, we were greeted with SeaWorld's famous mascot—and San Diego's unofficial one—plastered on the overhead bins.
In fact, Shamu's eye-catching aqua blue portraits lined most of the plane's overhead compartments. There were several different action shots of the whale and, of course, SeaWorld's logo was thrown in on some of the bins. You see, Southwest is the official airlines of SeaWorld and thus they've painted the exterior of at least one of their planes to look like a giant killer whale on the runway. It's Shamu One, and somehow we had ended up as its passengers
The death of a whale trainer at the hands of one of SeaWorld Orlando's killer whales yesterday affected more than just the one amusement park. The fatal accident occurred in the middle of a public performance at the Florida SeaWorld location, resulting in the closure of that whole park for the day but also the closing of the Shamu attractions at other SeaWorld parks around the country.
The killer whale attractions at SeaWorld San Diego and SeaWorld San Antoniobut not the whole parkswere shut down just in case as SeaWorld as a whole takes a closer look at the safety procedures and the details behind the Orlando incident.
Although SeaWorld Orlando reopened today, Shamu Stadium remains closed and the whale at the center of the investigationTikikum, who's been in captivity for 30 years after being captured off Icelandsits in a holding tank. We think it's time for a another sequel to "Free Willy."
· Killer whale Tilikum drowned trainer by her ponytail [Guardian UK]
· Cars line up as SeaWorld Orlando reopens a day after trainer's death; Shamu Stadium closed [Newser]
· Animal Travel [Jaunted]
[Photo: Kids Family Vacations]
Tragedies / SeaWorld / Shamu / Orlando Travel / Travel News / Amusement Parks / → All Tags
UPDATE 2.26.10: SeaWorld Orlando's website has only updated on the show schedule page to say that the Believe shows at Shamu Stadium will resume again tomorrow, February 27. The Dine with Shamu experience, which enables guests to have lunch while observing the whales and was the scene of the horrifying incident, has been suspended until further notice.
Park authorities say the killer whale, Tillikum, will not be transferred, released or destroyed but whether he will perform is still not certain.
UPDATE: 5:26pm EST: A Twitterer in the audience, SapphicKitty, snapped a couple of Twitpics just before the show and Tweeted, "The killer whales are have a "moment" They don't feel like performing right now...." Later, the Twitterer found out it was because of all the action that happened just before the show started. Sad.
UPDATE 4:10pm EST: It has been confirmed that a trainer was attacked by a whale at the start of the show. Alarms went off and the stadium was evacuated. The park is still open but the whale stadium is closed.
However, it looks like the whale, Tillikum, has a history of doing this as he was the reason a trainer drowned in 1991 at Sealand of the Pacific in British Columbia. Another man was found dead laying on Tillikum's back in 1999 at SeaWorld. The man had snuck into the park and was later believe to have drowned but Tillikum had torn his shorts and bit him as well.
It's a tragic day for SeaWorld to lose one of its trainers doing the job they loved. But also, animals in captivity: still not a good idea.
We’ve been trying to plan a trip to check out Universal Studios' latest coaster at their Florida park for a while, but constant delays have left us less than thrilled. The summer is definitely approaching its end and we haven’t heard too much about this new roller coaster’s grand opening. Originally the thing was supposed to be thrilling folks around the Memorial Day weekend, but maybe Labor Day will be when we can welcome it into the world.
Apparently there’s been some issues with the lift, and the cars haven’t been making it all the way through the track. We love a little thrill, but we’d rather not be stuck upside down on a lift hill—so we say keep up the tests!
It may not be as gritty as Deptford, but the new Manta ride at SeaWorld is pretty sick. The ride soft-opened a few weeks ago and while it's not yet had its official opening (that will happen on May 22nd), a few people who have taken the ride have already filmed the experience on YouTube.
If you dare to ride the Manta, you can get a free pass to the front of the line on RideManta.com by doing a two social networking things like Twittering, YouTubing, Flickring or simply taking a quiz.
And you thought the ride ended when you made it safely back to solid ground.
· Front row view of Manta [YouTube]
· Ride Manta [Official Site]
· SeaWorld Orlando Launches Manta, Its New World-Class Roller Coaster [Jaunted]
[Front door photo: Jeff Kern]
It's tough to overstate the awesome awesomeness of SeaWorld Orlando's new Manta roller-coaster. The ride, which soft-launched last weekend and will soon be open to the public, has already been declared by the LA Times Travel blog to be the #1 new ride of the year.
There's 3,359 feet of tracks, a top speed of 56 mph, four inversions, and a max drop of 113 feet that all add up to two minutes and 35 seconds of face-down flying adrenaline:
Sometimes zoos and aquariums build less-than-electrifying rides to keep teenagers amused while parents and younger siblings wander around. Ferris wheels, slow-moving trains, bumper cars - these are standard fare. But that's not what's happening here.