Entertainment & Events

San Diego’s Sea World is swimming into a “Blue Horizon”

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Illustration of Blue Horizon provided by Sea World

Illustration of Blue Horizon provided by Sea World

Children sat in the soak zone anticipating the down pour that was to be brought on by the loving porpoises. People sat in amazement as the high-flying dolphins  jumped to astounding heights. Music echoed in the back-ground as the park gleamed in the San Diego summer sunlight. It is an end of era, and time to reign in a new time for Sea World in San Diego.

Sea World recently unveiled its new amazing dolphin show, set to launch in May of 2010. The new endeavor is not new to the Sea World foundation, but is new to San Diego. The show, which has been incorporated into the Florida location, is now making its way to San Diego and is called “Blue Horizons.”

The longest running show since the park opened over 45 years ago, the dolphin show has become a beloved tradition at the park. Yearly, thousands would come to the show to see man and beast come together in an amazing spectacle of beauty. As time went on, the show has become a staple in all attendees’ event schedules at the park.

The booming success of the original dolphin show prompted a new idea known as Blue Horizon. After first launching at Florida’s Sea World, it is now coming to the shores of San Diego.

Bill Hoffman, the head trainer of the dolphin show, says that Blue Horizon “really is going to be a combination of acrobats, birds, dolphins, spectacular aerial behaviors and water effects.  It’s going to be a show that nobody has ever seen before. There is a similar version in Florida, but this one is going to be bigger and better than that.”

According to Hoffman, The Blue Horizon show at San Diego Sea World will not have a “limited number of birds,” like its predecessor in Florida. San Diego’s show will “have over 150 birds,” Hoffman states.

The birds that will be included will be Black Vultures, African Crown Cranes, Corralled Bills, Pigeons, and Green Winged Macaws. The incorporation of these birds is on a larger scale than the show in Florida in many ways according to Hoffman.

“Instead of flying six macaws, we will be flying 20 to 24 Corralled Bills… so it’s a lot of variety, unique species, and a different combination of birds throughout the whole show.” The scale on which the San Diego’s Blue Horizon show will be is going to amaze and shock the crowd. Florida may have been the beginning, but San Diego is the future for this show.

Not only will the show be changing how it is conducted and what is going to be presented to the audience, the stage as well will be going through an evolution as well.

Illustration of Blue Horizon provided by Sea World

Illustration of Blue Horizon provided by Sea World

In order to make the changes to the stage, animals will have to be moved to various locations in the park. “Then we are going to demolish all the rock work; it’s all going away. We ‘re going to start off with a fresh clean look; we’re going to add a 250 to 270 foot truss that goes across the front of the pool. Also, all the way from the back of the stage to the top of the sound booth, we’re going to have a new audio system – state of the art. There will also be spectacular fountain effects and additional seating for more people to have the opportunity to see the show as well.”

The show is undoubtedly going to be one of the biggest that Sea World has ever done, it is much larger in scale than the old dolphin show and is going to set a revolutionary change in the park as one of the greatest aquatic spectacles to date.

What about people who think you shouldn’t “fix something that isn’t broken”? Hoffman reiterated that the reason for the change is that “they are taking advantage of the success that Blue Horizons has had in Florida,” and despite the highly rated 13 year program at their park, they “want to end on a high,” and they don’t want “to wait for it to start breaking down.”

As entertainers and enthusiasts of animal behavior, “they always want to have new ways of demonstrating the animals’ abilities, their intelligence, and the spectacular nature of dolphins. Now we have the ability to do that with birds as well.”

The show will be the avenue for handlers to show people exactly what the animals can do. The new venue and stage will be the grandstand in which Sea World San Diego will embody that tradition of education, along with a highly entertaining show.

In order to deal with the highly arduous task of coordinating all the animals to participate in the show, a slew of new trainers and employees will come to work on the event. The expansion of the dolphin family, from “14 to 16 female dolphins,” Hoffman says, is one of the reasons the show is bringing on new trainers for the task. “The complex water work” that the show will involve also requires new trainers. The complexity of the show is the main reason for the boost.  They need the trainers to get the dolphins ready and prepared for the show.

The Blue Horizon show will run six shows a day beginning in May of 2010. The show will be monitored and evaluated in its success among the community and how well it is doing in its first stages of syndication.

“By 2011 we will have a unique and spectacular night show combined with Blue Horizon’s; it will be a great package here at Dolphin Stadium,” Hoffman announced. He also mentioned that the night show is “still in the formative stages, and we are going to keep that kind of a secret a little bit, but it’s going to be amazing.”

Illustration of Blue Horizon provided by Sea World

Illustration of Blue Horizon provided by Sea World

Much like the other shows, there is always a cap off, a finale that leaves you wanting more. Blue Horizons is no different. “The finale is going to be overwhelming with activity. We’re going to have Dolphins and Pilot Whales jumping through the air. We’re going to have birds flying, aerialists flying, flag wavers, and fountains. It’s just going to be overwhelming. There’s nothing like it,” Hoffman declared.

Blue Horizon is not only looking to be one of the most highly anticipated shows to come to Sea World San Diego, but it looks like it will be one that is a cut above the rest. The enthusiasm oozing out of Hoffman as we spoke speaks volumes about the breathtaking future Blue Horizon holds. There is no denying the revolutionary and monumental status that this show is setting out to be. Without question, it will fulfill viewers world wide.

Set to launch Memorial Day weekend in 2010, Blue Horizons is going to shock audiences with an amazing conglomeration of man, animal, and showmanship.

2 Comments

  1. daisy duran

    November 30, 2009 at 8:06 am

    whos george the one who works

  2. Gayle Cooley

    June 12, 2010 at 7:00 am

    I saw this show yesterday, and overall was under impressed. The stage is beautiful, and the water effects quite magical, but the attempt to combine the fantasy and flair of a Cirque style show with an eco centered dolphin show just doesn’t work in my opinion.

    I adore Cirque shows and have seen several. I also absolutely love Dolphins. So why didn’t this work for me? If I want to see Cirque, I will go see a Cirque show that I can get lost in the pure visual magic of. I go to Sea World to enjoy, learn about, and interact with the animals and people who work with them. In short, I want more Dolphins in my Dolphin show.

    As a sidebar, Sea World in general seems to have taken a dive further into the “make a buck” zone. The main reason I have been an annual pass member at Sea World for years, has been the wonderful chance they offered to engage with, pet and feed Dolphins. The park now has most of the Dolphin pool corded off for the bulk of the day, leaving one small area open, and it is an area where the Dolphins cannot come up close to the wall to visit with people. If you want to visit hands on with the Dolphins, you must now either buy food to feed them during two short opportunities daily; OR you must pay a $40 fee to participate in what Sea World calls a “Dolphin Interaction.” Basically a 15 minute lecture with a short chance to touch one of the animals.

    That beautiful Rocky Point pool was designed to give park guests the opportunity to interact with these animals, hands on, and now the park has replaced that with a “pay more to play” policy, that defeats all the original intent of the park, and this exhibit in particular. It’s a crying shame.

    Sea World, please reinstate your original mission to educate and engage visitors with the wonderful world of the sea, and it’s amazing inhabitants.

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