SeaWorld Orlando opened a New Killer Whale Show last Friday. Over 4,000 people watched the premier of SeaWorld’s new show called “One Ocean” at Shamu Stadium. The crowd saw new tricks, new costumes and heard an original score.
“One Ocean” will debut at the San Diego SeaWorld on Memorial Day and the park in San Antonio will debut the new show on June 10.
The “One Ocean” show is replacing another SeaWorld show called “Believe,” which had been running since 2006. The Orlando park changed the show after killer whale Tillikum killed trainer Dawn Brancheau in February 2010. Witnesses of the tragic incident said Tillikum pulled her underwater by her ponytail.
During Friday’s new performance, most female trainers kept their hair pulled tightly in a bun. Although the trainers still interacted with the whales, they were kept out of the water. The change has sparked mixed reviews from visitors. One annual visitor, Amanda Loth, said the show lacked the same pizazz. “When they used to dive in and be with the whale, it was just more of a show, more of a spectacle. It was just amazing. It’s a shame they can’t do it now. It’s a shame.” Loth said.
Curator of animal training, Kelly Flaherty Clark said, “If and when we get back in the water, it will be after we invest all our safety protocols and facility modifications and equipment for our trainers.”
The show debuted on Earth Day in order to better relate the message behind the show, which is how we all come together on this planet Earth that is surrounded by one ocean. A new show would not be complete without a new set. According to the SeaWorld website, “the set at Shamu Stadium is three stories tall, 80 feet long, and takes the form of an immense killer whale fluke. The colors of the ocean’s spectrum are incorporated in the set, from cobalt blue, to aquamarine and even royal purple, while its center reflects the vivid yellows and oranges of a sunrise over the sea. Dozens of hand-crafted, translucent animal figures adorn the set and reflect sunlight.”
The information on the SeaWorld website also describes the set as having a total of “35 programmable fountains, arcing up to 50 feet across the pool, ring Shamu Stadium and are synchronized to the musical score. The fountains not only provide dramatic effect for the show, they also serve as enrichment for the whales during playtimes throughout the day. An original symphonic score featuring songs titled ‘One Song,’ ‘Side by Side’ and ‘We’re One’ intend to evoke a global stewardship message and are amplified through hundreds of surround-sound speakers.”
The new “One Ocean” show also encourages people to start caring about our shared ocean. “From the food we eat to the air we breathe, nearly all life on this planet depends on our ocean. That means conserving and caring for the sea and the animals living in it begins at home — even if home is miles away from the ocean,” states the SeaWorld website.
Go to SeaWorldCares.com to check out the Top 10 Tips for conserving marine animals and their habitats, then take the One Ocean pledge.