ORLANDO (CBS4) — SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment on Thursday announced the opening of 10 new attractions at its parks this year, including a new killer whale show, a cheetah-themed coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and a swim-through artificial reef at Discovery Cove in Orlando.
The all-new killer whale show is called “One Ocean” which will replace the “Believe” show, which ran for five years in all three SeaWorld parks in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio. The new show has an educational, environmental theme, with a focus on teaching the public about orcas.
According to SeaWorld, “One Ocean features their majestic killer whales as ambassadors of the sea, and the ocean as the center of our natural world. The show connects guests with these remarkable animals and immerses the audience in the vivid colors and sensations of the underwater world. At the core of the show is the unifying message that both animals and humans are part of one world, with one ocean, and its future is in our hands to cherish and protect.”
“One Ocean” is scheduled to premiere at SeaWorld Orlando at the end of April, SeaWorld San Diego on Memorial Day weekend and SeaWorld San Antonio in June.
Later this month, SeaWorld will also re-launch the “Dine with Shamu” killer whale show at SeaWorld San Antonio. The Orlando and San Diego parks will follow in the spring.
The show has been suspended since last year when trainer Dawn Brancheau was dragged into the water and killed by a six-ton orca named Tilikum.
SeaWorld designed the new show for trainers to work exclusively from the stage, instead of in the water with the killer whales.
“We are now staying out of the water. We don’t know when or how that’s going to change. So we said, ‘Let’s design this one to facilitate that and go in that direction,’ “said Julie Scardina, SeaWorld Parks’ curator of animal training, reports the Orlando Sentinel.
Dennis Speigel, president of International Theme Park Services, a global consulting agency, tells AP the new attractions “will take the edge” off the trainer death incident, but he added that he didn’t think the death had much of an impact on SeaWorld attendance overall.
Some of the other attractions announced by the company include a cheetah-themed coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and a close-up viewing area of real cheetahs, including a chance to see them run in a daily workout session and a swim-through artificial reef at Discovery Cove in Orlando where visitors can snorkel with marine life.