Friday, April 13, 2012

Blue Horizons - The Complete Dolphins Show at SeaWorld

At the center of “Blue Horizons” is Marina, a young girl whose vivid imagination sets the stage for an extravaganza of graceful dolphins, magnificent pilot whales and a rainbow of exotic birds.  Marina daydreams that one day she can fly in the sky and swim in the ocean.  After encountering Aurora — the spirit of the sky — and Delphis — the spirit of the sea — those dreams begin to come true, as together they explore a place where the sea meets the sky.  “Blue Horizons” features action both above and under the water, as a cast of divers and aerialists, dressed in eye-catching costumes symbolizing sea and sky, plunge off the elaborate set into, and also propel out of, the deep blue water.

To create “Blue Horizons,” SeaWorld collaborated with the entertainment industry’s most inventive and artistic experts, marrying great production value — seen in the larger-than-life set, dramatic costuming and intriguing show development — with the awe-inspiring feats of SeaWorld animals and trainers.

“Only SeaWorld could create such a spectacular concept, a type of show that can be seen nowhere else in the world,” said Stanley Meyer, “Blue Horizons” set designer and show consultant.  “It sets a completely new benchmark for awe-inspiring entertainment.”  Meyer, best known for his work designing the Broadway musical ”Beauty and the Beast,” created the set for SeaWorld Orlando’s “Blue Horizons,” which has been a hit there since 2005.  

Using elements of the sea and sky — and a young girl’s vivid imagination — as his inspiration, Meyer designed a whimsical, yet dramatic, atmosphere with an immense rising sun, hundreds of iridescent bubbles, and an elaborate, 40-foot-high framework which envelopes the pool and balances divers and aerialists as they plunge from bungees and soar on “cloud swings.”

While these characters sway through the sky and dive off the set, the true stars of the show grace the waters below. SeaWorld’s dolphins and pilot whales leap their way into this dreamy adventure.  African crowned cranes, coral bills, black vultures and other bird species soar over the audience as they ascend toward the horizon.  

The stirring, original musical score for “Blue Horizons” is performed by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.

Dolphin Stadium was completely transformed for “Blue Horizons,” including an entirely new set; trusses, diving boards and bungee swings for the aerialists and divers; a new sound system; high-tech water features; and an additional 700 seats for guests.

‘Blue Horizons’ Show and Construction Fact Sheet

SeaWorld’s Dolphin Stadium has been completely renovated for the park’s new “Blue Horizons,” a spectacular show combining energetic dolphins and pilot whales, with soaring exotic birds and amazing aerialists, divers and bungee performers. “Blue Horizons” opens May 29, 2010 at SeaWorld San Diego.

In order to prepare for “Blue Horizons,” Dolphin Stadium shut down in September 2009 and underwent nine months of construction, beginning in September 2009, including an entirely new set; trusses, diving boards and bungee swings for the aerialists and divers; a new sound system;
high-tech water features; and an additional 738 seats for guests (for a total of 3,552). Initial training for the dolphins and pilot whales began at Shamu Stadium, where the marine mammals lived temporarily during the construction. Training of the birds began in behind-the-scenes areas and eventually at the renovated stadium. 

Dolphin Stadium was originally built in 1971 and has been the venue of many exhibits and shows over the years, including the most recent dolphin show, “Dolphin Discovery,” which, after 13 years, was one of SeaWorld’s longest running shows.

Here’s a look at some of the “nuts and bolts” of “Blue Horizons”:

Cast of animals:
• Up to 16 dolphins
• 2 pilot whales
• 50 rock doves
• 24 Australian corral-billed parrots
• 1 green-winged macaw
• 2 black vultures
• 2 East African crowned cranes

Performing cast:
• Up to 12 animal trainers
• 11 flying performers:
Aurora (the spirit of the sky)
6 high divers
2 aerial performers (perform on
what is known as “Cloud Swings”)
2 bungee performers (known as
“Storm” performers)

Scenic and Trussing Elements:
• 13 fully-automated winches to run
performer and scenery line sets
• 2 moving backdrops and six 60-foot
ascending sun rays
• 6 technicians to run the show
• More than 400 feet of truss
• More than 1,900 feet of rope
• 40 fountain nozzles and 4
articulating fountain devices
• Diving platforms (25 feet above
• 11 automated bird releases

Other facts:
• Length of show: 22 minutes
• Length of time to refill pools after
they were re-painted: 30 hours
• Gallons of saltwater (pumped in from
Mission Bay and filtered) to fill six
pools: 1.4 million
• Performance pool depth: 25 feet
• 5 new Avian enclosures built to
house nearly 100 birds

Production staff:
• Producers: Rick Schuiteman,
SeaWorld Entertainment Director;
Scott Helmstedter and Elizabeth
Hansen, In Motion Entertainment
• Director: Roy Luthringer, In Motion
• Production Designer: Stan Meyer
• Project Manager: Darlene Walter,
SeaWorld Project Engineer
• Entertainment Technical Project
Managers: Nicole Oosterlinck and
Kevin Cook, SeaWorld


It’s hard to find an animal with a more legendary career than SeaWorld’s short-finned pilot whale superstar, Bubbles. This grande dame’s career spans more than 40 years. “I’ve never known an animal with a more impressive air spin, where she jumps out of the water and spins around at lightning speed,” says Bill Winhall, assistant curator at SeaWorld San Diego and one of Bubbles’ original caretakers at Marineland of the Pacific, once located along the coast of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., where Bubbles career first began. “So much of what we do at SeaWorld today was learned in those early days,” he adds.

Currently, SeaWorld Supervisor of Animal Training Kristi Burtis works with Bubbles. “One of Bubbles’ best traits is her diplomatic nature. Along with Shadow, Bubbles’ companion pilot whale and best buddy, she has a knack of bringing stability to the diverse mammal community.” Burtis also describes how Bubbles is fascinated with the younger dolphins and when things get a bit rambunctious in the pool, Bubbles and Shadow, “the pilot whale police,” step in to calm things down. Burtis, Bubbles’ primary trainer, who has worked with her for almost 10 years, has found that the best way to gain trust is to just spend down time with her. “During breaks, I enjoy teaching her new water-work behaviors.” Burtis says that’s it’s during these moments that Bubbles has taught her a few lessons about life. “Creativity, patience, and how to be more open to change are all important lessons I’ve learned from her.”

At approximately 47 years old, Bubbles is one of the oldest marine mammals at SeaWorld and perhaps at any park, according to SeaWorld senior veterinarian Tom Reidarson. “She definitely holds a very special place in my heart,” he says. “As a child, I visited Bubbles at Marineland many times and she quickly became my favorite animal. I can’t tell you how excited I was to become her veterinarian when I joined the SeaWorld team in 1991. Over the years, we’ve become very close.” It seems that Bubbles was born to be a superstar. As a young 12-foot-long, 1,600-pound female pilot whale, she began her expansive career at Marineland in the 1960s and was eventually given her own stadium and placed center stage. Her talent and allure made her an international superstar.Bubbles was a hit at Marineland for more than two decades. In 1987, Bubbles came to her new home at SeaWorld San Diego.

Over the next 20 years, Bubbles performed in various dolphin shows at SeaWorld, including the most recent production, “Dolphin Discovery.” The final performance of “Dolphin Discovery” took place in May 2009 to make way for a new show. These days, Bubbles and her companions are gearing up for “Blue Horizons” — a spectacular production featuring pilot whales, dolphins, exotic birds and amazing aerialists and divers — scheduled to open May 2010. After a career spanning more than four decades, Bubbles will continue to jump, dive and splash to the delight of her dedicated fans. And not to disappoint, Bubbles’ signature air spin will be the highlight of the show’s pilot whale sequence.

Monday, March 19, 2012

2 Live Penguin Cams from Sea World Broadcasting 24/7 [NEW UNDERWATER VIEW]

In anticipation of the U.S. premiere of “FROZEN PLANET,” Discovery Channel and SeaWorld have launched an all new Penguin Cam– a live online experience broadcasting 24/7 from Sea World San Diego’s Penguin Encounter exhibit featuring over 300 penguins spanning five species, all of which are featured in the Discovery series.

SeaWorld and Discovery Channel Penguin Cam

The FROZEN PLANET Penguin Cam at SeaWorld is live from March 1 until April 30, 2012, as well as on the FROZEN PLANET fansite. Hosted by USTREAM this live feed is sure to keep you occupied at all hours of the day!

The epic seven-part series premieres on Discovery Channel on March 18 at 8pm ET/PT. Check local listing for channel.

Better yet, be a part of the conversation.  Discovery Channel will host a weekly chat with a SeaWorld expert every Monday at 12pm ET beginning on March 19, with questions coming directly from you.  Make sure you share the feed with your friends and family through your favorite social site and don’t for get to tell us why you love the penguin cam!

Penguin Cam will be live 24 hours a day throughout March and April — plenty of time to get to know SeaWorld San Diego's nearly 300 penguins, representing all five Antarctic species: emperors, kings, Adélies, gentoos and macaronis.

Underwater Penguin Cam


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Wolves in Busch Gardens

W o l f     V a l l e y

Most of us know gray wolves by their haunting calls and piercing eyes. But take a closer look inside those eyes and you'll see one of Mother Nature's most important yet misunderstood family members--one whose future is now at risk. Learn about the wolf's fierce loyalty to its pack, its irreplaceable role in the wild, and the role you can play to help.  One of Busch Gardens’ wolf trainers has started blogging about her amazing experiences in the park’s Wolf Valley.  Now anyone who’s ever wondered what it’s like to be part of a wolf pack can read all about it at their blog.

“Aww… the wolves are howling because they’re hungry.”

Actually, wolves howl as a social sign of contentment. Howling is situational, but is very much a form of social bonding. They will howl to relocate a lost pack mate, call the pack together, ward off a rival pack or sometimes even just for fun and out of excitement. But chances are if they are howling, they are looking for more voices to join in. So next time you hear it, go ahead and howl right back.
Gray Wolves at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, VA

“If I fell down there they’d try to eat me, right?”

It is highly unlikely. Wolves don’t view people as food. Out in the wild a wolf will flee from a human presence up to a mile away. Since our wolves have been socialized, they don’t fear people, however, they are very cautious of sudden or new things. They would probably be startled and run away. If you were in there for a prolonged period of time, they would probably be curious about your hat, sunglasses, bag, etc. It is unlikely they would harm you, unless they felt threatened or challenged.

Wolves at Wolf Haven at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Virginia

“Are they basically big dogs since they are trained?”

That is absolutely false.  You wouldn’t consider a trained tiger to be a house cat, would you?  Just because a wild animal has been socialized and trained does not make it a domestic animal. A tiger is still a tiger. And just because a wolf looks a lot like a dog doesn’t make it any less of a wolf. Dogs have been bred for thousands of years to co-exist with humans and view us as pack leaders – they are basically eternal puppies. When a wolf puppy matures, it no longer wants to submit to authority. It will challenge its pack mates for rank and use aggression if necessary. A mature wolf will look for weaknesses and even take out its own parents if it sees the opportunity. This is hardwired into their biology. Do you want to be the parent that it takes out? I thought not.

Wolves at Wolf Haven at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Virginia

How do we avoid this dilemma? Simple, we are not pack mates. We never dominate the wolves; we never expect them to want to please us. We never punish or discipline them. By not acting as pack mates, they don’t feel the need to “steal” rank from us. We have no rank. If you lived with a wolf, it would have no choice but to view you as a pack mate.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament - Behind the Scenes

Today we're bringing to you the 'Behind the Scenes' of this amazing Dinner & Tournament: Medieval Times! Hope you like the video!

Jorney Behind the Scenes of North America's #1 Dinner Attraction. See how they produce the show that's become a legend!

Relive the Pageantry, Romance and Excitement of Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament.

For reservations and information: 1-888-WE-JOUST

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

One Ocean - The First Show - World Premiere

Thanks to Orlando Attractions Magazine for this one :-D

Visit for more information.

Earth Day, April 22, 2011. SeaWorld debuted its new Shamu show "One Ocean". Special guest, Jungle Jack Hanna, opened the show with Sea World Park President Terry Prather. Here are the Higlights. Watch Episode 22 of Orlando Attractions Magazine The Show for more coverage and interviews.

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