Published: June 2, 2006 at 10:22 PM
Welcome! I'm pleased to see any Sea World employee participate here, and I wish you good fortune in doing so.
One sentence in particular, as quoted from your post, leaped out at me in two ways.
"...Our park is a hands-on animal park and Seaworld strives to be the very best."
First point: Pardon what may seem an obvious question, but... the best what?
Let me expand on that a bit. I've visited all four of the Sea World parks, including Ohio from well before it was sold to Six Flags, and Discovery Cove as well. I was also a regular visitor and annual passholder at the San Diego park for over three years. While I've spent many pleasant hours between all of the parks, I have also been deeply disturbed by many things I've seen and heard, few of which I believe would be apparent to the eyes and ears of a typical tourist.
Based on the posts I've read from a couple of Theme Park Insider members, both 'Believe' and 'Blue Horizons' are 100% "entertainment," with no educational content whatsoever. Worse, it is my understanding that the entire training staff in 'Blue Horizons' is dressed in some very silly-sounding costumes (parrot outfits?) for the duration of each show.
If the above, and what I've read, is true, then it is my opinion that both shows would be far more at home in Las Vegas than in a marine park.
Second point: There is some truth, at least, to the statement of Sea World being a "hands-on animal park." I have very fond memories of getting to meet and pet one of your raptors -- an eagle named 'Sequoia,' if I recall correctly -- in 2002. Also, as mentioned, my time as a regular at the San Diego park, during the late 1980's, was (for the most part) pleasantly memorable in terms of having a variety of species in the dolphin petting pool.
HOWEVER -- With that said, I can add, with absolute confidence, that I've been to parks which are "hands-on" enough to make Sea World look downright paranoid by comparison.
I know that the number of comments on the blog side of things is limited, and that they will be locked out after a time, so I would like to invite you back over to the 'Discussion' area to respond to these questions.
(1) Is it true that 'Blue Horizons' has no dialogue during a normal show?
(2) If Sea World is truly "hands-on," as you claim, why do your attendant staff at the dolphin petting pool ask visitors who are doing well in terms of interacting with the dolphins, WITHOUT the use of fish, to back off?
(I'm aware that you may have to ask around to get an answer on that one, considering that you're not in Training or Animal Care).
There are other questions I can think of, but those are the two key ones that come immediately to mind given your post's content.
I look forward to reading your responses, and to seeing further posts from you. Should we engage in future discussion, I promise to do my level best to keep a civil and diplomatic tongue in my head. ;-)