2010 Best Theme Park Attraction nominee: SeaWorld San Diego's Pets Rule
Published: February 26, 2010 at 5:12 AM
Pets Rule! gives the spotlight to dogs, cats and other domesticated animals. Personally, I haven't seen the show in a while, but here's what I wrote about it in 2002, when I reviewed its opening for the Los Angeles Times:
"Dogs jump and fetch, cats scramble, and pigs strut as their trainers engage them all in sometimes complex, but always amusing, choreography. Of course, this being a SeaWorld show, the folks sitting up front have to get wet. Without Shamu and a big water tank, a runaway hose does the trick here. It's the climax to a gag where the audience learns an important "pet rule": Always get the human giving you a bath wetter than they get you."
At SeaWorld Orlando, this show plays as Pets Ahoy!, with some variations in the script and stunts.
Having animals that many visitors know as pets and companions changes the dynamic from SeaWorld's usual fare. The awe-inspiring impression of seeing exotic animals is lost in this show, but it gains an emotional punch from the animal's familiarity. Audience members, kids especially, often have a stronger emotional connection with the Pets Rule! pets, especially within the context of seeing so many other exotic species during their day at SeaWorld. Throw in some fun stunts and tricks, and you've got the recipe for high reader ratings, pushing Pets Rule! to its top-four status.
But can it hang on in the tournament and avoid an upset? Tell us your thoughts, in the comments.