Manny Barron

Published: December 23, 2009 at 2:28 PM

I'm one of the people that can't stand this new version of the Shamu show. Shamu shows used to be a lot more fun back in the day. I could care less about the narrative part that this new version is trying to tell. I only see the more upbeat night time versions of the Shamu show when at Sea World. Believe will have no chance of beating the 2 seed.
Joshua Counsil

Published: December 23, 2009 at 4:02 PM

Yeah, I liked TH's description, too. Really puts it in perspective.

However, for the non-stunt portion of the show, I'd like to toot my own horn and refer to an excerpt from my SeaWorld trip report:

I encourage environmental and follow-your-dreams messages, but SeaWorld's shows are so heavily laden with sap that they could give Quebecers a run for their money as the world's largest maple syrup producers. Believing. Following your dreams. It's a damn whale doing tricks for tourists. [Believe] is still very good, but all the downtime in between the acrobatics really kills the momentum. We felt that Blue Horizons was, overall, a better show.

Maybe we'll see Blue Horizons as another seed.

Published: December 23, 2009 at 8:58 PM

I agree that I don't like the 'believe' show. I would rather see more whale tricks or learn more about the whales. Instead you get a show about how the trainer loves their job. Honestly, I could care less that the trainers love their job. I'm glad they do but I'm here to see the whale and learn about marine life...not your life.
Bruce Lane

Published: December 23, 2009 at 11:43 PM

From Robert...

"Please share your thoughts about Believe, in the comments."

OK, but remember -- you asked! I will, however, keep it short.

To my mind, in this context: "Believe" = "Deceive."

"Blue Horizons" = "Blue Delusions."

It is my deepest hope that we, as a species, will eventually outgrow such shallow-minded exploitive spectacles as what SeaWorld insists on foisting upon the world at large.

I don't expect it to happen in my lifetime. In fact, I would be surprised if it takes less than, say, five or six generations to come about. Nor do I expect many others to agree with this view. I am perfectly content to let Time itself decide if I'm right or not.

Have a great holiday, no matter what.

Rob P

Published: December 24, 2009 at 3:38 AM

There will always be that little voice in the back of your mind telling you that all zoos are morally wrong. Seaworld is , to all intents and purposes, an aquatic zoo with bucketloads of interaction and entertainment thrown in.

I have reasoned , to satisfy my own doubts, that there are some very positive reasons for places like Seaworld. Not least of all that they educate through entertainment. The latest generation of kids , absorbed in their ipods and computer wizardry , run the risk of losing interest in the important things around them.

Seaworld , imho , has been one of the highest profile edu-tainers in this field and if the animals are healthy and happy then so am I. Whilst it's true that they aren't in the wild where they belong their unwitting sacrifices might just save their species in the long term. The Seaworld legacy has now spread to places like Loro Park in Tenerife and this type of awareness can only be a good thing.

I don't think that the recent incarnationsof the Shamu show or the Dolphns Blue Horizons are as good as in the past but they're still pretty damn good. Perhaps they took on board the questions raised about the welfare of the animals and reduced the number of "tricks" to reduce potential stress. Either way Seaworld remains one of the best Parks to visit bar none.

tilikum shamu

Published: December 24, 2009 at 6:44 AM

I've been going to SeaWorld Orlando since it opened in 1972, and although I do miss an educational component to Believe (although I hear that in addition to this show, SWC is offering a daily educational program) I LOVE this show. Why? Because it is based on the true story of Ted Griffin, the first person to ever capture and train a killer whale. The fascinating story is told in his book "Namu, Quest for the Killer Whale." It really was his dream that the whales inspire people to take better care of the planet and stop shooting, maiming or killing marine mammals in general. They did a pretty good job of capturing his (and their) feeling. I'll vote for it.
Pyra Dong

Published: December 24, 2009 at 10:28 AM

I like "Believe"-- but I don't think it'll do very well in the voting. I don't think any shows including animals will do well because trainers don't want to push the animals in crazy directions just b/c it'll raise the enjoyment of guests.

The whale tricks in "Believe" are VERY impressive, and I honestly believe the amount of tricks done during the show is appropriate. DON'T ask for more awesome stunts or splashes from a jumping Shamu. While I'm not a tree-hugger, I never liked it when people say shows become boring because the animal actors are not pushed to do more stunts. Come on, whales aren't supposed to be splashing tourists (they should be eating them hahaha-- or at least, the noisy little ones).

Robert Niles

Published: December 24, 2009 at 11:21 AM

Gets me thinking....

"New at SeaWorld for 2010! It's 'Survivor: Shamu'... where, each show, the audience votes off its most annoying member - straight into the waiting maw of a hungry killer whale!"

C'mon, you just laughed. :-)

Published: December 25, 2009 at 1:13 PM

I'm ok with the amount of tricks. I just don't need the story about how the trainer likes their job or the audience participation hand motions. I can't stand either.
Joshua Counsil

Published: December 25, 2009 at 1:54 PM

Gotta love the episode of South Park this season ("Whale Wh*res") on this subject, as well as the one a few seasons ago ("Free Wilzyx"). If you haven't seen them, I recommend them, particularly the latter. It takes a lot of slight jabs at SeaWorld, while the former take on the subject of whaling.
Bruce Lane

Published: December 25, 2009 at 6:14 PM

Rob, I appreciate your counter-comments. I could go into a long and detailed counter-counter of each point you make, but instead I'm going to ask that you do one thing.

Read that book I keep recommending: "Spectacular Nature: Corporate Culture and the Sea World Experience."

For the record: I never said all zoos were morally wrong, nor would I ever believe such a silly statement.

Happy travels.