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.
"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.
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.
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).
"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. :-)
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.