"Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation" will debut this summer at Busch Gardens Tampa and SeaWorld San Diego. From SeaWorld's press release:
The 20-minute musical show follows the antics of Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, King Julien, Mort and the Penguins during a vacation adventure. The show will feature rock/pop music performed by a live band and include both classic and original songs. The characters also will conduct meet and greets with park guests. Additionally, special co-branded merchandise exclusive to the parks, will be available.
The show will open in Florida on May 18 and in California on June 15. SeaWorld has the rights to bring the show to its other parks, as well.
"At this point, our relationship is only to bring the Madagascar characters to our parks," a SeaWorld representative told me via email in response to my question about whether the chain had obtained the rights to other DreamWorks properties.
Up until now, Universal has had the rights to use DreamWorks Animation characters in its theme parks, and it continues to feature Shrek in both of its US parks. Universal devoted an entire land to Madagascar in its Singapore theme park, where Universal retains the license for the characters.
Madagascar live shows also play in theme parks in the UK and Australia, so it's a familiar property to theme parks fans outside the US.Tweet
Problem solved if Universal buys Sea World, maybe they didn't bid on it knowing they might on it soon enough.
Some may argue that the Happy Feet characters would be better for Sea World, but the Madascar penguins did have their own spin off and should work well with the opening of the new Florida Antarctica exhibit, if Sea World chooses to make that connection.
This tie in may seem relatively minor, but one that matches well with the image of Sea World/Busch Gardens.
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