Dolphin show changes are coming to SeaWorld Orlando

March 2, 2017, 11:35 AM · SeaWorld Orlando announced today that it will close its long-running Blue Horizons dolphin show at the end of the month, replacing it with a new production that will debut the next day.

In Dolphin Days, "the audience will learn more about the individual personalities of each Atlantic bottlenose dolphin while witnessing the special bond they share with their trainers," according to SeaWorld's press release. That sounds a lot more like a straight-forward educational experience than the current Blue Horizons show, which used a mythical theme, Cirque du Soleil-style acrobatics, and a musical narrative to complement the dolphins' behaviors.

Blue Horizons opened in 2005 at SeaWorld Orlando. The show ran for five years in San Diego, before being replaced by Dolphin Days in 2015. SeaWorld says that the new Orlando performance won't be a duplicate of the San Diego production, but given that SeaWorld's shows feature animal behaviors, no two SeaWorld shows are exactly alike anyway with their ever-changing line-up of animals in even the same production.

Orlando's Dolphin Days will continue to feature the macaws and other tropical birds that featured prominently in Blue Horizons. And there will be an audience element, as well, as a young volunteer will be selected to work with the training crew and get an up-close encounter with one of the dolphins and one of the macaws during the show.

The production change is the latest move in what appears to be a trend by SeaWorld to move away from entertainment-driven animal shows to more educationally-focused ones. In addition to the new dolphin production, the Orlando park will open a new Dolphin Nursery interactive educational exhibit this summer. And the San Diego park has closed its One Ocean orca show in favor of a new education-based Orca Encounter production that will open later this year.

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Replies (7)

March 2, 2017 at 12:05 PM · I know I'm opening myself up to potential 'grinch' type criticisms, but why is it always kids who get selected for the volunteer elements in theme parks? Plenty of adults would love an opportunity to take part, too.
March 2, 2017 at 12:19 PM · I'm very happy to hear this! I was so disappointed the first time I saw Blue Horizons. It got rid of all the educational elements that I loved from the show it replaced and made the trainers look more like dancers than professionals in animal behavior. I look forward to seeing the new show the next time I go.
March 2, 2017 at 12:33 PM · This is a good move for Seaworld.
March 2, 2017 at 12:54 PM · Sea World always has entertaining shows, but this sounds like it might be less fun than Blue Horizons. I'm not a big fan of "edutainment."
March 2, 2017 at 1:56 PM · The only way I see sea world surviving is if it becomes a thrill Park. The attitudes of the people are changing. Gone are the days when we use animals for our entertainment. Now that Shamu shows are gone or soon to be gone, they're going to have to invest heavily in becoming a Six Flags with better themeing and educational emphasis on aquatic animals. So I'm talking add at least 3 more coasters to Orlando and then some family rides.
March 2, 2017 at 3:09 PM · Animals are increasingly used for comfort and companionship. People need to see SeaWorld for aiding this idea instead of exploiting sea animals. People seem to appreciate the intelligence of dolphins so showcasing dolphins as a friend who can be understood can be appealing. It should be noted that this educational show is an attraction in a transforming park. Dolphins and Orcas are both not being taken from the wild or intentionally breed. In fact, they might be prevented from breeding. They are likely to not last beyond 3 decades of their potential lifespan. SeaWorld will continue to evolve into a theme park with an attached aquarium.

I suggest they install a Soarin' type attraction where they visit the 7 seas. The latest Soarin' Around The World gave us a Orca jumping out of the water. Flying in the sky like a seagull will be most fun for visitors.

Since the Orca stadiums are not going away, why not just use the stages for a Fantasmic clone? They can use Orca and Dolphin lighted props. This will still be years away from fruition, but they should definitely plan for this.

March 4, 2017 at 7:00 AM · 80sman Support! They should first make an fair contest between an selected adult and kid and the winner is the Volunteer!

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