Monday, November 18, 2013

Day 11: SeaWorld Orlando

So far, my time in Orlando has been absolutely wonderful! I spent yesterday visiting Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure, both of which are among my favorite parks and I always enjoy (I'll have more on that later). However, I had not yet visited SeaWorld so I made that my plan for Monday.

SeaWorld was a park I was particularly excited for, not only because it was new to me but because they have two world-class coasters, Kraken and Manta. While I was at the park, however, the thing that struck me most was how beautiful the park is. While of course both of the major roller coasters were very well done, it was nice to see the amount of effort put into landscaping and cleanliness. The pathways were spotless and there were beautiful flowerbeds and ponds throughout the park.

One thing I did not have the chance to do was see any of SeaWorld's aquatic shows (we did stop to see some of the marine life, including the orcas, outside of the shows). The times did not fit well with the amount of time we were there, but we still felt the effects of the shows; while they were going on, the rest of the park was nearly empty and most rides and attractions were walk-ons. As we walked around the park, however, a sudden flood of guests from the park's numerous aquatic stadium let us know that a show (or several) had just ended. Clearly the marine life shows are a huge draw for the park, if not the most important factor in motivating guests to visit. It seems that recent backlash against the park sparked by CNN's "Blackfish" has not been felt at the turnstiles (you can read SeaWorld's response to the film here). 

I'll be at the IAAPA Attractions expo this week and I'm looking forward to my first class tomorrow, "Marketing Plans for Attractions: Beyond the Basics." I'll be looking for ways to relate what I'm learning in these classes to everything I see and experience at the Orlando parks later this week. For now, enjoy these photos of SeaWorld and I'll have another report soon!

See you tomorrow,


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