The new decade will bring a new killer whale show, “Orca Encounter,” to SeaWorld Orlando.
SeaWorld confirmed in a statement that the show will replace the existing “One Ocean,” which will have its final performance on Dec. 31 at the park’s Shamu Stadium before “Orca Encounter” debuts the next day.
“Guests will learn about killer whales’ role in the ocean ecosystem, behaviors the animals exhibit in the wild, the importance of conservation to their habitat and animal welfare practices at SeaWorld,” Chris Dold, chief zoological officer at SeaWorld Entertainment, said in a statement.
“One Ocean” has been running at SeaWorld Orlando since April 2011, the first where the park’s trainers did not enter the water with the killer whales following the 2010 death of trainer Dawn Brancheau during a performance.
Switching shows will fulfill SeaWorld’s pledge to replace theatrical displays of orcas with a more educational presentation by the end of 2019. According to an October article from Behind the Thrills, Orlando has making the transition slowly by adding more educational segments to “One Ocean” and emphasizing how research on captive orcas can help their wild counterparts.
While “Orca Encounter” is new to SeaWorld Orlando, it has been running in SeaWorld San Diego since 2017. A review from the Los Angeles Times was less than favorable, calling the show “boring, joyless and bogged down by scientific artifice.”
SeaWorld Orlando is also adding a new roller coaster in 2020, the Arctic-themed Ice Breaker, which will feature three launches and hit a top speed of 52 miles per hour.
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