SeaWorld’s One Ocean® performance is absolutely breathtaking! Every trip to Orlando I simply have to go to SeaWorld to see these beautiful creatures in action. While many people believe animals shouldn’t be kept in captivity, without places like SeaWorld, normal everyday people like you and I would never get the chance to see a killer whale up close.
SeaWorld has been hindered by a lot of critisism lately, especially upon the release of the documentary Blackfish after trainer Dawn Brancheau was tragically killed by Tilikum in 2010. I will be honest, curiosity got the better of me and I watched Blackfish to see what all the fuss was about. In my opinion it was a very one-sided documentary that listed only bad points about killer whales in captivity. Even Dawn Brancheau’s family has spoken out against the film Blackfish, releasing the following statement:
There has recently been an abundance of attention focused on the film “Blackfish.” As the family of Dawn Brancheau, we are continually asked how we feel about the movie. We would like to take this opportunity to write briefly about the film so we can move on and continue our efforts to make the world a better place in honor of Dawn.
First and foremost, we are not affiliated with this movie in any way. We did not assist with its creation and were unaware of its content until the film was shown at the Sundance Film Festival. The Dawn Brancheau Foundation as well as our family members have never and will never accept any compensation from its production.
The film has brought a great deal of attention to the welfare of animals, and for that we are grateful. However, “Blackfish” is not Dawn’s story. Dawn Brancheau believed in the ethical treatment of animals. Dawn followed her dreams and became a marine animal trainer. She loved the whales and was proud of her work as a trainer. Dawn thrived on introducing the whales to the audience and educating them about the animals in her care. Dawn would not have remained a trainer at SeaWorld for 15 years if she felt that the whales were not well cared for. Trainer safety was important to Dawn, and it remains important to us as well. Our family always supported Dawn and we continue to support Dawn’s friends and co-workers who currently care for the animals she so loved.
I have witnessed first-hand the amazing interaction the animals have with their trainers, often playing around and making the trainers laugh as they do their own thing. The bottom line: no one can make a 12,500 ton animal do something it doesn’t want to do.
The Shamu performance, One Ocean®, is something I always find awe-inspiring, especially the grace displayed when they jump in the water and play with each other. There is a lot of audience interaction. If you sit in the dark blue area in the front 10 rows you can get an up close and personal interaction with the whales by getting splashed by Tilikum and his tail.
The trainers, while not allowed in the water anymore, still provide a great performance with the whales. They also inform the audience of fascinating facts about the whales. This is a must-do when visiting SeaWorld as it is great for the entire family. One Ocean® has a history of bringing families together, and on occasion military service men and women have surprised their loved ones with their return from service during the show.
One Ocean® is performed twice a day in Shamu Stadium. There is a screen located outside of the stadium that has the show times displayed.
- Arrive early as the stadium fills up quickly, especially if you want to sit in the Soak Zone.
- Guests traveling in wheelchairs can enter the stadium through the left, right or center ramps. Seating is available for a guest using a wheelchair and one companion along the promenade situated in the Soak Zone. If you do not wish to get wet, see a member of the team who will be able to sit you in a more appropriate place.