Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Changes at SeaWorld’s Killer Whale Stadiums and New Logos for San Antonio Park

ABOVE: Installation of rising floor at Orlando Dine with Shamu tank, from Theme Park Review, February 2012

By Joe Kleiman, InPark News Editor


On January 19, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment released the following statement:

SeaWorld has made the decision to remove the prototype deep-water lifting floor from each of the three SeaWorld parks. The deep-water lifting floors, which were still in their testing phase, were installed more than 4 years ago and intended as another safety tool for conducting in-water desensitization training in the deeper pools.

The change comes on the heels of a decision by Cal/OSHA, the agency that oversees occupational safety and health in California, to dismiss all citations related to our orca safety and training program. In dismissing the citations, Cal/OSHA issued a special order based largely on our existing safety protocol, allowing trainers to continue with the in-water desensitization training program, which has been in place since 2012, in the medical (or husbandry) pool, as well as conduct interactions with the whales in the pools’ slide-out and stage areas.

Having safely and successfully conducted in-water desensitization training in the shallower medical pool for almost 4 years, the deep-water pool lifting floors are no longer needed.

Work has already begun at SeaWorld Orlando as part of the annual maintenance work in at Shamu Stadium. Work at the San Antonio and San Diego parks will begin in the coming weeks.

The lifting floors located in the medical pools, where our orca in-water desensitization training currently takes place, will not be affected. That training will continue as an essential part of our overall safety program. Additionally, this change will provide more space for the animals, and increase the time that the deep-water pool is available by eliminating downtime for maintenance and cleaning.

Over the last 5 years or so, SeaWorld has overhauled its safety program at Shamu Stadium and has invested significant resources in our facilities and equipment, all of which are designed to enhance the already safe environment for our whales and the zoological professionals working in their environment.

Some of these enhancements include the development and implementation of revised interaction protocols; the development of compressed air safety belts worn by trainers working with the orcas; the design and installation of removable rails to be used during certain interactions; the implementation of a new communications system and the installation of improved communication devices, and modifications to the stadium to name a few.

InPark has obtained the new logos for SeaWorld San Antonio’s marine mammal interaction program. Discovery Point will be the name of the new check-in and orientation facility. From there, guests will head to one of three unique environments for their interaction – Sea Lion Shallows, Beluga Bay, or Dolphin Lagoon.

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Learn more about SeaWorld San Antonio’s new animal exhibits in InPark Magazine issue #59:…/59-zoosaquaria-and-waterpa…/

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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