May 31, 2011

SeaWorld Orlando Releases Little Joe the Manatee in Lake Dexter

This afternoon, the SeaWorld animal care team released 1,515-pound Lil Joe the manatee into Lake Dexter in Astor, Fla. The SeaWorld team fitted Lil Joe with a tracking device before the release so that his health can be monitored.

Lil Joe was released into 
Lake Dexter where several other manatees already live and will help him get acclimated to his new environment. After the release,

Lil Joe was seen nibbling on nearby vegetation, which is a good sign. Here is a video of Little Joe's release:

"Beneath The Surface" Video Series Offers An Inside Look At One Ocean!

Over the past few months, SeaWorld has released a video series which gives guests a behind the scenes look at One Ocean. It gives a great insight on everything from the music to the colors used in the show. It also features animal trainers, educators, directors, entertainment, animals showing how they all come together to create One Ocean. Stay tuned for even more episodes of "Beneath the Surface".

May 13, 2011

SeaWorld's Summer Line-Up including Summer Nights & The Grand Reef!

Orlando is sure to be this summer’s most popular vacation getaway. And, all-new shows, experiences and adventures at both SeaWorld and Discovery Cove top Orlando’s must-see list. From the amazing One Ocean show to the sure to be a hit Grand Reef, there are a ton of reasons to check out SeaWorld Orlando this Summer!

New at SeaWorld Orlando:

Summer Nights at SeaWorld is a nighttime spectacular and the only place to celebrate when the sun sets over Central Florida’s theme parks. Summer Nights features three amazing shows –- showcasing all-new elements from One Ocean -- Shamu Rocks, a Shamu show driven by a larger-than-life, rock-n-roll beat; Sea Lions Tonite, our uproarious show featuring Clyde and Seamore; and Reflections, a sky-filling fireworks and fountains finale. And, hottest of all, Manta, Orlando’s most unique roller coaster, under the stars. Catch “Summer Nights at SeaWorld” every evening, June 25 – August 14.

New at Discovery Cove:

The new Grand Reef takes a day at Discovery Cove – an all-inclusive tropical retreat in the heart of Orlando where guests swim with dolphins, hand-feed exotic birds in a free-flight aviary and relax on pristine beaches - to another level. The all-new saltwater reef is filled with thousands of tropical fish in shallow and deeper waters leaving guests to explore where they feel most comfortable. Snorkeling takes place among canyons inspired by reefs from around the world and guarantees sights of amazing exotic sea life ranging from spotted eagle rays and zebra sharks to lionfish and eels. For the daring, SeaVenture is an innovative, underwater walking tour where guests – wearing dive helmets – will feel right at home under the sea, getting up close to sharks and lionfish (safely behind glass), velvety rays and even star fish or sea urchins. 

New for 2011:

For the first time ever, staying at one of SeaWorld’s official hotels includes incredible benefits for free.

· Complimentary transportation to SeaWorld, Aquatica, Discovery Cove and Universal Orlando

· Complimentary front-of-the-line access to SeaWorld’s thrill rides

· Early entry to SeaWorld and Aquatica and exclusive access to the SeaWorld Rescue Tour on select days during peak seasons. is the one-stop getaway shop to find out what’s new, book hotel rooms and purchase theme park tickets. For a limited time only, each trip booked through with any of 25 hotel partners includes free all-day dining deals atSeaWorld and an opportunity to buy admission to Aquatica and/or Busch Gardens Tampa Bay for only $39 each. And, guests buying admission to those parks eat free all-day, too. Guests also can find more information on the special benefits and the entire collection of SeaWorld Hotel Partners.

May 10, 2011

Chilly Fun With Beluga Whales On The Beluga Interaction Program!

During the summer of 2010, I turned 21. Instead of asking for birthday money to use on drinking adventures with my 21+ friends, I decided to save all of my gift funds to participate in the Beluga Interaction Program. As a frequent visitor to SeaWorld Orlando, I had fallen in love with the belugas and always enjoyed watching the interaction in Wild Arctic. So, sometime in June 2010, I signed up for a slot of the interaction and prepared myself for an icy afternoon with my favorite white whales!
The Beluga Interaction Program is definitely my favorite behind-the-scenes tour at any park, SeaWorld or otherwise. The tour began when we met a SeaWorld educator who took us behind-the-scenes at Wild Arctic, where we donned a wet suit and boots and settled in to discuss the rules and protocol of
interacting with the animals. Once everyone understood the dos and do nots of beluga interacting, we were led to the back entrance of Wild Arctic. There, we met three seals who were lounging in a back pool area. We also got a look at the back pool for the belugas, which is shielded from the public view and is open to sunlight for when the beluga want to do a little sunbathing.
Once we entered the building, we met with a trainer who welcomed us and gave us background information on the belugas. The beluga is one of only two species of the family Monodontidae and its closest relative is actually the narwhal! The trainer described the training techniques used, all of which
were based on the concept of positive reinforcement. She also showed us the toys the belugas most enjoyed, including a number of large plastic balls and one giant stuffed Shamu that they liked to follow around when it was waved in front of the glass of the tank. Next, the trainer led us to a room where they prepared the food for all of the animals in Wild Arctic. Each animal had a specific diet based upon their nutritional needs, and each diet was diverse and included a number of different items.
Finally, it was time to meet with the belugas. We were led out into the beluga exhibit where SeaWorld guests could watch us from the other side of the tank. We knelt down on the icy surface and were instantly splashed with chilly water! When the belugas came up to meet us, I was surprised by how large they were up close. During the interaction I met with Maple, Aurek and Klondike, SeaWorld’s three whales. The trainer led us in a number of training exercises that included teaching the whales how to blow their “foghorn,” squeak, and wave hello to spectators. We even got to touch the whales, giving them hugs and kisses and rubbing their bellies. It was an absolutely magical experience!
Though the Beluga Interaction Tour is a tad bit expensive, it is certainly worth every penny. I cannot waitto return and be reunited with my new Beluga friends! Thanks so much for Ashley Nicholas for the review and pictures! 

May 6, 2011

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Announce Turtle Movie “Turtle: The Incredible Journey”

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment today announced the launch of “Turtle: The Incredible Journey,” a family documentary directed by National Geographic Explorer’s Nick Stringer. The film will be distributed in partnership with Hannover House by SeaWorld’s newly formed SeaWorld Pictures division. Hannover House is the entertainment unit of Target Development Group (Pinksheets: TDGI).

Turtle: The Incredible Journey is an award-winning film that follows the life and migration of a loggerhead turtle from hatching to maturity and a return to its original Florida nesting grounds. The loggerhead turtle, a threatened species, has one of the longest and most difficult migratory patterns of any marine animal: Sea turtles newly hatched on the East Coast of the United States (usually in Florida) make their way from the sand into the ocean, and then begin a voyage that can span the entire Atlantic Ocean, only to return decades later to that same beach.

“This is a remarkable story crafted by one of the world’s most gifted documentary filmmakers,” said Scott Helmstedter, Chief Creative Officer for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. “Turtle: The Incredible Journey" does what our parks have been doing for more than five decades: inspire, enrich and entertain. Helping bring this film and its powerful message of the fragility and beauty of our oceans to the public is what SeaWorld is and what we have always been about.”

The film is narrated by Academy Award nominee Miranda Richardson, and will be released to theaters in both standard theatrical formats as well as 3D in selected locations. Turtle: The Incredible Journey opens the same week as SeaWorld San Diego’s Turtle Reef, a new attraction that showcases this extraordinary species in a 300,000-gallon aquarium with a massive underwater viewing gallery. The attraction also features thousands of tropical fish, a touch-screen interactive tracking map where guests can learn about sea turtles and SeaWorld’s rescue efforts. Turtle Reef also includes a new ride that takes guests on a thrilling rescue mission of their own.

Initial theatrical markets set for June 24 include New York, Los Angeles and theaters near three primary SeaWorld locations: San Diego, San Antonio and Orlando. The film’s official premiere is scheduled for Tuesday, June 21 at the large-format 3D theater at SeaWorld in San Diego. Expansion plans call for the release of the film to additional theaters and cities throughout July and August, with a target of more than 200 locations.

Discovery Cove Features Mother's Day Packages Throughout the Month of May

Discovery Cove Orlando provides the perfect solution to the search for a memorable Mother’s Day gift with a day that is sure to show moms how much they are appreciated.
Mother’s Day Escape Package:

This Mother’s Day package features a Crabtree & Evelyn® La Source® spa essentials gift basket,6x8 photo frame, a private cabana, and a bottle of champagne. Mothers will feel especially special when a bottlenose dolphin delivers a personalized message on a keepsake buoy, creating a fantastic finale to an already memorable dolphin experience. Package is $329.

Mother’s Day packages are available throughout the entire month of May 2011. Package prices are in addition to park admission and require the purchase of at least one Dolphin Swim Day Resort package, which start at $259 per person, plus tax.  For those looking to “wow” Mom this Mother’s Day month, visit or call 1-877-434-7234 to make a reservation.