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Dine with Shamu experience reopens at SeaWorld OrlandoSubmitted by Nick Sim on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 08:02
SeaWorld Orlando has begun offering its Dine with Shamu experience again, more than two years after guests witnessed the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau.
Dine with Shamu has been out of acion since the incident in February 2010. The Orlando Sentinel reports that it reopened on Monday, July 9, 2012, enablling guests to dine alongside SeaWorld Orlando's killer whales, visible in a neighboring lagoon.
The experience was very popular prior to the accident, and was frequently fully-booked. The food itself is a buffet, offering a mix of meat and fish dishes, salads and desserts. Advanced reservations are not a requirement, but are recommended during peak seasons.
Trainers have not entered the water with whales at SeaWorld parks since the death of trainer Brancheau on February 24, 2010. Brancheau, a 12-year veteran at SeaWorld Orlando, was killed when 30-year-old whale Tilikum pulled her into the water by her ponytail and drowned her following a show.
SeaWorld has since spent tens of millions of dollars on installing new safety features at its parks in Orlando, San Diego and California. This includes false-bottom floors in major show venues, as well as special underwater vehicles that could be used to distract whales in the event of trainers running into difficulties.