SeaWorld Orlando killer whales image

With news this week of a proposed expansion to SeaWorld Orlando in 2012 and 2013, including the addition of a possible Antarctica-based dark ride as well as a 4D movie detailing the journey of sea turtles, it got me thinking about SeaWorld and in particular its killer whale shows. I cannot decribe the excitement and awe I felt when sitting in the arena watching Believe at SeaWorld Orlando in 2009. It was so amazing to see such incredible mammals up so close.

SeaWorld's parks undoubtedly host a line-up of impressive rides and attractions, such as the much-loved Manta rollercoaster in Orlando. However, would I have been as excited or buzzing to go if there were no killer whales to see? There's no doubt that there are plenty of environmentalists and animal-lovers who would love to see an end to keeping orcas in captivity. This weeks's Big Debate therefore asks the question 'Would you go to SeaWorld if it didn't have killer whale shows?'

In 2011 One Ocean replaced Believe. Due to the ongoing legal wrangling which prevents trainers going into the water with the killer whales, the new show includes a series of aerial stunts and sections with multiple whales to try to compensate for the lack of human-whale interaction. While there is absolutely no suggestion that killer whales won't be able to take part in shows at all, if trainers are no longer able to go into the water with them the breathtaking stunts which SeaWorld is renowned for will be sorely missed.

If SeaWorld's parks in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio didn't have their (in)famous killer whale shows would you still choose to go purely to ride on the likes of Manta, Kraken, Journey to Atlantis and to visit the penguins, beluga whales and dolphins? Or is the presence of Shamu and friends a deal-breaker?

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Let us know if you Would go to SeaWorld if they didn't have killer whale shows by voting in our poll below.

Would you go to Seaworld if it didn't have killer whale shows?

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