Everything else goes here, including discussion of parks outside of Carowinds and any off-topic discussion
#85324
I didn't feel the need to start a new topic so I will put it here since it's really the first big thing that Joel Manby has had his hand in since taking his position with the company. Seaworld San Diego will end it's "Shamu" shows by 2017; opting for more informational Orca exhibits. It's using some of the capital it had set aside for the Blue World project since that probably won't happen with the restrictions that would be in place if they built it.

Seaworld San Diego on Screamscape
2017 - Killer Whale Exhibit - Confirmed - (11/9/15) BREAKING - According to the local news SeaWorld San Diego will phase out the park's popular Shamu Killer Whale show in favor of a "new orca experience" that will open in 2017. The new attraction is only described as having a more natual setting that would carry forward a message of conservation. Funding that was being held for the Blue World habitat expansion is being redirected into this new 2017 project, which essentilly on the surface sounds more like "Blue World Light", which would a similar but smaller style attraction built as a transformation of the existing stadium show facility, and thus avoiding the Blue World restrictions from the California Coastal Comission. Hopefully we'll find out more about what is being planned soon.
It is also worth noting that nothing was mentioned at all by SeaWorld Entertainment about ending the Shamu shows at the Texas or Florida parks at this time.


Story in San Diego Union-Tribune
SeaWorld intends to phase out its longstanding killer whale show at its San Diego park next year as part of a comprehensive strategy unveiled Monday to re-position the embattled company amid persistent criticisms of how it treats its orcas.

In its place would be a new orca experience debuting in 2017, described as "informative" and designed to take place in a more natural setting that would carry a "conservation message inspiring people to act." The announcement is contained in a company document posted online in advance of a webcast this morning in which SeaWorld Entertainment CEO Joel Manby and other senior executives will unveil their vision for the company and its collection of 11 parks.

Just last week, Manby hinted that there would be a new attraction coming to the San Diego park and said that a portion of the $100 million allocated for a project to expand its killer whale tanks would be diverted for that purpose. In its online presentation, SeaWorld references a new capital investment for the park in 2017 and a re-allocation of the dollars that were to be spent on the so-called Blue World tank expansion project.

The plan to gradually phase out the Shamu show comes amid efforts at both the state and federal level to clamp down on SeaWorld by ending the captive breeding of orcas, which would effectively bring to an end the parks' theatrical shows. SeaWorld has already vowed to fight a recent ruling by the California Coastal Commission to bar it from breeding its orcas as a condition of moving forward with the tank expansion projects.

Friday, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, said he plans to introduce federal legislation that would prohibit the breeding of captive orcas, end the capture of wild orcas and stop the import and export of the killer whales.

While it's possible the killer whale shows could come to an end at SeaWorld's two other namesake parks, in Orando and San Antonio, no mention is made of that in the company's online presentation.

SeaWorld parks, most noticeably the one in San Diego, have been seeing declines in attendance over the last year following the 2013 release of the critical documentary, "Blackfish," which has aired repeatedly on CNN and brought negative publicity to SeaWorld. The company has fought back with a prolonged media campaign defending the parks' humane practices, and that effort will continue, SeaWorld said Monday.
#93971
SeaWorld Parks & Ent. to build another Sesame Place park to open by 2021. Location not determined as of yet. Also the remaining Shamu's Happy Harbor areas will be converted to Sesame Street by 2022.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/05/18/seaworld-sesame-street-sesame-place/101822750/

Amusement park firm SeaWorld Entertainment said Thursday that it would construct a second theme park based on the popular children's program Sesame Street, hoping for sunny days to sweep away the clouds looming over its operations.
SeaWorld extended its licensing agreement with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit that controls the TV show featuring Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch.
The company already runs the Sesame Place theme park in Langhorne, Pa., between New York City and Philadelphia, and that location will remain open. It offers kids roller coasters, water rides, shows, parades, games and interactions with Sesame Street mascots.
The second Sesame Place will be "in a U.S. location to be determined," SeaWorld said. The new theme park will open by mid-2021.

The deal comes as SeaWorld is trying to overhaul its image and bolster its bottom line amid declining attendance following its decision to end controversial shows featuring orcas.
The company's new arrangement, which lasts through 2031, also gives SeaWorld the option to build more Sesame Place theme parks after the second location opens.
"We share Sesame's goal of educating and entertaining generations of children, and the extension of our partnership furthers SeaWorld's mission to provide guests with experiences that matter," SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby said in a statement. "We are thrilled to be able to grow the presence of Sesame Place theme parks in the U.S. and help our company diversify its brand portfolio and expand into new areas."
#94223
No need for a new thread but related: David D’Alessandro is out...
SeaWorld stockholders vote off board chairman
SeaWorld’s stock jumped nearly 7 percent during trading Wednesday after shareholders ousted the chairman of the board of directors at its annual shareholders’ meeting.

David D’Alessandro, who led the board since 2010, failed to get a majority of votes in an uncontested board election. Some said the move showed investors’ frustration over executive pay.

SeaWorld’s stock jumped nearly 7 percent during trading Wednesday after shareholders ousted the chairman of the board of directors at its annual shareholders’ meeting.

David D’Alessandro, who led the board since 2010, failed to get a majority of votes in an uncontested board election. Some said the move showed investors’ frustration over executive pay.

The move came amid declining revenues and attendance figures for the Orlando theme park in the wake of the documentary “Blackfish” that brought intense opposition to live whale shows.

Reuters also reported shareholders were angered by executive pay under D’Alessandro’s tenure after the company disclosed in a securities filing the company would give bonuses to D’Alessandro and other leaders based on SeaWorld’s performance since its 2013 IPO.

The board of directors will continue to act in the shareholders’ best interests, SeaWorld said in a statement issued after the meeting.

“SeaWorld’s entire Board of Directors has been intensely focused on building value for shareholders by implementing a well-defined plan of fundamental change,” the statement said.

D’Alessandro, who was a finance executive, served as SeaWorld’s interim leader from January 2015 through April 2015.

Later during Wednesday’s meeting, SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby told shareholders he was optimistic about the park’s future and its intent to move past its old image.

“We are focusing with particular intensity on efforts to drive growth across our parks,” Manby said, stressing the company was still “intently focusing” on its bottom line. “We believe that our innovative rides and attractions from 2017 are some of the most exciting in our history.”

In Orlando, he pointed to Electric Ocean, a fireworks and music show meant to bring more people to the park during evening hours, and the virtual-reality roller coaster Kraken Unleashed — which opened to passholders Tuesday and is scheduled for a grand opening Friday — on which riders wear headsets covering their ears and eyes.

Another major new attraction is the recently announced Sesame Street land, which is set to open by fall 2022 in Orlando.

Boyd also stressed it was a pivotal time for the park.

“This summer, this year, is the first period where you can say this is fully the work of this management team,” Boyd said. “It’s an important year for this management team.”

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