The production, presented as the final whale show nightly during
One format change is obvious before the show starts. Ensconced above the stage level and to the left is a DJ, who acts as a host of sorts during the pre-show warm-ups. (The DJ also is sometimes seen on the jumbo screens that flank the stage behind the pool.)
The tone is just right for an end-of-night show. It's after sunset and Mom and Dad are, no doubt, weary -- past the point of wanting a preachy conservation message. The show begins with an interaction between the DJ and an onstage trainer, who explains some of
I shouldn't mock the trainers' speech patterns because they obviously have more nerve than I do. Have you seen the unforgiving dive suits they wear?
On with the show. In the opening song, called "Light Up the Night," the whales do a lot of leaping, frequently in a side-by-side formation. Those moves make a big impression. But the crowd also showed appreciation for little behaviors such as a pirouette that mimicked the landside trainer's twirl and one whale's sideways moonwalk across the landing space near the audience. It looked like the creatures had been taking notes from their dolphin co-workers.
The show gears down for the ballad "When One World Meets Another," which includes a lot of lingering, lovey-dovey hugs from trainer to whale. Then things go Latin with "Glow in the Night," which features a
The can't-get-it-out-of-your-head "Make a Splash" wraps up the show. That song cues up a memorable sequence in which four of the animals take aim at a key seating section in the splash zone -- at the same time. Those folks got drenched. (Note to self and to you: If there are three warnings about the splash zone before the show, get up and move to higher ground.)
A plea to the guests to learn the arm movements for a "Make a Splash" chant was largely ignored by my group. I think folks still miss the pounding "Shamu, Shamu" cheer.
By the time the music ends, there are fireworks, blazing ornaments, pop-up jets of water outside the tank, spinning LED screens and all whales up front for one big ol' photo op.
"Shamu Celebration: Light Up the Night," part of the parent company's 50th birthday hoopla, will be presented every evening through
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'Shamu Celebration: Light Up the Night'
When: Nightly through
Cost: Included in regular SeaWorld Orlando admission. A one-day ticket is
--Generation Nature Live, a daytime animal interaction, emphasizes
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