SeaWorld San Diego debuts new Orca show, rides

Posted at 5:23 PM, May 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-31 21:00:13-04

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) — After nearly six months of renovations, SeaWorld officially debuted its new Orca show, Orca Encounter on Wednesday.

Park officials said it’s more educational than theatrical when compared to the previous orca show, One Ocean.

“The way they've trained them was very interesting,” said Linda Beckwith, who watched the show.

One Ocean was discontinued earlier this year after a documentary film criticized the park’s treatment of captive orcas.

“Some of the time you couldn't hear what she was saying, but you could understand by reading the board,” said Beckwith.

The board at the front of the stage featured killer whale stats, including hunting and communication patterns, while the orcas demonstrated their skills in the water.

“We want to teach people about this animal,” said Linda Donahue, an orca trainer at SeaWorld.

She said Orca Encounter is less of a show and more of a documentary style presentation.

“Everything we do with the whale is based on positive reinforcement and having a good time,” said Donahue.

The Oceans Explorer realm also debuted on Wednesday, which featured five new rides.

The most highly anticipated ride was called Submarine Quest. It’s the first interactive digital ride in the world, which means guests can control what they virtually see as they explore undersea.