SeaWorld Orlando (SWO) Discussion Thread

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby jarmor » Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:16 am

This has to be the most disturbing news I have ever heard come out of a theme park!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41788137/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/

ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida authorities say a 26-year-old man raped a 2-year-old girl at SeaWorld Orlando and saved pictures of the crime on his cell phone, local media reported Friday.

Michael Grzybowicz of Cocoa Beach, Fla., has been held without bail in the Brevard County Jail since Saturday, Orange County sheriff's deputies said.

Grzybowicz is accused of raping the child on Feb. 17 after her mother had asked him to briefly watch the toddler inside the theme park, according to Orlando TV station WESH.

Pictures of the alleged rape were found on Grzybowicz’ phone and sent to his e-mail account, the sheriff's office said.

Records state that four photographs in the phone's memory chip showed the violation of the youngster wearing a diaper and a yellow sun dress while she rode in a dark blue stroller, according to The Orlando Sentinel.

Grzybowicz told investigators that he didn't know how the photos got onto his cell phone, according to media reports.

The victim’s mother said the only time she left her daughter with Grzybowicz was when she and her boyfriend went on an amusement ride. The four had spent the day at the amusement park.

SeaWorld issued this statement: "Nothing is more important than the safety and welfare of our guests, and our team members are trained to report any kind of suspicious behavior. Illegal behavior of any type is not tolerated at our parks. Our thoughts are with the family at this very difficult time."

A warrant indicates Grzybowicz faces charges of sexual battery and lascivious molestation on a child younger than 12, according to the Sentinel.



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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby jedimaster1227 » Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:12 pm

I had a chance to briefly visit SeaWorld Orlando today, and despite a busy day, I was able to find a few new changes of note for the park.
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Set design changes are currently underway for Shamu Stadium.
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The trainer at the beginning of Believe now makes note of the eventual introduction of One Ocean, giving guests a little bit of a description of why the current set is unfinished.
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Work on the installation of the emergency lift system has begun in the right whale tank. Once testing of the installed system is complete, similar systems will be put into the other tanks as well.
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The screens were not in motion today, likely because of the set changes in progress.
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These are new...
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In other news, Journey to Atlantis is testing new, individual lap bars on select cars.
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While a little tighter on the body, the individual bars seem to fit well and make the ride seem a little more secure.
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The seats have been modified slightly to accommodate for the new lap bars...
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Definitely a positive change for the ride!
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One last look at the new lap bars on Journey to Atlantis.
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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby crazydaveh » Sat Mar 12, 2011 5:40 pm

Interesting about the lapbars on JTA.

Can you tell a difference with them at the "splashdown" portion when you're thrusted forward?
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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby The Yeti » Sat Mar 12, 2011 5:45 pm

I went there on Thursday and didn't even notice the individual lap bars vs shared lap bars, of course I hadn't been to Sea World in a year...as always, I loved JTA.

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby haiderodes » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:23 pm

Those seem to be same as the lapbars on JTA San Diego.
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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby Jay20016 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:29 pm

The Yeti wrote:I went there on Thursday and didn't even notice the individual lap bars vs shared lap bars, of course I hadn't been to Sea World in a year...as always, I loved JTA.


It is an under-rated ride IMO. Sure, a lot of the effects have stopped working, and the story throughout was something that went a bit zany, but... its got a great first drop, a "surprise soaking," and then a 2nd drop that I never expected the first time through.

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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby Pufferfish » Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:18 pm

Was there on Monday to check out the new restraints. The line got extremely long so I only rode once and was seated in a boat with the shared bars. From observation though, the new individuals really don't do anything different. Doesn't really slow down boarding any at all. It just means I won't be able to sit in the center of a row anymore to avoid the water sloshing over the sides, but that's a tolerable loss for improved security ;) .
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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby jedimaster1227 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:41 pm

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/os-seaworld-tilikum-20110325,0,141493.story

SeaWorld Orlando plans to put the killer whale Tilikum back into public performances beginning Wednesday, for the first time since the 6-ton whale killed a trainer at the marine park more than one year ago.

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment President Jim Atchison signed off on the decision this week, and Tilikum is expected to appear in an 11:30 a.m. performance of "Believe," the company's main killer-whale show.

Tilikum has not appeared in any shows since Feb. 24, 2010, the day the animal battered and drowned 40-year-old trainer Dawn Brancheau. The death made headlines worldwide, forced sweeping safety changes within SeaWorld, and sparked government investigations and private lawsuits that have yet to be resolved.

SeaWorld said Tuesday that including Tilikum in shows is important for the animal's health and husbandry.

"Participating in shows is just a portion of Tilikum's day, but we feel it is an important component of his physical, social and mental enrichment," Kelly Flaherty Clark, SeaWorld Orlando's animal training curator, said in a prepared statement.

Company officials said repeatedly in the aftermath of Brancheau's death that they intended to put Tilikum back in shows eventually.

The move comes at a sensitive time for SeaWorld, which is challenging a U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration citation issued last summer. The federal agency accused SeaWorld of willfully exposing its killer-whale trainers to danger without adequate protection, and it recommended that trainers never again be exposed to Tilikum.

Tilikum, an adult male who has sired more than a dozen calves over the years, is by far the largest of the roughly two-dozen killer whales in SeaWorld's corporate collection. He had been involved in two human deaths before Brancheau's, including a trainer at a British Columbia aquarium in 1991 and a homeless man who snuck into SeaWorld Orlando's killer-whale complex after hours in 1999.

Hearings before a federal administrative law judge are scheduled to begin April 25.

SeaWorld declined to discuss its decision in detail Tuesday. But in the written statement, Flaherty Clark said SeaWorld "will be using the same methods in caring for Tilikum that have been in place for more than a year."

Those changes include requiring trainers to stay farther away from Tilikum when working with him — massaging him, for instance, with high-pressure hoses instead of manually rubbing him by hand.

SeaWorld says it also has made many safety upgrades to the killer-whale facilities in its parks in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio. Among them: Guardrails around pool ledges, and devices that can more quickly deploy safety nets in case of an emergency.

And the company says it will make more substantial changes in coming months, including the installation of fast-rising, false-bottom floors in its killer-whale pools capable of lifting multiple whales and trainers out of the water, potentially in less than a minute.

Still, SeaWorld's critics say the company is risking its trainers lives by continuing to work with Tilikum.

"If you had a friend that had a dog that had mauled three people, would you go play with that dog?" said Russ Rector, a former dolphin trainer in Fort Lauderdale who now opposes keeping marine mammals in captivity. "These people only care about the show. They never learn."

Even as it puts Tilikum back into its shows, SeaWorld is also moving forward with plans to put its trainers back in the water with the animals.

Company officials said last month that trainers in its three U.S. marine parks would soon begin limited "water work" with killer whales, with the interactions initially restricted to small medical pools already equipped with lifts in the floors. The company says it still has not decided whether its trainers will again begin performing with the whales during shows.

No trainers, however, will be allowed in the water with Tilikum. SeaWorld had prohibited water work with the animal even before Brancheau's death because of his size and dangerous history, though the company had begun some limited "water-desensitization training" — during which a whale is taught to ignore a human in the water — before the tragedy.
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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby SoCalCoasters » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:06 pm

There's always going to be danger with wild animals and people. No matter how long they've been in captivity, whales will still wild animals. Sad events like Dawn's death unfortunately occur every once in a while, while you can put safeguards up, there will always be risks.

I honestly think the GP will freak out when they find that the "Killer" Whale has returned... :roll:
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Re: SeaWorld Orlando Discussion Thread

Postby aimster » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:26 pm

Tilly is WAY too big to be put back in the show. He's already killed 2 trainers. I know probably he thought he was only playing and didn't know he did something wrong, but this guy is just humungoid. If something else happens and he's responsible, Sea World better not start crying because they know Tilly is a liability. They should just give him full access to all the whale pools when there aren't shows going on and keep up with his physical and mental stimulation without the trainers being too close to him.
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