SeaWorld Orlando: Dolphins vs. Whales
EDITOR’S NOTE: I wrote this post when I first starting out as a travel blogger and before I had even considered places like SeaWorld are not really the best environment for captive animals, so I can’t with a good conscience recommend visiting SeaWorld or any other marine park that keeps captive mammals. You’re an adult though, so I’ll let you decide that for yourself. Just do me a favour, watch the documentary Blackfish so you can make an informed decision before you go. Hopefully it will change your mind.
There’s something vaguely smug about dolphins. That eternal smirk. Those DiCaprio-esque dimples. That glossy coat. Is it even called a coat? Probably not. In any case, they are just too shiny. Too smarmy. Too…perfect. That’s it. They’re too perfect.
They’ve got to be up to something.
If you look closely, this fella even has a sparkle on his forehead.
How is that even possible?
If the dolphin is the Leonardo DiCaprio of the deep, its cohort at the Blue Horizons Show at SeaWorld Orlando – the false killer whale – is more like a young Lyle Lovett. Unquestionably talented. Cringingly disproportionate. And oh-so British in the teeth department.
Toss in a face only a mother, or Julia Roberts (or a hungry Eskimo) could love, and you’ve got a beast that’s got underdog written all over it.
Still, everyone loves an underdog. And I am no exception. So when Aeroplan gave me a ticket to check out SeaWorld Orlando, I headed over to the Whale and Dolphin Theater to watch these two mammoth talents go head-to-head. Or snout-to-snout.
I’m calling this one Leo vs. Lyle.
The backdrop for this mammalian match is the Blue Horizons set, designed by the same chap who did Beauty and the Beast on Broadway.
The show kicks off with some A Whole New World-ish type music and a vague plot of a girl who discovers something or other about the sea. Or is it the sky? Or maybe it’s both. I can’t recall. In any case, later there will be acrobats and exotic birds to distract you.
But it’s the bottlenose dolphins and the false killer whales that everyone, including me, is here to see.
First up are the dolphins.
Smug little bastard.
There are the requisite jumps and splashes. Sometimes solo…
…sometimes in unison.
The only time I feel bad for these pompous porpoises is when a trainer sewn into a dolphin-coloured wetsuit straddles a couple and takes ‘em for a ride.
Ouch. That’s gotta hurt.
I mean, who would want to be seen with anyone wearing an outfit like that?
Still, the crowds ate it up.
But our pal Lyle gets his revenge – eventually flinging Little Miss Too Much Makeup into the heavens.
Okay that bit is part of the act, but still, I can’t help but feel the whale derived some sort of gratification by tossing her skyward. I know I would.
It’s just a show people. Let’s not try to read too much into it.
Although I do believe the trainer in pink did mouth the words, “Leo’s got nothing on you Lyle.”
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Note: I was a guest of Aeroplan during my time in Orlando.