ST. LOUIS, March 16 /PRNewswire/ -- SeaWorld's "Believe," the most ambitious killer whale show in the parks' 42-year history, has been honored by TEA, a trade association for the themed attraction industry, with a Thea award for outstanding achievement in a live show. The award was presented in the association's 13th-annual gala in Anaheim, Calif.
"Believe" premiered in 2006 in SeaWorld parks in Orlando, Fla., San Diego, Calif., and San Antonio, Texas. The show, which combines new killer whale behaviors with elaborate set pieces, music, choreography and state-of-the-art multimedia, opened to rave reviews from SeaWorld guests.
"This was without question the most challenging project we have ever undertaken," said David R. Smith, corporate vice-president of entertainment for St. Louis-based Busch Entertainment Corp. (BEC). "This production builds upon almost four decades of experience in showcasing killer whales at our SeaWorld parks, and is unlike anything our guests have ever seen or experienced."
In the two largest SeaWorld parks, SeaWorld Orlando and SeaWorld San Diego, the centerpiece of the new set design is a 3-story tail fluke flanked by four 200-square-foot moving video screens. Those screens provide guests at Shamu Stadium with views of the whales and trainers from above- and below- water cameras. The LED screens are designed to operate independently, and to come together, forming a single panoramic screen at center stage.
The audio system for "Believe" is one of the most sophisticated ever constructed for a Busch Entertainment show, Smith said. "The design will create soundscapes for 'Believe' with music that has been composed exclusively for this show and with killer whale behaviors that have been choreographed to it."
According to a TEA news release, the award, "reflect(s) the impact that storytelling, architecture, technology and experience design (has) on the guest and visitor experience."
SeaWorld is operated by Busch Entertainment Corporation, the family entertainment division of Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. BEC operates nine U.S. theme parks, including Busch Gardens Africa in Tampa, Fla., Busch Gardens Europe in Williamsburg, Va., Discovery Cove in Orlando, Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pa. near Philadelphia, Water Country USA in Williamsburg and Adventure Island in Tampa. BEC will open Aquatica, SeaWorld's water park, in Orlando in 2008.