ST. LOUIS, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- SeaWorld is launching a new Web site and it needs your help. The Orlando, Fla., San Diego, Calif., and San Antonio, Texas marine life adventure parks have issued a call for photographs and reflections from park visitors that will form the backbone of the parks' new Web site.
According to Joseph A. Couceiro, Corporate Marketing Vice-President for SeaWorld's parent company, Busch Entertainment Corp., the strategy is intended to create a true interactive online experience for fans of SeaWorld and to engage them before and after their visit.
"By our reckoning something approaching a billion photographs have been taken by SeaWorld guests," he said, noting that the estimate excludes the thousands of cameras and SeaWorld photographs ruined in the infamous 'Splash Zone' at Shamu Stadium. "The history of these parks is in shoeboxes across America and around the world. There are remarkable photos of families enjoying SeaWorld in those boxes and we want them."*
The program is part of a strategy to draw SeaWorld fans into the Web site and give them an ownership stake in it. The first phase calls for the use of guest photographs of SeaWorld only, but Web designers are considering including written reflections of SeaWorld visits as well as digital video and audio files.
Designers encourage SeaWorld visitors to dig deeper than just the traditional photos of Shamu.
"We're looking for photographs of every aspect of the SeaWorld experience, from shopping and dining to shows and rides. If you have a shot of your family enjoying a SeaWorld garden or taking a break in the shade of a tree, we want to see it," said Dean Sullivan, Director of Lifestyle Marketing and Emerging Media for Busch Entertainment. "We're trying to convey the kinds of real experiences our guests have every day in the SeaWorld parks. We also hope this provides the opportunity for families to reconnect and reminisce about a visit that may have happened years ago."
Sullivan is quick to remind prospective photo donors that SeaWorld prohibits cameras on its rides. "I'm sure our guests will be eager to try to capture their experiences in novel ways, but we can't allow cameras on most of our rides."
The first SeaWorld park opened its gates 43 years ago today on the shores of San Diego's Mission Bay. SeaWorld Orlando was completed in 1973 and SeaWorld San Antonio opened in 1988. Since then an estimated 320 million guests have visited a SeaWorld park.
For a limited time, every family who submits a photograph that is chosen for use on the new site will receive complimentary admission for four to the SeaWorld park of their choice. More information on the program, including technical requirements, file size limits and creative restrictions, can be found at http://www.seaworld.com/share
In addition to SeaWorld, BEC operates Busch Gardens parks in Tampa, Fla. and Williamsburg, Va.; Discovery Cove in Orlando; Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pa. near Philadelphia; Adventure Island in Tampa; Water Country USA in Williamsburg. Aquatica, SeaWorld's water park, is under construction in Orlando and is scheduled to open next spring.
* Non-digital photographs should be scanned. We will not accept traditional chemistry paper photographs.