Frankly, if SeaWorld somehow manages to survive the reaction to its third quarter report, then I truly hope it finally sees the light and recognizes that in order to recover its fortunes, it must enter the twenty-first century and drop the circus show from its attractions. (It is very troubling that the company continues to talk about plans for expanding to the Middle East. One can only hope that potential investors see the writing on the wall to which SeaWorld so far has been willfully blind. There is no future in this regressive type of "entertainment.")
The fact is, setting aside the welfare concerns for captive marine mammals and the backlash from the documentary Blackfish, a lot of kids these days find animal shows outdated and, let's just say it, boring. They want hi-tech animatronics, computer graphics and interactive displays, not to mention ever-more thrilling rides. They don't want to sit still in bleachers and watch trainers dance and whales jump. It's not cool.
SeaWorld can still thrive as a true theme park; it can attract families and young people, with exhibits and rides that are interactive and based on innovative technologies without using live animals at all. It can phase out its animal shows and also bring in visitors from an entirely new demographic: animal activists!