Blue Horizons: At SeaWorld Orlando -
Award-winning travel guidebooks

   guidebooks   |   news   |   podcasts   |   boards   |   blog   |   worksheets   |   photos   |   articles   |   updates   |   register   |  

Blue Horizons: At SeaWorld Orlando

by Barry Hom, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 1/31/2008 > Articles > U.S. Travel > Touring  

For many years, the Key West Dolphin Fest at SeaWorld Orlando entertained and delighted many park guests. Now that show is a memory. The Key West Dolphin Fest departed to make way for the new Blue Horizons show, which opened in May 2005. On a recent trip, I decided to take a look at this new-to-me production.

The SeaWorld Orlando web site describes Blue Horizons as such:

"Venture beyond the horizon in an experience that takes you into a world of acrobatic dolphins and whales, soaring birds and leaping water with a spirit all its own. Blue Horizons - an all-new theatrical performance about the place where the sea meets the sky."

After reading the description and other information on Blue Horizons, it reminded me of the Viva! dolphin show at Sea World San Antonio. Viva! is best described as a mix between a dolphin show and Cirque du Soleil. As unusual as that may sound, the show actually worked and was entertaining. The only problem I found with Viva! was that it was too much Cirque du Soleil and not enough dolphins. The show was about � Cirque du Soleil and � dolphins. If Blue Horizons is a mixture of the same two mediums, would it encounter the same problem as Viva? We shall see...

The story of Blue Horizons revolves around Marina, a young woman dressed in pink. Marina wants to dance on ocean waves with Dolphus, the spirit of the sea, and soar through the air with Aurora, the spirit of the sky. She dives out of her bedroom window to a wondrous place - the Blue Horizons. I don't know about you, but if I dove out of my bedroom window, I'd hit prickly bushes. But I will suspend reality for a moment and enjoy the show.

The show begins with the "Blue Horizons" theme song, which you will probably be humming throughout the park after you hear it. The show is divided into three acts. The first act was the appearance of Marina. Marina meets Dolphus, a man in a gray wetsuit with a dolphin's tail emblazoned on his chest, during this act. Dolphus and Marina hold hands as they watch the dolphins perform their tricks. If you sit in the first few rows, watch out! The dolphins will splash water on you.

In the second act, the dolphins step aside and the show begins to resemble a Cirque du Soleil production. Performers portraying birds perform an aerial act while others dive on and off a platform.

During the second act, the evil performers broke up the good fun. I knew that they were evil because, in theme park show tradition, they were dressed in black. There is even a vulture that landed on stage to accentuate their evilness. Marina, Dolphus, Aurora, and the trainers run away when the bad guys appear on stage. The bad guys strap themselves onto bungee cables. They bounce and flip around in the air as water cannons spray in front of them. Two false killer whales swim around and perform for the audience. The bad guys end their show by diving into the water.

Marina and the rest of the "good guy" performers return to the stage in the last act. The finale features the dolphins pulling out all the stops. After the dolphins do numerous tricks, the music swells, the other performers appear and wave huge flags, and we we're treated to a spectacular dolphin jump.

Did Blue Horizons suffer the same problem as Viva? Viva! used a lot of human performers, so I think to use them in the most effective way, they needed to be seen many times during the show. Blue Horizons has a smaller number of human performers, so they can be used more sparingly and the dolphins take center stage. Blue Horizons seems about 1/3 of Cirque du Soleil and 2/3 dolphins.

Blue Horizons could have the dolphins on stage more often, but I have to think about the other dolphin shows I've seen. If we look at the grand tradition of dolphin shows from Sea World and other theme parks, Blue Horizons is following the three-act tradition. The three acts in dolphin shows consist of act one of dolphins, act two is something else on the stage as the dolphins take a break to smoke or eat junk out of the vending machines (kidding, just kidding...), and the dolphins return in act three for the finale.

The dolphin tricks and performances are pretty amazing. One thing of particular note is that the dolphins seem to be behaving on their own. In other Sea World shows, the trainers give bold and sweeping hand signals, so you know that the marine animal will soon perform a trick. I didn't see the trainers give overt hand signals or any indication that they were signaling the dolphins to do a certain trick. If they are giving signals, they must be very subtle or perhaps using audio signaling.

If you want to see a Cirque du Soleil show, you might want to buy tickets for the actual thing at the Walt Disney World Resort. Overall, though, I found the Blue Horizons entertaining and an enjoyable way to spend its 20-minute show time. I do miss the Key West Dolphin Fest, but in exchange, I hummed the Blue Horizons theme song for the rest of the day!

[Jennifer's Note: Interested in the "Other" Orlando? Check out the excellent The Other Orlando guidebook by Kelly Monaghan, which we carry in the PassPorter Store]

About the Author:
Barry is a roller coaster and theme/amusement park enthusiast. So far, he has ridden 471 roller coasters and visited over 80 theme and amusement parks in many U.S. states, France, United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, and Japan. He is also a columnist and a moderator for the website IOA Central ( He is looking forward to the opening of the Hard Rock Park in Myrtle Beach, SC in Spring 2008.

Recent U.S. Travel Articles:
Take a Walk on The Wild Side at Busch Gardens Tampa (Part 3) - An Orlando-Area Attraction Review last updated 10-08-2015
Take a Walk on The Wild Side at Busch Gardens Tampa (Part 2) - An Orlando-Area Attraction Review last updated 10-01-2015
Take a Walk on The Wild Side at Busch Gardens Tampa - An Orlando-Area Attraction Review last updated 09-17-2015
Honolulu and and Waikiki - Things to Do While Visiting Aulani last updated 04-30-2015
The Eastern Coast of Oahu, Hawaii - Things to Do While Visiting Aulani last updated 04-23-2015

More Related Links:

Enjoying the Japan Pavilion at Epcot - A World Showcase Favorite last updated 2/24/2011
The Parades of the Magic Kingdom - A Plethora of Processions last updated 01/22/2009
Epcot's World Showcase - Pavilions vs. The "Real" World last updated 01/29/2009
Recent Changes to Disneyland - Part 1 last updated 02/12/2009
The Seas With Nemo And Friends - In Love With The Living Seas last updated 4/23/2009

Reader Comments:

View all comments in forum thread

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)

Updated 1/31/2008 - Article #191 

Read additional articles from

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  



We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2015
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Getting There (and Back!): Your Journey to Walt Disney World
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
By car, plane, or train -- share your tips, plans, and experiences with others! Forum Sponsored by Quicksilver Tours & Transportation

Transportation to Magic Kingdom from Hotel on International Drive
by KathyL
5 Oct 2015 at 7:56pm
I am attending a conference in Orlando in November. Because of the conference I am staying at a hotel on International Drive. My co-worker who is...
(click title above to view replies)

driving through the Carolina's, post Joaquin
by steph steph
5 Oct 2015 at 4:55pm
hi everyone!!! we leave next week and are driving from Pennsylvania, down 95. I saw today that about 70 miles of 95 is damaged due to the storm! oh...
(click title above to view replies)

Spirit Airlines Bag Question [how strict are they about luggage size restrict...
by Geri Alexander
30 Sep 2015 at 10:53am
Has anyone flown Spirit Airlines? We are flying on a direct flight out of DFW here in a week or so. I am interested in any experiences/opinions, as...
(click title above to view replies)

Looking for recommendation - south of ATL hotel
by am03rn
28 Sep 2015 at 10:19pm
Traveling down I-75 to the world, wanting to stay somewhere south of Atlanta, but not too far south. Where would you recommend? Where should we...
(click title above to view replies)

Any experiences renting from Dollar car rental at the Wyndham?
by aliceinwdw
27 Sep 2015 at 5:38pm
DH and I are seriously contemplating renting a car this upcoming trip. We usually use Disney transportation and have been big supporters of it for...
(click title above to view replies)

Total Visits: 4943

PassPorter ~ 1998-2015 ~ 17 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
News & Updates
Message Boards
Concierge Desk
Books & E-Books
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.