In the Shadow of the Mouse

Secrets of a theme park obsessed local who lives next door to Mickey, with annual passes to every Central Florida park

SeaWorld teams up with Washed Ashore Project to highlight ocean pollution problem

b83For the most part, the Sea of Surprises at SeaWorld Orlando is a happy, upbeat celebration that honors the company’s 50th anniversary. It features mobile shows that will splash guests on hot days and teach about the science of bubbles. Kids (and adults) can get up close and personal with a variety of animals in the Sea Garden. Members of the Surprise Squad will wander all over the park, giving away gifts that range from small items like food vouchers and reserved show seating to larger awards like backstage tours and trips to other SeaWorld parks.

If you go to the Sea Garden to meet the eagles, possums, miniature horses, and other critters, your eyes will no doubt be drawn to the four colorful sculptures that portray an octopus, parrot fish, seahorse, and sea anemone reef. However, if you take a closer look, you’ll realize that what appears to be whimsical works of art are actually composed of trash.

b44The four sculptures were all created by the Washed Ashore Project, a group dedicated to bringing awareness of ocean pollution to the general public.Through its engaging artwork, it aims to build awareness of how we’re damaging the ocean and hurting animals with plastic and other debris. All of the garbage in the four sculptures came right from the ocean. According to the group, 90 percent of what it finds is petroleum based, like plastics and nylon rope.

If you’d like to learn more about the sculptures, as well as the animal ambassadors who will greet guests out in the Sea Garden, watch the video below. I interviewed senior animal trainer Corey Oxman at the 50th anniversary kickoff on March 21. She talked about the rescued animals used as ambassadors at the park and the amazing artwork that will hopefully make people think twice about leaving their trash on beaches or tossing it off of boats.

If you’d like to see the kick-off ceremony from that day, it’s in the video below.

Follow me on Twitter via @themeparkwriter and stay tuned for more tips, observations, comments, and rants from someone who lives close enough to Walt Disney World to hear the fireworks from her house every night. I literally write my blog  In the Shadow of the Mouse.

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