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Is SeaWorld really ending the Orca show?

Controversial 'Shamu' killer whale show set to end at the Southern California park,

SeaWorld San Diego has announced that it will close the Shamu Show, phasing the current attraction out by 2017. The controversial show, which features tricks and theatrics performed by the Park’s captive Orca (aka Killer Whale) population, has been its star attraction for a number of years.

However, the debut of the documentary film Blackfish, which documents how SeaWorld’s Orcas were captured and its current treatment of the animals, lead to a fall from grace for both SeaWorld and its current entertainment options.

The company fought back, announcing the Blue World Project, which will see a $100 million investment in the San Diego park. Featuring larger, deeper enclosures, with a more natural setting and a current for the Orcas to swim against, Blue World is designed to placate the Park’s naysayers.

However, the San Diego park in particular has suffered a public relations backlash, seeing plunging profits and declining visitor numbers. City regulators also stipulated that it would not allow Blue World to go ahead unless the Park stopped breeding Orcas on the property.

Slate notes that reports of the demise of the Shamu Show have been exaggerated, and that the Blue World Project may now not go ahead. According to the report, which detailed a call that SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby made to investors, the company believes that it can introduce a much more ‘natural’ and ‘educational’ show for a lot less than the original $100 million set aside for the project.

He believes that ‘trained tricks’ are less popular with guests, and a large part of the new show will feature more natural behaviours, such as jumping and splashing, both of which already play a part in the existing Shamu Show.

Time will tell what SeaWorld San Diego has in store, however, the fact remains that its resident Orcas are still in captivity, $100 million investment or not.

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Top 10 rides at Disneyland Paris

We take a look at some of the awesome attractions on offer at the Disneyland Paris Resort

Disneyland Paris isn’t your typical lad’s holiday destination, but let me tell you that Disney’s Resort in Europe is awesome. Check out my On The Road report from the Parks for more on why you should head out there. But right now, we’re counting down the best rides for Lads at Disneyland Paris.

Travel Blog

Why Disneyland Paris isn't just for kids...

Disneyland may not be your typical lad's destination - but you'll find rides, beers and plenty of eye candy

When you think of a Lad’s holiday, nothing could probably be further from your mind than the Castles and Princesses of Disneyland Paris. But in February 2014 I found myself heading out to France for four days at Disneyland on my own.

‘Why, are you mad?’, I hear you ask. Well no. But then if I was, would I know it? Oh God, what if I am? Anyway…

First off, I’m pretty obsessed with Theme Parks. Not just roller coasters, but Theme Parks. How they’re built, designed, laid out, run and expanded. Sad? Maybe. Interesting? To me at least… But the magical appeal of Disneyland Paris should appeal to you too.

There’s a belief that Disneyland Paris is for kids and upper class hen ‘par-tays’, however, you’ll be surprised and the fantastic array of people you’ll see and meet at Disneyland Paris. Staff, or ‘Cast Members’ as Disney calls them, come from all over the world to work for the mouse, and visitors pile in from all over Europe and further afield too.

I arrived at Disneyland Paris in February, and even though it was freezing, the magic of the place takes over you straight away. From the atmospheric music, to the stunning views and beautiful gardens, Disneyland Paris is a gorgeous place, whether you’re a Disney fan or not.

There are two Parks at Disneyland Paris. The first, Disneyland Park, was the original Park, built in 1992. This is your traditional Disney Park, with a Castle, rides, and yes, Princesses. The place is huge, and features a number of distinct lands, each with a different theme.

The second Park, opened in 2002, is Walt Disney Studios, based on films and cinema. The smallest and least attended Disney Park in the World (coming dead last at 11 out of 11), Walt Disney Studios has struggled since it opened. However, they have added a ton of rides in the last few years, and no matter where you are in the Resort, you can always see the 200-foot Tower of Terror.

If you think that the Parks are just full of kid’s rides, you’re wrong. Disneyland Paris boasts the fastest roller coaster in France, the tallest drop ride in Europe, and the most technologically advanced ride in Europe as well. There are thrills and scares around every corner, and even though that phrase sounds like I’ve borrowed it from a Travel Agent’s brochure, it’s quite simply true.

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, set to the screaming tunes of Aerosmith, rockets you around three inversions with a launched start. Scary stuff, which will quite literally pin you to your seat. Think Rita at Alton Towers on Steroids.

The Tower of Terror, themed around The Twilight Zone TV series, takes you to the top of the 200 foot Hollywood Tower Hotel, when doors open to reveal a view over the entire Resort, before dropping you into pitch blank darkness. And just when you think it’s over, the ride shoots you back up to do it all again. FUN FACT: I have seen grown men crying on this ride. Seriously.

Along with these two monsters, Space Mountain, RC Racer, Big Thunder Mountain, Star Tours, and a ton of other rides will shake, blast, rattle and jar you around the Resort, leaving a laughing/weeping/pissing mess in their wake.

And if you think it’s just rides, head over to Disney Village. Filled with bars, shops and restaurants, Disney Village is a pisshead’s paradise. King Ludwig’s Castle is one of the best pubs I’ve ever been in, and serves massive jars of German beer. Head over to the Sports Bar to keep up-to-date with the footie, or check out Billy Bob’s Western Bar for awesome live music from around the World.

Oh, and if you need to find a place to buy that Mickey Mouse eared hat we both know you want, there’s a place to get that too.

I loved my trip to Disneyland Paris. Over four days I zig-zagged my way between both Parks, taking in the rides, shows and atmosphere of this truly unique Resort. Disney Village is awesome, and is enough to keep your beer belly happy whilst serving great food as well.

Everyone in France is fit as well, so you’ll see enough to keep the little guy happy at the Resort too. Please note however that Lads Holiday Guide cannot guarantee the fitness of the birds at Disneyland Paris, but you can take my word for it.

If you fancy a lad’s trip that’s a little but different, whilst having a laugh and plenty of booze, then give Disneyland Paris a try.

For more on Disneyland Paris’ rides, check out our Top 10 Lads Rides at Disneyland Paris.