Skeeta

Sea World ski stars sunk by pirates

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SEA World's ski team has been sacked and its famous ski show axed to make way for a new stunt show designed by a North American company. Some have blamed the move on the influence of new Village Roadshow CEO Tim Fisher, who was formerly the CEO of the company's North America operations. The 38-year-old ski show -- which Sea World brags is the longest-running live attraction in Australia -- will be replaced by a new show called Pirates!, which is due to begin in September. It is understood the show will be contracted to a Canadian company which will design the show and move away from the traditional ski attraction on which the company prides itself. The current show, Waterski WipeOut, will finish on July 20. A former ski show director said more than 20 people were given redundancy notices on Thursday. "At 5pm the whole team were called into a management meeting and told they would be out of work as of July 20," said the source, who asked not to be named. "They were all handed redundancy packages which were terrible. Some people who have been there 15 years got $8000. "The skiers were told anyone who wants to can try out (for the new show) but there will be virtually nil skiing, it will be mainly gymnastics, jet-skiing and stunts." Another former Sea World employee, who also asked not to be named, said the theme park would save money by contracting out the show, which had been designed and produced 'in house'. "What they do in America is they contract out a company to provide them with a show and it's usually seasonal, so will run for maybe six months," he said. "It costs less money because whoever gets the contract for the show supplies the staff, the costumes, the music, the equipment. It's like a travelling show. "All they need is a venue and some water to do the whole show and at the end of the season, they pack up and go somewhere else. "Sea World doesn't have to foot the bill 365 days a year for everything." However, this means any staff who are employed in the new show will not be guaranteed a job when the show moves on. A Sea World spokeswoman would not confirm who was producing the show. She said all existing staff would be given the opportunity to audition for Pirates!but employment would depend on whether skills and talents were suited to the new show. A statement from the theme park said Pirates! would include 'all-new elements, unlike anything ever seen at Sea World'. Sea World's former ski show director said members of the ski team would have trouble finding work in the same field as opportunities were limited. "They are putting a lot of talented young Aussies out of work," he said. "Some are lucky enough to have trades behind them or come from other workplaces but they've still got to go find work. "The skiers who have got 20 years-plus experience have got nothing behind them so they're pretty much lost. There are no other professional (ski) shows like that in Australia at all so the only opportunity is to try and work overseas, but there are hundreds of skiers around the world trying to get in. "It's basically putting more people on the unemployment downhill slide." Just found this on the Internet and thought I would post it. I like this idea. When I went to Seaworld over Xmas I found the show to be week. I liked the skiing but this was ruined by what was going on the bank.

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I am really pleased to hear this. Personally I have thought the ski lake has been under utilised for years and it's high time the area moved with the times with the park bringing forth something with a little more WOW! factor. I have to say I am suprised this has happened before John Menzies retires given his close affinaty with the show. It is dissapointing to hear many of the performers from the old show will not get a shot at the new show but say la ve, things like this have to happen sometimes when bringing about change. I am sure there will be plenty of people out there shocked by this decision but let's just wait and see shall we?

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i reckon this is crap. i mean, okay it might be a litle old and all but what ever happened to keeping traditions alive? Seaworld started as a ski show, and now its getting rid of it. Another bad decision made by WVTP. I'm glad i don't work for a company that doesn't care about traditions or how long someone has given to a company in order to save money. I will definately not be renewing my pass and will boycotting them from now on. This is a very very bad decision by WVTP.

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I like the fact that its the only one in Australia and it has been so long running. I admit that the whole story-line is a bit cheesy, but i still marvel at the tricks and skills that the skiiers have. So, overall, I like the tradition of it, but I do also see the entertainment of it. I mean, that for me is one of, if not the, major thing i associate with Seaworld and always make an effort to see.

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About time they got rid of that old ski show - that thing has been there since i was a young kid! I'm amazed they kept it around for so long. It's exciting to hear that they will be doing new shows on a regular basis now. I think this was a smart move. And the only move that could be made really. Everyone except the employees of the show will benefit, and i'm sure after all these years they must have known some time management would realise Seaworld needed a new show. I look forward to seeing what they come up with.

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It's not the first time WVTP have taken an old, outdated show, which had run for years - since the park started, and threw it out the door for something else. Take a look at Police Academy, and the fact that the majority of cast from that show were also shown the door. HWSD is successful. We can all rant and rave about how you can't go and see it again and again like you could the PASS, but I have never seen the queues that HWSD gets for PASS. Pirates! - Now isn't that funny - the only pirate themed attraction (with the big word "PIRATE") in the park is apparently being sold off, and they go and bring a pirate themed show in. Now, I'm sorry for the cast of the ski show being ousted, but there are places out there that would take them on (War on Water \ H2Overload at wonderland rings a bell). But the talk of a pirate themed show, on the lake, which will involve more gymnastics \ acrobatics than skiing seems to ring a bell with another show popularised more than 20 years ago - in Eastern Creek. (Yes, Wonderland again). If it is anywhere near the quality of that show, then I look forward to it. Crowd involvement will be a key element to the success of the show and I hope they keep it fresh. As to the Ski show, it isn't the same "tired old" show that it started as. It has had many incarnations over the years, including a boat jump over the island, a boat that looks like a car. It did keep a lot of its original elements (including the Sea World Pyramid) which was amazing, but 20 cast, performing the same thing day in day out twice a day... it will get old. I look forward to what sea world brings us.

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This was eventually going to come sometime, I loved the ski show especially before the jet ski accident, for me, I think that was when it was at part of its peak after that I just dont think it was really the same, although i did really like the 60's gold coast theme they took on it, however was not the best show they ever did. It kind of showed to because I watched people were not interested in it, they would get up and walk off or just start talking. I would love to still see skiing as part of the show, but you could add more to it, not just make it all about the skiing and by the sounds of things that is what they are doing. One thing I would like to see them do is something like Waterworld at Universal; if the show was a little something like that I think it would be awesome. Also that lake takes up a lot of land for one show and seaworld doesn't have a lot of land left. I wouldn't be surprised if one day that lake is filled in, although I hope it isn't.

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I just don't see why they can't keep the same staff and crew and re-do the show. Why not close it down for a week or two or even a month, and work on completely re-doing the show but still keep traditional things like the ski jump and the pyramid? So rather than kicking 20 people out on the street and completely throwing away a traditional that's older than the actual park? I just think that SW needs to a) give the staff chances to get into the new show and B) look at re-creating the show in a new way once this stupid pirates show finishes.

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I mean to give them first preference. if they want to work it Seaworld should use them and then audition out the other positions, rather than telling them that if they want to be in it, to audition like everybody else, if the contracting company hadn't already filled all of the positions. I'm glad i don't work for WVTP, obviously job security for any staff, including long serving members, isn't an important thing for them it deliver...

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The show should come first in my opinion and the way to do that is to start from scratch with new talent and build up something completely new and innovative. It will be great to see what they come up with. With all that space, that huge lake already there, the sky's the limit!

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Yes the Pirates of Paradise which was probably the biggest budget well thought out 'rounded off' show of all the incarnations of the Ski Show over the years. OH&S garbage and reduced budgets I think put the close on that show.

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The two things that concern me is that firstly all of that footage is definitely from the 80s & early 90s. It is clear from the quality of the video and the fact it's come from tape, but also in the attire of the audiences. Has he not done anything of value in the past 10 years? Secondly neither the advertisement for auditions nor anything on their site mentions skiing in any way. I'm all for adding elements to the shows for Sea World but it would just seem stupid to me to cut any skiing component to the show entirely given it has been the park's staple for decades. Removing skiing would almost come across to me more of proving a point and making a statement rather than improving the entertainment offering. And I'm sure most of you can read into that what you need to!

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Yeah it seems like this move is revealing a few things about the direction WVTP want to take. Firstly it seems like no one's in any hurry to trust Michael Croaker with another new show, and the fact that they're seemingly eliminating skiing from a show set in a lake built for it does feel like a very calculated move. Hollywood Stunt Driver speaks volumes for Croaker's abilities, but looking at Tom Bertrand's resume gives me the feeling that this show will make HSD look like a Spielberg production.

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It seems that this company have already done a pirate show with jetskis and diving. Do you think its possible that it will just be a re-carnation of that show. I just found this picture on the website: 600_Piratecolour.jpg

Edited by ShadowXL

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Definitely possible and past 'chorree' has a tendency to get recycled/reworked with companies. That said, the picture is ok. Reminds me a bit of a show I saw at Indiana Beach a couple of years ago.

Edited by Gold Coaster

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Miribilandia in Italy has a pirate diving show. If you look at the website there's a video of it. Also, I was at Seaworld yesterday, and rather than doing the proper ski show in the afternoon, they did a demonstration of all types of skiing etc. I don't know if they did the show in the morning or not, but i was kind of disappointed becuase I wanted to take some photos of the old show. Hopefully it was a one off thing.

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perhaps something very big is in store for the lake! The pirate show will not need as much room - as no need to get speed up at the back end of the lake - hopefully seaworld will fill in at least half the lake and make more room for other things!!! wishful thinking?

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WISHFUL? Geeze the nice large lake is one of the most asthetically pleasing parts of the park which was something Seaworld could always pride itself on. The beatiful appearance of the park. Something that has started to slide in my opinion. Filling in any MORE of the lake would be a horrible idea in my opinion.

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