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Sep 23, 2009
Ok guys, here's the deal. SeaWorld corporate launched a podcast. It's named Sea the World with Cindy Simmons. I don't know why this exists, I don't know who is supposed to listen to it, I don't know what SEAS stands to profit from it, I don't know who Cindy Simmons is or why I should care, but this is a thing SEAS corporate marketing saw fit to invest in so here we are.

A friend and fellow forum member (who I won't name here) tried to listen to the debut episode today. That individual told me it was bad—very, very bad—so bad, in fact, that this person quickly turned it off.

So, you know what that means? I have to give this thing a listen now.

That said, I realized that if even the nameless, hardcore SEAS parks fan I was speaking to today bailed on the debut episode, there may be a market for some new ParkFans forum content. If ParkFans members want to know what SEAS is talking about but can't stand to listen to the actual podcast, someone should take one for the team.

My plan is to subject myself to a deep dive into the official SEAS podcast, Sea the World with Cindy Simmons. I plan to listen to each episode and provide a recap of what is discussed, what, if any, news breaks, and just give my thoughts on the endeavor overall.

If people want to discuss the podcast in general, specific episodes, these recaps, whatever—feel free to do so in this thread. I'll keep an updated index of all of my recaps in this post so people can quickly find them in the discussion if need be. Anyway, on to episode one. Wish me luck.

Recap Index:

  1. SeaWorld's Spooky Secrets to a Scary Good Halloween!
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Episode Name: SeaWorld's Spooky Secrets to a Scary Good Halloween!
Episode Number: 1
Guest: Cindy Miller, SeaWorld Corporate VP of Entertainment

I'll normally refrain from long block quotes like this in my "swift recaps," but since this is the first episode, I thought it would be worth providing a full transcript of the intro so you can get a feel for what this podcast will be in the words of the host.

The goal of this podcast is to take you on an eye-opening journey and explore everything that SeaWorld has to offer. We're going to be sharing behind-the-scenes stories and information on everything from animal rescue and rehabilitation, marine life, conservation efforts, travel tips, and amazing events. Our guests are going to include SeaWorld ambassadors who work tirelessly behind the scenes and they're going to share their expertise and real authentic experiences with us.

I'm a wife and mom of two girls and a 10 year breast cancer survivor. Growing up as a little girl in California, I loved going to SeaWorld with my family, and now here I am in Orlando with my own family trying to live every moment big—discovering all of the great things, events, and experiences. I can't wait to dive in!

Episode 1's guest is Cindy Miller. She came from New York where she was a singer/dancer/actress as a kid. A knee injury sent her in a new direction (read: to Orlando). She was hired by SeaWorld Orlando in 2007 where she performed in a Sesame Street show. From there she moved up through the ranks—from performer to stage manager to production manager and eventually to the entertainment vice president position at corporate.

Stand-out guest quote: "One of the great things about theme park entertainment is you get to see people experience what you worked so hard to achieve."

Re: SeaWorld Orlando's and San Diego's Howl-O-Scream debuts:
  • The other SEAS parks with existing Howl-O-Screams contributed a lot of advice during the development of the new for 2021 events
Re: SeaWorld Orlando's Howl-O-Scream specifically:
  • House themes at SWO were designed to integrate thematically with the park locations in which they're set. Beneath the Ice in Wild Arctic. Dead Vines empties into the Infinity Falls area
  • Waters Edge Inn (near the entrance of the event) is "owned" by the man who unleashed the sirens onto SeaWorld
  • Odd quote: "The four themed bars was something that we've kinda added and not a lot of places have right now."
  • SeaWorld Orlando covers up props by day to preserve the family friendly daytime experience
Random things I scribbled down as I listened:
  • Host asked how a middle aged mom could get involved with entertainment at SeaWorld Parks
  • Host brought her eight your old daughter to Howl-O-Scream Orlando
  • Host and her eight year old both wore no boo lanyards at the event
  • Host's final question: what's the best thing you've ever seen in the world (answer: Christmas morning through the eyes of kids)
  • I don't think the host knows that there are houses at Howl-O-Scream events. She never mentioned them once
General Thoughts:
If you wanted a podcast for SEAS park enthusiasts, this ain't it. The mommy blogger energy is just about maxing out the charts here. The podcast was essentially what would happen if you stretched one of those super cringy, local news, morning show interviews with a legitimately knowledgeable park executive out over the span of half an hour. Very little actual substance to speak of.

Credit to this week's guest, Cindy Miller, though. She seemed knowledgeable and passionate about her new Orlando event. I'd love to listen to an actually interesting, in-depth interview with her about the event.

I also woulda liked to hear about more than just Orlando. This podcast is supposed to be a chain-wide ordeal from what I understand, but the only Howl-O-Scream the host even seem remotely familiar with was Orlando's. SWSD's event is also new this year—tell me what they're doing.

I would have also liked to have seen some mentions of the SEAS parks SeaWorld Orlando took their notes from for their Howl-O-Scream. Maybe it's just my Williamsburg bias showing through, but to mention the debut of Monster Stomp at SeaWorld without mentioning that it was ported from another park in the chain that actually created it sorta sucks. The Control Bar comes to mind on this front too. It would have been a great way to rope the chain's other parks into the discussion.

Next Episode Topic: Something about thrill rides.
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@Zachary is way behind on posting episode recaps.. they just released episode 4 yesterday...
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I plan to catch up. Between the articles, the holidays, travel, and more, I haven't prioritized this at all. 😋

Also, they released one, waited eons, and then released three? Very sane schedule...
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