Silver the Horse patiently waits for his cue (and blocks the door to the bathroom.)
…that said, “housed” might not be the right word here! As you can see, the theater used to be open-air. It was enclosed after the dolphin show left, to accommodate an R.L. Stein-themed “4-D Movie Experience.” After that and a few other “4-D Movie Experiences,” the theater was re-re-done to make way for the animal show.
The backstage there is pretty tight, and the theater has one bathroom, hidden behind the animals’ commissarry. Need to freshen up before your set? You might make it there, only to discover the door is blocked by a horse, waiting for his cue to go on stage.
A fact of circus is that sometimes animals refuse to cooperate. In one show while I was there, the southern ground hornbill simply refused to fly from one side of the stage to the other. That calls for a show stop, which means that the audience sits patiently while the trainers coax the bird down with treats and friendly coos and calls Come down, Fester! Do your job, Fester! There’s a good fella.
The animals there all seemed happy and well behaved. It was during my time there that SeaWorld (Busch Gardens’ parent company) announced the end of its Orca breeding program, though… many guests at the park wondered if the trained animal shows would be next. Whatever your take on performing animals, we can all agree that these are heady times.