Our experience: SeaWorld

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The day we visited SeaWorld was sunny and hot, really hot. I did a bit of the homework and checked what shows were available, their locations and times, to try and plan a bit more the day. It worked kinda ok, except that we arrived there a bit later than planned and ended up changing the order of the shows a little.

The park was incredibly empty park, especially comparing to Universal Studios, which we visited a couple of days before, and it made us wonder if it was all the bad publicity that they had received in the past months/years, or if it is just because there is not that much to see and do.

The shows that we went to were:

Pets Ahoy – a presentation with pets (cats, dogs, mice, geese, pigs…). Seemed so random at SeWorld, but the girls liked it.

Pets Ahoy, cute show. Apparently these are all animals that SeaWorld rescued.

One Ocean – that’s the “famous” killer whales presentation. 25 years ago, they made the whales do way more things than now. Also, there was no trainers swimming with the whales this time. There is also an opening presentation talking about SeaWorld’s work rescuing animals, how important it is to respect the environment, etc. (*I thought it was part of One Ocean, but it’s a different “show”, just at the same place and just before the whales one. It’s called Ocean Discovery and it only happened at 11am, right the time that we were there). All full of good intentions, but the kids got extremely bored and didn’t enjoy the show that much. Laura was actually pretty annoyed that we were in the “wet area” and not a single drop of water came to us. I tried to explain to her that the whole thing wasn’t right, that we shouldn’t make wild animals do these things, that whales should never live in a tiny tank, that they belong in the ocean, etc, but she couldn’t care less about the whole thing. She just wasn’t impressed at all. I’m hoping it is a good thing, that she understands that there is no fun in seeing poor whales obeying a bunch of people in uniforms like they were in a circus.

The Orca shows are much low key now, after all the incidents in the past with trainers, etc. Amazing creatures, but so sad to see them performing shows like they are… pets.

Clyde & Seamore’s Sea Lion High – cute but a bit boring. Clyde and Seamore are two sea lions – from the size of it, I’m guessing they are like… teenagers? At the end, there was a giant one, who seemed VERY old. The kids didn’t enjoy it at all… they were more interested in eating popcorn than actually looking at what the poor sea lions were doing. Again, another tantrum from Laura for not being at the very front and getting wet.

Blue Horizons – we sat in the first row, Laura, Beatrice and I, so we could get proper wet. Unfortunately the view is not the best. Laura was really impressed with the show. Not so much with the dolphins – although she liked how agile and fast they were – but more with the acrobats. And of course, she was very pleased to get soaking wet. Beatrice hated and cried half way through and went to her father at the top.

Unlike the orca show, here the trainers interact a lot with the dolphins. It’s such a dynamic show and makes me feel guilty for loving it. Dolphins are adorable creatures and you can’t help but wish you could have one as a pet. Just wish, because it’s illegal (and wrong) to have one, ok? I saw very few in the wild; they are even better in their natural habitat!

 

Before the show, waiting and waiting. This hair is not wet from the sea water but from sweat. It was boiling hot and we were all sticky.

 

Changing positions, so I could protect them both from the splashes (they don’t like water on their faces, especially salty water)

 

Proper splashed, although I don’t think it’s possible to see how wet Laura’s tee was in this photo.

 

All wet – now from the show – and a bit happier after she changed clothes.

We missed all the animal talks and encounters, although we’ve seen the dolphins in the nursery and sharks and sting rays in a tank. Also, because we were so focussed on the shows, we missed some of the other attractions, such as the Antartica ride (40 min queues for the ride and 30 minutes non-ride), Turtle Trek, Wild Artic or Sky Tower. Nobody wanted to go to the roller coasters (although one of the boys went to Manta on his own). Both the other mum and I went to Journey to Atlantis, a water ride with a drop or two. They advertised it as you getting really wet, but it was no more than a few drops. The queue for this one was huge and so so slow… I think we were there for an hour.

The Dolphin Cove: we arrived there a few minutes too late and the food had finished. This was probably one of the encounters that we all felt sorry for missing. (I did feed and touch them 25 years ago, so I’m not THAT sorry).

The new roller coaster claims to be Orlando’s fastest, tallest and longest roller coaster. Have fun those who enjoy it; I’m not a roller coaster fan for nearly 10 years now.

We took the kids to Shamu Harbor and they finally started enjoying themselves for good. Until then, I had to listen to Laura moaning that “this trip is so boring, we only get to go where you want to go”. And we were thinking that we were planning a nice day for them… Finally it all changed at the kids area, and they went to the roller coaster a few times, a boat/slide thingy that both Laura and Beatrice loved, an elevator that drops and a few other rides. I went with Beatrice to other two baby-ish rides – a train and one of those “mad tea party” type of spinning cups, while the bigger girls went to the roller coaster, just because of height restrictions. Later we found out that they weren’t checking it at all. She ended up going to two other rides with height restrictions and nobody checked. There was little to no queues, which was brilliant.

 

The free fall elevator for kids. Check out Beatrice’s size on the thing.

 

Spinning round and round…

 

With a new friend at the choo-choo-train.

 

Spinning and going high up in the sky. That thing was tiny and really hard for an adult to squeeze in. Luckily I’m short, but the other couple… poor them.

 

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Beatrice enjoying the rocking-spinning boat, she went at least 3 times.

 

The beautiful sunset at the end of a long and hot day!

So the day started bad, with three very moody and impatient girls, not happy about anything, but ended up brilliantly, with them having so much fun at the kids rides. Absolutely no need for the animal shows, which makes you wonder whether it is even worth going there again, considering that we didn’t even bother with the adults rides.

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