Friday, February 06, 2009

Saturday @ Sea World

-The longest Disney trip report ever comes to an end -

There are many wonderful perks that we are blessed to enjoy through the military. One of our favorites on the side of fun are the great deals we get at Disney & Sea World. Busch parks offer free tickets to active duty military persons and their immediate family once a year. We didn't use our Sea World day the past two years and were very excited about going this time!!

Growing up I always loved Sea World almost as much as Disney. I dreamed of being a "Shamu trainer", though I never have liked to actually swim. (I'm a lay on a float kinda girl) The Shamu show makes me cry, always has. I have no idea what it is about the beautiful creatures and music, but it gets me every time!! It absolutely amazes me at what they've done to the park over the years, it's sure come a long way. I'm not just talking about the addition of thrill rides, though "Kraken" is fantastic!!! (and they are building a new coaster now) I'm talking about the way you can pet & interact with the critters, the beauty of the park and the feel of it all. It's an awesome place!!

Though I need to add here that the interaction goes and comes. When we were there a few trips ago you could walk up to the edge of the new beautiful and huge dolphin area and pet them if they came up. The staff was there to call them up with whistles from time to time. Andy & I both got to love on a few dolphins and even throw a basketball to play with one guy. It was absolutely awesome. They have changed it to a money maker now though and I was disappointed. You can't get to the edge of the area unless you pay to feed the dolphins, otherwise you're a fence behind just to view. Why does it always have to be a money maker??

We plan to make it to their sister park Discovery Cove eventually where you can spend the day interacting with critters: swimming with dolphins, snorkeling with fish, etc.... You reserve a day and they only allow so many into the park each day, it looks amazing! They also now have a water park and it looks fun too. (I did a dolphin interaction on my first cruise with "the girls" years ago, so amazing. We talk about doing one again on a cruise, but it's always so expensive and we've never broken down to do it.)

We started off visiting the Sea Lions which absolutely crack me up. I could sit on a bench and spend hours watching them!! I love how they bark and beg for you to feed them fish, so funny! (Watch out for the birds though, b/c they will snatch the fish outta your hand in a flash!) The sea lions were swimming, sunning on the rocks and a few were cuddling or fighting. Fun times......

Look at this little guy with his Mommy soaking up some sun. So sweet!!! How can you not love them?!

This guy made me laugh out loud. He was hanging out on the rocks, with his head soaking in the water. Absolutely hilarious!! He stayed that way the entire time we hung out to watch him!!!

We were not impressed with the dolphin show at all. It was the first time ever I walked out of a Sea World stadium saying "are you kidding me?" They have really "fluffed it up" with people flying through the air and swiming on things, it's way more of an aerial "people" show than a dolphin show. I would have rather watched them swim around the tanks on their own than watched the people flying through the air. It was a sad let down!! This was the few minutes that the dolphins were actually out there swimming.

We thought it was interesting that there are currently 6 females Orca's (killer whales) at Sea World and 2 babies, but no males. I need to research a little online. I wonder if they have recently "lost" the Daddy Shamu? (Amber, do you know??) They had a hard time starting the show because a Mommy and baby were hanging out in the "big tank" and wouldn't go "back stage" for the trainers. It was neat to watch them swim around and do their own thing though and have the trainers just talk about them and their natural behviors, rather than a planned stage show. Eventually they got Mommy & Baby to do a few things and she was spinning around in this picture like a "break dancer" while baby was saying hi! So funny!! The show went on soon after this. My favorite show is the night time Shamu show though, but this time we didn't stay all day and missed the after dark show.

We didn't get to see "Clyde & SeaMore" and if you are a Sea World regular, you know them! The sea lion, otters and walrus are absolutely hilarious in their show. We just couldn't get it all in and I can't handle all day in the parks right now. We did also see the Pet's Ahoy show and we love it, it's a favorite. The entire show is all sorts of pet critters and it's a hoot!! (dogs, cats, pigs, birds, ducks, etc...)

We visited the Clydesdales, they are always amazing. Andy loves when they have them out and all hooked up to the wagon, but they were just hanging out while we were there. Andy has become such a horse lover and it's exciting since I grew up with a horse when I was young. If we ever get out with some property, we're for sure going to be horse owners!! He's been reading horse books, we love horse movies and he loves visiting them anywhere! How adorable is my husband? *sigh* He's so good to me, I'm so blessed!

The new Artic area of the park is really awesome. You can do a "walk through wimpy" way to get in where you sit down and watch a short 5ish minute movie first before you get to the animals, we've done it both times because I'm wimpy. The other side is a ride motion simulator and those things make me SO sick!! Once you get in though, it looks like you are at a research station in the Artic, great themeing. The aniamls in there are awesome and again, I could spend all day watching them. Here is a clip of the walrus, you can not believe how huge they are unless you are standing there comparing yourself to them. It's unreal!!

We love Sea World!


Amber said...

Well, I recently paid to go to Universal (gasp!), so maybe I'll pay to go to Sea World some time. I'm always waiting for free tickets to fall in my lap.

Anonymous said...

Hi... just happen to cross your site...

Im planning to go to Tokyo or Hong Kong Disney this Christmas. Hoho and I found some stuffs from Hong Kong Disneyland here as well:

I will definitely take tones of photos there!!!