Another World - Sea World

Trip Start Sep 07, 2008
Trip End Dec 10, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Wednesday, November 19, 2008

We thought this might be an 'easier' day in terms of the fact, that there's no rides (or not many anywhere), but this place more that makes up with it with their shows!  What a day!

Before we chose Seaworld to visit, we looked seriously at the 'Dolphin Encounter' which is a separate park where you get the beach, food and drinks, and around 20 minutes to actually go in and swim with these amazing creatures with an all inclusive cost of around USD238 per person.  Now,  there's no discounts for children, so do the maths x 7 and the exchange rate, and you will see why we thought we could possible give it a miss.   Anyway our second option was the 'feeding of the dolphins' at Dolphin Cove,  Seaworld.   So that was first up.   You pay $7 for a little tray of sardines, and then you go in, groups at a time, and get to hand feed the dolphins and pat them, as they come up to you.  That dolphin experience cost us $35 (a much cheaper option) and Ok it's not the same as being in the water with them, but it was an absolute highlight, that we will always, always remember.  A real treat.

Straight after that we headed over to see Clyde & Seamore.   They are extremely talented sea lions, and star in their very own show.  It's a pirate show, with a big pirate ship as the background setting, and the trainers are dressed up appropriately.  It's a story of how a pirate captain tries to find treasure.  It's so genuinely funny, they are all up there (trainers and sea lions), having an absolute ball. This is not a show to take seriously, but to just marvel at how they can do this day after day, and make it all seem so fresh, and so real.   This was probably my favourite,  just for its sheer humor, and entertainment value.

For the others, their favourite was unanimously the dolphin show called 'Blue Horizons'.   This show involved a number of dolphins who simultaneously performed perfect acrobats, together with human acrobats that dived off swings, rode the dolphins, flew and danced through the air with harness, simulating the flight of birds, hence the whole performance was based on a girls dream, and the performers were all dressed like exotic birds.  The whole show, was an unbelievable spectacle, with clever choreography, colourful  costumes and of course all brought together by our friends from the ocean.   Not to be missed.

The other show we loved, was Shamu the Orca Whale.   Seeing these massive creatures hurl themselves out of the water was an amazing sight, and it was all based around dreams, and making your dreams come true.   We were shown a movie depicting a young boy, who had a dream to work with Whales and had a carving of a whale around his neck, the next thing this 'boy' who is now a man, and one of the trainers, appeared on stage, with this carving still around his neck.    As we had walked in to get our seats for this show, we were approached by a man that obviously works on the show, and he offered Tara an opportunity to 'star' in this show; she turned it down.  Harrison asked if he could be in it, but he didn't want to say yes until he knew exactly what he had to do, blow by blow.   I told him, that sometimes you just have to take a chance, and it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, but he too, would not take the plunge.   Needless, to say, when a young girl from the audience, got to stand up in front of everybody and tell them what her dream was, and was lead up to a small stage to stand right with these whales, and the carving placed around her neck, I could only look at Tara and Harrison ... what could I say?

 After we'd done all the shows, we went to see the Penguin Enclosure, The sharks, the stingrays  and on and on.  In between that, we went to Journey to Atlantis so the boys (and Greta) could get their 'ride fix'.  Great rollercoasters and Gary said it was the best log ride he'd done (including Disneyland). 

We finished up on the other side of the park at a ride called 'The Polar Express', where we went on a 'journey' to the North Pole to see Santa.  It was based on us catching a train, and was a motion ride, simulator etc, and I must admit I did find I get a bit dizzy, but obviously just showing my age.  You hop off and get to met Santa and all the North Pole animals, like the Polar Bears  - it was extremely well done.

Well nothing is complete without a play in the park.  Seaworld has its own version called Happy Harbour playground and is like a little carnival, with rides, merry-go-rounds, sandpits etc.  
I was pleased to just sit down and watch them burn that last bit of energy.

An incredible park, that was worth every cent it charged.  Yes it appears expensive at USD600 (but that is for 2 parks and includes Aquatica), but with all those animals to look after day after day, I'm happy to pay it.  The dedication of all the staff that are so talented it is an inspiration.

The lesson for today - live your dream.
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