Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Spring Break Trip Day 5 SeaWorld Trip Report

Day 5 was our SeaWorld day!

I don't think I mentioned it earlier but the day before we had transferred to a resort (Hilton Grand Vacations at Seaworld) that was an official partner hotel with SeaWorld and was right across the street from the park. It was a beautiful resort that we loved staying at (we want to go back!) and so we figured we better hit up SeaWorld since we were right in its backyard. I was really surprised at how beautiful the SeaWorld was and how much we enjoyed our day. I was a little unsure of how our day would go because I was not familiar with the park but here was our schedule: 

I can't find my original itinerary but this one I screen shot as I was trying to update my show schedule the day of. Our first plans were to hit up Antartica, then Atlantis and then the Blue Horizons Dolphin show at 10:00. I had originally wanted to see Shamu at the latest show time at the end of the day but we were definitely not feeling a whole day of touring at this point so we moved Shamu up to 2:00. I wasn't sure of how the park was laid out (the map was confusing to me for some reason) so I just kind of hobbled this plan together from some various sources (easywdw has a few SeaWorld posts up on it). It ended up working pretty well as we just kind of did the things by the things we wanted to do. SeaWorld is much smaller than Disney and everything is very close together and if you tour in a somewhat organized fashion you can avoid walking back and forth across the park. 

Here we go! It was a beautiful morning for the quick walk to the park. It saved us $20 in parking fees! 




I loved that it really seemed like spring in Florida. 



We arrived at the resort right when they opened. They let us through the gates a bit before 9 (after the National Athem-it was nice!) and then we waited by Manta for the ropes to drop to the actual park. We were in a few small crowd of people, obviously not a big rush in the morning here. 

We headed straight for Antartica, which is the park's new attraction but it was down on this day. Bummer. We still walked through to see the penguin exhibit at the end. It was a neat display although it was pretty chilly in there as they kept it 34 degrees for the animals!

Next up was Atlantis which is park dark ride, part log flume, and part roller coaster. I wasn't sure what to think of it but it was fun! We rode twice with zero wait. 

And I wore my poncho. 

Up next was the Blue Horizons dolphin show and we arrived a few minutes before it started. I wasn't sure what to expect but whatever my expectations were they were blown away because this show was awesome!!! It was choreographed to music, had a little story, had other animals besides dolphins and was just super neat all around. 

My favorite were these two pilot whales (a little bigger than dolphins, in the same family) who were orphaned, rescued by SeaWorld and new to performing in the show. They were really just still babies and they did a great job! I had never even heard of a pilot whale before so I was impressed. They were a pretty dark blue color. 


The dolphins were so cute and playful and really stole the show. The photo of them all jumping together is from the grand finale- so cool!

A few separate times tropical birds would fly overhead as part of the show and they came out again for the finale as well. It was a neat surprise. 

Michael loved it!

Up next was Turtle Trek which I wasn't exactly was but turns out was a 3D movie in an IMAX dome type setting (but you had to stand). It was pretty neat and afterwards there was sea turtle viewing areas and a game kids could play to see if they could get their turtle to travel back to the beach where they were born. 



Up next was Manta. Scott and I decided to brave this roller coaster before eating lunch. It was crazy!

You are super strapped into your seat and you ride flying face down. I didn't know what was up or down while we were riding! It was very smooth and pretty short so not too bad. I was impressed I rode it! 

Michael had fun in the manta and shark aquarium right by the ride. 
DSC_0248_edited-1 We then took a little break for lunch and enjoyed eating bbq at Voyagers. It was a quick service cafeteria style lunch but really good food. 

Right after lunch we headed to the sealion show which was super cute and entertaining. It was set in a school and the two sea lions had to compete to see who would win the scholarship but there were plenty of highjinks along the way. My favorite was a cute little otter that kept popping up!


We headed right from the sealion show to One Ocean, the orca show. The killer whales are so beautiful and were fun to watch but the show just felt a bit lacking to me. Of course right after we returned is when SeaWorld announced that these will be the last killer whales at the park and they will be eliminating the shows in the future as well as their captive breeding program. It is all really interesting and stems from controversy about the Blackfish documentary. 

I thought they were beautiful and magnificent creatures!

After the show we headed to Wild Arctic which was right next door to the stadium. I again wasn't sure what this attraction was but it turns out it was a helicopter simulator ride that was pretty aggressive and bumpy. It "landed" you in an Arctic camp where you could see seals and beluga whales. It even had an iceberg!

We ended our day by spending a bit of time in Shamu's Happy Harbor in the same area which had tons of rides for small children to do. Michael and I rode the Shamu Express and he had fun doing the jumper and spending time in the ropes course. 

We called it a day around 4 and walked back to our hotel. We spent the rest of the day enjoying the pool and even ate at the restaurant by the pool (in our swimsuits!). It was good food, good drinks and we couldn't beat the convenience. 

I also enjoyed a nice cup of coffee from the coffee shop in our resort- yum!

If you asked Michael every day what his favorite thing was he would have told you swimming. He loved the resort pool as there were plenty of areas where he could stand by himself as well as big stairs to play on. This was probably the first time where I was not nervous for him at a pool- he did a great job staying by us in the water, not running off, and generally being responsible. It made for a super fun experience for both him and me! He had a great time and was a total fish (he especially loved putting on his water animal shows for us after seeing them at seaworld). 

We had a great day but we were definitely feeling tired. We had one more day of touring left- Legoland is up next!

Thanks for stopping by!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails