This past Sunday, we decided to meet up with one of my long lost high school friends and her adorable five month old son for a bit of a catch up. The agreed meeting place? Sea World Orlando. And what a lovely way to spend an afternoon.
Upon our arrival, we had to stand in line to get our new season passes. Mark ordered them online so that we can go any time we want to. They are good for a year, and we were able to do it on a payment plan where we pay a little bit each month rather than a big lump sum. The plan we got also includes parking, which was great since it turned out to be $14 a day!
Once we’d got our passes (which didn’t take long at all!), we had to get our bag checked by security (it was full of snacks, bottles and diapers for Dexter) and then wait our turn to go through the turnstile. Inside, we waited for my friend, Lori, to show up so we could explore.
While we waited, we helped ourselves to one of the complimentary maps which had all the show times listed on it. Dexter took great pleasure in standing by himself searching the map for fun stuff to do.
Once Lori came through, we took her lead and went to go and see the dolphins. There are specific times when you can actually FEED the dolphins, but at the point we went through, they were just doing viewings. Still, it was great fun (though very crowded!), and Mark held Dexter at the water’s edge, where the amazing creatures came up to be petted and took turns leaping out of the water.
Because it was so crowded, we decided to go inside where we could view the dolphins from underneath the water. It definitely helped that that area was air conditioned!
We had some amazing views of the dolphins up close, and Dexter was mesmerised by them, reaching out to try and touch them through the glass.
Once we’d had enough time with the dolphins, we braved the 45 minute line to go and see the Turtle Trek, a three part experience where we got to see some amazing fish, turtles and manatees!
Dexter was again mesmerised watching the fish through the glass.
At the end of the Turtle Trek is a giant 3D 360 degree movie experience where you get to follow the life of one turtle from hatching out of his egg to making it out to sea, with all of the dangers that that entails. From seagulls trying to eat them, to underwater pollution to being caught in fishing nets, it is a beautiful movie that everyone can enjoy. Dexter obviously wouldn’t keep his 3D glasses on, but Mark simply hefted him onto his shoulders, and the kid was hooked watching the entire room become one giant movie screen.
I must admit that I did end up crying my eyes out at the film. A combination of being sensitive to animal suffering and having raging pregnancy hormones meant I couldn’t keep the tears from falling hard and fast. Mark thought it was adorable.
Unfortunately the Turtle Trek experience is pretty hard if you have small children in tow, and it is even harder when you are pregnant and the heat is immense. As they didn’t allow strollers inside, poor Lori had to carry her baby the entire way, and though Dexter walked for much of it, there were times we had to carry him as well. Plus, given there was nowhere to sit down the whole way through and the nearly 60 minutes we were in there, it meant we were completely exhausted when it was over.
We decided then to get some lunch and a drink and have a sit in the shade for a bit.
As Mark went and sorted out refreshments, Lori and I sat with the kids and watched them do what babies do.
By the time we’d eaten and had a bit of a rest, it was clear that us ladies were more than a little exhausted, and we decided it was best to call it a day. Mark was a little disappointed in leaving before we had a chance to see Shamu, but he quickly reminded himself that we have passes and can go ANY time we want.
We are looking forward to going back again soon, and this time we’ll have a better idea of what to expect. I can’t wait to see what other amazing sights there are to see within this beautiful oasis they call Sea World Orlando.