Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sea World, Orlando - A Review

I really don't know how to say it any clearer. A visit to Orlando, Florida which does not included a side trip to Sea World is a definite missed opportunity.

Sea World is fantastic. The exhibits are accessible and there is a variety of things to do. The pace was much more relaxed than Disney and the close tie to nature and our impact on the planet must not be missed.

Feeding the dolphins was fabulous. The feeding area is well run and the dolphins are in view from both above and below the water. The underwater viewing area was very nice and provided a great view of the activity. I never knew that dolphins play with air bubbles (kind of like smoke rings) until I saw a dolphin blow a bubble and play with it. Wow.

The Shark Aquarium is awesome and designed to allow viewing sharks and the other residents of the aquarium from all angles. Unfortunately they use a moving walkway to ensure a flow of people through the shard part of the exhibit so my pictures did not turn out too great--but it was inspiring to see a shark swim over top of me with a mouth full of razor sharp teeth. I also spies a nurse shark dozing on a rock.

The Shamu show was awesome and inspiring. I figured out how to get the camera to take fast action shots when I actually press the button, so I am especially proud of the Orca's jumping out of the water pictures I took during the show.

One place to definitely stop is the Budweiser Hospitality House for two free cold beers. Hey, they are free. And the Clydesdales are worth a gander, too. As we visited the beer wagon and Clydesdale team were on display in the park complete with dalmatian!

There is so much to do in a more relaxing environment. The Penguin house is very special and also a must see during the day.

We visited the Polar Exhibit where there are Beluga Whales and Polar Bears. It is a first class exhibit made to imitate top of the world to include the Aurora Borealis.

And I do not want to forget the rides. We rode the Kranken--a really fast coaster complete with loops and twists. Early in 2009, they will open the Manta--which is a suspended coaster which looks to be really a good ride too. The Atlantis ride was open intermittently the day we were they so we wound up not riding it--but having ridden a similar (if not the same) ride elsewhere it looks to be a lot of fun too.

Recommendation: Definitely visit Sea World during a stay in Orlando. It is a top notch attraction and well worth a day. There are both educational and thrill adventures available.

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