16. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,
During the Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend, we played hookey off-resort and went to Sea World.

During the Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend, we played hooky off-resort and went to Sea World.

On our weekend trip to Orlando at the end of February, I was hesitant to invest in one-day Disney World tickets. The solution came easily to us. Thanks to the Sea World Entertainment Hero Salute program, military members and up to three dependents can get one day’s admission per year to one of the company’s parks: Sea World, Busch Gardens or Sesame Place.

We have taken advantage of this program many times, from Sea World when Jacob was a baby, to Sesame Place twice.

We met up our dear friends Andy and Suzy with their kids, who we joined on our last family trip to Walt Disney World in 2011 and Universal Studios in 2012. We absolutely LOVE hanging out with them and we’re so happy they took the time to join us last month. We spent the day before the half marathon at Sea World.

Enjoy some pictures and captions from our trip. I just have two things to talk about that I won’t cover in the captions:

1.) When we brought Jacob here as a baby in 2002-2004 (we had Florida Resident season passes), I remember the Shamu show being very full of education about the orca whales: their habitats, their intelligence, and facts about how they’re trained in Sea World. This time around, the show had very little dialogue from the handlers. There was a 5-minute movie about conservation at the beginning that was very inspirational and all, but the handlers didn’t say much. They merely helped with the signals for the orcas to splash us as much as possible. Of course the crowds love this, but I feel like Sea World did away with a good thing by removing all that education.

2.) Timmy saw the two large roller coasters, the Manta and the Kracken, winding its way through the park. All day he asked “When can I ride the roller coasters?” and all day our answer was “when we get to the ride entrance”. It was about 4 pm by the time we finally got to the entrance to the Manta, and he and our friends’ daughter Katie were both deemed too short. Timmy was incredibly upset — his hair was 54″, but he technically wasn’t.

Welcome to Sea World!

Welcome to Sea World! It’s wonderful being able to take this picture with the convertible top down!

Lucky for Dave and Andy, there was a craft beer festival going on in the park, for $20 you could get a 10-pour punch card.

Lucky for Dave and Andy, there was a craft beer festival going on in the park, for $20 you could get a 10-pour punch card.

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There were these kiosks where you could “taste” several companies’ craft brews.

At the Shamu show...we got there nice and early so we could sit in the splash zone...

At the Shamu show…we got there nice and early so we could sit in the splash zone…

Yep, Timmy was happy to be there :-)

Yep, Timmy was happy to be there with his Dippin’ Dots. :-)

They had this gimmick where you could text message your name to be shown on the big screens for this game you could play. Can you see "JacobTim" on the far right? That would be us :-)

They had this gimmick where you could text message your name to be shown on the big screens for this game you could play. Can you see “JacobTim” on the far right? That would be us :-)

The new camera was doing a fantastic job with the airborne shots, but I put it away not long after this for the rest of the show...since we were in the splash zone.

The new camera was doing a fantastic job with the airborne shots, but I put it away not long after this for the rest of the show…since we were in the splash zone.

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The four jumbo screens were very interesting to watch -- they could divide and combine easily to make one large screen, or two or four smaller screens.

The four jumbo screens were very interesting to watch — they could divide and combine easily to make one large screen, or two or four smaller screens.

A band on stilts.

A band on stilts.

While the Dads went off to finish their beer punch cards, the Moms and the kids did their own exploring. We let the kids do the navigating.

While the Dads went off to finish their beer punch cards, the Moms and the kids did their own exploring. We let the kids do the navigating.

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4-panel-SeaWorld

The kids enjoyed getting photographed inside the shark mouth.

 

Fun times!

Fun times!

This is the Manta coaster over our heads. You ride as if you're flying super-hero style.

This is the Manta coaster over our heads. The one that Timmy and Katie were too short to ride. You ride as if you’re flying super-hero style.

Climbing the walls.

Climbing the walls.

Instead, we rode on the Atlantis water flume ride. And got the picture. Ha!

Instead, we rode on the Atlantis water flume ride. And got the picture. Ha!

 

After the ride the kids enjoyed standing on the observation platform...getting wet.

After the ride the kids enjoyed standing on the observation platform…getting wet.

Learning about sea turtles.

Learning about sea turtles.

Build a video game, they will come. This was a "Rescue the Sea Turtles" type of game.

Build a video game, they will come. This was a “Rescue the Sea Turtles” type of game.