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Old 10-30-2013, 03:31 PM   #1
Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina
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Who has done a SW tour?

Looking for feedback on the various tours offered by SW....thinking specifically of the Sea Lion or Penguin behind-the-scenes tours, but would love to hear from those who have done any of them. I thought it might be a fun addition to our August trip. We have been to SW multiple times so this might keep things fresh and exciting .

I did read the great review of the beluga interaction tour as another poster reported on below .

Anyone else have any experiences they care to share? Worth the added cost, or no? We would be two adults and one or two teens (DS may be bringing a friend).

I am hoping for some input before we go ahead and purchase our DC admission. If one of these tours is worthwhile, we might skip the dolphin swim at DC (make our reservations day resort only) and add on a SW tour instead.
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Gina and her two guys ...conquering awesome Orlando, one offsite attraction at a time!

Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 10-30-2013, 04:00 PM   #2
foxxxy83
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Have not done any of the tours but have done interactions with all manner of marine life all over the world and DC offer one of the best dolphin swims as opposed to the dolphin interaction SW used to offer (did one at SW San Diego in '01) where you kneel on a ledge, the dolphin swims up and you give it a hug/kiss etc. That kind of interaction I can understand for a bigger animal like the Beluga Whale but not a dolphin. Only ever done one dolphin interaction that was better than the one we had a few wks ago at DC and that was at a place in Portugal. If you've never swam with dolphins before, SERIOUSLY DON'T MISS DC!! Hope that helps!
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Old 10-30-2013, 04:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxxxy83 View Post
Have not done any of the tours but have done interactions with all manner of marine life all over the world and DC offer one of the best dolphin swims as opposed to the dolphin interaction SW used to offer (did one at SW San Diego in '01) where you kneel on a ledge, the dolphin swims up and you give it a hug/kiss etc. That kind of interaction I can understand for a bigger animal like the Beluga Whale but not a dolphin. Only ever done one dolphin interaction that was better than the one we had a few wks ago at DC and that was at a place in Portugal. If you've never swam with dolphins before, SERIOUSLY DON'T MISS DC!! Hope that helps!
Thanks foxxxy . We have actually been to DC before.....twice . This would be visit #3. First visit we did the dolphin swim, the second visit we skipped the swim and got a cabana. Loved both experiences immensely .

The friend that may be coming with us has never been to Florida, so DC (and any attraction in Orlando) will be all new for her.

Since our immediate family of 3 has all done the dolphin swim, that's why I wondered if doing a SW tour would be a better use of our vacation budget. The difference between the dolphin swim and day resort is $80 pp. SeaWorld's penguin encounter is $59 pp. The sea lion one is $39.

Hmmm...what to do, what to do? :

Perhaps I should start buying lottery tickets so I don't have to choose, and could just do them all .
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Gina and her two guys ...conquering awesome Orlando, one offsite attraction at a time!

Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 10-30-2013, 04:53 PM   #4
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We did the Up Close and Personal with Dolphins a number of years ago and really enjoyed it. You have a talk from the trainer about the dolphins then are split into groups, we were just the two of us the rest were bigger family groups, each with a trainer and off to the Dolphin nursery. We were at a roped off area at the far side of the pool the public could watch from the other side but there weren't many and didn't disturb the interaction.

The dolphins were Mums and offsprings and as always it was only if they wanted to play but generally you would have two as the offspring would tag along. The trainers showed us the hand movements to bring and send the dolphins away. This is a couple of very bad photos of mine of my daughter but there was a photographer on the other side of the pool who took photos and were available to buy.

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Old 10-30-2013, 06:34 PM   #5
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You don't even get to go in the water?? Wow!! Sorry to the PP.. I realise you and your family enjoyed it and am sure others would too. I just would've expected to at least be knelt down in the water with them etc is all.
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Old 10-31-2013, 10:18 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by foxxxy83 View Post
You don't even get to go in the water?? Wow!! Sorry to the PP.. I realise you and your family enjoyed it and am sure others would too. I just would've expected to at least be knelt down in the water with them etc is all.
I'm not sure why you would expect to get in the water when the tour doesn't suggest you do

Its an hour tour discovering how the trainers train the dolphins and you get the opportunity to use some of the techniques the trainers use with the dolphins.

OP, our local zoo has loads of penquins who go for a walk round the park with the zoo keepers, kind of like the flamingos at Seaworld and to be honest the penguin enclosure smells on a sunny day, despite being an open space, so its never appealed to me in the heat of Florida

The sea lion tour appeals as the Clyde and Seamore show is such fun and the tour is billed as being fun so its one we would quite like to do next year.
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Old 10-31-2013, 11:58 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by edinburghlass View Post
The sea lion tour appeals as the Clyde and Seamore show is such fun and the tour is billed as being fun so its one we would quite like to do next year.
The sea lion tour is my favourite among them as well . The tour description says you get a photo with them at the end, and I'm a sucker for those kinds of opportunities .

When were you planning on visiting next year? Before or after my visit in August?
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Gina and her two guys ...conquering awesome Orlando, one offsite attraction at a time!

Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 10-31-2013, 01:08 PM   #8
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We are going in May so if we do the tour I will certainly let you know how it goes. Our Clyde and Seamore visit this year was hysterical, everything that could go wrong did and it was so funny

I would love a tour on how they train all the animals for Pets Ahoy, another of our favourites, it is just amazing
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edinburghlass View Post
We are going in May so if we do the tour I will certainly let you know how it goes. Our Clyde and Seamore visit this year was hysterical, everything that could go wrong did and it was so funny

I would love a tour on how they train all the animals for Pets Ahoy, another of our favourites, it is just amazing
I would very much appreciate that!!

We love the Clyde and Seamore show too. DH is still a little miffed that the mime made some serious fun of him on our last visit (DH is a BIG guy, so the mime walked behind him and beat on his chest, mimicking that DH was an ape ) but I am sure he will forgive him by August .

And I agree....Pets Ahoy is amazing. I mean, I can't get my fat cat to move over far enough on the bed for me to sleep comfortably at night, so it dumbfounds me as to how they get those small animals to co-operate so well .
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Gina and her two guys ...conquering awesome Orlando, one offsite attraction at a time!

Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 10-31-2013, 04:02 PM   #10
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ha, ha, we were at rope drop for Clyde and Seamore just so we could laugh at the mime guy without being a part of it

We are cat people too and suffer the same problem, cat in the middle of the bed and you hanging off the edge.

Perhaps we should petition Seaworld for a new behind the scenes tour of Pets Ahoy
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Old 10-31-2013, 07:30 PM   #11
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Perhaps we should petition Seaworld for a new behind the scenes tour of Pets Ahoy
I'm up for that!
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Gina and her two guys ...conquering awesome Orlando, one offsite attraction at a time!

Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 10-31-2013, 08:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxxxy83 View Post
Have not done any of the tours but have done interactions with all manner of marine life all over the world and DC offer one of the best dolphin swims as opposed to the dolphin interaction SW used to offer (did one at SW San Diego in '01) where you kneel on a ledge, the dolphin swims up and you give it a hug/kiss etc. That kind of interaction I can understand for a bigger animal like the Beluga Whale but not a dolphin. Only ever done one dolphin interaction that was better than the one we had a few wks ago at DC and that was at a place in Portugal. If you've never swam with dolphins before, SERIOUSLY DON'T MISS DC!! Hope that helps!
I have to respectfully disagree. I too have done dolphin swims all over the USA and carribbean. Of all of them I'd say DC was the worst!! It was so boring, mechanical, predictable, and to top it off, the trainer was rude and horrible! I'll never go again. Plus the lazy river was COLD! We left before 2:30. I also have had interactions with all manner of marine life. My username pretty much sums up my life!
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:17 PM   #13
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I have to respectfully disagree. I too have done dolphin swims all over the USA and carribbean. Of all of them I'd say DC was the worst!! It was so boring, mechanical, predictable, and to top it off, the trainer was rude and horrible! I'll never go again. Plus the lazy river was COLD! We left before 2:30. I also have had interactions with all manner of marine life. My username pretty much sums up my life!
Definitely not our experience. While I don't have any other dolphin encounters to compare it to, we certainly didn't find the interaction to be boring. We had the most wonderful trainer who was super friendly, very patient, and very informative. And the lazy river was bathwater warm .

Sorry to hear you didn't have a good experience there. Considering the rave reviews DC gets on TripAdvisor, it sounds like you must have visited on an off day for sure.
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Gina and her two guys ...conquering awesome Orlando, one offsite attraction at a time!

Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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Old 11-05-2013, 04:12 PM   #14
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We did the Behind the Scenes Tour and the Dolphin Up Close tour. Both were great and well worth the price. My word of advice for the dolphin tour. Enjoy it and don't worry about taking pictures. There is a photographer on the other side of the pool taking pictures of your family during the whole interaction. We were a group of 7 and I spent most of my time taking pictures of the group instead of enjoying it. You can purchase the photos or a picture CD of all photos taken. I believe the CD was around $40.00. It has a release on it to have them printed out.
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:23 PM   #15
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My word of advice for the dolphin tour. Enjoy it and don't worry about taking pictures. There is a photographer on the other side of the pool taking pictures of your family during the whole interaction. We were a group of 7 and I spent most of my time taking pictures of the group instead of enjoying it. You can purchase the photos or a picture CD of all photos taken. I believe the CD was around $40.00. It has a release on it to have them printed out.
I wonder if there is a photographer assigned to each of the tours? (the sea lions and the penguin too?)
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Gina and her two guys ...conquering awesome Orlando, one offsite attraction at a time!

Jan. 2009....onsite at POR: all 4 Disney Parks
Jan. 2012....offsite on I-Drive: Universal Studios, IOA, SeaWorld, & Discovery Cove
Aug. 2012...Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and more
Dec. 2012...onsite at SW! Christmas week at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Gatorland, airboats, & holiday fun
**Christmas 2012 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3041415
Aug. 2013....Sheraton Vistana Resort: Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Cocoa Beach & more! **August 2013 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3167818

Aug. 2014.....SVR, SW, DC, AQ, TL, Daytona & MORE! **August 2014 Trip Report: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=51863899


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