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Old 03-01-2002, 03:08 AM   #1
UK Valerie
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Spennymoor Co. Durham
Posts: 119

Mike - Two and Two kids , please Day 6...Sea World and Jungle Jim's

Two and Two kids , please Day 6...Sea World and Jungle Jim's
We were definitely starting to feel the pace of 4 consecutive days " in the field
"...and dragged ourselves out of bed at 8.30 , and up to Sizzlers on I.Drive for
about 9.15 a.m. Our waitress Paula told us she was from Hungary and was really
an actress...Righto, Paula , two coffees please...but she was very attentive in all
fairness . Fortifying ourselves at the HUGE buffet several times soon woke us up
and we were ready to face another day of aching feet!
Hitting Seaworld by 10.15 or so I thought it was closed! Hardly any cars there at
all,and we parked within 20 yards of the entrance...a big difference compared to
IOA where you park in a different time zone. Straight through the entrance , you
could almost see the staff pleading for us to use their ticket machine , it was so
quiet.We picked up the park map which had show-times on the reverse and off
we went. Now Callum is a real fan of penguins ( strange for a boy of 7 , but
there we are )so he dragged us to Penguin Encounter. A question here, I know
the encounters are meant to be interactive but is Penguin Encounter Florida's
first " sniff & scratch " experience?! You can smell those penguins before you
enter their home...if you've been there you know what I mean...Phew!! Anyway
, holding my nose I entered and have to say it was a great experience...the
penguins are really cute . I like the split-screen effect so you can observe them
above and below water at the same time, they surprised me with their speed
and grace below the surface, Cutesville!. We stood on the top tier while Emilia
and Callum kept walking the wrong way on the walkway but since they were the
only ones on it we let them .
Coming out the kids saw Journey to Atlantis and begged to go on it....well,
perhaps I pushed them toward it and told them they were going on it, it was
pleasantly warm so no fears about getting wet! Straight on we went , there was
only one other couple in our boat...this is a really good ride , two or three false
alarms about the drop , then we hit it ! This is some serious drop , it really does
feel vertical...surprisingly we didn't get very wet and congratulated ourselves on
our skill ( don't know why ! )...then we rounded the bend and a voice boomed
out " You don't get away that easy ?" then we hit a switchback in the water and
took on board about 50 gallons , I vainly tried to hold Emilia over my head to
keep me dry....to no avail.Up the slope , a quick burst of sea-boat pretending to
be a roller-coaster and off we got . I suffered the most and the back of my pants
were SOAKED... looked like I'd really been frightened if you get my meaning!
For the next hour I was walking around like John Wayne...
We then went to watch the Clyde & Seamore otter show , this is very,very
similar i.e. identical to one at Zoomarine in Portugal so no real excitement but
well done anyway. Next up was Terrors of the Deep, impressive !!! Trying to
avoid the guides who outnumbered the guests we legged it to the underground
tube section....a fantastic feeling watching all those huge sharks swimming
above you and almost close enough to touch! Oh no !!.. speaking of deadly
creatures with huge white teeth there were two Seaworld guides at the end of
the moving walkway and no route of escape for us! OK , tell us about sharks ,
then ...like I've never watched David Attenbrough.....we extricated ourselves 10
minutes later and resolving not to enter any more cul-de-sacs off we went.
The Clydesdale Horse centre was next and we were lucky enough to arrive as a
photo opp. started ( actually I think the shark guides phoned ahead to tell 'em
we were heading that way and to get the horses out ). One of the mares had a
beautiful foal with her and they really are gentle giants, the kids loved it as did
Juliet and I. We had a walk through the stables , blimey I wish our house was
that tidy! Ow, only joking darling...
Leaving the horses I noticed the Hospitality Centre.....now this looked promising
, and indeed it was . I'd heard you could have free samples of their brew so I
allowed the family to drag me in , albeit reluctantly!! Now I don't know what
Americans call a sample but 2 of them would have totally ended my ability to
walk!! I bought Callum a "whassupp" t-shirt ..come on you've seen the
advert....and we decided now was a good time for drinks and cake....we were
still quite full from breakfast and we were going to Jungle Jim's later for a meal.
Suitably refreshed we headed for Wild Arctic...following Simon's advice we went
during a Shamu show to avoid crowds ( Yeah ! )and walked on to the helicopter
sim. This is brilliant , too and imho a sight better than Star tours..arriving at
Arctic base we left our helicopter and entered the most realistic twilight scene of
the Arctic imaginable , I thought it was awesome !! The beluga whales were
eerie , like white ghosts in the twilight ..and how big are those walruses! We
went to the viewing areas beneath and were again dumb-struck, if you haven't
done Wild Arctic , please do so ! It's just fantastic , so evocative and the whales
just glide by ......just go there .
The kid's played in Happy Harbour while we had a rest, then we hit the Shamu
show. Disappointingly this was only about 20% full, in fact I think everybody in
the audience got their faces up on the big video screen!! They certainly put on a
great show though and the fools in the splash zone got their reward..says Mr.
Crossing the bridge over the lake we visited Turtle Point and caught the end of
the Hawaiian Rhythyms show....this show seems a bit out of place to me but
enjoyable enough. Come on kids , let's do Kraken!!!! After Emilia changed shoes
( she's 4' 5" and a bit so we took her platform trainers with us for a bit of height
increase !!! ) we entered the lair of Kraken. This is some serious ride !!! Walking
straight on (try that in summer ) we were slowly hauled up the incline to a
height of some 150'...then Kraken slowly rounds the first bend and starts to
drop .At this point you can look straight down , but I don't advise it!, then off
you ggoooooooo!!!!!!!!!!! Twists and turns follow each other rather too fast for
my liking along with a few inverted loops , a flying journey below ground , a few
more 360 degree loops then home! This is a long ride , I would probably say the
longest we went on ...but while it's undobtedly a real thrill ride it's very smooth ,
no jerking or wrenching, and a real buzz. Two more walk-ons followed until we
got a photo we agreed on for the family souvenir. By now it was about 5 p.m. so
we paid a quick visit to Stingray Lagoon to feed 'em. This is good fun but after
swimming with the creatures only 2 days ago we were a bit blase, hhmmm, a bit
spoiled methinks.
Home , a quick change , and off to Crossroads to eat at Jungle Jim's ..a poor
man's Rainforest... We were seated by Paul...btw if you visit JJ ask for him ,
BRILLIANT GUY!!!! .The kids were given crayons and a colour-in menu which
occupied them whike we waited for dinner. Emilia had chicken, and burger for
Callum , DW had fajitas , I went for a half-rack of ribs. The food was very , very
good but the portions could kill if they ever fell off the plate onto you! They were
enormous even by Florida standards..although I managed to finish!!! The kids
had their new favourite of worms in mud , similar to sci-fi theatre at
MGM/DISNEY. We shared a creation of Hershey chocolate,marshmallows and
Graham crackers....about 4000 calories at a rough guess. The bill came to $41,
more than reasonable and Paul got a well deserved 20% tip, and we waddled
our way through the door.
Oh, look....Shops !! cried DW....and we bowed to the inevitable. The kids picked
up 6 beanies for $12 at a gift shop....btw this shop was doing a gift signing by
Kathy Beaumont the following Saturday, she was apparently the voice of Alice in
the film...just thought I'd let you know.Then on to a Body Shop type of place ,
where DW got some snow-globes in soap(!?!?) and other smellies . We got a
present for the M-in Law....... then generally window-shopped until we'd walked
off some of the food !! BTW does anyone know why there are so many shoppers
in stretch limos. in Crossroads...just curious.
By now it was coming up to 10.30 p.m. and we were feeling the pace....back to
Blue Bayou Drive, and bed beckoned.

Undetered by aching feet and sheer exhaustion we were sticking to the plan and
heading for Universal Studios tomorrow.....if we ever wake up.

P.S. I think these reports are getting longer, if so , do you want me to
abbreviate them? I don't want to start boring you good folks,let me
know.Trouble is , once I start it's like re-living the holiday !
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