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Old 01-01-2009, 02:30 PM   #1
Pinky166
a little on the OCD side
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They don't call me "Clever Claire" for nothing!
 
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Thumbs up Getting ill with the Maguire's!!! Trip report, Day 4…..Seaworld

Cast:

Me = Claire (33), massive Disney fan, chief planner…(a little on the OCD side ) obsessive shopper, addicted to scrapbooking and very impulsive which doesn’t bode well for our credit cards!

Hubby = Lee (34), not a massive Disney fan but still enjoys it, adrenaline junkie, easy going and the sensible half of our partnership!


4th December 2008.

We were awake around 6.30am. Lee went down to Starbucks and got us both a Latte. I was feeling pretty groggy so dozed in bed for an hour then we both got showered & for our day at Seaworld!

We arrived and parked Sally in the second row , we got to the turnstiles just as they opened. I went straight to the Guest Services desk to check in for our Predators tour & Dine with Shamu that we have booked for today. Meanwhile Lee took some pics of the Christmas tree just inside the park entrance.



I also took a photo of Manta, the new ride they are building right by the entrance.



We had a while before the Predators Tour started at 10.45 so we decided to start heading towards the Shamu stadium as that is where the meeting point is & to grab a snack somewhere along the way. We stopped off at Turtle Cove & then the Stingray Lagoon first. After checking the times of the restaurants on the park map they don’t actually open until 10am.

We wouldn’t have time to eat before our tour so instead we went on the Polar Express Experience, which has replaced Wild Arctic (just for the Christmas period).



It was really good and showed a short version of the film, then as you exit and walk through the Beluga Whale, Polar Bears & Walrus exhibits they had lots of Christmas trees & everything was signposted to the North Pole.



Then near the end was Father Christmas!! It was really sweet and all the children nearby were so excited and queued to meet Santa. Unfortunately we were in a hurry to get to the meeting point for our tour so we couldn’t really stop to take pics at the exhibits like we usually do.

We rushed to the meeting point and we were the first to arrive. Our guide appeared shortly after her name was Sand, she was from New York. We waited about 5 mins for the rest of the group to show up. Two ladies arrived, they were from Atlanta & finally a family of 6 (from the UK, somewhere up north but I can’t remember where) arrived to complete our group. We started by going into the backstage area of the Shamu Stadium, Sand told us lots about the Killer whales and the differences between living in the wild & in captivity, we also learned a little about the training program they run and also how they care for the whales. It was very informative and we got to see the whales swimming about in the tanks behind the stage, we were able to take photos but we weren’t allowed to get too close to the pools though.





We then walked over to the Shark area, we went through a gate to the staff area and through a back door into one of the buildings. There was a big mural painted on the wall of lots of different types of sharks. Our guide talked about the differences between shark species. There was also a tank with two sharks in & we were allowed to stroke them! They were about two foot long & felt quite rough which was surprising as we all thought they would be smooth.

Here is a pic of the type of shark but I haven’t got a pic of the actual one we touched…no idea why! I think we must have been so excited to touch it that we forgot!



Sand then spoke about how a surfer can be mistaken for prey….ie a turtle or a Sealion and that is why marine experts believe that sharks attack humans. You can tell by the painting they had on the wall how it easily a surfer could be mistaken from a sharks perspective!



It was then time for the last part of the tour, we got to go upstairs to the top of the viewing tank. It was interesting seeing it from this angle as we had previously only seen it from the Sharks Grill restaurant and from the viewing tunnel. We were on a three foot wide ledge with no barrier between us & the water and could clearly see all the sharks swimming below.

The photos are a bit dark but you can just about see some sharks and in the second one you can even make out the people in the viewing tunnel.





It was just over an hour to do the tour and I thought it was worth every penny, it cost just $12 per person! I would highly recommend it.

We were hungry by the time the tour finished and headed to Voyagers for lunch. Lee had BBQ rotisserie chicken with fries & corn on the cob. I had a slice of pepperoni pizza & fries. Mine was ok but lee's chicken was really pink and he didn't eat much of it.

Cont'd below.....
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Old 01-01-2009, 02:37 PM   #2
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We had a look in a few of the gift shops as we made our way to Pacific Point Preserve where I fed the Sealions & Seals. I love doing this and can easily spend a fortune feeding them! I got 4 trays for $15 – expensive but it has to be done! Then Lee got 4 trays & he fed them too.





Having a power nap…..



Just as Lee finished & went to wash his hands I noticed that the staff had wheeled out a trolley with lots of buckets of food on up at the top of the exhibit, they were chucking the fish in by the bucket load and it was a massive feeding frenzy. We ran up a bit closer and took some photos it was so much fun watching them!



We headed over towards the Shamu stadium as Believe was starting soon. We had a few games in the arcade on our way. We got to the stadium just as they started letting people in, we grabbed a bottle of water & a Churro each and took our seat. It was a great show as always, I never tire of watching it. They had an 18 month old performing with her mum – too cute!!







After the show it was time for our Dine with Shamu reservation so we walked to ‘The Cove’ which is the entrance point and waited to be checked in & seated. We had table no 13 and it was right against the edge in the middle! Perfect! It pays to book on the day of release. Our server took our drinks order, Budweiser for Lee & coke for me (I was really dosed up on cold & flu tablets) – all food & drinks are included in the price, even the beer. We got some food from the buffet…I should point out that I am really fussy and didn’t really eat anything so I can’t really comment on the food but everyone around us seem to be enjoying it all and going back for more. I did however have some of the deserts, they had lots of mini cakes, chocolate covered strawberries, cookies & sweets for the kids.

Whilst we were all being seated and getting food the trainers put a large blue plastic disk in the water, approx 6 foot in diameter & weighed 100lbs! They then put lots of fish around the edge with barely an inch of the tail hanging off the side of the disk. They then floated it into the middle of the tank and two of the killer whales spent ages pushing it around and gently getting the fish off of it. It was incredible to see how gentle they can be.





One of them got a little bored after a while and tried a different approach…..



Once everyone had been seated & was eating they had a trainer come out and introduce a whale, Tillicom (she is their largest killer whale & the one who does the tail splashes during the shows) we were so pleased that it was Tilly as back in 2003 we did a Trainer for a day experience and she was the whale we met up close – real close!!!

They told us lots of interesting facts about all the whales and Tillicom did lots of jumps, they also sent her over to the edge in various positions so we could all get a closer look & photos.



She was so close here that I could have reached out and touched her (but obviously you are not allowed to.)



You also have the trainers come around to your table and answer any questions you may have. It is a great experience and I would highly recommend it. Cost $42 per person.

Once we had finished it was almost time for the Christmas Special Shamu show….Miracles! I will include this in my report for Day 6 as it was so good we saw it twice!

When the show finished it was park closing time and we headed to the park exit via the Waterfront area to see all the Christmas decorations lit up….it was so pretty. Again I will post pics on Day 6.

We got back to the hotel at 7.30pm and although it was early I had a really bad sore throat & headache so we just chilled in the room watching TV and downloading all the photos to the laptop. I feel asleep about 9.30pm.

Coming soon……Day 5 – SHOPPING!!!!!
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Old 01-01-2009, 02:57 PM   #3
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Great photos Claire, especially the one of the seal looking straight at the camera.
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Old 01-01-2009, 03:02 PM   #4
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Awesome photos, Claire - can I be cheeky and ask what camera you use?

Looking forward to hearing more about Miracles BTW...

We did the Dine with Shamu experience a couple of years ago and loved it...
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Old 01-01-2009, 04:05 PM   #5
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They don't call me "Clever Claire" for nothing!
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CustardTart View Post
Awesome photos, Claire - can I be cheeky and ask what camera you use?

Looking forward to hearing more about Miracles BTW...

We did the Dine with Shamu experience a couple of years ago and loved it...
Not at all cheeky hun. It is a Canon EOS 20D, it is a couple of years old now the newer version is the 40D I think.
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Old 01-01-2009, 04:07 PM   #6
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Great photos Claire, like me I think you enjoy your photography?
Not the biggest fan of Seaworld myself but I can see you had a really enjoyable day - Polar Express sounds fun
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Old 01-02-2009, 02:51 AM   #7
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Fab photos Claire, i love the sealions
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Old 01-02-2009, 03:20 AM   #8
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fantastic photos Claire
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Old 01-02-2009, 05:00 AM   #9
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Thanks for posting, I have been waiting for this report since you finished your last one. I am so pleased you went to Sea World as for the first time in December we missed Sea World out with the December holiday being a bonus holiday and saving costs plus only going for 10 days. So I was especially pleased to see the Xmas tree and other festive decorations as I would have liked to have seen them.

Looking forward to your next one.
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Old 01-02-2009, 11:27 AM   #10
Pinky166
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Thank you all for your kind comments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppyAnna View Post
Great photos Claire, like me I think you enjoy your photography?
Not the biggest fan of Seaworld myself but I can see you had a really enjoyable day - Polar Express sounds fun
Both Lee & I love taking pictures Joanne, we take thousands but most end up getting deleted as we are not very good. Infact when we were in Orlando we talked about maybe doing a photography course but haven't had time to look into it yet.
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Last edited by Pinky166; 01-02-2009 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 01-02-2009, 11:36 AM   #11
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Brilliant day and stunning photos, sorry to hear you were not feeling too well
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Old 01-02-2009, 12:02 PM   #12
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Great pics, we went to dine with Sahmu last year and loved it. We were pleasently suprised by the food
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:56 AM   #13
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Wonderful photos Claire.

I love Seaworld. Can't wait to hear all about the Shamu show.
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Old 01-03-2009, 01:00 PM   #14
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Claire your photos are fab, love the christams trees
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Old 01-03-2009, 01:36 PM   #15
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Great update Claire,love your pics especially the seal-i love them.
Another churro lover here-i can't get enough of them when i'm over there.x.
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