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Old 09-08-2011, 09:05 PM   #31
declansdad
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Evening all,

No practices or games tonight so time for an update. But before that, on this first day of the NFL season, I got to see the Grey Cup today. For our friends from south of the border, it is the cup that goes to the Canadian Football League champion. Teams have been fighting for this cup for 102 years. Here is what it looks like.



Oh yah, there were a couple of Hamilton Ti-Cats cheerleaders there too.


OK, let's head back to Orlando.


August 17th

So today was our first visit to SeaWorld and we knew the one thing Declan and I wanted to Ride was Manta (Pooksma was still on the fence). Before heading our we needed to have some breakfast and get our front-of-the line passes.

First stop, 8 am - the concierge desk. Here they gave us our coupons for the passes. These were free courtesy of the hotel. They gave us coupons for both days so we wouldn't have to stand in line on day 2. They also asked us to sign up for the Marriott Vacation Club presentation. If we did it, they would give us $100 gift card. We passed on this one.

Free breakfast was next and it was a bit busy. We found a table that had a Starbucks cup sitting on one end so Declan and I grabbed the table. (Starbucks was a hotel selling point for Pooksma and she became good friends with the lady working the counter.) As soon as we set down, this lady came running over saying it was their table, she had set her cup there to save it. I didn't want to get into to it so I said we would move but it looked like nothing more than an empty Starbucks cup to us.

Quick breakfast and back up to the room but the key wouldn't work. I took the elevator back down and the clerk reprogrammed the key. Back up to the 6th floor, key doesn't work, back down to the front, clerk checks the key and says it is a good key, she have maintenance meet me at our door. Back to the 6th floor, 5 minute wait for maintenance, tries our key with no luck and no light on the lock. Uses his key to let us in and says they will need to send someone to fix the lock. We decide to try our other key that we had left in the room and it works. We tell him not to worry about it, we will just use the one key.

We grab our stuff and hurry down to catch the 9 am shuttle because there isn't another until 10:30. We could have walked but we were on the opposite side of SeaWorld from the gate. Takes abut 10 minutes to get to the park with an stop at Aquatica and one other hotel. We stop at one of the kiosks on the way to the gate to get our park and free dining passes. We get our front-of-the-line bracelets just inside the entrance.

We skipped by the Shamu picture and headed into the park. The first thing we come across is this:







This is an amazing ride! A bit scary at first with the climb and the laying on your belly position you are in but once you hit that first drop the excitement doesn't stop. The wait time was listed as 20 minutes but our bracelets got us on right away. I don't think we ever waited for a ride at SeaWorld.

Couple more Manta pictures:

This is the opening climb



This is the bottom of the first drop.



We grabbed our stuff from the locker and headed towards Journey to Atlantis. Along the way we came across this trainer and her friend.




We found another locker and headed to the front of the line. Pretty good ride but it was showing some wear and tear. After the first ride Pooksma retrieved the camera from the locker and Declan and I went for another journey. This time we were in the front row.







On this ride it isn't the big drop that gets you wet, it is the people on the water canons and a much smaller drop just around the corner from the big drop.

Next up we headed to the other side of the park for the Clyde and Seymour show with a stop at the Penguin Encounter along the way





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Old 09-08-2011, 09:31 PM   #32
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August 17th - Part 2

After the penguins, we found seats for the Clyde and Seymour show. Declan wanted to be in the "Splash Zone" so we compromised on the last row of the zone. We were there in time to see the pre-show which is a pirate mime. I'm not a big fan of mimes but this guy was hilarious!









Here is a video of part of his routine. The show itself is cute and entertaining. The sea lions are pretty fun and very well trained.















Our next stop was the Shark Encounter. It was really cool to watch all these sharks swim around you but it was really creepy when one shark seemed to follow along beside us for most of tube.













The last two pictures are of the one that seemed to follow us.

After this we decided to grab some lunch with our free dining passes. To be honest the choices were limited and the food was ok but nothing fantastic. After lunch we headed to the dolphin feeding but something would come up to stop that from happening.

Stay tuned.
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Last edited by declansdad; 09-08-2011 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 09-09-2011, 12:47 AM   #34
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Thanks for sharing the first part of the SeaWorld day.

I will not be going on Manta....no way, no how...

Glad you got front of the line passes! Awesome perk!

Journry to Atlantis, is on our to-do list.

What no pic with Shamu?

The mime is hilarious! I'm looking forward to seeing him.

Those sharks don't scare me.
I may feel different if there wasn't all that glass protecting me.

Your pics are getting me excitted.
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:45 AM   #35
declansdad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Queenofallthings View Post
Well it is a done deal now...we'll definitely be heading to SeaWorld on our next trip! Great pictures! Manta looks so good...I can't wait to see my sister on that one

YOu will have to buy the ride picture of all of you on Manta and share it with us.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadianWDWfan View Post
Thanks for sharing the first part of the SeaWorld day.

I will not be going on Manta....no way, no how...

Glad you got front of the line passes! Awesome perk!

Journry to Atlantis, is on our to-do list.

What no pic with Shamu?

The mime is hilarious! I'm looking forward to seeing him.

Those sharks don't scare me.
I may feel different if there wasn't all that glass protecting me.

Your pics are getting me excitted.

We did Shamu on our second day and don't worry, there are lots of pictures. It truly is an amazing show.
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:42 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by declansdad View Post
First stop, 8 am - the concierge desk. Here they gave us our coupons for the passes. These were free courtesy of the hotel. They gave us coupons for both days so we wouldn't have to stand in line on day 2. They also asked us to sign up for the Marriott Vacation Club presentation. If we did it, they would give us $100 gift card. We passed on this one.
That's great that you get front of the line passes there. Probably a wise decision to skip the sales pitch though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by declansdad View Post
As soon as we set down, this lady came running over saying it was their table, she had set her cup there to save it. I didn't want to get into to it so I said we would move but it looked like nothing more than an empty Starbucks cup to us.
I guess it should be common sense and everyone should understand that a single cup on a table means it is being saved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by declansdad View Post
This is an amazing ride! A bit scary at first with the climb and the laying on your belly position you are in but once you hit that first drop the excitement doesn't stop.
Looks like an awesome ride. I've never been to Sea World, but I always love a good coaster. I'd love to go sometime and ride that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by declansdad View Post
We were there in time to see the pre-show which is a pirate mime. I'm not a big fan of mimes but this guy was hilarious!
I don't think I've ever seen the term "pirate mime" used before... ever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by declansdad View Post
Our next stop was the Shark Encounter. It was really cool to watch all these sharks swim around you but it was really creepy when one shark seemed to follow along beside us for most of tube.
You must have looked like a seal.
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Old 09-09-2011, 04:47 PM   #37
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I'm with Queenofallthings. We're going to add Sea World to our next Disney vacation. The Manta coaster looks fantastic!
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:41 PM   #38
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The SeaWorld pictures are great. We are going in June and I can't wait. Thanks for the pictures of the Springhill Suites. They have great deals but I was always worried it was a too good to be true kinda deal. Seems like it is safe to stay there.
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Old 09-10-2011, 07:05 AM   #39
declansdad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
That's great that you get front of the line passes there. Probably a wise decision to skip the sales pitch though.


I guess it should be common sense and everyone should understand that a single cup on a table means it is being saved.


Looks like an awesome ride. I've never been to Sea World, but I always love a good coaster. I'd love to go sometime and ride that.


I don't think I've ever seen the term "pirate mime" used before... ever.


You must have looked like a seal.
I've never be called a seal before, it must be Declan that looks like the seal.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Rozz View Post
I'm with Queenofallthings. We're going to add Sea World to our next Disney vacation. The Manta coaster looks fantastic!
It was a blast, I think over the 2 days we rode it 5 or 6 times.


Quote:
Originally Posted by reelmom View Post
The SeaWorld pictures are great. We are going in June and I can't wait. Thanks for the pictures of the Springhill Suites. They have great deals but I was always worried it was a too good to be true kinda deal. Seems like it is safe to stay there.
Springhill Suites was a very nice hotel. Very clean, still looks new, staff were all friendly and the location was pretty good for SeaWorld.
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Old 09-10-2011, 11:19 AM   #40
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Enjoying your report. Following along.
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Old 09-10-2011, 02:43 PM   #41
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There is life and fun outside of Disney World! Who'da thunk it? Looks like you and Declan enjoyed your ride.

I have read that the food is less than spectacular. What about the general cleanliness? Could you tell a difference in that in comparison to a Disney park?

No food place except one opened until noon?
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Old 09-10-2011, 05:36 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kthshh View Post
Enjoying your report. Following along.
Welcome! Another update shortly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MeMom View Post
There is life and fun outside of Disney World! Who'da thunk it? Looks like you and Declan enjoyed your ride.

I have read that the food is less than spectacular. What about the general cleanliness? Could you tell a difference in that in comparison to a Disney park?

No food place except one opened until noon?
SeaWorld was lots of fun but it wasn't Disney. The park was clean but some of the older rides were showing there age. Disney has set a high standard and is certainly the measuring stick.
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:58 PM   #43
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August 17th - Post Lunch

So after chowing down at the Voyager Smokehouse, we made our way to the Dolphin Feeding area. The feeding was scheduled for 1 and were were going to be about 15 minutes early. When we got there we found our longest line of the SeaWorld, probably about 100 people or more. As we waited, the afternoon shower was starting to move in. It was getting pretty dark and windy.



We didn't have long to wait, the sky opened up and we were caught in the open. After a few minutes some people started to get out of line and stand under the cover at the Ray feeding area. This allowed some of us to move up through the line until we were about 10 people from the front. Woohoo! The only problem was we were soaked, not just wet but so soaked that I had to wring the water out of my shirt soaked. . Shortly after 1, the trainer came out and said since it was still raining hard, there would be no feeding at that time.

We waited out the rest of the rain with everyone else, watching the rays get upset that nobody was feeding them. They were swimming around splashing people. It was quite funny to watch them scare people who didn't seem to know what was going on. We weren't allowed to feed them because there was still lightning in the area.



After the rain stopped, we decided to walk around the dolphin cove since there the rides were still not open. We could see the dolphins swimming around and then we discovered an underwater viewing area for the dolphins.







As we made our way back outside, the sun had returned and things started to dry up as we made our way to the manatee area.



In the manatee pool they had a few manatees; one was a rescue that they were nursing back to health. She had a large injury on her back but she was fairly active.





The also had a little one that was a few months old swimming around.



They still hadn't re-opened the rides so we found the sea lion feeding area on the other side of the park. For $5 you got a tray with 4 fish you could toss down to the sea lions and hopefully the birds wouldn't get them.








The next dolphin feeding was scheduled for 3:15 so we once again crossed the park to get in line. This time we were the 3rd family in line because we were about 45 minutes early. Around 3, the came out and told us that everyone that went into the feeding area had to pay to feed the dolphins. If you weren't feeding the fish, you had to go to the viewing area. They then let us in to pay and wait to line up. They had some basic rules you had to follow and then the let us up to the wall to feed. It was pretty cool.







Here is a short video from the feeding area. The first voice you hear is not pooksma.

Since this is another of the feedings in an open area, you had to keep an eye on the birds. There were always egrets ( I think that is what they were) around. I was finished feeding so I stepped back from the wall to give the family next to me some more room. Out of the corner of my eye, i saw this huge bird come diving over the top of the patio umbrella beside Pooksma, down in front of Declan and grab a fish out of the hand of the father that was standing next to me. He didn't even see the bird until after it was gone. It was pretty funny to see.

After the feeding we decided it was time to head back to the hotel. As we were headed out they we just getting ready to re-start the rides. Took a few pictures of the flamingos and some at the front of the park. We waited about 20 minutes for the bus and made our way pack for a swim and rest.









That evening, we didn't want to eat at TGI Friday's again so we decided to go for a drive. We ended up at DTD and had a nice meal at the Earl of Sandwich. First time we ate here and the first time we drove ourselves to DTD. It was weird being there and not actually be staying at disney. As we were eating, Pooksma recognized brookelizabeth and her family sitting at the next table so she introduced herself and said hello before we left.

Next up, day 2 at SeaWorld - more manta and Shamu
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Old 09-11-2011, 09:09 AM   #44
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Looks like I'm late to the party but I'll jump right in:cool1

I'm not a fan of the 4 AM wake up call but it does help when you know fun is in order...you just have to get there first.

Rude people, I keep saying "what goes around, comes around" I can only hope!

Geodoc may have something to say about you choosing the Mustang over the Sebringhe had a Sebring when we got married

Springhill Suites looks like an awesome place to stay. Too bad about the lightning, that's pretty scary. Love the pictures of Manta. It does look like a lot of fun, what does Queen know anyway

Loved your video of the pirate mime. He was quite funny

Keep up the great work! Looking forward to your next installment! I'll try not to spill my Tim's
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