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Old 04-16-2012, 09:37 PM   #1
Kidgoingon40
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Birmingham, AL
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Wild Arctic Up Close Experience at Seaworld

Hi, guys! I hope someone can give me some info about this experience. I was interested in the beluga interaction, but I am not thrilled about the price, wearing a wet suit (I really don't like wearing them), and the cold water. I saw that there was the Wild Arctic Up Close Experience which is a lot cheaper and mentioned the possibility of seeing the belugas.

I know this tour of course would not have the same type or amount of interaction as the beluga interaction, but I was wondering what exactly this wild arctic up close experience involved? There is not very much info about it on the web site for seaworld and I haven't been able to find anything else about it.

The web site asks if you have ever wanted to interact with seals, beluga whales, or walruses. So, do you only get to interact with one of those animals during the experience? What do these interactions consist of? Has anyone done this tour? Was it worth the price? Hubby and I did the penguins up close tour last summer, and it was absolutely a wonderful experience.

It also says you aren't allowed to bring a camera and there "may" be a seaworld photographer to take pics during interactions. Would there most likely be one? I would hate to do the experience and not be able to get a picture (even with having to buy it).

Thanks for any information you can give me on this!
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Old 04-19-2012, 01:57 PM   #2
SharonK0527
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Would love to hear a response to this as well. We are considering doing this encounter when we go in October. We did the Penguin Encounter last year and we absolutely loved it!
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:30 PM   #3
makingaconnection
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My friend works at SeaWorld and was able to preview the tour. It's pretty new apparently. You get to feed a beluga, pet it, and take a picture with it, you get to interact with a walrus from behind some bars, and you can pet a harbor seal and watch a training session with them. It lasts about 60 minutes and the price doesn't include pictures.
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:54 PM   #4
Aeiryfly
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Smile

I've done this tour twice so far, and I'm doing it again around New Years. I think it's a fantastic tour. I Was the same way you were with not wanting to get into a wetsuit. I also loved the idea that you get to interact with more than just the belugas. I'll go into a lot of detail, and hope it'll help someone. (:

On the first tour, we started with the seals. You kneel around them, with the trainer next to you. You pet the seals and learn a little about them. Then they'll have you pose for pictures. Yes, I believe they'll always have a photographer or two there. I know this doesn't sound super exciting, but they're seriously a lot cuter than you may expect. Then we moved onto belugas. You get to "help" giving them hand signals, it really depends on your trainer for what behaviors you do. You toss them a handful of fishies, and you also get a great picture here. You get to give them a really nice rub down, and again, learn a lot about them I feel like the trainers try to give you info here that you wouldn't really get from just walking around the park. The last thing we did in this tour was go see Garfield, the walrus, learn a bunch about him, hear a lot of his cute vocalizations, and feed him a fish. Pictures are taken through the whole thing, and you get your picture with the polar bear statue, too.

The second time we did the tour, we started with the seals again. Did a few different behaviors, and got to see (not interact with), their rather rare harp seal. Like I said, it all depends on the trainers how the interactions will go, but you always get at least one great picture with each animal. The belugas weren't doing what the trainers were asking that day, so we didn't get to do the beluga part of this tour, so know that it is a possibility that you may not. Instead, they brought us to see a polar bear training session, which was way cuter than it sounds! They tool pictures with us in front of the polar bear posing, but they didn't come out, as our photographers weren't diligent in making sure they did. The last thing we did, again, was we got to feed Garfield again, and watch a little of his training.

To me, what it boils down to, look at the next most competitive tour. On the Dolphin Up Close Tour ($50), you watch a training session for dolphins, throw some fish into the pool, then move over to a different pool and give the dolphins some signals before you're done. In the WA Tour, you get to do the same with three different, and in my opinion, cuter animals.

Honestly, if you love the animals in Wild Arctic and could spend all day watching them like I could, you can't go wrong with this tour. Even when we didn't get to see the belugas the tour was way worth it, and it really doesn't happen that often from what I've heard.

Hope this helps!!
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:24 PM   #5
Kidgoingon40
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Hi! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with this tour. I think the both sound great! I am glad to hear they should definitely be pics taken - I would hate to have such a cool experience and no proof! hehe. I am planning to book this tour for my trip in March. :D
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:16 AM   #6
davids68girl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeiryfly View Post
I've done this tour twice so far, and I'm doing it again around New Years. I think it's a fantastic tour. I Was the same way you were with not wanting to get into a wetsuit. I also loved the idea that you get to interact with more than just the belugas. I'll go into a lot of detail, and hope it'll help someone. (:

On the first tour, we started with the seals. You kneel around them, with the trainer next to you. You pet the seals and learn a little about them. Then they'll have you pose for pictures. Yes, I believe they'll always have a photographer or two there. I know this doesn't sound super exciting, but they're seriously a lot cuter than you may expect. Then we moved onto belugas. You get to "help" giving them hand signals, it really depends on your trainer for what behaviors you do. You toss them a handful of fishies, and you also get a great picture here. You get to give them a really nice rub down, and again, learn a lot about them I feel like the trainers try to give you info here that you wouldn't really get from just walking around the park. The last thing we did in this tour was go see Garfield, the walrus, learn a bunch about him, hear a lot of his cute vocalizations, and feed him a fish. Pictures are taken through the whole thing, and you get your picture with the polar bear statue, too.

The second time we did the tour, we started with the seals again. Did a few different behaviors, and got to see (not interact with), their rather rare harp seal. Like I said, it all depends on the trainers how the interactions will go, but you always get at least one great picture with each animal. The belugas weren't doing what the trainers were asking that day, so we didn't get to do the beluga part of this tour, so know that it is a possibility that you may not. Instead, they brought us to see a polar bear training session, which was way cuter than it sounds! They tool pictures with us in front of the polar bear posing, but they didn't come out, as our photographers weren't diligent in making sure they did. The last thing we did, again, was we got to feed Garfield again, and watch a little of his training.

To me, what it boils down to, look at the next most competitive tour. On the Dolphin Up Close Tour ($50), you watch a training session for dolphins, throw some fish into the pool, then move over to a different pool and give the dolphins some signals before you're done. In the WA Tour, you get to do the same with three different, and in my opinion, cuter animals.

Honestly, if you love the animals in Wild Arctic and could spend all day watching them like I could, you can't go wrong with this tour. Even when we didn't get to see the belugas the tour was way worth it, and it really doesn't happen that often from what I've heard.

Hope this helps!!
Thanks so much for spelling this out for us! I was looking at it online last night and was wondering what it entailed. I DO wish SW would add more description to the tours online but since they don't, I really appreciate you sharing!
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:55 PM   #7
Aeiryfly
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Not a problem! Glad I could help, and I hope you'll love it as much as I do! It's definitely the best tour in the park, in my opinion :D
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