Wednesday, September 19, 2002 - Sea World Vacation participants Jennifer (Mom 28) Dennis (Dad 28) Katie (3 years old) Julie (15 months old) We arrived at Sea World about 9:15am. We were surprised that there wasn't a line to pay for parking? We got a spot two rows away from the front entrance. Good for us. In fact we realized the park was not very busy at all once we were inside. We didn't wait to see any of the exhibits and didn't have problems getting seating for the shows. We didn't ride Kraken or Journey to Atlantis b/c our dd's are too little, but we talked to people who did and they said the wait was only like 15 min! We stopped by the pool where you can pet the Stingrays first. Katie didn't want to touch, and we had to hold on to Julie b/c she wanted to jump into the pool with them. Katie did like the stingray nursery though. They had about 8 baby stingrays in there. Next we went over to the Dolphins. We have never been able to get the dolphins to come over by us. But, that didn't stop DH from leaning over the side for about 20 minutes. The girls couldn't see unless we held them up. So finally, he conceded that it would be better to look at them underwater (where it was air conditioned). The kids were much happier and the dolphins kept them entertained for about 15 minutes. They just stood there with there little noses presses up against the glass and kept repeating "Fishy, Fishy - Big Fishy, Mommy!" We got some good pictures. Next we went over to the Shark Reef which is really cool, but kind of dark. Katie was a little scared, but she was fine when we were holding her. If you haven't been, the Shark Reef is a big tank and you walk thru a long glass tunnel. The sharks seem to be swimming all around you. Julie was almost asleep at this point. It is very annoying that they don't let you bring strollers into these exhibits! By the time we left Shark reef Julie was asleep in my arms. We walked over to the Penguin Exhibit twice because Katie like them so much. There are about 100 penguins and they are pretty goofy. Katie kept asking us about Shamu so we decided to head over that way, but by the time we got there Katie was asleep too! We walked by the game area and noticed it was empty. I mean deserted. They were even handing out coupons for a free try at a game to get people to play. So Dennis and I decided to play a water gun game, where you race to see who can get to the top first. It was only me & DH playing. Dennis won both times and for $4 we won 2 Shamus for Katie and Julie. Since the girls were still asleep we went over to the Budweiser exhibit. This was DH's favorite part of the trip. They give you free beer at one bar and free Mike's hard Lemonade (Mmmm) or Bacardi Ice in another. I went up to get my free beer and got carded! I was a little flattered and a little annoyed b/c DH had to fish out my ID out of our backpack - and he videotaped the whole thing in front of everyone! So we relaxed a little with our free drinks in the air conditioning and waited for the kids to wake up. When they did we got lunch ($5 each for kids hot dog & fries). DH & I spit a Chicken Sandwich & Chips $7 and 3 slices of watermelon $2.50. Kinda pricy but OK for park food. So it was time for Shamu. We sat at the top of the splash zone b/c I didn't want to get too wet. Normally, I don't mind getting wet but the water at Sea World is Salty which makes you feel extra gross for some reason. They shortened the show quite bit. Normally, it is 30 minutes long but this time it was only about 15 minutes and most of that was Jack Hanna, the animal guy on a Jumbo tron. They just had a baby whale so that may be the reason why the show was not as long. The girls loved Shamu! Katie really liked it when Shamu gave the trainer kisses. She kept kissing her stuffed Shamu all day long. DH was a little disappointed b/c we didn't get splashed at all! Really only the people in the front middle got soaked. After the show we went to the viewing area to see the baby whale, which was very cute. It is so adorable how the whales swim together as a family! Next we stopped at Shamu's Happy Harbour. This is basically a big playground with slides and some water activities for kids. We took a well deserved break and let the kids out of the strollers to run around.Make sure to bring extra clothes if your kids go in the water playground. Katie and Julie were thankfully happy in the regular "dry" area. Our last activity of the day was the Clyde & Seamore take Pirate Island Show. It was pretty funny. I actually think DH & I enjoyed it more than the kids. Clyde & Seamore are sea lions and there is one otter in the show. The sea lions do some pretty impressive tricks and one lucky audience member get kissed by one. It looked slimy. The park closed at 7pm and we left about 6pm. We decided to stop at Burger King and pick up dinner so we could eat in the hotel room and go swimming before bed! I am still not used to the parks closing so early now! We used to take a break in the middle of the day for a nap and go back at night. But its not worth it to take a break in the middle of the day when the parks close so early. Tomorrow we go to Epcot! Finally a Disney Day!