I had looked at tickets online and weekday online tickets were $70 compared to $99 buying them at the gate, so I purchased them online and loaded them onto my phone. We did not need to print anything out, they just scanned my phone. Since we were less than on hour from the park and I wanted to keep the day as inexpensive as possible after spending so much on tickets, we packed a picnic lunch and waited until 10:30 to leave. We ate in the van after we arrived and headed into the park which gave us about 6 hours before they closed.
Even though it was the day before Thanksgiving it was not terribly crowded. It rained on us a little but it does that in Florida (ask my 10 year old he'll tell you all about the weather there!) We did not get to see and do everything, but we did the things that were most important to everyone.
The first thing we saw were flamingos. My children love flamingos and Anthony told everyone facts that he had learned by watching Wild Kratts.
The sting rays were really neat. I bought some food do the children could feed them, but they got scared! Except for Alex, it didn't bother him at all.
Then we headed towards the dolphins. This is the one place that I was very disappointed in. When we were at Sea World in 2006 you could go the whole length of the dolphin pool to view the dolphins. If you were there at certain times you could buy food and feed the dolphins. Now they have the pool blocked off so you can only be at the far end of the pool in a very small area. The other side they only allow people who pay extra for a dolphin encounter, and this side of course is where the dolphins stay. But we did get to see them and got some pictures.
Next we saw the manatees and sea turtles. The children thought the manatees looked like giant balloons.
It was almost time for Clyde and Seamore's Sea Lion High Show so we headed over to the arena. We loved the show! It was so much fun to watch!
We had just enough time when that show ended to get over to the One Ocean show. That one was really good too although I think the children enjoyed the other one more.
The children kept asking about rides which surprised me because I didn't think they would want to ride. I had forgotten about the area that had some children's rides but we were very close to it when we came out of the show so instead of hurrying back to try and catch the dolphin show, we went into the children's area (Shamu's Happy Harbor) and so they could ride and play. Even Anthony who will not ride rides went in the big play area and on the boat with the rope climb.
I didn't get pictures of everything, but I did get a few.
|Such a good big brother!|
|Emmie is beside Art. It was her first roller coaster ride|
|Lily is beside my mom|
Then we headed to the shark encounter which was very hard to take pictures of while you are trying to look at everything! It is very cool though. You are on a moving conveyor belt while all of the animals swim around you.
By then it was 4:00. Alex really wanted to ride one of the big roller coasters, The Kraken. So we headed over there and he got in line with his daddy. The wait time on it was a little long, about 30 minutes and by the time we had gotten over there and they rode it was 4:45. Mom took the children into some of the shops but Alex and I had not had a chance to look at anything so we went in a few more shops as we were making our way back towards the way out. We walked out of the park at 5:20. By then everyone was tired and hungry!
The only things we wanted to do that we missed was the dolphin show and Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. That one had a pretty long line the whole time we were there.
It was a great day!