The one thing I learned from my research: Plan your day around the shows! There are 5 shows (the end of the evening being the fifth and final show). We arrived right when the gates opened and bought Priority Parking (it was only $5.00 more and we were RIGHT in the front, right outside the gate!). We had to wait to enter as it wasn't quite time to go in.
The first thing we discovered was the Sting Rays - they were pretty awesome! You could buy food and feed them, but we chose to just lean over and touch them. It turns out, so many people buy food, that if you just stick your hand in the water like you're "going to feed them" they think you do, so they swim up to you and brush over you! Carter was all about it and wanted to touch them :)
The Dolphin Show started at 10:00, so we had one hour to spare before the show. We went down and were watching the dolphins swim- the kids thought that was pretty cool!
While walking to the Dolphin Show, there was a flamingo parade in the street! Not really sure that is what it was called, but they were all walking along the path as if it were a parade! So neat. One of the workers stopped and gave our kids some collector cards!
The Dolphin Show was spectacular! There were seats in the "Soak Zone", seats in the sun and seats in the shade. We originally sat in the sun, but soon moved to the shade. Collin was getting really warm, and both Josh and I remembered when his body temperature changes too quickly, he could seizure...ARG - not that! So Josh poured water on his head, in his hat, and we made him drink lots more- more than we had them drinking...he soon cooled down and was able to enjoy the show. We also forgot this was their first REAL time in the heat - all the other times this week we've been outside has been spent in the pool.
To help cool them down, we went to the Antarctica display which was a fun informational ride and viewing of some penguins! They want you to really experience what it is like, so when we got off the ride, we were in the freezing air! It was very refreshing, but soon made us cold! Callie was shivering, but she still enjoyed it!
The kids were able to meet a penguin, which of course, they loved him!
Thankfully, after we fed the kids lunch back at the car, the boys fell asleep for a couple hours. We brought Callie into the "kid zone" and let her go on some rides while her brothers slept.
I totally fed a squirrel too - they were so friendly and came right up to us - it was so neat.
We missed the first Shamu show because the boys were sleeping and we really wanted them to see it, so we went the 5:00 show instead. I would have loved to have sat in the "Splash Zone" - but nobody else wanted to...so we sat further back!
Shamu and his pals were so fun to watch. It's amazing to think these ginormous creatures can be trained to perform for everyone!
After Shamu we got in line to ride the Sky Tower; however, it shut down due to lightening...we heard thunder so we headed into a store to keep the kids safe...good thing, because it started to downpour rain-something that happens in FL everyday in the summer! It was a quick 30 minute storm and we were ready to rock and roll. We missed the Sea Lion show due to the storm and were too late to the Pet Show from being locked inside. So we headed back to the Sky Tower!
The kids loved going up really high seeing the entire park. They were supposed to remain seated, but of course I let them get up to look out - it was easier for them to see.
Best quote from the day goes to Collin! When the Sky Tower ride came to a stop, the ride attendant got up from her seat and had to walk past us to get to the exit door. As she walked past, Collin announced, "PEW - She stinks!" I almost spit out my water I was so shocked he said that. The people next to me were laughing pretty hard. Thankfully, I don't think she heard Collin say it :) But hey - kids do point out the obvious.
We were going to give the kids more time to ride more rides, but they wanted to go in the Splash Pad - so why not! We had their swim suites and I packed a change of clothes...all was perfect!
The only thing we bought the kids all day was Dip 'n Dots (to help cool them down when Collin was over heating) and one prize for being so well behaved. The morning was tough due to adjusting to the heat, but they really turned it around and were absolutely amazing!
Carter chose a Killer Whale - nameless.
Collin chose a Sea Lion - named him Wallace (not sure where he came up with that name but I love it-very creative!).
Callie chose a rainbow Killer Whale - name her Shine!
We can't wait to head to Busch Gardens in a few days!!!
If you plan on heading to Sea World, here are a few things we suggest for first timers!
1. Plan ahead by researching which shows you want to attend!
2. Pack a backpack with the following inside:
- several bottles of water
- one towel
- kid swim suits
- kid change of clothes
- tons of snacks for the kids (nothing that will melt)
- large ziplock bag with several smaller zip lock bags and large inside as well as garbage bags - we used the garbage bags as rain coats (in the summer it will rain), zip locks to put our phones and cameras inside to protect from the rain!
3. Double Stroller was clutch - we just left it outside different exhibits without worrying if someone would take it.
4. Sunglasses and hats for the kids...it gets really hot!
It was an incredible trip and the kids had a great time. A very different experience from our Disney trips, but well worth it as well!