Hi Thrill Seekers,
I am unhappy to say that I am now home and my FAM trip hosted by the wonderful team at Seaworld Parks and Entertainment went far too fast for my liking, but I am very excited to tell you all about my time in Orlando.
Once I reached Florida (I missed my original flight, but thats another story) we were given our itinerary for the week, Day number 1 would take place at Seaworld, Orlando. This was literally a few minutes walk from our hotel and couldn’t have been easier to get to.
Arriving at SeaWorld we were lucky enough to be met by a Seaworld tour guide who was going to show us around so we didn’t miss anything. I was keen to get as much information from the guide as I could and she proved to be very knowledgeable and helpful. First stop was to the amazing Dolphin Cove to feed the Dolphins.
Dolphin Cove gives you the opportunity to watch a playful group of bottlenose dolphins in their everyday habitat, you can also touch them and feed them I found this amazing. Before this trip I had never physically seen a Dolphin let alone touched or fed one so this for me really was a dream come true. I would advise if you don’t want to get wet don’t get too close as they are very playful and splash around an awful lot, I think I came away looking as though I went for a swim with them.
Once the tour guide had peeled me away from the Dolphins we then headed off to feed the Stingray’s at Stingray Lagoon. This is where I discovered I’m not the biggest fan of Stingray’s. I did try to feed them but I just couldn’t keep my hand in the water long enough, I can honestly say I acted like a complete girl when they got close to me (This became a bit of a theme, see Kelly V’s Falcon’s Fury). This wasn’t the same for the rest of the group or in fact anyone else around the Stingray Lagoon – one of the Stingrays did show their appreciation of me dropping their food by splashing me in the face!
After all the fun with the animals, it was onto our first ride “Manta” and not Mantra as I’d been calling it previously. Manta is the only flying roller coaster of its kind in the World. Once seated and all strapped in, your seat is tilted so you are facing the floor. I won’t lie my hands got extremely sweaty at this point and I kind of wanted to get off, but before panic could set in we were off travelling up a 140 foot chain lift, there was no going back now, when we reached the top Manta began by nose diving back down the 140 feet adding loops, twists and turns throughout the ride plus a few of my screams. I can honestly say my stomach has never been left behind before as much as it was on Manta but I loved it! I could have stayed on it all day but we had a tight schedule and a lot more of the park see. So we thought it was best to get the rides in before lunch so it we were straight onto Kraken.
Kraken is the only floorless roller coaster in Orlando. It features a total of seven inversions including two vertical loops, a dive loop, a zero-g roll, a cobra roll and a corkscrew – its safe to say I felt like I was a space cadet when I came off my head was definitely in a spin.
After lunch and a very nice one at that – it was onto the Shamu Stadium for the One Ocean Show home to the majestic Killer Whale. One Ocean touched me in a way I didn’t think was possible. Although the whole show from start to finish is breathtaking with its vivid colors and vitality it is also extremely emotional and you really do connect with these thrilling sea creatures. I didn’t shed a tear but I did leave with a very big lump in my throat.If you are there in the right season you can also catch the seasonal Shamu’s Celebration: Light up the night and Shamu Christmas Miracle night shows.
If just seeing the Whale’s is not enough for you – you can also Dine with Shamu, this is a memorable family dining experience where you can enjoy a delicious poolside meal and get a glimpse into the interactions that occur between the Seaworld trainer and the beautiful Killer Whales. Unfortunately I was not lucky enough to do this experience with our busy schedule – so if you do get the opportunity please share this with me as I would love to know about it.
Next on our list was Turtle Trek a 3D 360 degree dome theatre experience which tells the story of a Sea Turtle’s journey through life from birth to adulthood. The theatre uses 34 projectors to seamlessly cover the entire surface of the dome allowing you to watch from every angle, even above you. This attraction surprised me, it was quite fascinating to see the life of a Sea Turtle and all the dangers and hazards they face as they mature. I would definitely try and fit this into your day if you are visiting SeaWorld.
Before entering the dome you can visit two natural habitats one filled with manatees and several species of freshwater fish, the other home to more than 1,500 saltwater fish and over a dozen Sea Turtles – these I think is a brilliant touch to an attraction like this.
Our day was nearly over but last but not least we head to Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin this is SeaWorld’s newest attraction. The attention to detail that has gone into this area is unreal, it feels as though you are actually in Antarctica, it’s truly stunning. The Antarctic: Empire of the Penguins ride itself is aimed at families and tells the story of Puck, a young Gentoo Penguin who gets lost in a snowstorm. You have the option of a wild or mild ride. We did the Mild ride which I have been told is not too much different from the Wild. Once the ride was over we were able to get close to some real Gentoo Penguins, as well as Adelies, Kings and Rockhoppers. A little tip when visiting, the environment has obviously been built for the Penguins so it can feel pretty cold, so take a jacket or jumper in with you if you have one, so you can look at the penguins in detail.
So that was it the end of my very busy day at SeaWorld – one I did not want to come to an end, but everything has to right? Roll on day 2 which was Aquatica so look out for my next blog where I will explain in detail all about Orlando Attraction Tickets first experience of Ihu’s Breakaway falls.