Finally, my last post from our trip to Florida last month! I have been pretty swamped lately so haven’t been able to get them all out in a timely fashion. But the final park that we visited was Sea World in Orlando. Conveniently, it was right by our hotel, so whenever we were out and about, we were always looking for the exit on the interstate for ‘Sea World.’
I was a little apprehensive about going to SeaWorld after it had been in the social media spotlight over recent years. But SeaWorld invited us along to see the changes that they have made for the better, and the difference they are making in the world. I knew the kids would love it as we have some children that are pretty animal obsessed. And if they could learn about taking better care of animals then it would be all good.
I haven’t been to SeaWorld since I was ten. Although that was twenty years ago, I do still have some good memories of our time there. And twenty years on, a lot has changed! One of the first things that I was most impressed with, was that there are barriers keeping you from the animals. I remember being able to just reach into a pool and stroke a dolphin when I visited at age ten. Although little ten year old me loved dolphins, I know now that that isn’t the best environment for them to be kept in, being constantly stroked or poked. So this is really positive. You don’t have to be able to touch the fish or animals to be able to enjoy them.
The main point, though, is the Orcas and the breeding programme. However, SeaWorld has now ended its killer whale breeding program, making the orcas that are there, the last generation. SeaWorld have also changed how they do things in the park and in the shows. They are trying to make it as natural as environment as possible, with different things in the performances and changing their habitats. One thing I noticed was that the trainers no longer go in the pool with the whales. The performances were also focused on the natural instincts of the wales, rather than ‘fluff’ to fill a performance space. It was much less jumping up in the air and more about them swimming or approaching a board, like they would in the wild, approaching land.
There was one ride / attraction that got me thinking in particular. The Turtletrek is all about a turtle’s journey from being born to getting out to the sea, all from a baby turtle’s perspective. Before you go into the attraction, though, there is an aquarium filled with fish and turtles. As we were looking at the turtles, we noticed that the turtles looked a little injured or sick. We then had it explained it to us that these had all been rescued by SeaWorld after being damaged by fishing nets. I have just been quite ignorant to the fact that this kind of thing happened. But why should a turtle have to have part of its fin amputated, just so we can eat fish? This really got me thinking and has put me off eating fish for sure. So this definitely did inspire me to make changes in my own life.
One really fun part of the park was the Antartica area. It was really fun (plus, nice to cool off in the zero degree temperatures). The Empire of the Penguin ride was the best part, as it ends up in the penguin enclosure, as well as seeing the dolphins that prefer cold temperatures. It was out of this world!
As for the rides, I don’t remember there being so many! There are lots of rides for all the family. Some big, and I mean big, rollercoasters, as well as water rides and smaller rides for the kids. Having said that, I think there are more ‘big’ rides than small. So it does make it tricky when there was just the four of us. But they do the baby swap for the big rides so that is really handy. I’d prefer going in a larger group next time, though, as I much prefer going on big rides with more people, not just sat there screaming by myself with strangers haha.
As ever, I am always impressed by SeaWorld and their commitment to the military, and not just that of the United States. Having a brother-in-law in the US military, I think that kind of thing is really supportive and positive.
All in all, I was really impressed with the day and the park. There are lots of different things around the park to show that #seaworldcares, and it was impressive. So good to see a large corporation making changes that positively impact the environment, as well as inspiring families to change.
Have you ever been to SeaWorld?*our entrance tickets were gifted in exchange for this post, however, all opinions are my own.