Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish . . . "

The entire time I was at Sea World, this phrase/song kept flashing through my head.

You want to know what's sad? Sea World shows used to be as awesome as they are in that video. BUT there was an accident . . . involving a Killer Whale . . . that resulted in a tragic drowning of a trainer. Rather than stop the program and lose income, the organization decided it would continue the shows but very few if any trainers would get in the water. So they've compensated with lights, fountains, and acrobatics in colorful but dorky costumes. It used to be educational and now it's . . . Disney wannabe. But, I digress.Still, it's my favorite park. The aquariums are wonderful, and the park itself is beautiful. If you can, GO. It's fabulous.

Most out-of-towners assume that Orlandonians like myself spend every weekend at the parks. The first misconception is that we go all the time. (Do you know how much a ticket costs? How much an annual pass costs? And you think I have that kind of money?? Pffffft, you're silly). The second is that we go on weekends. But if you've lived in the theme-park world long enough, you learn a few tricks. Having been a summer employee of a major park for five years, I think I'm giving you the inside scoop. Usually we charge for that, but I'll let it slide.

  1. If you can, pick a weekday. When school's in session. You'll run into lots of international tour groups, but the crowds will be so incredibly minimal compared to attending during a summer Saturday. Of course, this may be unavoidable . . . which is why peak season is the way it is. Oh well. No harm trying. 
  2. Minimal clothing . . . within the realm of decency. However, most people skip the decency part . . . including people you never ever EVER wanted to see missing bras or in shorts too tiny. I learned more about anatomy working the park registers than school could have ever taught me. *shudder*
  3. Never ever EVER wear white or really light colors if you plan on riding water rides or sitting in splash zones.Sure, it's cute, but so is that turquoise underwear underneath that everyone's staring at. Yup. Try to cover THAT up. 
  4. If you see a mass of bright yellow spandex, avoid at all costs. Turn around. Hide in corners. Take an alleyway. These are the Brazilian Tour groups. They are infamous for a reason. They're a locust swarm in disguise.
  5. SUNSCREEN. You will burn. 
  6. You will be overcharged. For everything. Most of which, you can find at Wal-Mart for a quarter of the price. Just accept it. 
  7. It doesn't matter which park fast food joint you choose, it will all taste the same. The healthy stuff tastes worse because they don't know what that is. Fancy in-park restaurants, though, are delightful. And overcharge.
  8. Somewhere, somehow, you WILL be standing next to someone who doesn't believe in deodorant. Brace yourself. 
  9. The jump-the-long-line passes? Not worth the arm and the leg they charge you. Sometimes, it works out, but, as a clerk, I was always ASTOUNDED at what people would pay to be impatient. Yes, the lines are long, but, if you see Point 1, that can be avoided. 
  10. DRINK WATER. While soda and other sugary drinks taste great, they will dehydrate you rather than hydrate. You will find yourself feeling worse or even sick. Gatorade/Powerade and other drinks with electrolytes can be the exception, but, still, nothing beats good ole H2O.
And now for the oodles of pictures of Chris's free birthday trip to Sea World. So much fun!

Mandatory "Cute in the car on the way" pic

Stingrays are my absolute FAVORITE. I could stay at this exhibit ALL DAY. No joke. They're like flat, slimy puppy dogs. LOVE.
The Mime before the Seal Lion and Otter Show. He seriously must have the best job ever. He gets paid to make fun of people. And the crowd loves it. Best part of the show.

Jellies are also a big fav. There's no editing on either of these pics. They're just that gorgeous

Chris at dinner at the Sharks Grill. It's a restuarant located beside/inside a giant shark tank. Loved the atmosphere--low lighting, smooth jazz, and nature's greatest predators side by side. Oh, and the food: DELISH. So worth the price.
I don't know what these are, but they WILL be grown outside "the cottage"

There were five different whales performing. Such awesome and beautiful creatures. 
And that's Sea World via Boccis' pics. :]
Next post will be picture heavy, too, I'm afraid, but with my first grade students in costume. Let the cuteness begin!


  1. Oh man, I love this post! Thanks for reminding me why Sea World is the best theme park :) And the song made my day! and your pictures are stunning! Fabulous post all around :)

  2. I almost died reading about the Brazilians.

    Seriously though, we might be Sea World Soulmates. I absolutely adore stingrays. I remember going to Stingray City in the Cayman Islands in 7th grade and it was basically a spiritual experience.


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