Another day and another trip to a water park. This time to Aquatica, the entry for which was included with our Discovery Cove ticket. So we are managing to squeeze quite good value from that with a trip to Seaworld as well.
We started off with a little float down Loggerhead Lane in our rings. I find this lazy river to be a bit shallow and usually end up walking along the bottom. But it’s nice as you go through the big aquarium and also get to see the Commerson Dolphins in the tank where people come shooting down the tubes (down Dolphin Plunge).
After going around a few times we thought we would try out Roa’s Rapids, which we’d never been into before, and turned out to be huge fun. The water pulls you round so fast that it’s actually difficult to stop and get out. After a very short time in the water we decided that the easiest thing was to grab lifejackets and let them do the work so we could just float and whizz around.
Literally had to pull Rosemary out, partially as she wanted to carry on going around it and partially because she nearly got carried away by the water at the exit point. Very cool though and as close as you can get to flying in water.
After getting out we had a look around the shops.
We spent a bit longer at the park and played around Cutback Cove, which is the beach area at Aquatica and has a wave machine which comes on periodically. But after a while we decided to get dried off and changed.
Before we went we did go and watch the Comerson Dolphin’s for a little while.
As there was still some time that evening we visited the outlets, eventually managing to park up as it was so busy, and did spend about $2 buying a Space Slug hand puppet at the Disney outlet….I mean why wouldn’t you.
As as we hadn’t done quite enough swimming for the day, Rosemary decided to take a night time swim at the hotel. The water was way too cold for anyone else but she didn’t seem to mind!
Off to SeaWorld today. Having been to Discovery Cove we have our lanyards and this entitles us to access to SeaWorld and Aquatica for 7 days after visiting Discovery Cove. So at least we didn’t have to pay for our tickets. We did pre-purchase the all-day-dining tickets though so we headed there for opening time to get breakfast and then see how much we could actually eat by the end of the day. We assumed that it was a challenge!!!
We went to breakfast and got standard type food (eggs, bacon, pastries etc) at Seafire Grill.
After that we wandered through the park and first went to the dolphin nursery. There were a couple of small ones in there and the mums were starting to teach them to jump. There was one quite small one but couldn’t get a photo unfortunately.
We wandered round a little more with the plan to catch the next performance of the Blue Horizons show, which was the next thing we wanted to see. Also wanted to make sure we saw an early show because we wanted to have time for both the Clyde and Seamore show and the Christmas night time Shamu show. Show was good as usual, although felt a little cut short so not sure if the dolphins weren’t co-operating fully and they had to shorten it (which I know has been the case in the past).
After the show we thought we’d hit our all-day-dining option again and this time went to get lunch at the Expedition Café in the Antarctic.
We then went to see the manatees, which are a favourite animal as they’re so gentle and get a really hard time from inconsiderate boat owners. Like they haven’t go enough to worry about without being hit by a speed boat!
It was lunchtime when we got there (although it’s probably always eating time for them) and they were chowing down on some lettuce.
As you go underground to see the manatees this is also the turtle show, Turtle Trek, and as you wait to go into this there are the underwater viewing areas. Next to the manatees are the sea turtles and fish, and Rosemary got badly photobombed by a particularly inquisitive fish.
We walked over the Shark Encounter, where there are lots of really good aquarium exhibits, but Rosemary got eaten!
Unfortunately they had removed a shark which used to hang from the ceiling and we had taken a similar picture each time we had visited. So were quite disappointed not to get one this time as it was a nice record of the different visits. The previous ones are shown below.
We never really go to Seaworld for the rides but did go a few in Shamu’s Happy Harbour. Rosemary did insist on getting the manatee on the carousel.
We really wanted to get the shows in but had to head back across the park to the Sealion Theatre to see the Seamore and Clyde Christmas Show. Very good show and as always the mime was extremely funny.
It was completely dark this time and we spent a while in the Christmas Village area looking at the decorations and Christmassy stuff that was for sale, although we didn’t buy anything. Rudolph was there meeting and greeting but the queues were very long.
I seem to remember having dinner at Mango Joes using our wristbands and then went to see the Shamu night time show, Shamu’s Christmas Miracle. This was also probably the last time we would see a show like this as (quite rightly) they are stopping the Orca shows and by the time we come back they wont be going on anymore. It’s sort of disappointing to know we’d never see this again but at the same time it’s good to know that the animals will be able to behave more “naturally”.
And that was pretty much the end of our day at Seaworld. We did spend some time watching the Christmas Trees and the Sea of Trees show where the lights all go in sync to the music.
We made one last use of our all-you-can-eat wristbands at the Seafire Grill and then it was time to leave.