Vay Kay in the Sunshine State Part 1: We See Sea World by the Seashore!

Posted on December 8, 2008

A little less than two weeks ago, I got to escape the bone-chilling cold and rain of the Wicked City for some fun and sun in Orlando, Florida. Would you believe that their autumn consists of many picture-perfect 70+ degree days, punctuated with only a few chilly evenings? If you couldn’t guess, I had a blast! This is the part where my faithful readers get to relive my travels vicariously:

Sea World

Make no mistake, Sea World Orlando is a tourist attraction first and foremost – think of it as a curious fusion between your local Aquarium and a Disney park, with rides and gift shops only footsteps from live animal shows and exhibits. Not to mention the ground is literally crawling with hordes of screaming children, putting eardrums and patience to the test! Still, when it comes to excitement, nothing beats seeing the majesty of dolphins…

…up close! These stills hardly do them justice – they can cut through the water like a dancer across a stage. As one of the performers explains, these shows are a delicate partnership between human trainers and these incredibly intelligent creatures – the dolphins are never “commanded”, but are “asked nicely”, and bribed with a fish or two! Kind of like myself as a young child, but moving along…

Of course, no visit would be complete without seeing the park’s mascot in action:

In person, Shamu is every bit as impressive as the ads, able to splash 14 rows of spectators with a single leap! This was the first time I’ve seen a killer whale up close, and a part of me envies the trainers and park staff which get to interact with these magnificent creatures every day:

Their Discovery Cove park actually lets you swim with dolphins, rays, and other delightful sea creatures, but at nearly $300 admission, such pleasures are beyond my reach at the moment. Not to mention I should spare Flipper the trauma of seeing this homo sapien in swim trunks.

Besides the animals, the park had several interesting stage shows, two of which we attended  that day. The first was “Allure: The Call of the Ocean”, and was a Little Mermaid-esque tale of a dashing bachelor of a fisherman and the fish-woman who inevitably falls in love with him. Apparently it’s hard to do dinner and a movie underwater, so when it comes to courtship, impressive feats of acrobatics will have to suffice:

Move over, Sydney Potier – it’s interspecies dating the kids are exploring these days. Of course, meeting the family is kind of hard when they have a sharp pair of fangs:

The second show involved dinner, so you’ll have to excuse me if I seem just a bit partial! The Makahiki Luau is a show highlighting Polynesian culture in all its flamboyant festiveness:

The only thing I couldn’t quite get over was the guilt factor. After seeing Shamu and friends frolic in the park all day, sitting down for a meal of Mahi-Mahi just seemed so…wrong. I had a good cry for all of two seconds about it.

My feet were practically numb by the time I got back to my room, but all in all, it was a fun day!

» Filed Under Everything and Nothing, Photography, Travel


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