This year, for our family vacation, my husband and I decided to buy annual passes to Sea World in Orlando, Florida. We are so glad we did. Sea World has something for everyone in the family. My two teenagers loved the thrill rides, and my ten year old daughter fell in love with Shamu. My husband and I enjoyed the shows, and loved knowing that our children were having fun. It was nice that we could always find a good shady spot to rest whenever we needed one.
The favorite show for our entire family was called “Shamu Rocks“. This was the evening show at Shamu Stadium. Our kids wanted to go see it every night on our trip in March. They loved the whales’ performances, and enjoyed the loud rock music before and during the show. It had a real party atmosphere that created such a great ending to a wonderful day in the park.
The relationship those whales have with their trainers is amazing, and my youngest daughter was drawn right into the show. She has talked since our trip, of being a Shamu trainer when she grows up. She would get especially excited before the show when the camera would start panning the crowd, and settle on someone to put up on the big screen at the front of the stadium. The odds of her getting up on that screen with the huge crowds that showed up were very slim, but she did everything she could to make it happen. Night after night, she would walk out, excited about the performance, but disappointed that once again, she hadn’t made it up onto the big screen.
We spent nine days in Orlando , and a large part of each day was spent at either SeaWorld, or its water park, Aquatica. In cooler parts of the year, when it takes awhile to warm up, mornings are good at SeaWorld. Then in the afternoon, when things are heating up a bit, Aquatica is the perfect place to cool off. Summers are the opposite. We enjoy spending a few hours at Aquatica, and leaving before it gets hot enough for some serious sunburns. SeaWorld has good indoor shows and is shady enough to prevent sunburn as long as you use sunscreen.
In June, my two older kids went to camp with their youth group. My youngest loves that time of year, This is the only time all year that she gets Dad and Mom to herself. She usually gets to do some really cool things during camp week. This year, we decided that since we had annual passes, we would take her back to SeaWorld, and allow her to bring a friend.
The two of them had an incredible week. They fed the dolphins, rode lots of rides, and saw all of the shows. Their favorite show was “Shamu Rocks”, and we must have seen it three or four times that week. In the middle of the week, on my husband’s and my 25th anniversary, we got into the stadium later than usual. It was filling up quickly, and we couldn’t find seats together in the splash zone. We allowed the girls to sit down there by themselves, and we sat higher up in the stands where we could still watch them.
The show had not yet started, but the music was going full speed ahead. The camera started panning the crowd, and guess where it stopped!!! I have never seen such excited kids in my life. Thankfully, my camera was ready, and I got some very good shots of the screen. Both girls were so excited, and made such good entertainment for the crowd, that the camera stayed on them for what seemed like a full minute.
I know this will be an anniversary I will never forget. Seeing the excitement on their faces when that camera stopped on them, was completely perfect. And I am sure they will never forget their week at SeaWorld and Aquatica. My kids are already asking to go back.